Tag Archives: smoke

Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

Generally, I look out my window at this refreshing scene. The air is clean even if it is a bit cloudy.

This morning, I took that same outlook and zoomed in for a closer look. It didn’t help make things any clearer.  There are no clouds in the sky. That would be too good as it might mean rain.


Here is another scene (to the right of the first photo) from some time ago when the air was clean in spite of the cloud cover.

The same view but harder to see.


And no wonder we can’t see much. So much smoke in the air from wildfires easily obscures the sun. This photo of the rising sun was taken early this morning.  Wildfires burning on the island are less than  100 miles away, and the smoke is drifting into our valley and hanging there.

My eyes are dry, it hurts to blink,

The smoke’s not good to breathe, I think.

My throat is scratchy, as I croak,

My vocal chords are full of smoke.

The Captain calls and asks, “What’s wrong?”

I tell him that the smoke is strong

From fires burning all around,

And ask, when are you homeward bound?

He’ll be home soon, he starts to say,

But then the sat phone cuts away.

We’ll talk again another time,

He doesn’t need to hear me whine.

And when he gets here he will sigh,

For misty isles of Haida Gwaii.

No smoke or drought does plague them there

The constant gales will clear the air.




It was a sunny day

Think RED. Now imagine this full moon as red as the ring around it. That’s how it really looked. The smoke in the air gave the moon the colour of blood. I’m sorry my camera doesn’t show how red it was.

I thought it was interesting that the end of a tree branch is silhouetted against the moon’s face.


The moon.

The next day, as Paul Simon said …

It was a sunny day,

Not a cloud was in the sky.

Not a negative word was heard,

From the people passing by.

Not clouds made of water anyway. It would have been a bluebird sky if it wasn’t for the smoke. The sun was so red last evening that I thought I was looking at the red planet in a science fiction movie. It was eeeeeeeerie! Again, the photo doesn’t show the true colour I saw. Like the moon the night before, the sun was blood red. Today it’s more of the same. Smoke fills the skies.

We have natural disasters all over the world. Wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. These are all extremely hard to deal with. What I don’t understand is why we need to add man-made disasters (terrorism, political power struggles, crime, and war) to the mix.


The sun.

I just had a note from WordPress letting me know this was my 500th post. My first reaction was, “Wow! Isn’t that great?” but then I thought, “Uh-oh! Am I talking too much?” 😉

Smoke gets in your eyes

It’s hard to see the neighbours’ trees clearly. Smoke from the forest fires was still thick yesterday, but today it seems to have lifted somewhat, even though the fires are still not contained. I guess the wind changed and the smoke is drifting around higher in the atmosphere. 005

Before I got Bulldog’s advice about how to set the camera to get the redness of the sun to show up, I had already taken this photo. The fennel plant insisted on getting in on the action. This picture was taken yesterday around 4 p.m. and the smoke was still thick at that time. That should be blue sky in the background, but the blue part was completely obscured.027aStill praying for rain! Tons of it.  It doesn’t mean I won’t complain about too much rain this winter.

Mute Molly

In time for Mother’s Day, I wanted to re-blog this post I did about three years ago, but with a newly found very old photo of my mother and the family cat, Molly. This would have been taken about forty years ago, so I don’t need to say any more about the quality of the photo. It’s what’s in the photo that counts. My mother loved animals and was kind to them all. I still shudder to think how she swept spiders up carefully on a dustpan and put them outside to continue their lives out there where they belonged. It only makes sense that she would have her picture taken holding her cat, standing under her favourite pear tree, beside the tulips, daffodils, and primroses she planted.img678She loved her pets, her flowers, her garden, her children. She was a great cook and baker and a loving mother. Molly was the family cat but she really was my mother’s cat. Rescued when she was little, Molly paid back our family with loyalty and love. My mother died in 1982 and Molly left this world before her, but neither will ever be forgotten.  If my mother were alive she would love to hear me retell stories of her beloved cat.

Let me tell you a bit about Molly.

We know that most animals communicate with each other and with people. Domesticated animals such as cats and dogs are especially good at making their wishes known. They’ve had thousands of years of practice. Dogs bark; cats meow. But what of those animals whose voices are weak or even  gone? How do they manage to communicate?

Molly had a lot of character, but she was almost voiceless. Her meow was barely a cat whisper. She may have been mute, but she was certainly not deaf, and she demonstrated a love of music. When we made music in our house, Molly always appeared on the scene. She liked to put her paws on the piano and add her “voice” to the harmony, and when my sister played the recorder, Molly rubbed her neck on the instrument.

“Look at her,” I said, laughing. “She’s writhing around like a cobra coming out of a snake charmer’s basket.” When we played tuneless scales for her benefit, it seemed to drive the cat crazy. “You’d better stop,” I told my sister. “You don’t know what you might be saying in cat-speak…although she does seem to like it.”

If Molly needed to go outside, she ran to the front door and waited. Usually someone noticed her.  If not, she ran across the piano keyboard, making plenty of noise, and then jumped down to wait by the door.

“Allegro and forte. Sounds like she’s in a hurry this time,” I said.

My parents’ bedroom was off limits to Molly and she knew it. My father didn’t like animals and barely tolerated the cat. Even when the bedroom door was open, Molly never ventured inside.  But one night, after the family went to bed, Molly pounced on my parents’ bed and immediately jumped down again. Jolted from her sleep, my mother shooed her out. When no one got out of bed, Molly repeated her pounce. The moment my mother got up, Molly ran into the living room. A thick cloud of smoke had filled the room.

“Fire!” my mother yelled. Hearing the shout, my father scrambled out of bed. They stared at the smoke billowing out of the fireplace.

“No. There’s no fire, but the damper’s closed!” my father said, his voice in panic mode. He flipped the lever to open the damper while my mother flung open doors and windows.

This time it was an easy fix, but my parents were shaken up to think that the whole family might have died of smoke inhalation.

“Thank God for  Molly,” my mother said. “She can’t talk, but she sure can communicate.”

My mother gave Molly a bit of left over chicken as a special thank you and we all took turns cuddling our resourceful hero.