South Pine Cafe Art Show Virtualized and Extended

The Multimedia Story Show at the South Pine Cafe in Grass Valley was installed on March 4th. On March 19th, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order. The physical show will remain at the Cafe through the end of May. Until then, the show’s been virtualized! Click on the thumbnail below to print out a PDF with Google Lens …

Drone Filming Behind the Scenes with Titus Davis

In the fall of 2019, Titus Davis of Lodestone Drone Productions, joined me to help tell more of the Deer Creek Watershed story. With his drone and special flying license, we met at several locations to film. Titus is a longtime Nevada County resident. Taking him hiking through the Black Swan Preserve was a pleasure because he enjoyed the new …

Technology Practice before the Multimedia Story Show in March

From March 4th through April 15th, the South Pine Cafe (in Grass Valley) will host a Following Deer Creek Multimedia Story Show. What is a Multimedia Story Show? It’s a display of traditional art pieces, and digital designs printed on clothing and housewares accompanied by QR codes linking to web pages for each subject. When planning for a multimedia show, …

Deer Tick, a Questing Bloodsucker

In California, the Western gray squirrel is known to harbor the bacterium –Borrelia burgdorferi– that causes Lyme Disease. Ticks pick this up during their first or second blood meal. Lizards – Western Lyme Heros   While in the larva or nymph stage, ticks frequently find lizard hosts.  A protein in lizard blood kills the Lyme disease causing bacteria.   Lizards …

2019 Nevada County Holiday Giving-Guide with a Land Stewardship Focus

Support organizations that preserve, protect, clean, heal, and educate about our local habitats. Buy a holiday gift, spend outdoor quality time with family and friends and keep Nevada County healthy. Visit the websites of the organizations below to; make a gift for operating expenses in someone’s name buy film festival tickets attend lectures take family and friends hiking volunteer to …

Flying Over & Filming the Creek – Behind-the-Scenes

After weeks of route planning and equipment experimentation, Roger Harris was ready to fly over Deer Creek. GoPro’s, attached to the plane, filmed the journey. In the video below, Roger explains many factors that went into trip planning. Additional Observations: Houses are built close to creek banks. – Roger Harris, Pilot The color difference between Scotts Flat Lake and Lake …

World Water Day – 22 March – Science & Beauty

In honor of world World Water Day, FDC is going global. The water flowing through Deer Creek isn’t just ‘in your back yard,’ it’s part of a shape-shifting planetary system. Today, we’re celebrating science and the ability to gather mass data. We’re also admiring the stunning beauty of water, an element all life needs to grow. Resources: 11:21 – Central …

Woodpeckers – Drumming Hoarders

The Picidae bird family is adapted to tree life. It lives in oak and pine woodland forests. Toe arrangement is ideal for bark gripping, beaks are styled for pecking, long, sticky tongues are good for catching wood-boring insects, and skull size and orientation prevent brain impact injuries. Picidae species include; woodpeckers, the northern flicker, and sapsuckers. This article focuses on …

Deer Creek Water Origins

  Before we ever see water in Deer Creek, most of it has rained, snowed, and been stored in NID’s Mountain Division and PG&E Lakes. It’s moved from lake to lake, going through multiple powerhouses, generating electricity. It enters Scotts Flat Lake where swimmers, motor boaters, and fisherman enjoy it. Flowing into Lower Scotts Flat Reservoir, human or wind-powered boaters …

Incense Cedar, the Pencil Tree

A burned, sometimes smoldering,  Incense Cedar tree is one of the few places the Cedar Wood Wasp, lays its eggs. This insect is the only living species of its family, making it a ‘living fossil.’ Cedar is commonly used for building and fencing materials. Because the wood is pliable for gripping and resists splintering, it may be best known for its …

Raccoon – Puzzler & Mastermind

Origin & Name Raccoons evolved around water sources. People observing them gave them names describing their ‘washing’ behavior. Scientific name – Procyon lotor means “before-dog washer” in Latin Aztecs – Mapachitli – “one who takes everything in its hands” Chinese – Orsetto lavatore “little-bear washing” Garman – Waschbär – “wash-bear” Italian – Araiguma – “washing-bear” Algonquian / Powhatan Indian – …

North American Beaver – Water Banker

History In 1805, Lewis and Clark saw beaver dams “extending as far up those streams as [we] could discover them.” Even before the famous explorers, French trappers and traders were drawn to the land teeming with beaver. The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. Its pelt is waterproof and has a double layer of insulation making it highly desirable for human …

American River Watershed & Lake Tahoe

Most rivers in California have been changed by mining, water control, and the introduction of new species. Professor Erika Zavaleta of UC Santa Cruz explains the history and biology of California’s watersheds. She also presents current watershed management issues. Please follow and like us:

Tree Mortality & Falling Hazards

First published December 21, 2017 Dead and dying trees in the Tahoe National Forest and Nevada County is a fact of contemporary life. Being aware of hazards that dead trees cause and hyperconscious of fire starting activities will help keep families and neighbors safer.   From 66 million dead trees in 2010 to 129 million in 2017, the State of California …

Miniscule Mountain Beetle Turning Forests Red

First published November 28, 2017 “It’s about the size of a mouse turd,” says Diana Six, Professor of Forest Entomology/Pathology at University of Montana, when describing the Mountain Pine Beetle. Historically, the Mountain Pine Beetle contributed to a healthy forest by eliminating weakened trees, making room for new growth. Cold temperatures kept populations in check, only 20% of larvae would …

Sierran Tree Frog with Chemical Sensitivities

First published July 9, 2017 Even though it has ‘tree’ in its name, the Sierran Tree Frog is mostly found near the ground. Habitat Tree frogs live in bushes and grass. Their preference is for damp, moist areas. Behavior Large toe pads that allow it to walk on vertical surfaces. The toe pads are also useful for clinging to sticks and twigs. …

Hungry Bears Losing Ground & Helping Humans Burn Fat

First published September 24, 2017 As of 2012, the American Black Bear population living in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range was estimated at 10,000 bears. Mostly, they live at higher elevation levels, 3,000 feet and above, in areas managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the National Parks. There is about one bear per square mile. A rough estimate of Nevada County’s high …

Dammed Disrupted Salmon

First published May 23, 2017 When responding to the urge to spawn, Salmon become a powerful delivery system. If allowed to move freely through rivers and streams, they transport ocean nitrogen and other nutrients thousands of miles inland while providing humans and animals with a rich source of food. They did this successfully until man decided to industrialize their reproduction. …

Mining Pollution Legacy and Clean-Up

First published May 21, 2017 In the mid-1850’s hydraulic mining filled the stream channels and muddied the waters all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. Mercury was used in sluice boxes to amalgamate gold. “It is estimated that ten million pounds of mercury were lost into the streams,” comments Kyle Leach, Geologist for Sierra Streams Institute. “The tale of the Gold Rush …

Development of Lake Wildwood & Current Events

First published May 21, 2017 “Ed Colwell owned the Anthony House [current location of Lake Wildwood] before Boise Cascade bought it…  He had peacocks and big white geese, which he would rent out for such things [as] pulling weeds from spinach beds. He raised turkeys and some cows. Mostly, however, he raised horses. He had 300 brook mares and one Palomino stud…He …