washoevalley.org Rotating Header Image

Outdoors

4th of July wildfire video

Here’s some video from u-tube of the wildfire on 4th of July this year. Not current news but a reminder to be careful in our dry, windy environment.

An Afternoon in Gold Hill

Virginia City is where we go when we need to get out of the valley but have no good ideas. The USA’s largest historic district always has something of interest. This time we went up for a hike down 7 mile canyon east of town past John Tyson’s old place. We always look for minerals and found a little jasper and some rough quartz crystals so we weren’t skunked there.
It happened to be the day of the Outhouse Races so we avoided that and on the way home stopped at the Gold Hill Hotel to visit their cool saloon and have a cold beer after our dusty hike. Suddenly the place filled with ghosts, ghouls and Comstock characters as we learned it was the dress rehearsal for the show “Frankenfollies”, a light-hearted, Comstock centric, vaudelville-style dance and song review that premieres Friday, October 7. We shared cocktails with the devil as he reviewed his lines and got into character. The actors are all brave locals and the shows are hilarious. Where else can you patronize a historic bar that also doubles as “back stage?”
Next we took a short stroll up the hill to Maynard Station, another Gold Hill watering hole. This tidy establishment is run by a congenial husband/wife team and is a great place for mature conversation. On this day we met a couple in period costume, the local newspaperman, another 5th generation couple from my hometown and Don who owns and runs a one man hardrock gold mine near Austin, Nevada. He said that for years, he would work all day in the shaft while his wife worked the hoist and ran the mill by herself. We enjoyed a beer and a hot pastie (a meat and potatoes turnover from the mining days) while we talked history and mining.
Next time you want a mini-getaway, try the “ghost town” of Gold Hill!

Davis Creek Trail

Scenes along the Ophir Creek Trail.
We took a hike up the trail this morning since the summer heat has finally broken. Just a hint of color starting in the cottonwoods up at the “rock pile”. It was great to see so much water flowing in the creek in late September. The pic of the tree trunk shows the result, I think, of bears tearing off the bark looking for bugs. No wildlife spotted on this trip save for a hawk over the canyon. We also checked our geocache “Royal Flush” that we placed in 2003 and it is still there and looks great with many visits logged in the log book. We will go up again when there is more fall color.

20110926-014529.jpg

20110926-014543.jpg

20110926-014601.jpg

20110926-014611.jpg

Deadman’s Creek Trail

Test post from iphone

Fire Contained

At 6:30 am KRNV TV reported the fire has been contained by hand crews overnite to one and a half acres. The crew will continue to work at the site throughout the day. No word on the cause yet.

Fire Update

7 pm. The helicopter left probably due to darkness. I can see flashlights just above the flames so maybe firefighters on the ground are making their way to it.

Slide Mt. Fire

We noticed this fire on the eastern slope of Slide Mt. tonight at about 6:15pm when I took this photo. A Helicopter with a bucket is dropping water on it now. It seems to be creeping along on the ground and not getting up in the trees yet.Slide fire

Invasive Weed Question

Dear Rick:  I wrote you previously with a question about weeds, and you were very helpful.

Now I have another question:  The weeds in Washoe Valley that are said to be “invasive” —  why are they bad?  What is harmful about them?  I refer primarily to the 5 or 6 posted on the sign at the north end of Eastlake Blvd, near 395.

BTW, I did forward my first question (in May or so) to the Coop. Extension at UNR.  I never received a reply from them at all.

Any info or explanation you can provide (or forward my question to some “expert”?), I would appreciate.

Hi, Dear Reader,

I’m sorry you received no help from the UNRCE. It is too bad they say they want our help butthen ignore us! As far as invasive weeds go, I went to the website of the Washoe/Pleasant Valley Cooperative Weed Management Area (the folks who I think put up the sign) and couldn’t find a definition. Their site needs some work. But try their email link anyway.

I think, in my limited knowledge, that invasive or noxious weeds are those that are not native to our area and push out theweed-skeleton native and more beneficial plants and “weeds”.

I think the “authorities” are mostly concerned with a set list of weeds that they are battling in large areas such as parks,  pastures, roadsides and waterways. We here at washoevally.org have expanded that with our information about “obnoxious” weeds that appear in our yards at home.

If you have specific weed you are curious about, send us a photo and we’ll try to learn more about it and add it to our list!

weed shown: Spiny Skeleton Weed. Ouch! But easy to root out.

Butterflies Pass By On Way To Canada

From Dr. Monte Sanford’s blog (see photo there):

“Currently in the western USA, another spectacular painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) migration is in full swing.  In late March, millions of these butterflies were passing through northern Mexico and southern Arizona on their way northward.  In the last week here in the Reno, Nevada, area we are witnessing massive movements.  For example, along a strectch of highway along the east side of Washoe Lake, I observed 384 individuals within 8 miles and about 20 min. The furthest these butterflies will make it will be into northern Canada.  And this fall, we should see these butterflies move through the area again in decent numbers.”

Bowers Pool Still To Be Dry

This RGJ article further confirms that our local pool will be closed this summer but the rest of Bower’s Mansion County Park will be open. The parks dept. is looking for groups or companies to “sponsor a park”.