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Saturday, a week ago lightning struck fifteen steps from where I was walking, and it hit within a few steps from where I was raking possibly flammable yard debris in my yard. I have been working for over a year to make my house fire-resistant by eliminating as much flammable stuff as possible. The Paradise, California, fire that razed a town that looks much like where I live made it an even more urgent enterprise. We had a rainy spring this year, so we are a little better of than usual, and people are talking about how smoke-free this summer has been. Our rain varies year by year and soon enough we will have a dry year and the forest fire risk will be great again. Today, I took out about an eighth of a Mountain Ash tree, the one the lightning struck, to reduce the fire risk. I’m not an arborist, and at my age, it doesn’t make much sense to be standing on a ladder about eight feet above the ground sawing six-inch thick tree limbs. But I was up there for about an hour.

I have a huge pile of garden debris that I’m watering in an effort to generate some compost for next year’s garden. My house looks stark compared to my neighbors, who are making their homes look very nice.

I have been thinking I have been over-thinking the risk for a forest fire. And then BANG! A bolt from the “blue”. Duh? Even I can learn.