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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Region's first wildfire and other mullings

The first fire of the season broke out near Patagonia, AZ on Monday and authorities are saying--surprise, surprise!--that the fire was human started (and most likely started by illegals wandering north through the Santa Cruz valley). Monday afternoon the sky was a sooty brown, but recent winds have dicipated the smoke from the growing fire. The fire has grown to 1800 acres. Hopefully today's winds won't spread it even more. Although the smoke is not as thick as before, the sunrises and sunsets are looking rather brown lately.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices are shooting up fast thanks to the protests in the Middle East. I tanked up for $3.11 two days ago, the highest I've seen gas here since 2008. Bahrain, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya all have protests now. The media is showing a lot of Arab men screaming at the camera and shooting demands. If Saudia Arabia is next (and I'm sure the fat sheiks of that kingdom are worried sick that they will be toppled next) we are going to see gasoline prices as never before. This is going to be one interesting summer. Prices on the army post went from $2.93 to $3.09 overnight. In town it's as high as $3.26.

It's moments like these that I get so angry that business-minded leaders like Reagan disbanded the Department of Energy as soon as he took office. That agency was created under Carter to help research alternative fuels at a time when alternative fuels were still a dream. Carter wanted the country to be foreign fuel independent within 20 years. Instead, our economy continues to be held hostage by Arabs and other nitwits.

Kevin, who's obsessed with long-term survival, bought a food hydrator this week. He seldom buys anything that isn't gun or ammo related, so this is news. Now that he's also canning meats and vegetables he plans on having a six month supply of everything handy. Last weekend he spent Sunday canning and cooking all day; I expect to see more of that now. He's already trying out frozen yellow corn in the hydrator.

Growing hardy vegetables is next and this summer he promises to help out in the garden. I agreed to help him with the garden and bought some seed germinators. A mini coldstorage will be next. The trouble with eary spring garden here in the desert are those hot, dry winds that blow down starting in April.

We have a nice warm spell again. Most of my citrus trees are back outside and they will remain outside until it dips into the 20s again. A potential rain storm and cooler temperatures may be due in from California this weekend. I say bring it on, as we need the rain. Oaks in the foothills are showing early signs of drought. Instead of being a dark green most trees are showing the brown tips of leaves that have suffered due to lack of water.

And my little ringneck dove is doing well. She seems to have acclimated to her confinement lately and is no longer plucking out her feathers. She still hasn't said a peep, but she gladly takes water and seed that I lay out for her. She's low maintenance except for the paper changes and quick fresh water refills.

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