The Wildfires have begun.

The fire season has kicked off in Southern California, I believe the Santa Ana winds are blowing through there with an agenda. California is a windy and foggy state both of them are an extreme condition in the Central Valley. San Francisco is foggy as well during the summer; its so regional it has no effect on the fires.

Luckily it’s raining in the Northern most counties here, not a heavy event but it will help keep the moisture in the foliage for a while.

I have been watching this Night Heron for just a little while; about 2 months. I’ve seen him over the years but have not begun pursuing a photo session until recently. It was one of my goals a few days ago when I setup my stuff; once in a blue moon things work out.

Many of us have seen the videos of the fire this morning that burned down 20+ houses. I don’t know how it started or contributed to it but there is one issue I have paid attention to over the years. The huge houses that are being built here are very close together, some ten feet apart. In these winds when one house starts the one down wind is going down with it. I’ve seen it on our Island many times, some of these sub-divisions are Catastrophic events waiting to happen. One thing is for sure, it’s not going to get any better for the near future.

I like to use 5 pictures in a blog, odd numbers work better in my opinion. I’ll use 3 at times or 7 very rarely. This Night Heron worked out OK because there are only so many movements birds make; if they aren’t doing something the pictures is a scroller.

On our Island the houses are not that close together but we have powerful winds at times 80 mph occur. It hasn’t happened on a regular basis; about 4 times in the past 20 years. However when the wind speeds are that high (level 1 hurricane velocities) a lot of damage occurs. Last summer a boat shed at a marina (200 feet x 60 feet) was lifted up and flipped over on the levee top.

This is the last of the Night Heron images that don’t appear to be the same one. The secret is to catch them landing and taking off, it takes a lot of planning and waiting. It’s important to keep the faith that it will take place.

The summer two years ago a boat shed on the other end of the same marina was destroyed; the outfit is well maintained. The wind is one thing but when wild fires join forces with it the results are terrible. Clearing property for 50 feet around the property is out of the question here so that makes us reliable on our neighbors as they do us. Unfortunately with wind that high the landscaping doesn’t much matter as the wind will send embers for a long distance; they only have to fly 50 feet between houses.

There is one road off of the Island, we’re pretty much trapped.

The Night Heron is the smaller cousin of the Great Blue Heron, the larger cousin of the Green Heron and the Bittern.

I wrote this blog as two stories in an attempt to show how peaceful life is here for the critters. They are the ones that suffer the most, I don’t worry about me living somewhere; but this is the only place they have.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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