We’ve had week after week of blue skies and warm air; which in the green/grey Pacific Northwest begins to feel oppressive, you can almost hear the plants, great and small, whimpering for water. After a while every morning‘s news told of new forest fires marching up one tinder-dry mountain or another. Which lent visual drama to the July 4th weekend but I have to admit soured the Cottage-Life ambience.

The fires turned from up-country news story to local color; extremely local and very colorful. Here’s the night before and the July-4th morning.

Howe Sound, some smoke at sunset
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Howe Sound, fire morning

A variation of the next shot was picked up by multiple media including the CBC and ABC; did anyone reading this see it on any ABC outlets?

Smoky morning over Howe Sound

There was a layer of ash that morning on our deck and outdoor table and everything really, and now I have a speck in the top right corner of my Fujifilm X-T1 pictures, probably because I changed lenses while ash fell. The smell of smoke was intense and exotic and constant.

The kids went swimming anyhow under the red-grey sky but I have to admit I felt uneasy about the whole thing; not least because we were sitting among tinder-dry trees. So we packed up and came home a little earlier than necessary. I was sort of hoping that we wouldn’t find Vancouver become Bellona, scorpion packs roaming ruined streets under a writhing red sky. (Pardon the sci-fi cult-classic reference).

The city was a little less smoky but the sun was still in an extremely filtered condition; here it peeks redly through a neighbor’s tree.

Smoke-reddened sun peeks through leaves

We returned this last weekend and not only was the sky a reassuring grey but there was actual rain — not enough, not nearly enough, but still we welcomed it.

Look at the leaves rejoicing. That wood is wet, as driftwood on Pacific Northwest beaches is supposed to be.

Wet leaves and driftwood

Don’t believe me that the wood was wet? Here’s a wet dock and a wet float and a wet boat and the ocean, which is the color it should often be up round here, but hasn’t been.

Wet woad, wet boat

OK, but now it’s a bright Monday again, and the meteorologists looking forward see only fleeting chances of showers. I fear for the trees.


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July 12, 2015
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