Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little Lake Valley

It is so wonderful to start getting our clean air back. This is a view of Little Lake Valley from a tiny turn-out on Sherwood Road. It's a familiar sight to the thousands of people who live up in Brooktrails and beyond, but I rarely get up that way. On the horizon, you can still see the lingering smoke of the many lightning strike fires started more than a month ago, and still being contained and controlled. We usually enjoy the spoiled expectation of pristine skies, giving us beautiful lichens and healthy lungs. The mountain in the middle is Red Hill (note the color of the soil on its base), and you may even be able to see the letter "W" up on its right shoulder [I just checked that, and you can't at this resolution]. On the near valley floor is the north end of Willits, although I don't know what the open lots are all about. In the near foreground of the photo is a plant called poison oak. As its leaves turn red, it is easier for newcomers to recognize. Woe be to anyone using its pretty leaves for toilet paper in the woods. One of the hardships for the convict crews and other fire fighters on these incidents is the vast rangeland covered with this stuff. I've heard that when it burns, the smoke is especially miserable if inhaled. Once again, hail to the many professionals and volunteers who have worked so hard for so long to engage an unprecedented number of simultaneous fires in our region.


Jilly said...

I hope too you get no more of these fires, Uselaine. What a lovely view you show us.

You won a postcard from Menton - see today's posting for explanation. Please send me a private email (link on my blog) with your address.

Sarah said...

Yes Uselaine!
I will stay there for 15 days,Meead would be here on tuseday I think,He will continue the blog with his own pictures,I am sure he Will show many new photos from Syprus.It would be intersting!
Thanks for your information about the flower,It made me so happy!

Petrea Burchard said...

Bless the firefighters and bless your lungs, USElaine.

We get plenty of poison oak here. I've had to become an expert at spotting it because I hike so much. Dogs don't know the difference and they don't need to, because it doesn't affect them. But they can be carriers...

Ming the Merciless said...

Elaine, I really like the fact that you are getting your veggies and fruits from local farms as statement in your comment on my blog. Talk about getting healthy and fresh produce!! Plus you are reducing the carbon footprint of your food.

Unfortunately, I don't cook and won't be able to follow your lead.

Knoxville Girl said...

This is a really lovely panorama - really gives me more of an idea of the lay of the land around Willits.
Do you have poison ivy too? It also turns bright red in the fall, but I'm usually the doofus who still steps in it. said...

What a beautiful landscape! You are so knowledgeable (& funny), I enjoy reading your posts.

Pasadena Adjacent said...


Are the mountains pictured scrub oak chaparral or do they have pines?
My last case of poison oak took place the day before I was to head to New York city. As soon as I got off my return flight, I went straight to emergency. It was that bad. I've since come to understand that one doesn't obtain a resistance to Poison Oak but just the opposite. Petrea's dead on about the dogs. As much as it pains me, I make a point to stay out of their path when I hike.

Steve Buser said...

Sorry to hear about all the fires out there. Seems like everything is going crazy these days. I know we are having a really rainy summer here.

Louis la Vache said...

The fires have certainly given us soot-filled skies. "Louis" is happy to read that its better up there for you.

Bergson said...

Very beautiful landscape

I take my walking shoes and we leave

USelaine said...

Jilly - Thank you! What a surprise!

Sara - I look forward to Meead's trip photos too! And I was so happy to see Blanket Flowers in your garden.

Petrea - Thank you. The air seems to be clearing up pretty well. And yes! Beware of the poison oak leaf oils transferring from the coat of your dog to you!

Ming - I'm always surprised by people who don't cook, but New York would be the perfect place to eat all your meals out!

KG - We don't have poison ivy, but I think they are similar.

Lily - Thank you. It had been too long since I posted a picture of the valley, and this is the first high view.

Palm Axis - Over on the east side there, the mix is oaks, douglas fir, some ponderosa pine, and gray pine, with buckeyes, ceanothus, madrones, and manzanita in the mix. Part of it has to do with the orientation of the hillsides, as well as the soil type and proximity to springs and rivulets.

Steve - We would welcome a bit of your rainfall, in small doses.

Louis - I hear it is better for you in SF as well.

Bergson - That sounds like a lovely idea.

Thank you all for your visits, and I apologize for my late reply!