Hello? Mother Nature? You Suck!

The before picture of the Ranch

Not that long ago we had grass…lots of grass.  I’m no measurement wizard, but I would guess it was like an acre of grass…give or take a few feet.  Grass that was literally sucking us dry, both financially and well-wise.  Here’s a fun fact that we former city dwellers on city water didn’t understand about country livin’: WELLS RUN DRY.  Yep, in the city we never thought about water NOT pouring from the tap with a twist of the handle.  It never occurred to me that we could potentially run out of water!  How is this even possible?  There’s water in earth somewhere, right?  I vaguely remember something from Geology class about water running deep underground and the techtonic plates that shift around and cause earthquakes out here in California.  Something about the inevitability of California breaking off from the U.S. shore and floating around in the ocean like an island?  Then we’d be surrounded by water!  No need to worry!  We’ll have plenty!  But, I digress…

So, yeah, we had a lot of grass and were paying a ton of money, blood, sweat, and tears to keep it green.  Well, Dave was mainly the sweaty one  (I was nice and occasionally brought him some iced tea) as he struggled with our rinky dink sprinkler system.  The previous owner of our house had business cards printed for himself with the job title “Professional Tinkerer” under his name.  Yep, that’s about right.  For this beautiful acre of grass and the other 19 acres of land?  8 DIFFERENT sprinkler controllers.  You know, like the box that hangs on the wall in your garage that you rarely think about or fiddle with because it’s programmed to water efficiently?  Yeah, we have 8 of those.  Few of them are programmed and none of them are efficient.  Oh, and they are scattered all over the property and are probably 8 different types.  We also have every type of sprinkler head imaginable and none of them work particularly well.  It’s as if whatever head was on sale that day at Lowe’s was bought in bulk and patched into our convoluted system by Mr. Professional Tinkerer.  So, they just sort of spray every which way, but not usually on the grass.  They hit the truck, a tree, the chicken coop, and wherever they darn well please, but only when they are actually working, which is also sort of rare because the gardeners run over them with the mower and sometimes there is a geyser in our yard.  We are <–this–> close to being deemed a National Park and Tourist Attraction.

A Google Earth shot of our house

In addition to the shoddy sprinkler system we also have gophers.  Google Earth, bless you for sharing our plight with the world.  We have a gopher colony living in our yard, so add “Nature Preserve” to that list of reasons to visit the Ranch.  Although, Dave really hasn’t preserved the colony so much as adopting a divide and conquer strategy.  His weapons of choice are a hose and a shovel.  Flood ’em out and bop ’em on the head.  Yep, this former Silicon Valley Executive has become a cold-blooded gopher slayer.  Makes me swoon just thinking about it.

So, our plan to open the Ranch as a National Park/Tourist Attraction/ Nature Preserve?  Yeah, not happening if it means potentially living without water altogether.  We have chosen another path…

Landscaping Plan

Copyright Madrone Landscapes, Inc. 2014

I’m not sure if you really get the magnitude of what we’re doing, so allow me to elaborate. EVERY inch of grass has been ripped out for the exception of a patch over by the chicken yard. The Gilmore Girls could care less if they have fancy new grass to peck on, so they get to keep the old grass. The rest of the yard will be a Southwest style combination of drought tolerant plants, trees, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, hardscaping, and the amount of new sod is about 75% less than what we had before.  Oh yeah, and there’s a really cool feature going in that will boost our tourism during the 110° days here in Paso…

Pool with Bobcat

 

 

 

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