Saturday, June 28, 2008

Living in a haze

For the past two or more weeks California has been dealing with quite a few fires. Although, on a personal level I have not had to deal with living with the heartbreak of losing my home or pets or other personal treasures, I have had to only look around my "corner of the world" and see how we are all affected by these fires. We live in the Santa Clara Valley, aka Silcon Valley, where we live between the Santa Cruz mountains and the Mt. Hamilton range. In other words we can look all around and see mountains to the east, west and south of us. Because the fires have been widespread, and many in very remote locations, residents of this valley have been living in a haze. Everyday we are reminded of what is going on around us. We are spoiled to the point that residents of this valley usually see blue skies and sunshine during the spring and summer months and we take for granted seeing the mountains around us. So for the past few weeks we can barely see the mountains, if we can see them at all. Instead, we see pink or red sunrises and sunsets through the haze. We have not seen blue skies for more than two weeks. Zhakee from Sierra Nevada Ramblings has written an excellent post about the fires around her, too. Visit her blog to see what she has to say about it. Below are some photos I have taken from here in my neighborhood.
The photo above was taken June 13 in the evening looking east from our front yard. Notice the reddish glow to the sky. Below is the sun just before sunset. I took this shot from standing on my front patio. That's a power line cutting across the lower half of the picture.
This photo below was taken in the evening of June 25, standing in the same location as above. Not much different from the June 13 sky, is it?
And this photo was taken from my back patio, (with more power lines in the way) early the next morning, June 26.
These next three photos were all taken in the evening of June 26. I walked over toward the hospital, trying to get a decent photo of the Santa Cruz mountains (sans power lines). Again, you can see the reddish haze, and the mountains look so far away, yet they are only a few miles away. Yesterday, while walking to work these hills were not visible at all.
Walking back home I took a photo of the hills to the south of us, called Blossom Hill.
And this photo was taken looking southwest. These hills would be part of the southern portion of the Mt. Hamilton range.

Be sure to visit Zhakee at Sierra Nevada Ramblings to see her pix and read her post.

12 comments:

Red said...

If you're not familiar with this area... behind Blossom Hill is supposed to be a series of mountains quite visible, Mt. Umunhum is one of them ... there it just looks like there's nothing behind it.

Good post Mom!

Mary C said...

Thanks, Red.

Wren said...

Fires are very scary, glad to hear you're not too close. My brother lives north of LA and had to evacuate a couple of years ago.

Mary C said...

Thanks, Wren. I hope your brother and his possessions all survived. I can imagine how long southern Cal had to smell smoke on a daily basis. We've been fortunate and have not smelled smoke on a daily basis, just have to see it. And it wreaks havoc on my allergies and anyone else who suffers from asthma and/or allergies.

Kathiesbirds said...

Mary, that pinkish lavender haze is surreal! We've had fires over here also, but so far nothing as bad as what you are experiencing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog by the way. Take care of your lungs!

adampaul said...

We've had blue skies the past couple of days up here in San Francisco, but the air was really bad before that. Sarah & I drove across the central valley on June 22 and it was the most smoky, choky air I've personally experienced, what with the fires in Napa/Fairfield, and a bunch in the Sierras. Doesn't do my allergies any favors either!

KGMom said...

Oh Mary--I feel for you. I watch the news about the CA fires, and get so depressed. Such a lovely state--and so many people hurt by these fires, and so many animals displaced (or worse, killed).
Hope it rains, even though that is unlikely.

mon@rch said...

I wonder if the haze will make it out my way? Wish I could give you some of our rain!

Mary C said...

Kathie - I like your choice of words -- "surreal" -- I kept saying it was "ominous" -- I felt quite threatened by it all.

Adam - I think it took an extra day before we finally saw blue skies again. I'm writing another post showing the clearer skies and the hills we usually see. Stay tuned.

Hi Donna -- It sure is an unsettling feeling when you cannot see the beautiful hills that surround us. Rain is very unlikely, yet lightning was the cause of the latest fires. How ironic. I'm posting some photos of what our hills look like today compared to last week.

Hi Monarch - I doubt the smoke would get that far, especially with all the rain you and the midwest have received. Too bad we couldn't get some of it to wash away the smoke and help the firefighters control the fires. But, that's life.

RuthieJ said...

That sure looks awful Mary! I can't even imagine what it would be like to have fires all around--very scary!!

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie - we didn't see any flames and didn't see smoke billowing up, but it left you with a strange feeling. After the first few days we didn't even smell the smoke anymore.

zhakee said...

Hi Mary, sorry it took me forever to check your story after you left a message over at my site. I hope the smokiness has cleared up some, although in reading the news it sounds like things are still burning in your area. In the southern Sierras, we've just had a few days of showers and the fire here has slowed down drastically. I like your site and I'll link to it from mine...

 

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