Fire Season is Upon Us


Hurricanes and tornadoes have been known to wreak havoc in the Midwest and South, while earthquakes these days are being felt all over the country, not just within the Ring of Fire. Here in the West, we are grappling with our Fire season, which always poses a threat - 

We are not in a drought - this is our climate out here - we have dry summers and wet winters. That's just the way God made it. 


Yesterday, there was a fire incident located approximately 13 miles northwest of our area, near Shasta Lake, where we often take Laydee swimming. It's important to note that these fires are not random occurrences – they don't happen out of thin air. Dry lightning causes most in the mountains, but sadly, the majority of them are caused by human actions. In this particular instance, the fire was sparked by a property owner's careless use of metal equipment while mowing a grass field during a fire warning. The sparks from the equipment ignited the dry grass, and with the assistance of some wind, the flames spread rapidly. 


My husband reached out to his buddy, Richard, who lives in the area. Evacuations were suggested, but many people were hesitant to leave because they had livestock, horses, and animals to evacuate. Richard promised to call my husband if he needed help, but we haven't received any updates yet.










Since the start of the month, Cal Fire and the US Forest Service have been conducting controlled burns in the area. The map from last night shows pinkish areas indicating red flag warnings, which tend to persist until the arrival of winter rains. This is the norm for this area. I am currently located at the top, where the blue dot is situated.

We had a prescribed burn that got out of control by 20 acres on Thursday. If you want to, you can read about that here

I prefer not to travel far from home this time of year. My friends in Paradise were on vacation when their whole town burned up - they lost everything and their pets, and that was in November! 

Just so you know, I am not stressed out. It's probably the same way you all feel when it's your area's "season" of whatever. We just have to be aware and as vigilant as we can be and we have to trust God with the rest.










Foodie and some friends went down to a Giants ballgame on Friday evening. They left early in the morning here -  They parked on the other side of the bay and took the ferry. 





 
The Ferry Building


I told him to take some photos for me. I haven't been to "my city by the bay" in quite a few years—mainly because my husband doesn't want to go anymore. 

But I finally talked him into going down sometime in the near future, just for the day. 





It looks like it was a lovely day.





And a beautiful ferry ride back to the other side of the bay. 

He didn't get home till 4am! Once they got their car, the bumper to bumper traffic getting out of the area was horrible.

We're just not used to bumper to bumper traffic anymore.

We have it so good here. Shhhh, we don't want to word to get out. 




 

Heartbreaking - Eaglet Update

Source: Friends of the Redding Eagles


Eleven-week-old Sol sadly passed away in the nest. Luna had already fledged, but Sol was hesitant, which is quite common for young birds. Liberty, the mother, brought back a squirrel for lunch but then Sol stopped eating. It was suspected that Sol may have had a bone obstruction from the squirrel meat and appeared severely dehydrated.

Liberty spent some time with Sol, and it was evident that he was struggling. After she left, Sol peacefully passed away an hour later. It was difficult to witness his decline on the live cam. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done as intervening in the nest's ecosystem was not advisable. However, if Sol attempted to branch and fell, a Raptor Rescue Team would have been ready on the ground to help.



Source: Friends of the Redding Eagles

The last photo of Sol and Luna together 


Typically, the Eagle parents do not expel the eaglet from the nest. Instead, it may become prey for other animals or be concealed under leaves. The nest forms a delicate ecosystem, with insects that facilitate the decomposition process. Conducting a necropsy is unfeasible, as it could endanger the nesting area. It's a stark reminder that nature can be both mesmerizing and unforgiving.




Source: Friends of the Redding Eagles

Liberty and Sol and Luna before this all happened


Just before Sol passed, the morning crew said Luna was not in her nest. She obviously fledged. 


Now, the hunt was on. Where was she?






Source: Friends of the Redding Eagles

She was found by the river. 

She's thriving, and it's heartening to celebrate the fact that although one eaglet has departed, another is thriving and in good health.


I find myself in a recurring cycle of anticipation and reluctance every year as to whether or not I should follow the drama of the Redding eagles. Despite my best intentions, I inevitably become engrossed in following and watching the webcam, only to find myself feeling this way once again.

I'll shake it off  but it still breaks my heart. 




 

Don't poop out on me now -We still have places to see -




Clear Creek is a tributary of the upper Sacramento River. 




I always enjoy the sound and movement of a creek. 






Over yonder, is the Tennant house - I want to go over and check that out again. It's been a while and I am so thankful it was saved. 





Which way should we go? 

I wanted to go up to see and take photos of the El Dorado mine, 

but I think we'll do that next week. 






As we made the decision to visit the old cemetery, I soon realized that the area was covered in knee-high grass. I felt uneasy about walking through the tall grass while wearing shorts and sandals, as I'm always concerned about encountering snakes or getting bitten by insects.

I've become such a wuss in my old age! 

The vibrant colors on this water tower instantly caught my eye.






I'd LOVE to live on a property like this. 

I'd even take the house as is. 






I'd show it some tender care...


I imagine having beautiful hanging plants adorning the porch,
 complemented by a few cozy rocking chairs.


We could create a welcoming pathway leading up to the house. I see there is a front entrance as well as a back door. 


Which one would you want to use? 
The front or the back door? 



But I truly adore it. While I appreciate well-maintained lawns, these days it seems impractical to water them, especially when living in drought-prone regions. Though having a small patch of grass might serve as a modest deterrent against fires.

Perhaps we could incorporate some natural rocks and drought-resistant native plants throughout the area to add a touch of natural beauty and sustainability.







The building was constructed in 1913, so it's not too ancient! 

I'm really curious to take a look inside. I've heard that the US Forest Service uses it as a Caretaker house. I think it would be amazing to have a job like that!







The creek meandered through idyllic, shaded spots, offering perfect settings with picnic tables nestled among the trees. We let Laydee dip her paws in the water. The area also had several inviting swimming holes for a refreshing dip. 

I am constantly vigilant and alert for the presence of rattlesnakes.

This is their season! 






This would be the view from the Tenant House. 

I could live with that! 






The Toyon, a native perennial shrub found in California extending all the way to the Baja Peninsula and Southwest Oregon, is well adapted to drought conditions and is typically found in chaparral and mixed oak woodland habitats. It is also commonly referred to as the California berry or Christmas berry.

I was really struck by the beauty of these shrubs, and there were quite a lot of them in the area.

Planting native shrubs is definitely the way to go. There's something so special about taking leisurely walks in these areas and coming across all the beautiful native wildflowers and plants. It really makes you think about opting for native plants that help preserve the natural environment. Saves water too, Living in California means we rarely experience summer rains, and if we do, it's nothing short of a rare occurrence. The bulk of our rainfall arrives during the winter season, typically from November through March.


I still have one more post and some photos that I'd like to share with you. 
I hope you don't mind!


Until I get back to you -

Debby

In case you are lost...





 

Continuing on my little day adventure


Heading out of French Gulch - 

I never feel at ease standing on the sidewalk snapping pictures of someone's house, so I decided to visit Zillow to check out the real estate market in this historic gold mining town.

I always wonder what it would be like to live in a historic mining town. 

If you missed yesterday's post 






Source: Zillow





I found the most affordable option in a charming, older, small trailer-type house located in a mobile home park. This cozy two-bedroom, one-bathroom home is listed at an attractive price of $29,995. However, considering it is situated in a mobile home park, there is a monthly fee of $625, making it a less appealing deal overall.



Source: Zillow

This newer manufactured home is available for $85,000 in a "family park," but it comes with significant HOA fees.

The real estate market in these areas has significantly declined as a result of the increased risk of wildfires and the departure of insurance companies unwilling to provide coverage against such natural disasters. Consequently, many properties are now left without adequate insurance protection.





Source: Zillow


A beautiful home with 18 acres of land for just $549,000! This place offers 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a spacious 2576 sq ft of living space. Despite the media hype, California still has affordable options, especially in its rural areas. Many people either work remotely from home or commute to the cities during the week and return to their peaceful rural homes on weekends. This trend isn't unique to California. I'm sure it is the same in other states with rural areas. This property could be an ideal option for retirees looking to enjoy a peaceful country life or for those seeking a vacation home in a relaxing rural setting.

Still too rich for our budget. 






Anyway, back on the road, we've now left French Gulch to come across the highway, to the Camden House area which is also part of the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. 

Charles Camden built his house in 1852 at the very beginning of the California Gold Rush. He also built a toll bridge which has since been destroyed by another fire (not the Carr Fire 2018) and this bridge I am standing on, is the replacement on the exact spot. The wooden plants however on the bridge floor did burn in the Carr Fire. 







The highway bridge - 






I haven't visited the property since the devastating Carr fire of 2018. The once thriving landscape has changed drastically due to the fire's impact. The beautiful property, once filled with life, was closed for a significant amount of time. Even now, remnants of the fire's destruction, like charred trees, can still be seen on the hill behind the house.

There used to be a magnificent 150+-year-old heritage orchard on the property featuring apple and pear trees. Sadly, the fire (almost) completely ravaged it. I have fond memories of visiting the orchard in the fall to pick fresh, juicy apples.








The archway marks the entrance to the apple orchards. Some of the orchard's trees have sprouted and efforts are underway to revive them with the help of an arborist. Through a technique called "restorative pruning," the remaining trees are being carefully nurtured and preserved.








The screened-in porch holds memories of the times I visited the house before the fire devastated it. I recall the joyous Christmas celebrations that used to take place at Camden House. It used to be beautifully decorated. 

It's heartening to see that slowly but surely, Camden House is being revived. There has been extensive cleanup efforts to restore the property to its former glory.

Modern inventions have played a crucial role in the restoration process. The forest service used fireproof foil to protect these historic sites, just like they did in Old Shasta. This protective wrapping saved the old ruins from crumbling away.

Unfortunately, the cost of this specialized material makes it unaffordable for regular homeowners.







As I walked down the grassy hill, I glanced up and spotted a resilient apple tree that had survived against all odds.





I came upon a heritage apple tree with bark so charred that it seemed to have been burned to its very core.






Remember this:

A tiny portion of the once lifeless tree trunk has miraculously begun to sprout and is now thriving. 

I am not entirely sure how they plan to support its growth, but I trust that with the help of a skilled arborist, they are making every effort to rescue these ancient apple trees.

I found this to be amazing. 







Looking back over at the Toll Bridge. 





Here's an older photo of the apple Fall harvest back in 2011. 
The brick fireplace still stands. 



I'll be back with more...