Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mother Nature Reclaiming What is Hers

Several weeks ago, we had terrible wildfires rush through several areas of Southern California. Today, with the heavy rains we've had, I would suspect that all of these fires are completely contained. I drove through the Santa Ana Canyon, where the Freeway Complex fire was, via Hwy 91 this morning and got a first hand look at the devastation. For homeowners it must have been horrifying. I could see burned spots that stopped right at back yards. Now it's Mother Nature's turn to reclaim that land. Some won't be reclaimed because of human habitation, but areas will slowly turn green again. The Earth will heal itself.

Last Saturday, I found some geocaches along a stretch of road that had been abandoned, due to flooding. The road had recently been realigned around a narrow spot in this canyon, bypassing this particular part of the road. Nature has a way of taking back what is rightfully hers, and it was rather evident at this spot. Bushes and shrubs were encroaching on the road.

Several years ago, we'd had an El NiƱo year, which means lots of rain. There was plenty of evidence of that, because there were several places where the road was almost washed out completely. Eventually, this area will be reclaimed by nature and the barriers that are there now to prevent cars from driving on an unsafe road will be removed. But for now, it's a work in progress.

As we hiked through this canyon, I was struck by how powerful nature (water, wind, fire) really is. In an instant, a landscape is changed by fire or flood or possibly a landslide. It may take years to hide these "blemishes" as we might call them, but are they really blemishes at all? Probably not. While doing an earthcache in the same area, we were asked to look and find other areas where we could see evidence of landslides along the hillside. I stopped counting after noticing half a dozen. Had we not done the earthcache, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about what I was looking at, yet here was evidence of massive change, that was hardly noticed by most people, because, once again, the Earth had healed itself.

It gives me hope for the future. No matter what we end up doing with ourselves, the Earth will probably survive, rebuild and start anew. A new species will now possibly grab the top spot among the sentient beings on the Earth. But, the Earth, will heal. In fact, it's trying to heal right now. Sometimes, I think we just need to step aside and let the master work.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Reclaimed by Water - by Yosemite John and Debbie
St. Francis Cache - by Tom and Tommy
In the Shadow of St. Francis Dam - by Yosemite John and Debbie

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