Tuesday, September 15, 2020

How Things Look...

... from a satellite view. 

I annotated this photo with an arrow to show where we are in relation to the smoky coast and the surrounding fires. On Monday we actually had some sunshine, although the air was still an unhealthy mess. We went for a walk for the first time since last Wednesday morning when the skies were dark red all day. It felt so good to get out of the house. I wore two masks, one to protect me from Covid and one to protect me from all the smoke. I figured that the double protection would make me feel less crazy about being out there. We'll see how that works out. The news reports are saying that we may get rain some time later in the week which may clear up the air here. We're hoping. Not much in the way of photographic opportunities, but believe me, it's been gray in every direction for as far as the eyes can see. Dark enough to make us turn on the lights during the day. If you've ever wondered what a dystopian future looks like, wonder no more... it's happening right here right now. 

Before  I publish this post I'll share this story with you. I mentioned last week that old friends of Roger's lost their home in one of the fires in the mountains north east of us. We heard the details of it the other day. The wife got out and traveled the back roads into Oregon while her husband stayed to quickly gather things before he fled. The house caught on fire and was incinerated in 15 minutes. He wisely got out fast enough and drove his car into an open green meadow on their property and kept the engine and air conditioning running. He was there for three hours. He was rescued by his two sons-in-law, both forest service workers, who made their way to him. He suffered some burns but survived. The fire he was in is the one that is burning on the California/Oregon border. Just one of the millions of acres burning in our western states.



38 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you, I wondered how you were getting on with all what is happening there. I see the clown is in denial, he is now a Climate arsonist I think arse would be more like it. If they threw him on the fires he would only enhance it with all the wind in him fanning the flames. I hope you both survive all that is going on around you nobody deserves what is happening in loosing their homes like that. Take Care

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    1. Billy-- Yes, the clown is in denial. As if the fires and the virus aren't enough to drive us crazy, we have climate arsonist clown in the White House. We're okay here. Thank you for thinking of us.

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  2. OMG that sounds terrifying Robin. I don't know how the California fires compare to the ones we had on the East coast in late 2019 but there were similar stories. I can't see how any sort of fuel reduction or 'forest management' (Trump's comment) would make any difference. People in Oz want to clear and do hazard reduction burns everywhere but in a wildfire - it's not going to make one bit of difference. Last year the fire front was kilometers ahead of the main fire.

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    1. Dr Michelle-- This is really all about climate change and over-population. The idiots will spout off any excuse that relieves them of their responsibilities and keeps them rich.

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  3. It's only coincidence, right, that the color of the apocalypse is orange?

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  4. That sounds terrible. The story of Roger's friends makes the tragedy even more immediate. So glad to hear they got out of there relatively unscathed. Take care.

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    1. John-- It's been a challenging time, but as I type this we have the sun. We went out for our morning walk. We felt almost normal. We're waiting to see if the winds shift and if the air will get worse.

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  5. Luckily you have significant and material support from your country's selfless leader. Mais je plaisante.

    I wondered whether California's burdens - too little water, too much fire - were direct punishment for the way the state voted in the 2016 election. After all it's not so much that he thinks he has God's support, he's obviously trying to replace God.

    My profound sympathy. When I visited in 1971 on a dream job to finalise a book MS (Great accommodation on El Camino Real, wife travelled with me expenses paid, free car rental, afternoons work-free) I said at the time that San Francisco (and, by implication, the whole state) was the only place in the world I knew of that lived up to its pre-visit hype. Perhaps I too am being punished.

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    1. Roderick-- Oh yes, we are so lucky to have our selfless leader. He truly does not like our beautiful west coast. None of the states here bowed in fealty to his power.
      I love how you describe visiting San Francisco. Yes!

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  6. So glad you got out to move around a bit. Your friend's story is harrowing, but somewhat good news. I'm so sorry that these fires are in so many places, impacting so many people, trees and animals. Stay safe has two meanings in your area these days.

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    1. Barbara- When I think about the wildlife that is impacted by all of this it breaks my heart. These are harrowing times.

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  7. The story of the survival of Roger's old friends confirms again that we are all in the trenches now with little or no defense against fire and smoke. When I had to go outside, I wore two masks, too. We do what we can.

    I just remembered the hummingbird story:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naj6zZakgEg

    Holy Earth
    How can we heal you?
    We cover you like a blight
    Strange birds of appetite
    (Lyrics from "If I Had A Heart," Joni Mitchell)

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    1. am-- Yes, the two-mask solution to our problems these days.
      I don't know how you do it, am, but you picked my favorite Joni Mitchell song. That song goes straight to my heart, if I had one.

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  8. It look like you are very close to one of the major fires. Keep safe.

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    1. Red-- One of the fires east of us has been burning for almost a month. It's closest one. When the winds change, we get all that smoke, and from the south as well.

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  9. scary. and of course the despicable excuse for a human being is in California blaming California for the wildfires claiming the scientists are wrong about why they are worse because it's going to cool down.

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    1. ellen-- I so wish we had actual thoughtful leadership in the White House. He makes it all so much worse.

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  10. I didn't realize how far north you are. 620 miles south of you, we also had a bit of blue sky. It was lovely. My boy in Portland was not so lucky.

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    1. Linda-- We are pretty far north, only 100 miles from the Oregon border. We used to travel south to Ventura County to see my mom a couple of times a year. It's a long journey. So sorry to read about your son in Portland. The fires have really been so tough on Oregon this year. A true tragedy.

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  11. Good lord, how frightening. It's incredible to think a whole house could go up in 15 minutes. This all seems so apocalyptic. I'm glad you and Roger are safe.

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    1. Steve-- I think their home was an old wooden structure, probably hand built 40 years ago. Yes, definitely apocalyptic. We're safe and okay here.

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  12. I'm so glad to hear your friends are safe, but what a terrifying experience.

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    1. Colette- It really does sound terrifying. I can't even imagine.

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  13. It is horrifying and I am glad you are safe. The frightening events of 2020 just keep coming. Stay safe from COVID and smoke/fire - double masked is a good idea. Take care!

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    1. Ellen D-- 2020 has been an endless barrage of frightening events. Sure would be nice to have things calm down.

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  14. Wow, how frightening for roger's friend. So glad he was OK but how terrible they lost their home. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all that smoke. Please be careful, lungs don't heal.
    Stay safe.

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    1. Patti-- As I type this the air is starting improve. Now it's just moderately bad instead of unhealthy. Things really are improving, and we are so grateful for that.

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  15. Wow. This is all just so devastating. I'm glad you are safe, but I feel such pain for everyone who has hasn't been fortunate. Sometimes I just can't believe I'm watching this all happen.

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    1. Sharon-- As I type this it is a sunny blue sky day. We may get rain later this week. We are so happy and relieved that we can walk outside and breathe this beautiful fresh air!

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  16. How terrifying an experience for your friends. I'm glad they're (relatively) okay though so sorry they lost their home.

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    1. Catalyst-- We're finally having clearer skies here. It's so sad to think some people don't have their homes to go home to anymore..

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  17. Thanks for the update, Robin, and good to know that you are both safe in such a terrifying situation. Friends living in OR were housebound for most of last week. Sorry about Roger's friends losing their home, but not their lives.

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    1. Beatrice-- The air has cleared here. We are so grateful for the good winds. We are finally able to go for walks again. It really is a very sad story about Roger's friends.

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  18. How absolutely terrifying for your friends. I am glad they are safe, now, but oh to have to begin again.

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    1. 37paddington-- It's really very sad. They have a temporary home all set up by their very loving daughters. Now it's just the wait time to see what happens next.

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