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Thursday, July 06, 2006

California Earthquake riddle solved!

I am privileged to be married to a very astute wife, an artist who observes more than she should. Very little escapes her keen insight. I can hardly get out of the house with a dirt spot on a lower leg of my pants and she will say, "Are you really going to wear that?" (Which, I've figured out painfully is not really a question but a statement).
Anyway, where we live in California, earthquakes are reported to have occurred in the past, and somewhat recent past. Earth has moved and houses have shifted. But Martha declared to me tonight on a walk that she does not think all that motion has to do with shifting tectonic plates. Rather, she observed, it's gophers. Our entire hillside is thick with gophers. they tunnel under patios and driveways, through gardens, lawns and football fields. The Santa Barbara News Press has written several articles about the lengths to which sport field groundkeepers will go to protect fields and athletes, a number of whom have been seriously injured by running into gopher holes and snapping ankles.
Recently Martha has had crushed granite applied to our front garden path. This is tough stuff in dry weather. When compacted with a power roller and rained on and dried out a few times, it has the consistency of concrete. Yes, a gopher ate through a crushed granite path. Martha applied her deductive logic to our local scene and concluded that earthquakes are really the result of too many underground gopher tunnels that reach a critical level of instability....and collapse.
Makes sense to me.

1 Comments:

At 9:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting site. Useful information. Bookmarked.
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