Sunday, January 1, 2012
Creosote and Wolves
I love California. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that I actually ended up here. How that happened is an accident of history; I'm thankful for such accidents.
I got up this morning and spent some time wandering around outside in the sun (dragging just a tad from the Domaine Chandon champagne), thinking about how I ended up in this State. And the things I love about it. On this first day of 2012, I guess it is normal and natural to have a certain amount of enthusiasm for where we are, who we are and what we plan to do. Resolutions.
California is infinitely interesting. Did you know that California boasts one of the oldest living organisms on earth? And no it isn't the Bristlecone pine. The oldest living thing in California is the lowly King Clone Creosote bush. It resides in the Mojave desert and has been radiocarbon dated to 11,700 years of age. That's a long time to be hanging around. It isn't an attractive plant by any means. Just a very, very common bush that can tolerate drought quite well.
And speaking of drought, December was one of the driest California has ever had. Most places in California list December as either the driest, or the second driest, on record. The snow resorts in Tahoe haven't seen this small of a snow pack (none) since 1883. With no rain in the forecast for the next week, folks are starting to get a bit concerned. It doesn't take long for all those reservoirs to be emptied.
And a bit of good news. The first wolf in 88 years has migrated into California. He is a wandering male from the Oregon pack. This sort of immigration should be encouraged.