Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where There's Smoke....

Wildfires are an omnipresent fact of life in the Southwestern United States, so moving to New Mexico didn't change that part of our lives one bit. At least we moved out of earthquake land. (I say that cringing a bit because I don't want to jinx this place.)

What's different here is the way smoke moves. In Southern California, where we lived up until a year ago, we usually smelled smoke or experienced raining ash when a fire was within 10 or 15 miles or when we could see flames. Smoke meant fire, so we'd move into fire watch mode. When Pat and Ric lived up the hill from us, I could call Pat, who had a police and fire scanner. Up to date news, courtesy of the neighbors.

 The first time smoke rolled into our Northern New Mexico canyon, I freaked out, searching the internet for fire info, certain that a fire was nearby. I didn't believe the official New Mexico fire information site because the closest fire they had listed was 100 miles away. I tuned to the local radio station, the one that plays Hank Williams, Johnny Cash's brother and Kitty Wells, but there was nothing there, either.

Why does the smoke travel so far? "It's wind," Tom said, wisely. And it's as good an answer as any, so I will go with it. I have a hard time when Tom acts smart, but I will give him credit this time.

At times this is "get a respirator" smoke, thick ash raining down when all we want to do is eat an al fresco meal on the deck. Then I wonder where the people of Los Alamos are eating their dinner and I stop getting all uppity.

This was the view from our deck Sunday evening when we were eating dinner. That's smoke, not rain clouds.

 So I keep scanning the skies, checking the internet, and listening to Patsy Cline, hoping the rains will come soon.


  1. All the smoke is certainly enough to fret over.. I'm sure you guys have an evacuation plan? and after all your years around here with the fires, you know the drill~~ stay inside, NO strenuous activity, keep Ms Pearl inside, and sorry to say but the Angus boys have to rough it :0( Prayers your way. Isn't rain on the way? Jeanie

  2. I love that wooden gate in the stucco fence.

    I wish we could send some rain your way. All those wildfires are distressing to watch, even from afar.


I love your comments! What's on your mind?