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!