Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How green was my valley?

This is how green my valley was in March, after we finally got a few drops of rain:

When we moved in here, this view was one of the big selling points of the house. Over 100 acres of dryland hay fields plus 80 acres of chaparral, stretching from below our house to Hwy 94 in the distance.

Even in drier times, the view is magnificent.

The dogs love walking through the fields, and some locals ride their horses there. I've watched our local coyote family hunting through the fields; Mom, Dad and last year's kids were out there yesterday, having a group howl-in at 6:30 AM before going off hunting (presumably this year's pups are in a den out there, somewhere...)

But this is all about to change. Of course. In our hectic, crowded, acquisitive society, there is no room for hayfields that, with our unending years of drought, don't even produce a good crop most years.

Plans for a new development were submitted to the county last month. They are going to call it "Peaceful Valley Ranch." 50 lots on that 180 acres, 2-7 acres each, for "estate homes." A polo field, an equestrian center, a new fire station, a sop of a few acres in biological mitigation, including the trees along the seasonal stream where the great horned owls nest.

Construction will probably begin 2 years from now. The plans state that their first act will be to grade the whole project; an endeavor that will take 180 days and involve moving 300,000 tons of dirt.

Somehow, I don't think this will be peaceful. And I am sure that the coyotes agree.

Who's gonna save the farmland
from the subdivision man?
Indigo Girls- They Won't Have Me"

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