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.

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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.

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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?” ūüėČ

Where There’s Smoke….

They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but I’m learning that even where there’s no fire, there’s smoke.

The rising sun glowed red through the smoke haze that drifted in and settled over the lower mainland of British Columbia. Wildfires continue to burn¬†¬†hundreds of miles away, in the BC interior, but the smoke has arrived in Vancouver and also across the water on Vancouver Island. I’ve heard reports of it spreading south past Seattle.

My usual view of the bay and the hills on the farther side is now screened with a smoky veil. I took some pictures of the Comox Glacier today and could barely see it.

First I’d like to show you ¬†photos of the glacier taken quite a long time ago on a normal day, even with a few clouds. Now, below, are today’s photos, taken on a cloudless day, but with smoke drifting through the region from the wildfires.

 

“Where is the glacier?” you may well ask.¬†If you look hard, you will see it there behind the smokescreen.

The air smells like a campfire minus the hot dogs and marshmallows. It’s hard to find a refreshing lungful of clean air. Eyes, nose, mouth, and throat are dry, dry, dry. Add to this the extreme heat and drought, and it is a miserable state of affairs.

Here is the view of the estuary. If it were winter, you might think it’s a normal misty winter day on the coast, but it’s the beginning of August. That sky should be blue, and so should the water. That haze is not mist, but smoke.

Summer is supposed to be a time for camping, tenting, swimming, fishing, barbecuing, and sitting around a campfire at night. The extreme fire hazard puts the idea of summer camping fun in a different light. The simple act of striking a match has the potential to destroy whole communities. Hundreds of little animals (and this year, even many large animals) have died trying in vain to escape the fires.

Please be careful when you are camping or even just out walking. If you are a smoker, please be mindful of what you do with your cigarette butts, or even the ashes that fall from the cigarette. The vegetation is tinder dry.

This past spring when it continued to be wet and cold, I wished for warm, dry weather and I remember saying that when it finally happens we’ll wish for rain. And here we are!

I am now wishing for rain.

Promises and Hope

A few days ago after a fresh snowfall, the rising sun painted a slightly pink glow on the hills. It felt like a promise of good things to come.

Like many parts of North America, we had an extremely dry summer last year, with low water reserves and raging wildfires. A good snowpack on the hills is so important. The snow melts a bit at time over the summer, keeping our lakes and rivers at a healthy level.

The sun peeking through during a break in our usually windy and rainy weather  made me smile and I thought of so many good things in my life.013

Besides the usual, good health and a loving family, here are just a few of the things I am thankful for:

  • meeting wonderful people through¬†my blog
  • people who read my books even if it’s just to be polite
  • people who enjoy my books
  • people who enjoy my books and write nice reviews for them on amazon
  • my two lovely dogs, Ruby and Emma
  • the clean air of the Comox Valley
  • clean, cool water that comes up from my well
  • the clean water of our lakes, rivers and oceans on the BC coast

I have to stop here because I just realized that I could write another whole book about all the things I’m so thankful for.

It has been a great year for interacting with fellow bloggers all over the world and I’m very happy to see your Likes and Comments at the end of my posts. I do try to follow back if I can. I have quite a long list of blogs I follow, and there is only so much time I can spend on getting back to each one, but I try.

This year, cancer robbed the blogging community of¬†a wonderful lady. Barb Beacham entertained us with her short stories and photos on her blog, Life in the Foothills. I’m thankful to have met her through blogging and emails. She sent me some of her hollyhock seeds last year and when I see them growing in my garden I am reminded of her. I miss her dearly.

Dear blogging friends, enjoy every day and let the connections you make enrich your life. It is my great pleasure to have met you. I wish you a fantastic year ahead. May all your good dreams (and none of your nightmares) come true.

Happy New Year to you all!

Scorched Earth

On the way through southern BC a few weeks ago, we managed to avoid a lot of the areas where there had been wildfires this summer. The area between Princeton, BC, and the Okanagan was as lush as ever.

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But as we came to the Okanagan, especially near Osoyoos, BC, we saw signs of the recent wildfires that had raged across the land, fanned by high winds during the summer’s drought. In some cases, homes had barely escaped going up in flames.

Wikipedia gives the following definition of “scorched earth.” A scorched earth policy is a military strategy that involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. In the Okanagan I saw a different, but just as terrible interpretation¬†of “scorched earth.” Imagine whole hillsides aflame and the wind pushing those flames toward your home.

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These were the lucky ones, but it must have been a terrifying time for the residents.

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.