It was very hot and dry in Alexander Valley yesterday. I spent my afternoon standing in the shade of an oak grove on the family ranch, painting one of the oak trees that survived last years fires. The threat of fire was everywhere, still. Ash scars and burned out stumps are in the foreground. Smoke from the glass fire currently raging over the hill near Mt. Saint Helena drifted into the Valley and filled the landscape with an ominous warm haze. Once again it is a tinder box.