Electricity is expected to be turned off again tomorrow. The weather is predicted to be too warm, windy and arid (with minimal humidity) to leave it on. Otherwise, sparks from electrical cables out in forested areas could potentially start catastrophic fires. Although unlikely, it is more likely during such weather.

Hopefully, fires will not be started by candles, oil lamps, barbecues, or any of what will compensate for the lack of electricity. One of the worst fires in history here was incidentally started by sparks from a generator.

Trees are regularly and efficiently pruned for clearance from electrical cables. That does not fix everything though. Utility cables can spark even without trees blowing into them. Many trees in many areas are much higher than the utility cables, so can drop limbs onto them.

1. These are the regions of Northern California where electricity will be turned off.

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2. This is a close up of our region, between San Jose and Santa Cruz. At the moment, I am near the first ‘t’ in Scott’s Valley.

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3. I am not as concerned about the garden in this weather as I am about this freezer without electricity. I would not use a freezer, but this one if for Felton League. I would not normally freeze bread either, but there happened to be space at the time, and it was better than discarding it.P91026++

4. Although this thermometer supposedly got to a hundred today after I got this picture, it was really not much more than ninety degrees. This thermometer is just in a hot spot. According to the weather forecast, it should be only in the mid seventies tomorrow. Obviously, the predicted fire risk is determined by a combination of heat, humidity and wind.P91026+++

5. There was a bit of horticulture to mention too. These are seeds of naked lady amaryllis. They certainly are weird, like mutant salmon eggs, or pink pomegranate seeds. They are supposed to be sown while still pink and fleshy like this, rather than dried. It just seems wrong.P91026++++

6. There were a few amaryllis bulbs in a group that made these unusually big seed capsules. I should have put something else in the picture to show scale. The largest is about as big as a ping pong ball. I suspect that they are the same as the others, but I will sow them separately anyway. Although unlikely, neighborhood crinum could have gotten in the mix.P91026+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

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31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: More Outages

    1. Yes, they are weird. They get even weirder as they germinate on the surface of the soil. Their roots extend into the soil, and as they expand and contract with fluctuations of moisture, they pull the germinating seed into the soil. It still seems wrong to just drop them on the surface of the soil. I still cover them with a slight bit of compost or foliar debris, just so birds and rodents do not take them.

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  1. What warm temperatures you have at this time of the year when we are starting with frosts and dingy weather. These fires must be terrifying. I love the anaryllis seeds, what fun I could have with them.

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    1. The fires can be terrifying, but they are also something we must accept for living here.
      Would you like me to send you a few of these amaryllis seed? I do not really need them. I am only sowing them because I do not want to waste them.

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    1. The situation is unfortunately worse that it was years ago. There are SO many people living here, with SO many electrical cables all over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Because the forest no longer burns, it gets progressively more combustible, so when a fire starts, it is much more catastrophic and difficult to contain. Treehuggers want all the combustible vegetation to be protected, even though it is proliferating unnaturally, and is unnaturally combustible. I could go on, but I try to stay polite.

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  2. I have other friends in the highlighted zones. I hope the weather’s kind to all of you. I was surprised as could be by those seeds. I would have expected them to be like our rain lily seeds — black, and shiny, and dry.

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    1. Except for the smoke, the weather is great. The redwoods are a bit messy in the war and dry breeze, but that is one of the consequences of living here. It does not seem to be very warm right now.
      Amaryllis seed really are odd. People just toss them out this time of year, or just before the rain, where they want a few more. I intend to put a slight bit of foliar debris or compost over mine, just to make it more difficult for the birds or rodents to take them.

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  3. Such a controversial issue — turning off power seems like a simple solution to some of the worst fires we’ve had — but how do you fight fires when water pumps and relay pumping stations are without power? How do you warn people of impending danger without power to broadcast? How do you communicate impending disaster to others without power to keep phones, radios, etc. powered up? And how do you reliably predict the winds — one of the current fires may have been triggered by a power line failure right next to those lines that were turned off. What a dilemma! Thanks for the maps — those are the best I’ve seen. I had no idea how extensive the outages are!

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    1. In our region, I am concerned about fires caused by candles, oil lamp, barbecues and generators. The majority of people who live here now, are so reliant on electricity, but do not know how to safely compensate for a lack of it.

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      1. Good point! I have LED flashlights positioned through my home, so at least I’d have a little light — but until recently the solution was candles. The situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better today — do stay safe!

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      2. I just got electricity in June, and had formerly relied on kerosene. I do not like other people using it though, just because they are not familiar with it. I am using one of the old lamps now, and found some lanterns for outside. The lanterns were used as mere ‘decoration’ for outdoor events here last year, and were subsequently put in storage. The kids who worked there never used them because they could not figure out where to put the batteries. One of the more experienced kids knew that the lanterns needed to be ignited, but did not know that they required fuel.

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      3. Hahaha — the things we don’t know from our parents’ past! I’m glad the lamps were in storage rather than burning dry wicks — but I like the idea of a kerosene lamp powered by batteries! Hang onto them, though — they do make good decoration!

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  4. My sweetheart and I are intrigued by your naked lady Amaryllis seeds. He has some Lycoris squamigera that are in the same family as yours (which are presumably Amaryllis belladonna) and are also called naked ladies in Mississippi. Most people say his type do not spread from seed but they do appear to, even though we have never noticed the seeds. They flowered late this year as it was very dry for a spell. We are wondering if the seeds will be similar.

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    1. They are Amaryllis belladonna. Would you like me to send a few? I am only sowing them because I did not want them sowing themselves where there are already too many, and I did not want to just discard them . . . by tossing them onto a debris pile where they might get farther into the forest. They are politely naturalized here. Lycoris is uncommon. I know that neighbors grow crinum, but have not seen them growing wild, unless of course, the one weird naked lady is some fort of hybrid. (Now that the pods split open and I can see the seed, I suspect they are the same as the rest.)

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      1. Sorry I’m so late replying to your offer. We’ve been travelling and I’m just catching up. Neither my sweetheart or I can offer a good home for some seeds but it was fascinating to see them. I appreciate your kindness. I will correct my mistake about the bamboo and am grateful for your help with that too.

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    1. I just got electricity a few months ago, so I would not miss it much if only the stove did not need it. Electricity has become so reliable over the years. The complaints about the outages sort of annoy me, as if we should blame our reliance on the electricity on those who provide it.

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