Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Colors of July from the High Desert

I've thought about this for days. We have always done colors of the month for the fun of it, but I haven't been able to let go of the other side of July in the arid West. Five strikes of lightening did this damage. If you click for big, you can see the crew trucks lined up, waiting to snag flare-ups.

I have cried over this fire as so many of us have. In those blackened trees is a family residence in ashes. It was an error in judgment from the fire crews. They saved the house, though they had lost a shed and boat, and moved on to save another house. It's called re-burn. The fire came back and took the house after all.
I know you're looking at this picture wondering what could burn, but what you see in the foreground is growing on the hillsides. Sagebrush is a hot fuel and we are always warned to keep it away from our homes for the sake of defensible space. That red stripe is retardant from an air tanker. They ran multiple tankers and helicopters and they all flew over our house - it was nerve wracking!
It's a quiet evening but you can see the sagebrush on the lower part of our property. Two years ago a lightening strike ignited a fire that could have easily surged up the hill to our house, but our VFD volunteers were so fast, their trucks were here, they cut through the fences, pulled hoses and quenched the fire. I am in awe of fire fighters, especially those who volunteer. The VFD from our valley were on that Constantia fire. I am in awe. I guess I said that. Color that bright with awe - that's my July color. Awe.


Marion B. said...

You (all of you) are in my thoughts. Fire is such a terrible thing. Love, marion.

Theresa said...

Isn't it ironic that the west which can burn so easily seems to like to grow those hot burning fuel producing plants. So sorry about the residence. Awe color is perfectly acceptable!

Leigh said...

It's a terrible thing, worthy of tears. That aside, I like the colors in your photos. Too often we think of color as being flowers and bright things, but really, I think your colors are probably fairly representative of July's heat. I love subtle hues anyway, and can envision a vest or sweater in them.

Annie said...

Fires and the dangers of them, always frighten me. And have done since I was a child. It reminds me of the time when I went home from school and a house in the village was on fire. My father was in the (voluntary) fire brigade. I was so scared! Since then fires scare me.
This must make you worry...

Life Looms Large said...

I'm sorry that you have a fire season there. I know it's part of the natural order of things, but it's so scary. Very sad for the family that lost their home.

Your post is a great contribution to the Colors of July because it helps show the diverse colors and experiences that come with this month.

Take care!