early august

RCE_0855Walking logs to escape the ruck.

A storm hit tonight. Wind, far off thunder, a few flashes of lightning and very few raindrops. Exactly what we don’t need.

We have a few fires burning around us now. Still the smoke is no where near as bad as last year. . . yet.

A fire is burning in Kootenay National Park. The highway is closed due to smoke. Kelsie, Tom and the kids are coming out this weekend. They will have to take one of two other routes. Either will ad at least a couple hours to the trip.

The province may close the bush down. They do it in increments, first they ban campfires, then ATV’s which they have done. Then they will close access to all the backroads. It drives me crazy but it is necessary.

RCE_0818The sun going down in smoke.

Is it worse now than when I was younger? Is it hotter? It is hard to say. My father always talked about the drought years during the thirties and the importance of keeping a trickle going in the irrigation ditches.

There is so many more people recreating in the mountains. They bring along their own hazards.

RCE_0830Daisies and the sunset in the creek.

Fifty years ago the Forest Service stopped fires promptly, whenever possible, that made matters worse by letting fuel build up.

Studies and explorer David Thompson’s written accounts show the valley bottom as a different place two-hundred years ago. Back then the valley bottom burned.

RCE_0827Smoke filled sky.

The fires started as they do now, by lightening, on the benches or low mountains, and burn towards the creeks and rivers.

The terrain it leaves behind, natural grasslands, is perfect habitat for deer and elk. Also perfect for hunting for the first people who roamed the area and called it home.

Have things changed that much? Damn right they have! But has the wind got hotter, is the sun closer, does lightening strike more often?

Being an environmentalist is like being a priest a hundred years ago. It is somebody with the answers. They know who to blame. Instead of a cross they wear hemp and beads. They know the sinners. David Suzuki has his own channel,  Just like before, they blame everybody but themselves. And just like before there is a lot of followers that regularly sin and go to church on the weekend.

RCE_0851Willow getting her swim.

I am getting too old to hunt in the valley bottom. Willow and I crossed some shaky logs and bad swamp to  get to the water hole. If nature was true I’d be dead by now. Somehow I’m still kicking and grateful.

6 thoughts on “early august

  1. Jim R

    Was Willow doing her best beaver imitation? Could have fooled me.

    Climate change/global warming is an enormous issue with a lot of parts. Local and regional conditions can be quite different from those describing a global view. For example, our recent April was the coldest on record for Iowa. May was one of the hottest. The world temps were setting high records in both months. We are designated a drought region. Other parts of the country are having excessive rain. Day-to-day weather patterns are changing slowly.

    I hope you don’t end up with the smoke conditions of last year.


    1. underswansea

      Hi Jim. Warm weekend here but cools in the night. Like you say climate change is a huge issue. In the end nature and science will have the last say. The smoke hasn’t been as bad as last year. A lot of people were hospitalized for it. Thanks for your comments. Bob


  2. Carol A. Hand

    There are no greater gifts than the truth and beauty you share in your reflections and photos, Bob. Your work preserves these times on the edge and highlights the choices that are being made. I send my best wishes to you and your family and fervently hope enough people awaken and make wiser choices.


  3. Julie@frogpondfarm

    I recall last year you saying the smoke was seriously bad! I really hope the fires don’t get to that stage Bob. I’m with you, I think globally things have changed a lot! Makes me wonder when we will wake up … don’t get me started on plastic! Wonderful images ..


    1. underswansea

      Hi Julie, yes plastic is a crazy product. To use products for such a short time that take hundreds of years to break down is nuts. The smoke is getting bad the last couple of days. Still not as bad as last years. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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