Fire and Water
Yesterday we had a long soaking rain, which was much needed and will encourage the final emergence of the leaves on the trees and stimulate growth of plants including my lawn. The days of twice a week grass cutting are upon us. This is not my favourite activity.
For yesterday I spent a great deal of time on the couch relaxing as are three of my cats in the photo below. Two of them are grooming the third. When I come back let it be as a cat. I did manage to do a couple of repairs in the house and spend an hour cleaning manure out of my shed. I was not a total couch potato.
I have been watching the fires and flooding in the US. These are dreadful experiences for those who are threatened. I wonder how much if it is in part caused by human intervention. I am sure flooding in the Mississippi watershed is aggrevated by the agriculture that has drained so much of the land so that the run off is too fast. Clearing the land right up to the river and channelling the river through built up areas also must be part of the problem.
Fires can be started by people but most are started by lightening. In very dry conditions there is a great risk. One human intervention that contributes to forest fires is years of supressing fires leaving lots of debris fuel on the forest floor, when fire does occur it is much worse than it need be. Fire is normally part of the ecological cycle of forests. Letting them burn is not an option in built up area, but more and more they are being allowed to burn in Wilderness areas.
A great deal of research in the use and abuse of fire and the restoration of watershed to limit flooding is needed. Last week the Ministry of Natural Resources started a study to see how fire behaves in very dry conditions, (in spite of the greening up of everything the forest is very dry due to Winter drought conditions.) They were to burn a hectare of forest under a controlled burn. Well, it got away from them. We now have a raging 15 square kilometer forest fire. So far far fire has not been a problem around here yet. The forest fire season is ahead of us.