Friday, August 28, 2009
Smoke gets in your eyes...
Cough, cough! Blechhkk!
It's a bit of a mess here. Four fires are burning in the Southern Cali hills kind of in a giant circle around the city. The air is thick with smoke. Our cars are covered with a thin coating of white ash.
There is this weird yellow sunshine burning through the smoke. It's hard to really tell from this poor shot through my scraggly tomatoes, but maybe you can see the psychedelic rays burning down through this thick cloud layer of smoke. No? Trust me, if you were here, I'd show you.
The light is distinctive when there's a fire. I imagine it's as distinctive as the green color of the sky when a tornado is about to touch down. And despite being about ten miles away (and posing no fire danger to us) it's scary to see that brown blanket of smoke creep over the valley and steal away the clear August blue. And the ability to breathe.
It's also like 104*. Hot.
L.A. routinely burns, accidentally through freak lightning, or spontaneous combustion (caused by all the angst in LA no doubt) or intentionally at the hand of some looney arsonist who thinks watching fire eat through other people's lives is fun. Our fire season used to be in the fall, when the green hillsides naturally turned brown. But we've been in a drought for a while now and the hillsides are crispy and brown most of the year and just waiting for a spark. Soon, tumbleweeds will start blowing around our streets and scary Western soundtracks recorded in Italy will start playing over the loudspeakers. But only if Clint Eastwood walks by.
What? It could happen.
We're rationing our outdoor watering now--down to two days a week. My flowers are very unhappy with me. My poor little coreopsis is struggling to stay green. A lonely little shoot amidst the crackly brown. They don't all look this bad, but I'm sad to say many do.
We're certainly not alone in this water rationing thing. I know a lot of cities around the country are doing it, too. Cities whose resevoirs are drying up, while others are buried under enormous levels of rain. What's going on?
Are we in for another dust bowl like in the 1930's? Is it global warming? Or is it just a natural swing of nature? What do you think is going on with our weird weather? Is it weird where you are?