The marine layer deserted us during last weekend's heatwave but I was delighted to find it back in place this morning, making it a good candidate for a Wednesday Vignette, the feature hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum.
|In this photo, taken just before 7am, the harbor is invisible and even the city below is hard to make out, although palms and trees stand out|
This afternoon, facing in roughly the same direction, all is revealed.
|That dirty gray smudge on the horizon has been with us for months, a sign of the worst smog Los Angeles has experienced in years|
The change shows up more sharply here:
|7am view (left) compared to 4pm view (right)|
The morning light had a magical quality at 7am and I snapped a couple of wide shots of the back garden.
|View from the path in front of our backyard hedge looking west toward the street|
|View of the backyard borders looking north|
Sadly, although the air was cool, it was anything but fresh. There's another fire burning, this one in San Bernardino County, 2 to 3 hours to the east. It started yesterday but it's moved fast, consuming 30,000 acres by this morning and prompting the evacuation of 82,000 people. Current reports still show zero percent containment. Fires are a fact of life here but they seem all too frequent - and large - this year. Fire is hard enough to accept when it's touched off by natural causes like lightning but even harder to take when arson is involved, as appears to be the situation in the Clayton Fire, still burning in northern California.
Our house is also located in a high fire risk area so the fire news always makes us jumpy. My husband's parents lost their home in Malibu to fire many years ago, which contributes to our reaction to these events. We've had first-hand exposure to the trauma associated with losing a home to flames. I still have vivid recollections of returning to my in-laws' home after the fire in the hope of finding some part of their lives there intact. But there was nothing. Yet they were among the lucky ones - they got out alive and had the luxury of 2 hours notice prior to their evacuation. They loaded both cars and, that night, I came home from work to find both those cars in our driveway.
This morning, my husband announced that we should be better prepared than we are for that kind of eventuality. He reminded me how his parents rued their failure to pack up this and that for years afterward. So, he's put together a draft plan, based on different evacuation timetables: immediate, 10 minutes, and 2 hours. It's a scary thing to consider. Other than the cat, a few mementos, and the paperwork necessary to ease a transition in the worst case situation, there's not much in the house that I'd mourn losing. I would grieve the loss of my garden but that can't be packed into the back of a truck or the trunk of a car. My husband's list did provide a moment of comic relief, though. He included "library books" on his 10-minute list, which gave me an attack of giggles (and I don't often have helpless attacks of giggles). I had him move that item to the 2-hour list.
Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum to find more Wednesday Vignettes.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party