The deer were bounding like blown leaves
|Fire on the Hills, by Robinson Jeffers, copyright 1932|
An Adventure to the Window
the Santa Lucia Mountains
(Gooseberries and Currants)
Test Your Topographic Know-How
Hot Springs Trail
Buckhorn Spring Camp
Spring Equinox '99
Winter Solstice '98
Fall Equinox '98
Summer Solstice '98
As if to celebrate the approaching end of the final fire season of the century, summer is yielding to autumn in the Ventana this year with a manic dramaticism not seen in decades. A fortnight ago Tropical Storm Greg spun off an angry scion that directed itself toward the Northern Santa Lucia like it were heading home after a hard day. The full, dark storm clouds lumbered in just after sundown, heavy with warm rain and crackling with electrical energy. Soon drops began to fall - large ones, well spaced - then came the lightning. As the gray-black belly of the storm passed over the Ventana it peppered the land with thunderbolts, touching off no fewer than a dozen fires before finally moving off to the north.
Today, two weeks later, nine of these fires are out, one is weakening, and two have found their legs in earnest. Those officially in charge at first stepped up to do battle with the awakening beasts in hopes of taming them - they've now backed off to build better fences instead. By all appearances, the only force sure enough to quell these wild fires will be the first solid rain of autumn; equally strong, equally beautiful, equally natural - only favored by the season.
As most now know, we've been, at least temporarily, locked out of the Ventana. Likely for the better, although its still a bitter pill. We here at the DCQ hope that this issue will, in some small way, help fill the resultant void. Please enjoy it at your leisure and, if you feel so inclined, let us know your thoughts.
Savor the Season
Anne Scott-Chambers, © 1999
The Double-Cone Quarterly is published four times a year, on the equinoxes and solstices, by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and can be obtained free of charge by anyone with an internet connection who steers their browser to http://www.ventanawild.org/news/news.html.