I’ve talked here about the Station Fire that ravaged the hills above my house, and the brave firefighters who kept my neighborhood safe. I followed this with mention of flash floods and mudslides, and the daring city officials who keep an eye on our flood basins and give us the heads-up to evacuate.
I also talked about Ivy, the feral cat who lived on the side of my house, and whose comfort and care I worried about during these peak periods.
I probably also mentioned the wildlife that had been coming down from the mountains looking for food--especially, the coyotes.
Here is a photo from the Los Angeles Times of a select group of people being shown the fire damage:
So now I want to share some good news! Yesterday, the park at the mouth of the closed-off mountain range reopened! We had a lovely celebration with a pancake breakfast, speakers, a climbing wall, and informational booths.
At one of those booths I found out why the squirrels around here are so chubby this spring: apparently the ash from the fire worked as a mega-fertilizer on our mulberry trees, which is like cheesecake to squirrels! I also discovered why I haven’t been seeing and hearing the coyotes as frequently in recent weeks: their natural food sources in the hills are returning.
While the trails leading deep into the hills are still closed, and we are by no means out of the woods as far as mudslides and flash floods during our rainy seasons, it was wonderful nevertheless to return to a place I used to take for granted as accessible, to meet up with neighbors and officials, and to look up into the big sky and have that sense of connection and peace again.
In fact, I decided to meander up the dirt path to look at the new commemorative plaque, putting my “But what about those rattlesnake warning signs?” fears aside. Because it was a well-attended party--by both people and big, barky dogs--so I was good, right?
Which was when I found out, first-hand, that apparently, at least one rattlesnake got the re-opening invitation, too. That was it for me. I suddenly remembered something I had to do back at home. (Breathe.)
Anyway, with next fall’s rains and now talk of a 300 pound black bear scavenging our streets on trash nights, this may not be the end of my Wild Life Adventures! But how great that our hills and neighborhood are becoming healthy enough again to support our wildlife. And again, big thanks to all who work to keep us safe!
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