Endeavoring to enjoy myself while showing Elegant Friend the beauty of New Mexico, I embarked from home in Derby at about 7:30am (Central Daylight Time) on Friday, 10/14/2016, to pick up EF. About 10 hours later we checked into the Residence Inn Marriott - Albuquerque Airport. We spent four days and five nights, there, leaving on Wednesday, 10/19/2016 at about 6:30am (Mountain Daylight Time). We arrived home, last evening, at about 6:30pm (CDT) - weary, but having had a wonderful time. All told, we drove 1940 miles in 41 hours (actual driving time including twice when we sat for 10 minutes awaiting our turn to traverse construction along Highway 54), averaging 30.4 miles/gallon of gasoline. Forthwith, some photos. These (below) are photos that EF and I took using my camera.
Day 1, we prowled around my old neighborhood then, when it was late enough (10am), we went to prowl around Old Town Albuquerque. Unlike the forecasted weather, it was unbearably hot! EF took photos on her iPAD, of which I have none. We photographed my previous residence and the old church in Old Town.
Day 2, we drove to Santa Fe which, its being Sunday was crowded with throngs of tourists and their vehicles. We went by to see Elder Brother's former residence which, it turned out is now on the market. The house cannot be seen from the street (unpaved), but here's a photo of the entryway. EB lived in the Pygmy Forest, around the corner from the state's governor's house.
EF particularly liked the color of the Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe.
Avoiding the throngs that clogged the square, we visited a museum featuring Spanish Colonial Arts. Somehow, I had misread the description on their website while planning our journey and thought it featured Spanish Colonial architecture. Instead, it was mostly religious stuff. EB enjoyed that more than I!
From Santa Fe we drove to Taos, visiting Harwood Museum of Arts. I've no photos from Taos, but lots of photos from our journey along the Rio Grande on our return journey to Santa Fe, along the highway to Albuquerque, and the stunning sunset in progress upon our arrival back at the Residence Inn.
Day 3, we drove down to San Antonio (NM) to the Bosque del Apache to do some birding. Absolutely, it is the wrong time of year to see anything, but we enjoyed being out in the wild. We didn't keep a listing, but I recall our seeing Great blue heron, Sandhill crane (one, lone!), See's phoebe, Lesser goldfinch (western), Northern harrier, Roadrunner, White-tailed kite (two each - previously known as White-shouldered kites - unusual for NM), Red-tailed hawk, Swainson's hawk, Baldpate (duck - not sure current name for it), and assorted lbbs (little brown birds). During the right times of year, there are tens of thousands of migratory birds.
Day 4, we went back to Old Town Albuquerque to browse through the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History and about 15 art galleries. Having time to spare, I took EF up to Sandia Crest. She took lots of photos up at the crest and I took one of her!
View to the north:
Views to the west:
The view to the east:
No matter how wonderful the trip, it is always good to come home. In my case, Hunky Husband always assures that he, the house, and the lawn are in tip-top shape for my arrival.
Joared of Along the Way and I have been trying to figure out how we can help one another with our respective water situations (see Water, Water, Maybe Gray Water Too). In a comment to the Water, Water posting, I told Joared that our little city now buys its water from Wichita, Kansas. Below, for Joared, I'm reproducing an exposition on a tack that Wichita is taking to smooth out the water supply peaks and valleys during drought and flooding conditions. I believe that Wichita is actively re-charging the equus beds this year. Although in recent history our normal annual precipitation amounts to about 29" or 30", we have received about 50" so far this year. [Correction from Hunky Husband, "For 2016 to date we have received 59.8" at our house."] In 2008, we received a total of about 50" or 55" of precipitation.
The below information comes from the United States Geological Society (USGS) website.
The water supply for the city of Wichita, south-central Kansas, currently comes from the Equus Beds aquifer and Cheney Reservoir. Because these sources are not expected to meet projected city water needs into the 21st century (Warren and others, 1995), artificial recharge of the Equus Beds aquifer was investigated as one alternative to meet future water-supply demands. An additional potential benefit of artificial recharge includes preventing degradation of the water quality of the aquifer by saltwater plumes from the Arkansas River to the southwest and the Burrton oil field to the northwest (Ziegler and others, 1999).
Phase I of the full-scale artificial recharge project began in 2007 and continued through 2012. For Phase I, the water pumped directly from the Little Arkansas River is treated to reduce sediment and remove atrazine before being recharged to the aquifer through recharge basins; water pumped from wells in the riverbank does not receive additional treatment before being recharged to the aquifer through recharge basins or wells (Debra Ary, city of Wichita, written commun., 2012). Phase II recharge facilities withdraw water from the Little Arkansas River and treat the water using ultrafiltration membranes and advanced oxidation techniques. The treated water can then be recharged into spreading basins or recharge wells throughout the area and stored in the aquifer for future use. Phase I has a design capacity of 10 Mgal/day. Phase II became operational in April 2013 and has a design capacity of 30 Mgal/day. Total construction costs for Phase I and II are about $247 million.
Map of Operations for Equus Beds Groundwater Recharge Project
Links to the City of Wichita Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program:
Kansas is not known for its fall color - mostly because, as is true in much of Colorado, most of Kansas has trees (where there are significant numbers) that produce yellow and brown leaves in the fall. Loving the color of sugar maples as I do, when we moved here, I had one planted in our front yard. It is starting to change into its fall colors.
Six days later (10/10/2016):
And, 10 days later, still (10/20/2016): I missed the full-color tree by being on travel!
As you well know, we've been subjected to six or seven "flash floods" this summer, among them a couple that were higher than we'd previously experienced on this property. FYI: Every cubic foot of ground within miles of us, is completely saturated from all of the rain that has so far graced us, this year - AND -we're expecting another flash flood later today. Flash flooding plus 2.5" to 5" hail plus 75 miles/hour winds is our forecast in which the weather people say they have high confidence! [Credit my own, personal weather guy (Hunky Husband) for getting the latest to me!]
Before we get inundated, again, and before my cleanup work gets undone, I thought I would brag about some of the progress I've made in the past several days.
The first two photos show the major/minor flotsam that was deposited at the boundary zone between our back lawn and the woods.
This photo (below) shows the boundary zone as it appears this morning - following my cleanup efforts.
Just within the woods is a rather clear space in which we buried our last two cats (graves marked by upright concrete monoliths). The next photo (below) shows that area before cleanup. The next photo shows that area following my cleanup efforts. Note that the log in the background of the second photo is just beyond our property line.
As a result of the various flash flood events, we were left with five major piles of flotsam in the boundary zone between the grassland on our property and the woods on our property. As of this morning, I have finished my cleanup efforts on the two piles nearest the house. Below are photos of the larger of the two. The first two photos (below) show the pile in early July and late September. It hadn't really changed a whole lot.
The photo, below is a view of the area that is into the woods from the pile in the above two photos. Originally, I had formed a brush pile in that area of which most had been swept away in the flooding. This is the area in which I "rebuilt" a brush pile from the flotsam in the large pile - plus from the area surrounding my brush pile.
This photo (below) shows a broadside view of the flotsam pile as it appeared in early July.
The last two photos (below) show the area of the flotsam pile as "cleaned up" to rebuild my brush pile, and the brush pile, itself.
To give you an idea of scale: the brush pile is at least two feet taller than my height (5' 5"). Fortunately, Archimedes and I are old pals, so I was able to move logs that weighed much more than my weight (classified info) and the lengths of which extended several times my previously mentioned height. I should tell you that Hunky Husband is more than willing to help; but, I take it as a challenge to avoid interrupting whatever he may be doing!
Herewith are a few more photos from our recent trip to New Hampshire, starting with the horse show on 9/5/2016. I failed to take my camera into the arena, so used HH's phone to take a couple of photos of him and Bogie (one of which was previously posted) and one of the arena before the show began. I didn't want to do anything distracting (to the horses or to me!) during the performance, itself.
On our way from St Louis to Kansas City, Missouri, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset. These photos don't do it justice, of course!
Bogie posted Biker Chick and her Parents with photos of her and her Harley, including her dad (my Hunky Husband, of course!) and me. I promised her to post at least one more "Biker Chick" photo that is one of my favorites. This is it, below.
Later, I caught photos of Bogie and HH - as we were wandering about town before lunch and then the horse show - that I think did not get downloaded to Bogie's hard drive.
Finally, another shot of water as it was receding from its peak just 12-14 hours after our arrival home. This is about as much as the creek water receded until about 48 hours later - after peaking, again. (You may be able to see the yellow flag with which HH had marked the highest water level that he saw - straight out, beyond the patio, from the steps.
When he isn't quite so busy, I'll ask HH to download the photos from our trip that are on his phone.
For the past 10 days, Hunky Husband and I have been taking a little road trip to New Hampshire to visit Bogie for the first time since 2004. Bogie has posted about our activities during our stay at 90% Doneand Lipizzaner Stallions In Goffstown, NH. I'll write a bit about the past 24 hours during which we saw HH's sister in St Louis, drove home, and returned to more flooding. The last 100 miles of our trip was (off and on) made tough driving by heavy rainfall. The minimum speed on the Kansas Turnpike, on which we traveled from Emporia KS to Wichita KS, is 40 mph. At times, visibility was too poor for HH to maintain even that low speed. We drove with the emergency flashers blinking. We dared not pull off on the side. There have been numerous reports over the years of people who did that on the Turnpike only to have someone plow into the rear of their car. Not a good thing.
By 1:00am, today, we were safely home and experiencing a moderate rainfall. We collapsed into our beds. After arising a couple of times during the night, I arose for good at about 8:30am. By then, HH had marked the highest flooding of our backyard that he had witnessed and it was obvious that the water was receding. Good news. Well...normally...the water totally recedes back to the creek's bed within 6-12 hours. Not this time. The creek water is still out of banks. We have been told that the water (of the Arkansas river into which our creek flows about 2 miles downstream from us) is still rising. This is not good - especially as we are expecting more rain, tonight.
As of 1:30pm (three hours ago), Sedgwick County (all of Wichita, Derby, and several other small cities - plus about half of Mulvane - are within Sedgwick County) declared a state of emergency. Had I not been on travel for the past 10 days, I would have been asked to report to the Sedgwick County Emergency Operations Center; but, fortunately, that task falls to another, this time.
With the river as high as it is, I must admit to being a bit nervous as to the outcome in the next 24-48 hours. Well...we keep saying that, as long as the people come out OK, the rest is just stuff!
Until I can download a bunch of photos that I took, on travel, this photo of Bogie and her dad (my HH, of course!) will have to suffice.
We've just had our third (or, Tonya tells me it's our fourth) flood for the year - nothing at all like what Louisiana is going through, but we are not at sea level. Eight inches of rain in three hours is 'way too much. No photos since I'm not set up for night photography. The flooding crested just after midnight at approximately the same level as the July 3rd flooding. Jason had planned to come retrieve his logs this weekend; and, now there are more - including planking from further upstream where some remodeling is going on. Whew!
Our drainage easement is rapidly becoming a settling ground for all sorts of flotsam. At this rate, we shan't have any grassland left in another year or two. We don't get dried out enough between flood events to get the debris cleaned out of the drainage easement between deposits. Fortunately, the non-drainage easement part of our back yard does get dry enough for me to clear away anything that I am strong enough to handle.
I took a while to get around to downloading these off of my HP camera that I use for close-up shots. First photo shows the frilly blossoms on our Dwarf Victor Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia Indica) planted in 2002.
The next photo is obviously of a daylily, but I believe that I mislabeled the photo. I don't recall what kind it is. I believe it was originally planted in 2010 or 2012, but it was moved to its current position earlier this year.
The next photo is a volunteer rose moss. My paternal grandmother grew some in a little patch near the house on her farm and I always loved them. I originally cast the seed several years ago and it has reseeded itself each year. The yellow seems to be hardier than the other colors as the other colors are not to be found, these days.
I started this post with crape myrtle photo and I'll end with a shot of the same bush from whence came the close-up, above, showing the non-dwarf crape myrtles behind it. The dwarf, from a nursery, was planted in 2002. The non-dwarf were on sale at a big box store at the end of the (selling) season that year or perhaps in 2003. I thought that both of the non-dwarfs were pinkish red; but, one of them was 1/2 white and 1/2 pinkish red. I'm pruning out the pinkish red canes to encourage the white, for contrast. One branch of the pinkish red layered itself, so there is a small bush (not visible, but behind the white) that I'm saving for Wonderful Granddaughter and Rachie, if they want it. If they don't, perhaps Jason and Tonya will wish to add it to the crape myrtles that they planted along their property line in the deep back