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.