Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mist and Smoke

We just got through a three day, temperature over one hundred degrees, heatwave.  Today, thankfully, we've only reached the low nineties.  When it gets so hot, everyone around here suffers, and we do what we can to cool things down.  The chicks got a large, oscillating fan to stir up the air in their stall,  and we put both duck mamas and their blended broods into the dog kennel where they could have the benefit of shade and cooling breezes off the pond.  The cats slept the days away in the nice air conditioned house, while the dogs dug several wide holes in the space under the front porch and sacked out there.

The ones who really scored, though, were the hens.  Bruce nailed up a section of mister hose along the outside eave of their coop and ran it from there over to their big pine tree.

It took a few minutes...

...but very quickly the hens figured out where to hang out.  A bonus is that since the misters are along the west side of the henhouse, now the interior is a lot cooler too.  Should make laying an egg a much more comfortable process.

Today,  in the hills on the other side of the highway from us, we had the first brush fire of the season.  I would have loved to have been able to do something to cool that thing off, but all we could do is watch. 

This photo is from the orchard garden and is a sight you never want to see withen two miles of your house.  The smoke rising through the trees looked remarkably like the fine mister spray from the coop.  Cornelius, as you can see, was not particularly concerned.

Although the fire looks rather nonthreatening from this vantage point up by the house, it took two planes, a helicopter and several fire crews on the ground to get it under control. 

Bruce took this picture with his telephoto lens (our local newspaper used this photo in their online edition).  Somehow, things don't look quite so benign when it involves a plane dumping a load of fire retardant.   If you look closely, you can see several houses peeking above the smoke.

In the end, the fire only consumed about five acres of brush/woodland and is now fully contained.  Thank God for quick fire crews and calm winds.


  1. While you are sweltering in the heat,I am writing this wearing a fleece jacket,it is so cold,damp and very unseasonal,I don't think we are going to get a summer this year.!!

    On a serious note,that fire must have been frightening,thank heavens it did not reach your house and I hope no one else's property was damaged by it.
    We get fires on the mountain here,but they are lit deliberately by local farmers to burn of the bracken to make the grass grow for the sheep.
    This is an illegal practice and the fires are left un attended and our property has been under threat on many occasions.
    Thankfully my son is the chief fire officer and he always alerts me when a call comes in of a fire in our area so we are prepared.
    Take care.

  2. Caroline, let's put on our thinking caps and see if we can do a bit of trading with our weather, shall we? I'll send some of this ungodly heat your way and you can have delivered (by Overnight Mail, please!) a bit of your cold damp!

    Yes, the fire had us worried. Fortunately the wind was blowing it in the opposite direction and the fire crews were right on it. Ironically, a lot of fires are created by ignorant people trying to make firebreaks with their tractors -- sparks are sent flying into the dry grass when the blades hit a rock.

    I hadn't imagined that there would be any environmental fire danger off where you live. How very fortunate that you have a son who can be right on it when there's a blaze.