Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Forgive me faithful blog-readers, it has been 2 weeks since my last post. You are probably wondering if, now that it is day-light-savings time, if I will again drop off the face of the blogging earth until Holloween as happened in 2006. Its a good bet that my posts be much thinner from here on out, but I will do my best to post once a week.

March and April are treacherous months for time management. My corporate taxes are due March 15th. The garden and yard are waking up.

March and April are where several core client report due dates fall. It is also the opening bell of the wetland hydrology growing season, when, for a 2 week window, wetland delineations are much simpler (and cost effective) to document, especially in the irrigated arid West. Once our extensive and leaky system of irrigation canals fill in April, normal hydrology can be overwhelmed. And without the steady high water of spring thaw, hyporheic hydrology sufficient to support plant life adapted to saturated soil conditions has to be established using secondary indicators. Away from the streams and river, our xeric (aka Mediterranean) climate makes the first 2 weeks of the growing season the wettest.

The new Arid West Supplement (see here) to the 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual came into play in January, giving those of us who delineate wetlands something new to work with. It is more soil oriented, moving emphasis from hydric soil criteria to the more complex, regional system of field indicators of hydric soils (see here), which should make our field reviews even more interesting.

Client activity wakes up at this time of the year, and the phone starts ringing with new work for the summer.

This is also the first 60 days after I get back from the annual meeting of the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists (NSCSS), with its invigorated interaction between members and affiliated societies.

NSCSS is affiliated with the US Consortium of Soil Science Associations (USCSSA), and I have offered to help revamp USCSSA's soil science consultant listings. As with several of my NSCSS side projects, I am posting my notes on how to go about this at NSCSS' new wiki leaving the door open for peer collaboration.

The topper on the schedule is that wife Rosemary has courageously taken on becoming superintendent for the clubhouse of the Woman's Club of Spokane. No one else in the Woman's Club lives in the 'hood where the clubhouse sits, which seems quite ludicrous. The clubhouse is a hundred year old, 10K SF public meeting facility only a block from our house. It is on every historic register available. It anchors the spirit of the place for blocks around, making it far more important to our quality of life than is understood by the Woman's Club members, or at least the current leadership. The club is rented out for dancing, weddings and such. It has two kitchens, a dining room, and three halls with two stages. The club haven't had a designated super for two years, and the building has suffered from this and other lapses of longer standing. I am spending these first weeks of her tenure helping Rosemary figure out how the place "works", since the club has let their corporate memory drift as to what's where and why. Much fun is being had by all. I feel much better now that we have figured out where the water shut off is.

Final note. The City of Spokane spans the Spokane River cataracts, using a series of 7 bridges to straddle the gorge and tie the city center together. Right now the water is running high, so Rosemary and I wandered down to listen to the roaring.

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