The weather has been miserable here in my part of the world. The high temps are bad enough, bu it's the humidity that's doing me in. As I've said before, I'm more accustomed to wet, cool weather (Alaska, Seattle, Scotland to name a few), so this never-ending steamy, sweaty weather right now heads my Holy Crap, How Much Does This Suck list.
Yesterday afternoon, looking out across the Valley, I could almost see the heat haze rising up from the ground. It grew, thickening like fog in some spots, still wispy and feathery in other places.
Toward evening, I glanced out again, and suddenly wondered if what I was really seeing wasn't haze, but smoke. The color of the sun was taking on a reddish-orange tint, just like fiery coals. I've seen this before: the sun turns into a ball of fire when it shines through forest fire smoke.
The red sun was too bright and harsh for my camera--I need a better filter--but now the heat haze truly looked more like smoke, and the sky was turning an apocalyptic red-orange. The mountains in the distance are miles away. That first little ridge in the center of the photo is about five miles--as the crow flies--from my house. Behind the ridge, is another valley, then the actual Coast Range mountains begin.
Okay, see that little dip between the peaks, just off-center in the photo?
I caught the last edge of the setting sun with my telephoto as it went down behind that dip.
The entire sky turned this stunning, almost shocking, bright orange color of fire, truly like a scenario from the end of the world. The fantastic thing though is my camera. I am miles, literally miles and miles from those mountains, and yet my camera has captured a clear, perfect picture of the trees on the mountain top.
Have I mentioned that I love my camera?
This morning when I opened the blinds in the back part of the house, I was greeted by the newest editions to my mountain community...and they still have their Bambi spots...aawwww. I tried to get some better shots, but their mom wasn't having any part of it and whisked them down the slope out of sight right after I took this picture.
And that will be about the only bright spot in my day as it's to get into the high 90s, with the humidity somewhere around 200%. Man, Alaska is sounding better by the day...
[Oh, and I forgot to say that, yes indeed, it was (and still is) smoke in the Valley. There are five forest fires burning right now in Oregon, two of them just to the east of me. What a terrible, wretched year this has been for fires in the West.]