Monday, September 19, 2016

Fire and Tarantulas

I mentioned a small fire out of Mitchell Canyon. It was quickly contained to just 2 acres.  It was in some tricky terrain that has been being rehabbed for the past few years.  They've cleared invasive plants, and planted native saplings, and done a lot of work on the creek bed.  They stopped the fire with in feet of where the rehab project starts.  It would have been years of hard work lost had they not.

 The yellow fire line tape was still there, but the trail was open. 
The sign says no smoking, but this is a suggestion, not law, unfortunately. More on that later.

 You can see the fire hoses still on the ground. This is as I headed up Red Dirt Road to Black Point Trail, looking down on the burned hillside.  This small fire happened to take place almost 3 years to the day after the big Mount Diablo fire. 

 After going up and over Black Point and coming back through the bottom of the valley a few hours later, this trail was closed.  It seemed the "morning after the fire" investigation was underway.  There were fire trucks and sheriff trucks parked where I took this picture.  The fire started at around 5:30 on a Wednesday, and hikers were spotted in the area at the time.

And are a few pictures of the tarantulas I spotted last week.  This first guy gives me a headache.  These guys normally have 8 legs, and 2 shorter things in front that look like fangs.  Notice the guy below...he has 8 legs, but one is coming right out the top of his head, in the middle of his forehead.  Poor dude. I wish I could have got a shot of him straight on, but he wouldn't cooperate, and I don't like to irritate them too much.
 This is a good shot at what they should look like, without a leg coming out from the front of their head.

 Now is definitely the time to get out on the mountain if you want to see some of these gently spider giants.

Lastly, I have to give a shout out to the East Bay Regional Park District for a move that is long, long overdue.  I've vented here on the blog before about how livid it makes me to find cigarettes on the trails. I'll try not to launch into a lecture here, but we live in an area that is at high fire danger for the majority of the year.  We are in a drought for years on end.  It should be a law that there is no smoking in any of our parks, whether they be regional or state.  As of right now, smoking is legal in state parks still.  This means that as soon as you cross a cattle gate and leave EBRPD property and enter Mt. Diablo State Park, you can light up.  Ridiculous.  The only ordinance is when we reach Extreme Fire Danger level, people must only smoke in areas that are for that purpose.  By the way, the assembly repeated tries to get this made a law.  The last person to veto it was Schwarzenegger.

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