Thursday, July 21, 2011
We had a wee prairie fire sweep by our apartment last week. Missed us by at least 50 yards. The temperture outside was around 100 degrees F, the winds were around 40 miles and hour, and the humidity was somewhere between 'very low' and 'surface of the moon'. I say 'wee' because it only burned one house and several dozen acres, many of those acres being the field where I take the dogs on their walk every day. It could have been very much worse.
Tip for homeowners: if you're going to mow your dry lawn on a summer afternoon in the desert, clean debris from around your mower's muffler periodically.
I took a walk through the area a few days later. The fire did exactly what a wildfire is supposed to do: burn hot and fast, turning the dried annual plants into fertilizer dust and allowing woody shrubs and hardier plants and roots to survive.
Note the ant hill activity in the middle of the burn area. It was too soon for them to have migrated from an unaffected area. I'm assuming they survived under the soil while the fire burned over their little heads.
The middle of this cactus (prickly pear?) will probably live to put spines into the feet of dogs for years to come.
I found several roasted grasshoppers, but couldn't bring myself to eat any of them.