One summer day in the year 2008, Coyote was dreaming in a hole, underneath an oak tree on San Bruno Mountain’s Owl Canyon.  Flames came roarin’ up through the cherries.  The fire jumped from oak to manzanita, hopped onto fescue, and snuggled with lotus.  Coyote said, “My prized cave!”

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Coyote slid in by some crystals, next to horsetails and ferns, and waited for the fire to pass.

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Canyons of dense green leaves turned into black earth.

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It all went up in smoke.

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After the fire cooled, Coyote followed old trails and ate a few broiled snakes.

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The blackened earth went green soon after the first rains of the fall.

Three years passed.  Blue blossom seeds buried deep in the shade made dense thickets.

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Cramp ball fungus ate dead oak trees.

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Yerba Santa, who hadn’t been seen around these parts in many years,  bathed happily in the sun.

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Fat and ancient black heads of fescues sprouted tender thin leaves.

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Panther’s amanita bulged under the oak trees.

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Coyote smiled at fire’s footprints and remains.  What is Fire?  Fire is mother earth’s gardener.  She rakes clean the leaves.  She prunes the trees and shrubs.  She fertilizes the earth with carbon and phosphorous.  Fire scars dormant seeds and bathes the land with light.  Shady woods open their canopies.  Old trees turn into a fungal feast.  The young burst forth in grasslands rich with diversity.

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Tired manzanita branches are burned to the ground.  The new leaves come up from the base.

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California bay is not dead, just renewed.

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Fire is a chrysalis.  Fire is the light of destruction.  Fire is frightening.  Fire is a being of energy.

Coyote came to an overlook, and saw this strange animal.  Crouched in reverent prayer, or perhaps preying on her gophers?!

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What is so funny?!  This is home.

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