Brown, very brown. Usually this time of year the hills and mountains have at least a dusting of snow...but this!? Reno had a really bad fire in Mid-December due to the lack of rain and high winds. A cold front with some rain came in and helped contain the fire. Dozens of homes were lost. The fire was on the hills behind the down town area. If you look closely you can see some really black/dark hills on the extreme right where the fire went through. Also, a fire went through the Peavine area not too long ago. You can see the burn on the lower left part of the photo.
Thursday, my hiking pal Sandi and I, meandered up the Peavine Mountains. We didn't make all the way to the microwave towers, but got pretty close. The day was a perfect day for hiking...temps in the low 60's with very little wind, and very clear blue skies, except for a "pancake" cloud here and there. Actually, they are called lenticular clouds and are unique to the Eastern Sierras, although I have seen them other places. Usually these clouds appear in the Spring when the upper atmosphere is really windy. I've hiked in this area in the winter time, the only difference is that usually at this time of year you need snowshoes!
With weather this nice (albeit a little cooler in Portola) I'll probably stick around...at least until it gets really, really, cold .