As I drove to school one morning last week, I noticed a field on fire. Fortunately, I had left home early that morning and I had time to drive by and take a look. I wasn't sure what exactly was happening, but I did take some photos. The smoke, by then, had drifted over by my school and it was in my hair since I drove through it. UGH! We could all see the smoke and smell it all day. It turns out that, due to the extremely low temps the night before, the growers had placed bales of hay next to the fields of potatoes and had lit them, hoping that this would prevent their crops from freezing. It was 17 degrees for two nights down in Thermal. That's a new record. Unfortunately, their crops were lost, along with crops of peppers. That's the chance that growers take and since then, we've had no more frosts. Nature Notes for February 9, 2011.