Excessive Heat Risk

Mon. AM — Excessive Heat Risk Warning issued by the National Weather Service, SF Bay issued last night for Thursday through the Labor Day weekend. The Coastal Mountains of Big Sur are going to feel the heat. (Note the Magenta — very high risk for entire population just off the Coast from Big Sur to Gorda.)

And this afternoon from NWS – SFBay:

Event:Excessive Heat Watch
Alert:…EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING… * WHAT…Dangerously hot conditions with afternoon temperatures from the upper 90s up to 110 possible. * WHERE…Southern Salinas Valley, Arroyo Seco, and Lake San Antonio, Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest and Mountains of San Benito and Interior Monterey County including Pinnacles National Park. * WHEN…From Thursday morning through Monday evening. * IMPACTS…Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The hottest temperatures will occur across the region`s interior and in the higher terrain each afternoon with mild to warm overnight temperatures providing little relief from the heat.
Instructions:Monitor the latest forecasts and warnings for updates on this situation. Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air- conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
Target Area:Mountains Of San Benito County And Interior Monterey County Including Pinnacles National Monument
Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest
Southern Salinas Valley, Arroyo Seco and Lake San Antonio

Sunday Photos, 8/21/2022

Song of Trees continued: These are the trees that planted themselves after the Wild Fire of 1996. This spot had been dozed for a fire break. I had never seen the view as the manzanita, ceanothus, and chemise was so tall and thick. After the clearing when I finally saw the view. That was it. That was where I would build my house.

My three self-planted Big Leaf Maples. I watered them the first year, but then weaned them off of supplemental water. Same with the oak below. They were so tiny when I first discovered them. I had to protect them against critters, weedeaters, etc. and now, so tall and strong and handsome. They are happy hee.
And this is the majestic Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) that doesn’t grow up this high, per the Oak Foundation. I have others that are at least 100 years old up here, so they do like this environment and are happy to have another in their group.

And for those of you not on social media, here is what Weds looked like while we waited to see if this was going to come with dry lightning.

This day in History, 2020

During the day, we were dealing with the Carmel and River Fires, both started by lightning. A little after 8:30 pm, a arsonist started the Dolan Fire south of Esalen. It raged until the end of September.

Here are some photos.

The Hermitage, by Brendon Shave
By bigsurkate. One can see the hermitage in the clearing
By bigsurkate from my house

The control line holding the burnout from Prewitt Ridge along McKern Road to Nacimiento-Ferguson Road is still holding. Tonight’s photos show two members of the Del Rosa Hotshots (blue hard hats) and other firefighters working with bulldozers to light and hold this burnout the day before yesterday (Thursday 9/17/2020.)

This was taken exactly one month after the Dolan Fire started, by bigsurkate

People were fighting fires all over the state due to lightning strikes. With this last storm yesterday, we lucked out. Only 1 strike in the Ventana, and it didn’t start a fire, fortunately. Let’s all “knock on wood” and be grateful. Still have a couple months to go, so continue to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all time. Casey retired from the USFS after his injuries. Anyone in contact with him that cares to report, please do so.

Weather, 8/17/2022

Currently, there have been no cloud to ground strikes in Big Sur that I have been able to locate, although I have heard thunder. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, has had numerous CG strikes. This is what I see now, at 10:30 am. They have put their lightning plan into action and dispatched an engine to each strike to make sure there is no fire.

Los Bueyes Fire — FHL

At 3:03 pm, Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS) mapped this fire at 261 acres.

Last report was 15 acres, but I am sure it it greater than that. FHL, Cal Fire, and LPF are on it and it is anticipated it will go to 100 acres. I will get a photo up shortly. Continue reading “Los Bueyes Fire — FHL”

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors

From the preface by David George Haskell: “We cannot step outside life’s songs. This music made us. It is our nature.

Our ethic must therefore be one of belonging, an imperative made all the more urgent by the many ways that human actions are fraying, rewiring, and severing biological networks world wide. To listen to trees, nature’s great connectors is therefore to learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance, and beauty.”

I want to learn to listen better, not just to the forest in which I live, but to the individual trees along my path. It is easy to listen to the live oak that shades my house, and which preceded me by centuries;  the big leaf maples that planted themselves in my yard after the Wild Fire of 1996, and this glorious Quercus lobata that is also a volunteer from 1996. I babied them and tended them the first few years until they grew big enough and tall enough to care for themselves. Now, they nurture others. I just sit back and watch…and learn to listen to them.

Calling all State Park Volunteers

Hello, CA State Parks Volunteers!

Parks Environmental Scientists Amy and Jesse have asked if we can assist with more greenhouse work for fall plantings at Ft. Ord Dunes SP and Garrapata SP.

If you are available, we’d love your help at our third Asilomar Greenhouse Volunteer Day of the summer. For folks who haven’t been before, the work involves washing plant cells (pots), mixing soil, filling cells with soil, and sowing seeds. We’ll grow these plants out in the greenhouse, then plant them at restoration sites in the fall.

See below for details.

Asilomar Greenhouse Day #3

When: Monday, August 15th (9am-1pm)

Location: Asilomar Greenhouse. (Click link for map)

What: ​Cleaning cells, mixing soil, and sowing seeds to support restoration efforts at Garrapata SP and Fort Ord Dunes SP.

RSVP: Samuel.Winter@parks.ca.gov

Tools, training, coffee, pastries, and gloves provided. Drop in for as long as you’re able to!

Thank you for your help,


Sam Winter (he/him)

Forestry Aide 

Volunteer Program Coordinator 

California State Parks 

Monterey District