This freaky sunset brought to you by the Butte Fire (taken last Friday)
This was my drive into Sonora, Calif., last Thursday afternoon...
The Butte Fire started the previous afternoon, about 43 miles from Sonora,
and since spread quickly and moved a lot closer.
Drive to Sonora Friday afternoon... a wee bit smokier.
Note how dark it is, at 5:30 p.m. Spooky stuff.
I've never been anywhere with such thick smoke.
Tiny bits of white ash fell like a very light snow. Odd.
I have relatives who've been evacuated from their home for days, now,
due to this fire. Happily the fire missed their house,
now they're waiting for the power to come back on,
so they can move back (no power=no water if you're on a well).
Last Sunday afternoon DH and I tore ourselves away from scanning fire info
(re: the Butte Fire, the Valley Fire, and the Rough fire)
and head to the golf course.
DH golfs, I bird/peruse nature.
Acorn woodpeckers living up to their name.
"This one goes here..."
I love how this branch is so densely drilled
that in parts it's see-through.
I love the white eyeliner on this California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi).
Non-native mullein affected by fasciation
(note normal mullein bloom on lower left).
I love fasciation and the super interesting shapes it brings about.
Another herbivore (desert cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii), diggin' the golf course habitat.
Their habit of freezing when startled is great for photography. =)
Canada geese, another herbivore species that favors this place.
Considering I didn't have the auto-focus telephoto lens,
I'm very happy with how sharp this shot is. Luck!
So, with a couple soothing, non-fire-focused hours under our belt,
we see this...
Oh, dear. Another fire?!?
It was the Sundance Fire, near Oakhurst.
Happily, we also saw this large air tanker a little while later,
and the smoke cleared pretty soon thereafter.
And last night it actually rained a little bit (minor miracle),
which is very exciting.
I hope it helps quiet some of these fires.
It's also about 20 degrees cooler than it was last week.
Anyhow, I don't have a profound way to end this post.
It's been very sobering seeing what's been happening
in Middletown (via the Valley Fire) and elsewhere.
If there's a vote re: whether or not summer should end now & fall should start?
I'd vote YES, please.
Let's do that.
Stay cool, everyone.