I’m a tree watcher. I can’t help it. When change is in the air, I head to the mountains.

Those are the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico, and that’s a wildfire off in the distance. It’s been burning for several weeks now, it was started by lightning. There are no structures being threatened, so they’re just letting it burn. One fire does the work of a thousand men.

Wildfires enthrall me. So scary, so beautiful. They occur naturally in nature, and the forest depends on them for its health. If you think of a forest as a giant garden, all the shrubs and ground covers are weeds, stealing precious resources from the trees. A fire can come along and clean that right up for the trees.

Now that more and more people are building homes in the mountains, wildfires have to be controlled. No one wants to see a home go up in flames. There are lots and lots of people who work to protect homes from wildfires, but the responsibility lies with the homeowner. It’s up to them to reduce their risks, clearing out debris, spacing out trees, having a semi-circle driveway so fire trucks have a clear way out if the fire is out of control (believe me, if those firefighters can’t get safely to a house, they will pass it by and work to save the house where the homeowner did do the work – they will not jeopardize lives for a house).

Anyway. This is a houseplant blog usually. Hey, look! A bunch of pretty pictures!

Red mountains, red dirt, red grasshoppers. Can you see him?

Leaving behind the red rocks and the Cottonwood trees, the higher elevations of the Jemez Mountains have Ponderosa Pines and Aspen.

I can’t think of a better place to rejuvenate the soul.