Between Fire and Ice

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Yesterday, the clouds that pounded the little dog and me with rain decorated this mountain meadow with snow. We are here to enjoy the resulting white blanket. While Aki catches up on weeks worth of pee mail, I watch ghosts of fog climb the whitened mountain ridges. A scattering of tiny ponds reflect the scene, breaking up the mountains’ image with still-green lily pads. There are other signs that winter’s snow caught out the meadow plants.

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Islands of strong, still green clumps of grass dot the snowy meadow. Many plants, like the sparse-leafed Labrador tea and blue berry bushes are still in fall color. At least they aren’t being crushed by the heavy snow like the low-growing sorrel.

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A friend recently saw a hummingbird and a warbler, both summer visitors to the rain forest. Are they delaying their southern migration to avoid the current heat wave in California? It is 100 degrees in Los Angeles today and the Santa Anna winds are pushing wild fire through bird habitat. If things don’t change soon the birds will be caught between fire and ice.

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