We are now in February and yet I am gazing through the window at a particularly beautiful sunny day. For the most part, it seems as though I am not the only one who has enjoyed this sunny turn of events. I have seen most of Ashland’s community relishing the unusual warmth hiking, biking, or just strolling through downtown with their afternoon coffee. And while the general tone around town is one of enjoyment, I have met a lot of disappointed skiers this year. The truth is, I am new to Ashland’s winter season, and have been welcoming these sunny days without understanding the implications of this near-rainless winter. I forget how much hotter and dryer the Ashland summers are and how we depend on a winter rainy season to temper the risk of fires. While California’s governor has declared California’s drought a state of emergency, the entire state of Oregon as well as 97 percent of Nevada is considered to be in a state of drought as well. Let’s hope for a rainy February to change the course of this dry-spell!