Monday, August 31, 2009

Fire Update

This is how our mountains look from my neighborhood. A few of my neighbors and I walked two blocks up this evening to see how bad the flames looked from another perspective. Wow. This view is from a distance of ten blocks, which is still too close for comfort. They have evacuated the streets above this point; however, not everyone has left. We got an emergency mandatory evacuation order this morning at 2:15 a.m. We talked to the sheriff's officer and asked if we had to leave and he said no; we should do what we felt we had to do. We stayed (we are in no immediate danger). I'm not so sure about later tonight or early in the morning. Things can change so quickly, as we have all learned over these past 5 days and counting. My neighbors and I are going to go take another look in a bit to see how far it has progressed. This fire is massive and it shows no signs of ending any time soon. There is so much fuel that hasn't burned since 1976 and it is tinder dry from years of drought. Wouldn't you know that this would be the year that El Nino is supposed to show up. You know what comes next - mudslides.
I feel so emotional about all this and am close to tears this evening. One of my favorite places is on fire - the wilderness park that has brought so much beauty and joy to my life. My cousin and I loved to hike here. I also can't help thinking about all the wildlife; it absolutely breaks my heart. I know that people and houses are the first priority, of course, but this is their home too.
Mt. Wilson, along with countless other communities that cover something like 134 square miles, are in danger or have been burned. They say it will be September 15th before it will be under control - that's two weeks away. My heart goes out to everyone who is anxiously watching and waiting to see what this monster fire is going to do next.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Still Burning

I haven't been doing any crafting or jewelry-making, as I've been keeping a close watch on the fire that is raging here. This thing is just massive and as of tonight, racing toward Mt. Wilson where communication and telecommunication towers that serve all of the greater LA area, as well as an observatory, are situated. The magnitude is just mind-boggling. I just spoke to my cousin who lives about six miles from here and it's raging where she is right now. There is just no end in sight. Two firefighters lost their lives today battling this monster. What they do is so brave and so appreciated. My heart goes out to their families. They are doing an absolutely amazing job.
If you are affected by this fire, stay safe.

God Bless Our Firefighters.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here We Go Again

This was the scene we had around 8:50 a.m. this morning from our backyard. A fire broke out yesterday afternoon and it was quite smokey for quite a while. Towards evening, the smoke seemed to have dissipated quite a bit and we didn't see any last night while taking our nightly walk, but it seems as though it has kicked-up again or this is a different fire. As of this morning, the "Station Fire" was only 20% contained. This seems like it is closer to us, although I'm waiting for the local news to come on and see what the heck is going on. I just went out to take a look and it has gotten wider by the look of the smoke. We are constantly hearing airplanes as they go back and forth getting boron or water for their drops. This is very unsettling. It's good that it is nowhere near human homes, but I always think about all the poor animals who are affected. It seems like they are always the forgotten victims of wildfires.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Look Who Visited Us Today...

...Bob. As in Bobcat! This morning one of the scrub jays was outside having an absolute fit. I looked out the window and saw a cat under the lilac bush. I, of course, assumed that it was "Marmalade", my little friend who visits fairly regularly. I went outside and called him, but he wouldn't come out, which was very unusual. He usually runs out to greet me. I said, "Marmalade, what's the matter with you?" and upon looking more closely I realized, that's not Marmalade - THAT'S A BOBCAT! He was smaller than one we had that visited us back in January of 2008. I had some errands to run and when I returned he was laying on the cement in front of our windows that face out to the backyard. I was able to get these pictures (they aren't the best, but I had to take them through the screen and do it fairly fast as to not really scare him off). He ended up moving to another spot in the yard and was there until late this afternoon when he moved on. I was worried that Marmalade would come sauntering into the yard and become his breakfast, lunch or dinner, but thankfully, that didn't happen. If this had been a mountain lion, I would have been extremely concerned and would have called animal control to come and tranquilize it and move it back up to our nearby hills. They are around and a 200-pound cat was seen up at a popular wilderness park about a mile from here which, needless to say, put a kabosh on my hiking there. The park ranger said, "Oh, they more than likely are around, watching people hiking and you don't even know they're there." Somehow the thought of a 200-pound cat eyeing me and trying to decide if I should be its next meal doesn't make me feel very safe. Call me crazy. I'll stick to Descanso Gardens, thank you very much.