Forest Fire Season

March begins - 1

03.06.18

“States in the interior western United States, in particular, may be faced with large increases in total wildfire area burned, potentially beyond anything that has been experienced in the past, according to the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE on December 15, 2017, as the 2017 fire season was ending.”  EarthSky.org–updates on your cosmos and world.  March 5, 2018

We all know this.  We also know that the longer the snowpack remains on top those mountains which surround us, the shorter will be the fire season.  So…as the snow continues into March, and as I yearn to see green beneath the snow covering all the land, this EarthSky post was a good anecdote for my impatience.  The snow showers we are having down here in the valley each day come as short, intense bands and the biggest flakes I’ve ever seen.  I have a broad view of the valley, when I come home from town on the cut-across road at the head of the lake.  Yesterday, I needed sunglasses for the drive in glaring sunshine, with cerulean blue skies, framed in white fluffy clouds.  I could see that it was likely snowing in Glacier Park to the northwest, and down south to the lake, dark clouds closed off the view.  By the time I drove down our road, I was greeted by a band of corn snow, then followed, an hour later, by splendid sunshine.

Though it may feel that winter has seriously stalled out, so much is changing.  The kitties have moved their napping to the porch off our bedroom, in the direct path of afternoon sun.  Daylight Savings Time is coming up this week-end which adds even more light to the end of the day.  The Vernal Equinox is but two weeks away, and thereafter, there is more light than dark in our days.  The Canada geese flocks are gathering next to frozen ponds, and stand on mounds of frozen snow in the afternoon sunlight.  There is lots of chatter–I imagine them discussing the weather, as they patiently wait for open water and the pairing up season.  AND…we saw our first fat robins this morning!

The NOAA forecast predicts snow showers almost every day this week, and single digit low temperatures some nights, but there are no warnings or advisories on the map, for the first time in many months.  And, for the upcoming week-end, they write:

” This weekend is shaping up to be a pretty nice spring day with
valley temps in the 40s and perhaps lower 50s in some areas under
sunny skies.”

Wow.  Wouldn’t that be something.  If I could make my way down through the crusted snow to the lake, I’d consider sitting on the bench down there, at water’s edge, to watch the sunset.

“If we were people of the Golden Age and the Golden Bough, we would get our pipes and timbrels, our long trumpets of bronze, and our other musical what-have-yous ready for March fifteenth.  On that morning the sun, which has been steadily approaching the corner, turns it, the golden round rising clear of all obstruction and flooding the kitchen with the first spring light.  We may not belong to the Golden Age or the years of the Golden Bough, but we can observe and rejoice, and in such natural joy and natural response lies one of the profoundest secrets of human happiness.”  Henry Beston–Northern Farm

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