Tag Archives: california

When It Rains, It Pours

One day, we’re going to look back and laugh at these days.

The fact that our two short years in the mountains have already been punctuated by (in this order) the final chapter of an epic drought, a catastrophic wildfire, an unprecedented tree mortality epidemic, and now…

A flood of biblical proportions?

Remember when we went camping at this spot?

Remember when we went camping at this spot?

Seriously, I want to laugh about this. I look damn forward to the day.  Continue reading

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Bark Beetle: The Final Chapter

At least we HOPE it’s the final chapter, seeing as we technically have no more pine trees… It better be.

Some time in mid-November, we were notified by our neighbor up in Arnold, Nick, that Mario’s Tree Service had come and cut all the trees on our property struck by bark beetle this summer.

“It doesn’t look bad at all,” said Nick.

OHHH Nick. Thanks for that, you sweet guy.

But when we arrived late this past Thursday after six weeks away – HA.

Let’s just say, there was some furious late-night raking over dirt and asphalt, and a little amateur masonry by flashlight, too.

The next morning, Nick himself had to come out and chuckle sheepishly at the remaining tree mayhem and admit…

“Yeah, it’s very un-Lisa.”

View of three giant Ponderosas, left exactly where they fell on the back of our property. Oy vey.

View of three giant Ponderosas, left exactly where they fell on the back of our property. Oy vey.

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Bark Beetle: Still Going

Our trees have begun to fall.

Not the big ones – yet – but when we arrived at Mustang Ranch late last week, we discovered that our neighbor Nick had rallied for us all. He went to the tree mortality meeting down in Avery, and came back armed with the knowledge that all the trees lining Mustang Road in front of our properties aren’t actually any of our concern (ta da!). They belong to Calaveras County.

And so, fired up (I love mountain-living next door to Nick), he got the county crew to come cut everything on the easement that PG&E hadn’t already tagged for removal: in front of BOTH our houses. When we arrived, it was all neatly GONE; they chipped all the wood up into nothingness and made it all disappear. All the small (as in, 16 feet-ish) straggler trees, that had been nearly dead from drought a year ago when we bought the house.

Remains of the row of small dead ponderosa pines along the road in front of our house.

Remains of the row of small dead ponderosa pines along the road in front of our house.

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Bark Beetle: The Saga Continues

Here’s the latest:

Our trees died. All the ponderosa pines, at least.

Three weeks after discovering bark beetles had struck our biggest pines, on the 4th of July, we came back to our cabin in Arnold to discover…

They were all dead. Already.

It happened FAST. Here we were, fancy sprinkler equipment in hand, Scot the rediscovered-childhood-friend-turned-arborist lined up to arrive at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning and start injecting the biggest and strongest of the trees with insecticide, precise watering instructions from him typed up to keep us busy for two days in preparation, alarms set, beer bought, and…

Nope. They were gone. Yellow to the tip of every needle, 120 feet high. Four of them in the front, along the road, and another seven in the back, standing so tall that we couldn’t even see they had died unless we stood out in the road and looked over our roof, and beyond the tops of our tallest cedars.

Nature said “SCREW YOU, SILLY HUMANS!” Continue reading

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Starting Back Up

Paradise.

Paradise.

Summer Shutdown was the stuff of dreams for a whirling dervish of stressiness like me.

As I sit here on my last evening shut down, getting organized to go back to work tomorrow and “processing” all my photos and follow up from an amazing ten days at my beautiful mountain home, I’m overcome with gratitude at being forced into time off at the peak of summer, along with every other person in my company. I had not a single ounce of work stress nor worry while I was away. I got to sleep in, go off the grid into the mountains every day, ignore my phone, ignore my email, and when I finally checked back in, there was NOTHING waiting for me.  Continue reading

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