Flower Friday : : Magnolia

Full confession...I walked past this tree today to see if I could get another shot of the exquisite blossoms but they were  severely damaged by yesterday's torrential rain and wind. I took a few shots of the survivors in our garden, but decided to bend the rules and use this one.

Fountaingrove, one of the two developments that was hard hit by fire has sparked quite a bit of discussion because of its location on a hill in an area that had a fire with almost the same footprint in 1964. Here is a link to the discussions that went on following the Tubbs fire in October if you are interested. We lived through almost the same situation in the Berkeley Hills firestorm in 1991. How can a city refuse to let people rebuild houses which they bought in good faith, even if they knew that the access was very limited and that there were very few escape routes?

In October 1,300  homes in Fountaingrove burned down. The soil was found to be contaminated with arsenic (although OilMan says arsenic is naturally occurring), and the water has now been found to be contaminated with dioxin, a carcinogen released by PVC pipes which melted in the fire. An article in the paper this morning revealed that it will cost $40 million to replace the water system. The most seriously damaged pipes were the 'service pipes'...the ones running from the street to the meter... installed by the builders. Who pays for this?

Our friends built a home in the Fountaingrove area. Fortunately they sold it about five years ago. Unfortunately, they didn't move very far, and the house they moved to burned to the ground as did the Fountaingrove one...They have decided to rebuild, but they are 60th on the builder's waiting list.

Every day I am grateful that we were relatively unaffected by the fires, for we also live very close to the hills. But every day I am also made aware by a gust of wind or the sound of a helicopter overhead, an encounter with a friend not as lucky as me, that there are no guarantees...

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