Hills of Gold

Summer has definitely dug its heels in, here in Silicon Valley.  The inland mountains, the Sierra Nevada’s, have already been painted the color of dry straw.  They can be clearly seen from any of the main thoroughfares, making drivers moisten their lips, and plan to sip a cold one before long.  There has already been a small fire, but it was further south, closer to Los Angeles.  A safe distance, one might say.  One could be wrong;  VERY wrong.   Fatally wrong, evenImage

The fact that the entire state is experiencing an unprecedented drought doesn’t allow minds to rest.  All of the major water sources are being heavily tapped, just to maintain farms and residential greenery.  Even though the various cities in the area are asking nicely for citizens to restrict water usage, there is still things like cars being washed on driveways, and various automatic sprinkler systems watering not only lawns, but sidewalks as well!

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The main concern is that even the water storage facilities, like the desalination ponds that dot the coastline here, are slowly but surely drying up.  These are the things that can normally be pumped out to fight forest, or grass, fires.  But, if they dry up, if that vital water supply is gone, what then?  Even Smokey the Bear can’t help, if the blazing sun, a careless cigarette butt, and a hot wind conspire.  

At some point, the region will likely have to step in and start enforcing serious limits on water usage.  How they will do this remains to be seen, but this does seem to be quite inevitable.Image

We, here in the Sunshine State of California, could be in deep, deep trouble.  When you gaze  up at these hills of gold as you drive along, you are struck by the stark beauty of the view.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago that these hills were wearing a deep green garment!  What happened to change this?  The answer is a HOT California summer, and the general lack of precipitation.

That endless stretch of grassland along the thoroughfares wouldn’t take much encouragement to turn into a summer’s day into an ignoramus of an inferno.  And once it got started, the fires of Hell could have worthy competition.  

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