Today is one of those glorious Eastside fall days: the sky is crystal blue with a Sierra Wave coming over the Wheeler Crest, and the ground is covered with rust and golden-colored leaves. The colors are vibrant and enticing, especially after the last few months of gray.
We've been inundated with smoke from the terrible fires that were raging on the west side of the Sierra. For a couple of days, our Air Quality Index (AQI) was over 1,900. For reference, experts say it is hazardous to breathe when the AQI is 500. In an unprecedented move, even our National Forests were closed for public use.
It seemed like layer after layer of gray was placed on top of one another — between the pandemic, smoke, national discourse, and social unrest, the division between one another increased my sense of isolation.
In the midst of the gray, there was a glimmer of hope for our future.
After years of dedication and hard work, Hunewill Ranch in Bridgeport Valley is now permanently protected with a conservation easement. (It's okay to do a Happy Dance — we sure did!) We are eternally grateful to the Hunewill family! Please read more about them and the successful project below.
With the changing colors in nature, I feel my soul begin to change too. It's time to slow down and soak in the specialness of nature, which is also quieting down.
Normally I would be planning time with my family over the next months, but that is not to happen this year. May we each find our way through these times, and also find a way to celebrate family and loved ones safely.
Here's to fall leaves, pumpkins, and candy apples!