401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Plants of the Western Slope Oct. 26, 2016

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Dave Galinat

I'm driving up this familiar back road, named Hulteen Road, and again I wonder about that name. The adjacent fields lie fallow, the sunlight is bright after the recent days of storm and I can see snow on the Grand Mesa. Summer's over.

I've known this piece of land since Allen and I first came to the Delta area. It was up for sale, but we didn't have the means necessary, so I just watched and hoped that someone who had the means would be kind to the birds. The east shoreline is a mass of tulles and cattails growing outward into the pasture land and inward toward the water -- very difficult for human beings to get into! And so it's a perfect place for a bird nursery. We have western and pied-billed grebe, various ducks and geese. Along the northern shore, when the water level is high in the spring, our migrating sandhill cranes find roosting water (they like it at six-inches to a foot deep).

And so it was a grand happening when Dave Galinat bought the land and placed conservation easements on the entire property. Our nurseries were protected as well as the entire east shore.

And now I marvel at the changes David has made! The rose-line driveway -- what a pleasure! There's a new shed, finished in tan adobe to match the place. The greenhouse serves for Dave's lap-pool as well as providing moisture for his delightful collection of exotic plants. Citrus fruits, pineapple, tomatoes out of season and a whole host of delectable fruits!

I'm not going inside the main house today, but I've visited his orchid room with orchids from floor to ceiling! Fantastic!

He has at least three varieties of grapes. The south side of the house was created to be a steep slope and is now filled with Salvia (a mint) with plants in many colors -- a hummingbird feast that lasts all summer long. And now David has pecan and almond trees. And I realize that I've never met a natural almond.

In the past, I knew this piece of land as a "weed-patch." There were a few native shrubs and the rest was weeds! Now the whole place is a garden!

Read more from:
Surface Creek
Evelyn Horn, Plants of the Western Slope
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