Tag Archives: Life

Smoke: The sequel

Smoke is no exception to the rule that the sequel is always worse. Probably because of the wind direction, the smoke from a new batch of forest fires surrounds us. The smell is the worst yet. The basalt hills are not yet completely screened out, but this time we are surrounded on all sides. It’s thick. Effie of course wants to be out in Effieland. I picked some catnip sprigs for her to eat indoors. She was momentarily compensated but now wishes to be let out again.

It’s going to be kind of a day here. . . .

Effie looks longingly through the window at her beloved Effieland  and I try to combine consolation with my chores. She caught and ate a tiny bug, which brought her transitory happiness.

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Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Health, Home Life, Nature, News, Photos, Rural life, Seasons, Weather

Happy Dissipation Day!

The smoke is finally on the retreat! Clouds are becoming visible against a light-blue sky, and we can more clearly see the contours of the basalt hills of Hells Canyon. The air smells fresh, and I have no worries about Effie spending more time in Effieland.

Still a little gauzy, but it beats grey-out obscurity, and the sky looks brighter to my eye than it looks to my camera.

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Filed under Nature, Photos, Seasons

Grey as driftwood or cream as ivory–smoke is smoke

The forest fires generating the smoke I find so discommoding make me want to “lay my hand over my mouth,” as Job did (Job 40:4) when God had humbled Job’s contentious whining. Job’s misfortunes could hardly compete with God’s power and nurture.

The smoke has enveloped us for five days. Crews have been fighting the fires, but fires are difficult, and new ones keep springing up. They are in Montana, Canada, Oregon, Idaho, Washington–we’re surrounded, but how fortunate we are to be surrounded by smoke and not flames!

My heart goes out to The Beautiful City: Houston. I lived there for five years in the 1970s. I lost the car I had just made the final payment on. Water had subsumed my electrical system, an unhandy occurrence known as a “total.” The flood of 1976 took a lot of cars, but was a sprinkle compared to Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey has taken over 70 lives in Houston. Destroyed homes and cars have yet to be been tallied. Contaminated water is spreading diseases. Pets are being flown to San Diego for safe keeping. (I thought this was terrific!) If you have driven in Houston, traffic congestion now is probably right up there with Hong Kong.

The Alley Theatre where I saw some very good plays, is soaking rubble.

I have friends in Houston. They are some of the strongest, most resourceful people in the whole world.

If you have a heart for Houston, check out The Houston Chronicle.

I can hardly complain about the smoke surrounding my quiet prairie home. It’s nothing like Houston’s hurricane floodwaters. But, grey or cream, smoke is irritating and limiting, and the region currently has a “very unhealthy” smoke level rating. We can only pray and hope rain will come and the wind will change.

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Filed under Action & Being, News, People, Places, & Things, Weather

The color of When?

Normally we see fields of grain and the basalt walls of Hells Canyon. I titled this photo “The color of prairie” when I took it on a beautiful morning last October.

This is essentially the same view, but with forest fire smoke. According to our local newspaper, the smoke could clear tomorrow–if (a) sufficient rain falls tonight; and (b) wind of sufficient velocity blows in from the right direction.

Such suspense!

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Filed under Home Life, Nature, Photos, Seasons, Weather

Effie: “Smoked in, and boy am I hissed!”

Grrr. . .I’d rather be romping in my Effieland place! But my Mom had to go and call the vet and ask whether it was safe for me to go outside. The office has been instructed to recommend that pets be kept indoors. Smoke from the forest fires is worse than ever. My Mom and Dad were talking about it being declared unhealthy for everybody, not just sick people.

But my Mom loves me and we play with toys, and she combs me, and makes bread that smells really good in the oven. She promised she would stay home with me all day, too! She doesn’t do well with the smoke–she gets dizzy. She usually goes out to get groceries on this day of the human week, but Dad’s going to take her tonight instead. They probably think the smoke will go away by then.

I wish I could be out romping in my beloved Effieland, but there aren’t even any birds out, and not even any bugs, either! Mom’s going to clean a bunch of things today, like the refrigerator and the upholstered chairs and my window perch, and the insides of the windows where I leave my adorable little prints of my nose and my toes.

I have also made plans to take lots of baths and naps.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Effie, Home Life, Photos, Weather

Effie among Grapes

Special Guest Star Halvor basks in the welcome sunshine on the patio. . . .

Effie enjoys a bit of shade near a chair.

Effie checks out a blackberry branch. She probably doesn’t mind that the blackberries have all been picked. Behind her are ripening Flame grapes.

Happy girl in a pleasant garden!

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Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Halvor, Photo Galleries, Seasons

Welcome to Krypton, Planet of the Red Sun

This is actually Earth’s sun, which was flame red when I took this photograph at 6:55 this morning. My camera rendered it white, perhaps because its lens went into shock.

The red sun effect is the product of forest fires in northern Idaho; the nearest to us is about 40 miles away.

The 3,200-foot-high basalt hills that mark the edge of the Palouse and compose our northward viewshed are completely obscured by smoke. It all looks like San Bernardino on an exceptionally smoggy day.

I rue having to bag our plan to fish for crappie and bass on the Snake River today, but I bear the bane of those “sensitive individuals” for whom an alert was issued, suggesting we avoid inhaling our local air.

Lightning, not human carelessness, was determined to be the cause of the fires.

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