"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Monday, September 9, 2013

Another Day in Paradise

The heat and smoke came back. We had a few days without both and then again they've returned... like Siamese twins.
Yesterday morning the sun struggled to find its reflection on our deck.
This orange light caught my eye, from the living room, as I sat drinking my coffee.

I took my camera outside and, breathing as little as possible, took a few photos of the hills toward the river.
This is what the news/weather people called particulates in the air. "Fine particles," such as those found in smoke and haze, are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires,"
It's all about AQI.
The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The index runs from 0 to 500.
 We've been at Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101 to 150) for quite a few days this month - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
That's me. I'm the older adult with breathing problems so.... I'm spending a lot of time indoors. Agaaaa!

But the sun and the smoke makes for pretty pictures.

It's also going to be over 100 degrees today... again... for the third day in a row. I've never appreciated our air-conditioning as much before this summer.
Everything is dead leaf dry unless it's watered every morning. We have let the rest go outside the main garden. The tomatoes have stopped producing or getting red. Time for fried, green tomatoes.
We heard a scream last night... a terrifying scream, below the old goat house. Some animal lost it's life to one of our unseen predators. A baby deer, a fox... we never know. We can only listen... and check to see where Annie cat is. We called her and she didn't come... at first. Finally she came running to the garage, glad to come into her safe place for the night. She was nervous and looking behind her as she hurried toward the garage.

The Rim fire (near Yosemite) is still at 80% contained and now there is a new fire on Mt. Diablo , east of San Francisco and the Oakland hills. More smoke on the prevailing winds.
This summer the west has had 49 large fires burning in 11 western states. We don't have to worry about terrorism from outside sources... we may just crash and burn all by ourselves. A campfire here, a thrown cigarette there, a crazy person that starts fires just to watch them burn.
We are "at risk" with our own people and their carelessness.
Rant, rant, rant... mumble, mumble, mumble...
I'm so over summer.




6 comments:

Brian Miller said...

whew...we are getting that heat tomorrow...though not the smoke luckily...nice grape arbor...we have one as well...

Tombstone Livestock said...

This smoke is all over the southern part of San Joaquin Valley and the northern part as well, miserable here today, all 5 adjoining counties here are listed as unhealthy air quality.

I so ready for this summer to be over too.

Tina Dawn said...

The weekend was very bad here, but yesterday was a bit better, although still hot, and El Dorado County has been the same with the cautions, I am in the "heart" category. I pray they finally get that fire out and your beautiful view can return to normal, pretty pictures or no. Love T

Madeline's Album said...

So sorry you are having to stay indoors because of the smoke from the fires. Hope they get them contained real soon. I love your photos. Have a blessed day and stay safe. Madeline

Debora said...

I hate it that you are plagued by fires in the summer. We once went camping in Eastern Washington which is very arid and dry during a time that a fire was raging. I didn't want to go anywhere because of the choking ash-filled air. Can't imagine how the animals feel...

Suz said...

all this makes me think of the goats
I hear it in your writing