I’d be happy to grow tall in a steep canyon, where fog lingers in the morning to feed my needles, and a stream burbles in the rainy season to nourish my roots.
I’d be lucky to grow close to the ocean, whose summer fogs and winter warmth would help me grow taller and stronger.
I’d nurture a circle of friends to help me recover from fires.
I’d remember that most of us can survive a fire or two, if our roots are deep enough and our friends close around to support us.
I’d remember that life and death intertwine all around me.
I’d remember that when my seed germinated, the coast Miwok and Pomo still gathered fish, berries and nuts in my canyon, and no one had seen these tree-cutting Europeans yet.
I’d remember that fires, nations, governments and even diseases all have their time, while the seeds dropped by my ancestors created a forest that somehow has managed to remain.
The first and second photos above were taken almost exactly two weeks apart, on September 2nd and 16th respectively, from the skies not at all far from ORD, the main airport in Chicago. The third was taken on the 2nd above the Sacramento-American river delta, which feeds San Francisco Bay, at time a time when smoke was already affecting northern California but hadn’t spread as far and wide. The fourth was taken on the 2nd somewhere above Iowa or Illinois, I’m guessing. On the flight from SFO to ORD (2nd), I didn’t have flight map available readily, so the names of the photos are my guess as to where the plane was when I took the shot. Flying home on the 16th, I know where each shot was taken and you’ll see pretty precise into in the photo names.
As you’ve seen from prior posts, our wildfire season began earlier than usual in Sonoma County and Norther California generally. This brought smoke to our skies, which I’ve already posted about here. While I was enjoying time by Geneva Lake in Wisconsin, more fires started due to more unusually hot and dry weather all over the west coast. Then the smoke spread to many of the midwestern states which … umm, narrowly voted for the president who withdrew the US from the Paris accords. I found the flight home on the 16th so distressing, because the smoke was visible everywhere. How long will a rigid core of Americans continue to think that climate-change denial is good public policy for the nation with the largest economy and carbon footprint globally???
In the gallery below, you can read date and location info in each photo’s name. As you see above, we in California already had smoky skies on the 2nd, but actually when I flew back in on the 16th, an onshore flow had driven the smoke away in my area. For now air quality has been reasonable and the sunsets lovely but not too scary. 🙂 It’s about to get hot and dry again, so please hold the though “no new fires” in your mind, and prayers if you do those. 🙂 Peace and a truly democratic, majority-based outcome for all elections in the world, be it Belarus or the US…
These were the very first lawn signs I saw, obviously before Harris was named VP candidate. Please vote, and please look up how to mark your ballot clearly and well so there’s less chance it will be disqualified. People around the world are affected by our elections here, and just about the whole world with the exception of certain anti-democratic regimes whom we should not be emulating shares the hopes noted above…
Well, now that I’ve been on four flights during times of covid, I figure I might as well show a few of you who are avoiding airports what it’s like: still mostly empty. On July 4, I flew Dhaka->Dubai->Chicago->SF. Then two days ago I flew SF -> Chicago to spend some time with family in Wisconsin for birthdays and such. There are a few more people in airports now than I saw when I came back into the country in July – in both O’Hare and SFO. It’s a bit sad and a bit alienating, but probably a good deal lower risk than many activities that lots of folks are doing now…and the flights are mighty inexpensive. It does all get a bit exhausting, though, doesn’t it…?
Urban garden resumes, I guess. 🙂