Swarms of Earthquakes in Western Nevada

26 April 2008 Update….had a nice earthquake around 11:40 pm Friday night.  Was downstairs at the time as I was finishing sewing a quilt.  Good rumbler…I think they said it was around a 4.6 – heard the ground moan and pop. 

I grew up in Canyon Country, California…so these wee earthquakes are nothing to write home about, but since we’ve had so MANY of them and friends are emailing and calling, here is the poop:

University of Nevada’s Mackay School of Mines (yes, I still call it that) SEISMO LAB PRESS RELEASE on yesterday's 24+ earthquakes.

And for a really cool look at all of them in the past few days…USGS’s EARTHQUAKE LIST ~ I love the USGS's site.

I was dropping some paperwork off at the lower end of campus before the 4.2 earthquake hit…walking down the hallway when the door next to me started rattling. I looked at it and thought “what the hell is wrong with them?”…then passed another door and looked in and saw the water cooler swishing…AHHH! An earthquake. Just kept walking. Got downstairs and there was a group of women standing in the hallway all wide-eyed. I then commented that the hallway, under all of those lights is NOT the place to run out to when there is an earthquake.

As stated, I grew up in Southern California (first 14 years of my life)…went through the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake which had a magnitude of 6.5 or 6.6. And I remember screaming (I was almost 5 years old) on the top of my lungs UNDER the maple dinning table (mom still has that table). The aftershocks were big and lots of them.

The point is ~ Nevada is the 3rd most active state for earthquake activity, behind Alaska and California. As a kid we had Earthquake Drills in school. I started high school here in Nevada and thinking back, we didn’t have earthquake drills at all. Just fire drills. Do kids here know what to do if there is one? Obviously the workers in Ross Hall yesterday had no clue…let’s run out into the hallway! Where there are things to fall on top of our heads! What a great idea!

UNR’s Police Department sent out an email to employees yesterday afternoon and I thought it had pretty good sound information ~

According to the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council:

Nevada is the 3rd most seismically active state in the U.S., after Alaska and California.
Western Nevada is in a seismic zone similar to Los Angeles.
We are due for a 6.0 or greater earthquake.

What to Do When the Shaking Begins


Take cover under a piece of furniture or against an inside wall. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.

If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Other recommendations which are contrary to the DROP, COVER and HOLD ON advice, have been made by individuals with limited expertise and questionable credibility.

Research has shown that most injuries in U.S. earthquakes occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. Quickly seeking a place of safety, such as under a sturdy table or desk, and moving as short a distance as possible to that place of safety, is recommended based on research.

In the 2003 San Simeon, California, earthquake, two people were crushed by falling debris when they ran from the building. Studies of the 1979 El Centro, 1987 Whittier, 1989 Loma Prieta, and 1994 Northridge earthquakes, as well as mounting evidence from earthquakes outside the United States, confirm this pattern of injuries. DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON reduces the likelihood of serious injury from falling objects.

After the Shaking Stops

Be prepared for aftershocks which can occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after the quake.

Help injured or trapped persons.

Check your home or building for damage. Leave the area if you smell gas or chemical fumes.

Vegetable Gardening in Northern Nevada & How to make a Raised Garden

After just about killing ourselves over those bloody junipers and planting the lilac and weeping cherry, I’ve turned my sights to the back yard and making my raised vegetable beds!

In the very back of Sunset’s WESTERN LANDSCAPING BOOK, pages 404-405, in the Materials and Techniques chapter, there is a section on Building A Raised Bed.

Raising your garden above the ground can solve some of the most frustrating problems gardeners face. An easy-to-build bed makes it possible for plants to thrive where soil is poor, wildlife is hungry, or the growing season is short. And if you need easy access to your plants – due to a disability or simply to eliminate back-bending labor – you can sit on the edge of the bed and garden in comfort.
Fill the bed with the best soil you can. Good soil means that plants can be placed closer together, making a small area more productive. Line the bottom of the bed with wire screening to keep out pests, or fit it with a PVC framework for bird netting.
A raised bed can be any size, but if its more than 4 feet wide it will be difficult to reach the middle from either side. If the sides will double as benches, build the frame 18-24 inches high.

We have a small backyard ~ with a huge front and side yard. So much rearranging of the landscaping to do! OY! Here’s what I have to work with out back ~ The soil that has been turned was going to be sod…but I’ve decided to put pavers there instead. The compacted ground area behind will be where the raised garden bed will go. Behind those rocks is a an area of about two feet wide to the fence…that will be where I plant the corn.

A couple of weeks ago The State of Nevada Employees Council had an Open House at The Joe here on campus and I signed up for a lot of information from the University of Nevada's Washoe County Cooperation Extension office. I used to be in 4-H out in Washoe Valley…so I knew they were loaded with great information. I highly recommend them for all us in Northern Nevada and the Eastern California area! I posted a link to all of their free publications below.

Here are some of the pamplets I asked for:
Vegetable Varieties For Northern Nevada
A Quick Guide to Composting
Nevada Soils – Worth the Toil
Urban Forestry Tree Planting Practices for Nevada
The All Seeing, All Knowing, Lawn Care Manuel for Northern Nevada
Roses for Reno and the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra Area
Spring Planted Bulbs Boast Beautiful Blooms
Hardy, Drought-Tolerant and Moderately Salt-tolerant Shurbs and Vines for Northern Nevada
Seven Ways to Make Your Trees and Shurbs Drought Resistant


The Vegetable Varieties for Northern Nevada is four pages long and gives a list of all veggie varieties that are great for planting here with the planting dates. Great comments on which are better for canning, yields, rust resistance, maturing, indoor growing, storage values, disease resistant, most popluar, etc.

ps: For all of you in the Reno/Sparks area…or those of you who will be in town on May 17th ~ at the Washoe County Extension Office on Mill Street there will be a plant sale that morning. 🙂

Saturday Afternoon Yardwork ~ Monday’s Aches & Pains

AKA ~ Die Juniper Die!

LOL!  Boy am I sore today! 

While the husband went to the UNR Wolf Pack double-header against the New Mexico Aggies with his dad…I worked on the front yard.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to work on my raised garden beds in the back. 

We inherited some Devil sent Juniper bushes out front when we bought our house.  I hate them.  I HATE THEM.  I WANT THEM DEAD!  Errrr….ummm…sorry about that rant.  Pssssttt….stickery ugly bushes?  DIE!!!!!

I pulled out my 17″ electric hedge trimmer (yes…woefully under-powered for the job), clippers, hand saw, wheelbarrow and box of trash bags and went to work. I must have looked like cross between Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd ~ as whenever I did look up from my work, I saw worried and amused looks from my neighbors ~ some even kicked back with a beer in hand to watch. And I’m glad for the church next door, their choir practice drowned out my swearing. My arms and legs look like a demonic cat attacked me!

These bushes have been trimmed…but I want them out. I’d like to plant OLD ENGLISH ROSES and some peonies that came from my Grandma’s house in Nebraska. But that will be another day as I’m still working on the OTHER side of the yard….Stage RIGHT!

That sad looking brown thing in the corner? That is the same stinking bush that’s on the left side of the yard…only it was a lot taller. I’ve got it down to fence level…now we can take a chain saw to it and haul it to the transfer station. In the very corner I’m going to plant a lovely lilac bush/tree. And next to it, on the right, I’ll plant either Old English roses or Flutterby bushes. More Columbine, Foxglove and Delphiniums.

This is what the corner looked like last year in July ~ the vine over the bush is a Virginia Creeper. I let it take over so I didn’t have to see the bush…was very pretty in the fall when it turned all red.

Oh yeah…and those dang Day Lilies will be yanked too. Will give them away to the lady across the street. Stupid things are growing in the grass now.

Luckily our trash management people send out a free dump voucher every spring…those bushes will be heading to the dump today. I “free-cycled” all the stuff my husband was going to add (couch, chair, army chest and dvd/cd tower)…we live on an alley with lots of “creepers”, so all you have to do is set something outside your fence and in 5 minutes it’ll be gone. Now I have lots of room in the truck for those dang bushes.

Oh…and tonight? I’m borrowing my FIL’s chain saw. Then I’m drilling holes into the stump and pouring nitro down the holes and blowing the thing outta my yard!

(We no longer live at this house…and I hated those junipers so bad that I deleted the pictures I was hosting)