Recently we had some rain on the trails, albeit somewhat light. But it was enough to completely settle the dust and create small pools where the water could not sink into the ground (see picture).
It is welcome, indeed, as the fire danger has been off the charts as we enter the end of summer and the beginning of fall. According to Cal Fire, 2015 is the worst fire season they have ever seen. So…yeah. Rain is what we like to see right now.
Unfortunately, there is no more rain visible in our forseeable future, so we will need to hang in there for a while longer before we are completely out of the woods regarding fire. These conditions makes it even more important to not smoke on the trails, as all it would take is a spark or tossed cigarette to start a Valley-wide firestorm.
Rain on the Overlook and Montini properties provides a number of benefits for both plant and animal life. Many of the benefits to plants and animals seem obvious, but others are not so obvious. One benefit to animal life is that during particularly hard downpours the human traffic on the trails lessens substantially. Although I never let rain keep me away from my almost daily trail perambulations, it does keep others away. I find that I see a lot more wildlife on rainy days than on clear ones.
If you want to see wildlife in the rain, just buy some waterproof walking shoes, some rain pants, and a waterproof jacket with a hood. I add a cap to keep the rain off my glasses and I’m good to go. Sure, I often still come back wet — probably more from sweat than rain, but hiking in the rain is more fun than you might imagine if you haven’t done it. I highly recommend it.