I WILL be making my famous potato salad BUT the 4th of July is a hassle up here amongst tall, dried grass lining the country road. The grass stands about 5 feet tall and is so dry, it’s like tinder.
We never had any rain in June, nor May for that matter.
We would have a little green grass that’s less likely to burn.
So tonight we are on patrol. Well, farmer is on patrol.
He speeds up and down the stretch of road in front of our pastures, trying to keep people off the grass, who’ve ventured up for the 180 degree view of skies flickering with bay area fireworks.
They are blissfully unaware of the fire danger one sparkler can bring!
A frightening thought…
They are told to leave and they’re not always happy about it. They inevitably argue because they don’t get it and it’s dark so they can’t see they’re surrounded by bone-dry grass!
“We’re just watching….”
“It’s a public road!” (It’s not.)
“It’s not marked ‘No tresspassing’!” (It is.)
He has a plan today if he can get the fertilizing done in the vineyard. His plan is to …..
borrow a loader (a big tractor) from the other old farmer up here. There’s a huge eucalyptus branch that fell during the winter. He wants to drag it to an area most are prone to park along the side of the road.
An automatic deterrence to most looking for a place to park their car on top of tinder dry grass along with eucalyptus leaves all over the ground.
One tossed cigarette is all it takes… or an empty glass beer bottle left out in the field.
In the sun it becomes a magnifying glass shining directly onto grass and it catches fire without anyone knowing until it’s too late.
So at dusk he sits at the bottom of our lane on the 4-wheeler.
I’m usually sitting outside on the deck watching and listening to his motor. I worry just a little that he’ll tangle with someone who wants to pick a fight. It happens, usually with young men, but, since he can look (and be) ferocious, they can make him very angry if they get “threatening”.
He’s been known to kick in a few fenders and such … It’s a small town!
They end up tearing down the hill with him in hot pursuit!
He’s been known to follow some teenagers, who shouldn’t be drinking AND driving, all the way to their house!
Yes, it is funny… Except he’s been up since 4AM, worked all day in the heat and very unlikely to be in a good mood by 10PM. And these people can be obnoxious idiots who want to drink beer and smoke with their friends on our land! They don’t much care if they leave behind a smoldering pile of weeds!
You might wonder about the presence of a sheriff but no matter how often I’ve called, they never show up. Over the years it’s gotten much worse. Nobody expects them to show up if they’ve lived up here for awhile.
Perhaps one of the reasons why ranchers like to keep their guns…