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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If anything, itís getting worse. The sky was darker than it was yesterday, the stench of smoke was heavier in the air, and it really does feel as if the walls are closing in. I think these would be really pleasant summer days, if not for the effects of over a hundred fires burning in Mendocino County, and more in Lake and Napa Counties, and a few right here in Sonoma County.

There are evacuations taking place in the areas directly affected, but people are being advised to stay away from some places, and to stay indoors. Which isnít hard to do, when going outdoors makes you choke and your eyes burn and your throat hurt.

Although I sympathize with people who are living closer to the fire zone, I still donít feel that Iím in any danger. There are evacuation centers (for both people and animals), but Iím far from that kind of situation. Still, there do seem to be fewer birds around, and itís not just because I havenít filled the feeder since Sunday (although thatís definitely a factor).

20 June 2008

Afternoon cloud patrol, in happier times.

Because the sunlight is diffused through the smoke, there are no shadows anywhere outside, all day long. That makes the whole day seem the same, with this hideous glare and no changes in the patterns on the ground. You wouldnít think that would mean much, but the sameness is just as unpleasantly harsh as the dimness itself. Maybe thatís one of the reasons winter always seems so bleak. No shadows.

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