Tonight's post is a little muddled. I'm pretty tired since I didn't get much sleep last night. The sleep I did get was hard but way too short.
Yesterday and today I got to go hiking (or working, depending on your perspective) in 100 degree heat wearing two layers of clothes! It would have been much more pleasant in shorts and a t-shirt. But that was not to be. I did have the opportunity to use my new pocket knife. I sharpened my pencil. You may not think that's such a big deal but I don't like mechanical pencils and it's a pain to try to sharpen a real pencil if you don't have a pencil sharpener or a knife. Fortunately for me I had my new knife.
During the summer months many fires are started by lightning strikes, especially during dry lightning storms. Fortunately yesterdays storm did bring some rain so there weren't too many fires that started. In the adjacent county they figured there were about 50 strikes and several fires started because of it. No houses or outbuildings were burned up. I did get to talk to one landowner and he said that he doesn't live up in the hills during the week, just on the weekends. He was lucky that we was up there yesterday because a strike started a fire right next to his house. He was able to use his garden hose and direct the fire away from the house. It burned about 10 acres of brush and grass but the house and outbuildings were safe.
I was on one property that had its own runway! The landowner is a corporation but it may also be an individual family. They owned thousands of acres. You could hike on top of a hill and look around and not see any other houses for as far as you could see. It was an amazing view. They had their own gas tanks, solar panels, a huge house, and of course the runway. What I didn't see were fruit trees or a garden. Even if they didn't put in a garden I was expecting to see an area with apples growing at minimum. I guess if it was today they'd just fly somewhere else.
If you are out in the woods or near old ranches you almost always see apple trees. Some can be over 100 years old. They weren't using the apples to make apple sauce or apple juice (ok, perhaps some if they had kids). It wasn't because Johnny Appleseed was planting seeds. No, it's because apples were able to be used to make cider vinegar and also hard cider. Most homesteads made both.
For people who live in the hills or mountains, how safe is your house from a fire? Around here you are supposed to have nonflammable landscape from the house out 30 feet and the brush trimmed from 30 feet out to 100 feet. I know how my bug-out house would fair. It would be toast. It has dead vegetation all the way up to the foundation and probably under the house too! I'm surprised that I haven't gotten a warning from the local fire department. I was asking about the rules and was told that since it is dead grass, instead of the 30 foot rule they may allow a scratch line completely denuded of vegetation if it goes all around the house. The line would have to be twice the width of the dead vegetation. That is something that we can do.
No matter where you live you should be prepared for disaster. What if there's a fire? Is all your stuff in your house? I moved the trailer at my house because I realized if my house caught fire the trailer, which could be our backup for living (and has bedding, clothes, shoes, toys, etc.), would catch on fire just because it was so close to the house. So much for the backup.