At a news conference held to make his case for the severity of the drought, Governor Brown used charts to show that this drought is historic — and that it’s time for Californians to conserve our precious water.
But most of us Californians didn’t need Jerry Brown’s earnest show and tell to inform us that we’re going through a shockingly dry season.
On Saturday we went, as we often do, to nearby Malibu Creek State Park. However, right now there’s no creek.
On Sunday, we took our second trip to The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Rancho Sierra Vista – Satwiwa — just south of the 101 Freeway on the eastern edge of Ventura County.
This wonderful park encompasses the area where the old Chumash Indian village Satwiwa once stood, as well as 8 miles of winding trail through Sycamore Canyon that the Chumash used as a path to the Pacific Ocean shore.
Wildfires can happen in any season, in any year in Southern California, but drought conditions increase the danger of fire exponentially.
Fire is a natural part of the cycle of life in the Santa Monica Mountains. For ages, coastal Southern California chaparral land like that in the Santa Monicas has experienced infrequent but intense wild fires. These fires usually blaze in the fall, driven by dry conditions and hot Santa Ana winds. Unfortunately, the frequency of fires has increased due to human activity. And the drought doesn’t help.
Within a few years, these hills surrounding Sycamore Canyon will be covered in greenery once again. Of course, a little rain would help that process of regeneration along.
Victoria and I hiked the trail that leads to what, in a normal, rainy winter, is a dramatic waterfall. But our hike along the waterfall trail brought home the deadly dry nature of this year’s drought. What follows are shots of the small pools of water that linger below the tiny trickle that, at this time of year, should be a dramatic cascade.