Birding along the Truckee River ~ Cottonwood Park ~ Sparks, Nevada

A few sights from my walk along the Truckee River bike path near Cottonwood Park in Sparks, Nevada on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015.

Bewick's Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick’s Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick's Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Bewick’s Wren, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

Goldfinch eating sycamore fruit/seed, Sparks Nevada, 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

A tiny female Bufflehead on the Truckee River, Cottonwood Park, Sparks, Nevada 3 January 2015

ice formations on along the shore.

ice formations on along the shore.

ice forming along the edges of the river.

ice forming along the edges of the river.

These Great Blue Herons were in UNR’s Main Station Fields along McCarran, between Rock and Mill.

Male Great Blue Heron in the fields along McCarran Blvd (UNR's agriculture farm)

Male Great Blue Heron in the Main Station Field along McCarran Blvd (UNR’s agriculture farm)

Female Great Blue Heron in the fields along McCarran Blvd (UNR's agriculture farm)

Female Great Blue Heron in the Main Station Field along McCarran Blvd (UNR’s agriculture farm)

My new bird feeder stand at work…

A big THANK YOU to a co-worker, Jason, here at the university! I had my thistle sock and bird feeder attached to the posts holding up a newly planted tree outside my office window…and when he took the posts down in the winter he said he’d be back in the spring to make a stand for the feeders. He left one post up so the feeder could still be used.

Guess who had some time last Friday to make the bird stand! 🙂 He moved the stand out some between my window and the kitchen/break room window so we can all enjoy the birds.

University of Nevada goes under the knife….

NOTE: I’m not part of CABNR, but that one caught me totally off-guard! We are a Land Grant University for God’s sake! And the higher-ups are dismantling the College of Agriculture???!!! I bitched and moaned when they got rid of the Mackay School of Mines and put it under the College of Science, but AG?!

Dear Colleagues,

Today the University of Nevada, Reno is announcing that in the wake of a state-mandated 6.9 percent budget reduction, several colleges and departments have been notified that they will be considered for possible closure, reorganization or reduction. An Academic Planning Process, which was shared with Faculty Senate in January and announced at a University town hall meeting on Feb. 9, will be initiated immediately and will provide for a period of further review and input.

We have been asked to sustain an $11 million budget cut in order to meet the 6.9 percent reduction that was arrived at over the weekend during the special session of the Nevada State Legislature. We have already taken a 15.5 percent, or $33 million, budget cut. The new cut brings the total annual reduction to our campus to $44 million.

The notifications that have been made today set into action a very specific timeline for the coming days and weeks. I encourage all of you to go to the links below to find out how this process will proceed. The timeline calls for decisions, which are subject to approval by the Nevada Board of Regents, to be made by June 30, 2010. Changes would go into effect on June 30, 2011. After careful consideration, the Provost’s Office has made its proposals for review. Provost Marc Johnson has spent today notifying the colleges and departments, and providing an explanation and justification for the proposed changes, which is known as “Academic Planning Process/Curricular Review” and is prescribed in the Nevada System of Higher Education code. Curricular review includes the number of degrees granted, enrollment in the major, student full-time-equivalent production, scholarship productivity, external scholarship grant award and expenditure performance, relation to fulfillment of other programs, centrality to mission and national and international uniqueness. Reductions to areas not subject to the Academic Planning Process will also be necessary to meet our required budget cuts.

A University news release details the specific notifications that were made today. Notable among the notifications is the proposed closure of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and a proposed restructuring of the College of Education into a single unit without department boundaries. A link to the news release is provided below.

For our students, it is important to note that even if a degree program is proposed to be discontinued, the timeline will allow them to complete the program , or a different, appropriately related degree. Out of an abundance of caution, we will provide those students that might be impacted with academic advising to complete their program. We continue to stand by the commitment that acceptance to our University means that we will do everything in our power to ensure student retention and success.

I should also mention that although I am disappointed to drastically cut our budget yet again, our legislative leaders, given the complexity and severity of a more than $800 million shortfall, did their best to minimize the damage to K-12 and higher education. We look forward to working with the state’s leaders to build a stronger, brighter future for our state – a future predicated on a strong system of higher education that no longer languishes at or near the bottom nationwide of the number of 19-year-olds who are enrolled in college.

Throughout the past two years of budget reductions, virtually every aspect of our campus has felt the state’s fiscal crisis. During this time of extreme challenge, all of you have served our institution and our students exceptionally well. I am so grateful for all of your efforts. Our bottom line remains clear: We must continue to ensure student success and protect the core of our University.


Milt Glick

Curricular Review Proposal

Copy of the News Release.

Fight for Nevada ~ Education Funding ~ Petition

When I got into work this morning I found an email from Eli Reilly, President of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada asking fellow Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends to take the time to visit their website and sign the a petition to fight for education funding.

Fellow Students, Faculty, Staff, and friends:

The educational system in Nevada (K-12 and Higher Education) is at risk of receiving massive budget cuts from the state. The students of the Nevada System of Higher Education have created an online petition to support education in our state and help convince our elected officials that cutting the budgets of education is NOT the answer to solving our state’s problems. All further budget cuts will do is worsen the social and economic problems in Nevada.

Please take the time to visit our website and sign the petition:

It takes less than TEN SECONDS.

Eli Reilly
Associated Students of
the University of Nevada

“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.” Aristotle

For those of you outside of Nevada or for those of you who are just not paying attention…here’s part of an article from Nevada News that was written on Thursday, February 18, 2010 (link to the full article):

Last week’s town hall was attended by more than 300 faculty, staff and students with another 270 participating online.

“Candidly, our world changed on Jan. 22,” Glick said in his town-hall remarks about the state’s announced $881 million budget shortfall.

A proposal released by the Governor’s Office this week is being reviewed by University budget officials, but early estimates place the total impact in the range of 10-15 percent. Previous potential budget cuts to higher education of up to 22 percent had been reported.

Glick said a 10 percent cut would mean approximately $54 million would be shaved from the University’s budget. A 22 percent cut would total $79 million.

Noting the University has already cut 15.5 percent or $33 million from its annual budget, Glick said, “Every cut we make does damage to the University.”

For the University, budget reduction scenarios include:

:: Across-the-board salary reductions;

:: A declaration of financial exigency, which would essentially mean the campus would be declaring bankruptcy and would sell its assets, cut programs and lay off faculty;

:: Curricular review, which would follow guidelines set forth by the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents and provide a process by which certain academic programs would be reviewed and possibly closed.

Of the three, Provost Marc Johnson said the campus would likely meet mandated budgets cuts through “a mixture of program closure and some opportunistic cuts such as not filling certain positions.”

Johnson noted the goal will be make all final announcements regarding closure of programs no later than the end of the fiscal year at the end of June.

“The advantage of curricular review (rather than declaring financial exigency) is it’s under our control,” Johnson said, noting that curricular review will give terminated employees up to June 2011 to find new employment. “Unlike financial exigency, we will have a little more time to give notice.”

Glick said he didn’t support financial exigency as a way to balance the higher education budget in Nevada.

“You become the poster child for a failed university,” he said of the national reaction to such a budgetary move. “It hurts the reputation of the University long-term and your ability to recruit students and faculty. I think financial exigency hurts everybody.”

Whatever the mode chosen, Johnson said the process will be even more painful than previous rounds of budget cuts, which have seen 281 positions eliminated and the reduction and elimination of several programs and departments. Tuition has also increased 28 percent over the past two years.

If possible, Glick said, the cuts will be made with the overriding philosophy of not doing irreversible damage to the University’s quality.

“This would result in a narrower University, but hopefully it will be done in a way to maintain the quality of the University,” he said. “Protecting our quality … I don’t see any other choice.”

In remarks given at the beginning of the two-hour meeting, Elliott Parker, chairperson of the Faculty Senate, reminded the audience that the University, even in a time of severe budget reductions, represents one of the most important assets the state possesses.

“I think this University is the finest thing about this whole state,” he said, drawing strong applause from the crowd.

A special session of the Nevada State Legislature will convene Feb. 23, by proclamation of the Governor, to consider specific matters related to the state budget. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticized Gibbons’ proposal for addressing the shortfall by cutting too deeply into education.

It’s Just CRAZY Around Here…

End of the Fiscal Year is 30 June 2009. I’ve lots of new contracts/pafs to generate for everyone and in an hour will have to walk on down to the “Joe” for a Classified Furlough Session. I’m the leave keeper too, so everyone is asking me questions. Have to figure out the answers. It’s sorta hard when most of our department’s classified people are paid from research grants…no state money. Why do they have to take a paycut when they are not costing the state any money. That leaves me, one of the only people paid from state monies…I must be a HUGE DRAIN on the system. I get the paycut. WooHoo! Go Team! (UPDATE: After going to the session yesterday afternoon, I discovered that all Classified will be taking furloughs, no matter what their funding is)

SO! It’s gonna be a picture day. 🙂

I’m growing 3 Tomatillo plants this year…isn’t this a great blossom?! I’ve never seen one before!

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Lemon Queen sunflowers against the fence, 2 Horseradish up front, 2 pickling cucs on the left…the rest are blueberries, elderberries, and herbs.
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HOLLYHOCKS!!!!!! OH! I CAN NOT WAIT to see them!
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This is Gabe…my newest gargoyle. He giggles a lot hence the hands over the mouth and crossed legs (don’t want to piddle, you know!).
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Poppy pod ~ pretty, no?
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Full Moon, Rock Cairns and Roses at UNR…just pics today!

Just pictures today ~ but I love pictures so I’m happy with that! 🙂

What a beautiful full moon we had last night, eh?! I got the tripod out and took pictures around 10 pm out in the front yard. I think the shots of the trees in front of the moon came out pretty cool.

Took more pictures of the rose beds at the north end of campus next to the Medical School. I should have asked her name, the girl who takes care of all the roses on campus. She was out prunning. Told her how much I love what she is doing with them…and that I was envious of her job. LOL! Also found out that the guy who takes care of our grounds at the Medical School and who makes the rock cairns is her fiance. Would love to see their yard at home…

Get ready for lots of roses…and one Mum!

And here are some more rock cairn pictures…

Baby Robins, Cairns, Gardens and Whatnots

My sister and BIL also work here at the university…and yesterday my BIL called my sister to tell her to come down with her camera to see the baby robins at the AG College. So at lunch we went down (I always have my camera on me) and it didn’t take us long to find them. The nest is perched right above one of the doors in the breezeway…and how the heck that nest can still hold those four fat babies I will never know! Every time someone opened the door…their little beaks opened and were screaming for food. They’re so fat and cute. I have a feeling one or all will be pushed out pretty soon.

There is a gardener that took over the Medical School area and since he started, rock cairns have been popping up all over. Very cool. There are many times that a few of us would rather be out working with him than inside where we’re at. I’m very glad he’s up here…makes me smile whenever I see his handy work.

This was taken early this morning around 5:45 am…so the lighting isn’t the best.

Everyone is still growing in my backyard garden ~ I’m especially happy that the sugar peas are growing in the decomposed granite ~ I had run out of the double mix soil at the time of planting so I took a chance and planted the seeds anyhoo. I had my doubts…but they are thriving pretty dang well. When I was watering last night I started laughing to myself about the large raised bed…everything is in nice, neat, orderly rows. SO UNLIKE ME! Then I glanced over at the smaller bed and was somewhat relieved…beans, squash, romaine, spinach and peppers sorta all jumbled together. I guess as long as they are happily growing I shouldn’t mind if they like standing at attention all in a row. 🙂

The stick in the smaller bed is the walking stick I made at my niece’s birthday party out at Davis Creek Park.

Last weekend I made up Jerry Baker’s Veggie Vitalizer Tonic with beer, pepper/onion/mint juice, fish emulsion and dishwashing liquid. The pepper/onion/mint sure smelled good in the house, even my husband came sniffing in the kitchen asking what I was making. Not sure if “really out-of-the-ordinary tonic that packs a double punch: It’ll get your plants up and growin’ to new heights AND help repel nasty pests, too!’ is working or not as of yet. And I’m not sure what nasty pests it’s repelling, but I will tell you what it’s NOT Repelling…flies. Oh my! That stinky fish emulsion definitely brought out the flies. I’ll be trying the All-Season Clean-Up Tonic and the All-Season Green-Up Tonic next. And the Aphid Tonic on the plants out front.

Been flipping through the Bobby Flay Cooks Americancookbook that I picked up at a yard sale...another oh my! Great looking recipes. Wild Rice Tamales with Sage Butter, Tacos of BBQ Pork Loin with Roasted Red Potatoes and Tomatillo-Red Pepper Relish, Green Chile Bisque wi Toasted Corn Relish, Crunchy Three-Cabbage Slaw, Pumpkin Bread Budding with Molasses Whipped Cream...yum.

Here is a list of what is going on at the Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno for the month of June.

Annual Plant Sale
Saturday, June 7, 8am – Noon
Native and ornamental plant sale. Come early to have the best choice. Learn from botanical society members about the plants for the area. They sell tried and true plants and are priced right! This fundraiser is sponsored by the Rancho San Rafael Botanical Society to benefit the May Arboretum. Organic brewed coffee will be for sale for you early birds!
May Arboretum Nursery & Burke Garden, RSR Park

Designing Butterfly Gardens
Wednesday, June 11, 6pm – 7pm & Saturday June 14, 9am – 10 am
Join Lainie Vreeland local garden expert, in a slide presentation and lecture to learn how to create and attract butterflies in your garden using perennials and annuals. Lainie will also discuss basic design principles and techniques used to attract these beauties of nature. On Saturday only, and after the presentation, Lainie will take you on a brief tour of the gardens.
Ranch House, RSR Park

Native Plant Identification
Wednesday, June 18th, 6pm – 7pm
Join Lynda Nelson, WashoeCounty Park Planner Project Coordinator, formerly the horticulturist for the May Arboretum in an hour long educational plant identification tour. With30 years of native plant experience, Lynda will show you native plants that survive in our area and ones that are used frequently with great success in landscapes. Don’t miss this summer evening of learning. Bring a camera, pad of paper and pencil for note taking.
May Arboretum Office RSR Park