Monday, January 15, 2007

Kicking off 2007

Happy New Year! We ended 2006 by planning for 2007; we are thrilled about all the opportunities coming our way. Thank you! We also took a camping trip to Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi -- returned just last night! Temperatures were in the 60s and 70s...doesn't that sound good right now?

Bird Island Basin is our favorite place to camp. Laguna Madre is calmer than the Gulf, therefore much better for kayaking. It's also one of the best spots in North America for windsurfing. We haven't tried that sport yet but we always enjoy watching. Speaking of watching...birding is quite popular there, as well. Myriad species nest, breed or migrate through this area, hence the name. We observed twenty-six species during a birding tour (sponsored by the park and FREE) with George and Mary, park volunteers. Reddish egret, both brown and white pelican, sandhill crane, and even a peregrine falcon, among others, delighted our tour group. Another day, we joined one of the rangers for a beach walk. Folsom joined us for this activity but had to remain in the truck during the birding tour. He's too eager to introduce himself to creatures of all types and sizes! We explored the beach with Ranger Botts and found remnants of Spider Crab, Sea Whip, and Pen Clam. The ranger pointed out tracks made by various birds as well as indications that Kangaroo Rat and Pocket Gopher were around. For the rest of our trip, Folsom 'hunted' for crab and gopher -- what a terror, er, terrier. ;-)

Plant-wise, everything is either tan or yellow-blooming this time of year. Various species of Bluestem (some Schizachryium, some Andropogon), a couple of Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata) and mostly Camphor Weed (Heterotheca subaxillaris) create the winter coastal palette. Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) makes a cameo, sometimes. Despite the lack of diversity in colors, the landscape is lovely even now...

2006 will perhaps be remembered as the Year of the Drought. Our limited water supply is not a new development but severe drought has made more apparent the urgency to change. Change the way we perceive natural resources, our access and dependence on them. Like the continuing war in Iraq has impressed upon Americans (particularly) our need to shift to renewable fuels, the drought has taught us the value of converting our landscapes to water-conserving plants and techniques. Demand for our services has increased and allowed us to focus on our primary goal: to facilitate positive changes in our community.

We have found we achieve this goal best by way of customized design and consultation services, speaking engagements and writing projects. Tomorrow (January 16th) we will resume meeting with new clients; already we have several appointments scheduled and more to confirm. We have confirmed at least five presentations for spring. I am writing a monthly article for Home Magazine; we are collaborating on additional writing projects which are in-progress and will be announced soon. Gratefully, we are able to reach and teach more people ways to make positive changes in their community through gardening and landscaping.

We do not plant, mow or maintain our projects anymore. Fortunately we have a handful of competent, reliable contractors who implement our plans exactly as we would, making the experience pleasant for our design and consultation clients. Seamless.

Best wishes for a terrific 2007. Please check back frequently for plant info, greenspeak, events and updates about our goings-on.

No comments: