Sunday, October 21, 2007

Santa Ana Winds

Normally our skies are blue, but today smoke from wild fires fueled by Santa Ana winds (some gusting up to 100 miles per hour) have turned our skies grey and yellow.

We were on our way home along the 101 Freeway after having spent some time with Mike at an archeological dig on Mulholland Hwy (photos of that another day). We noticed smoke to the north and soon we found ourselves in the middle of the smoke cloud being blown along by the winds in front of a wild fire, not the Malibu fire but one closer to home, the Moorpark fire.

If you have looked at any TV news station today, you will have heard about the Malibu fire. A lovely church, Malibu Presbyterian Church, burned to the ground, and several homes are gone as well. "Homes", in Malibu, means multimillion dollar structures.
Willow's Cottage is 30 miles and $30million away from Malibu, but we are experiencing the smoke filled air, the ashes, the grey sky. Most of our smoke is coming from ten miles north of us, in Moorpark .

We are not in any danger from the fires at this point. Winds, embers, downed power lines, and blown over trees are unpredictable, so we will continue to check the news. Fires will happen during this very dry season, so we are prepared. I went outside to water my plants and came back inside smelling like a bonfire. There is ash falling from the sky, leaving a blanket of white on our car and on the leaves of the camellia bushes.
Seedlady, The Professor's sister, lives near us and called to tell us that a large tree in her back garden blew over. It blew AWAY from the house and landed in the middle of the back, evidently taking its roots with it as there is a large hole in the ground now. We and she are certainly thankful that the tree did not fall on her house.


Bethany said...

Oh my gosh... I am going to worry about you now! Stay safe. I can't imagine that the air is even safe to breathe a lot of right now. These photos are incredible. We've had such pretty weather this weekend too. You should come here!

Mary said...


Great photos! I saw 60 minutes tonight and they were talking about wildfires. Apparently the forestry made a mistake 100 years ago when they started putting wildfires out immediately. Fires are needed to burn off the excess brush and now there is so much that the fires are almost impossible to put them out. They are starting to look at fires as a rejuvenation process.

Thought you might like to hear that tidbit of information.

Stay safe, mu friend.


Mama Mia said...

Hey mums! I left two phone messages, but figured your phone was being poopy again. Glad to know you guys are doin' alright! Lots of loves!!

Holly Woods said...

Hi willow,
I popped over from Kristen's.
Please drop by and play the waiting game with me.
Take care.

Unknown said...

I am certain that y'all have much more history with wildfires than we do. But I noticed that your skies look exactly the same way ours have over the years when we have been plagued by them.

That smoke really travels. And even miles away, you can get the embers.

Be safe.

(Followed you here from Jody's at Midlife Cycler)

Beatriz said...

Our Paradise (So Cal) has different seasons than Spring Summer Winter Fall. I think ours is something like: Spring, Summer, Earthquake, Brush Fire and Santa Ana season. Hope you're doing well...missed you on Saturday. My office window was blown open so I'm cleaning ash off lots of papers today.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading the news online and came over to check on you. Your pictures are excellent. Be safe.

Anonymous said...

Everytime I look out, I wish I had my camera with me to capture these dusty horizons that stretch up to the middle of the sky. Your images capture that eerie feeling of looking right at the sun and seeing a faintly glowing disk.

roxie said...

Chilling photos. And thank God for the wind direction at Seed Lady's house. Trees falling away are infinitely better than trees falling onto. Lots of free firewood now.

Barbara said...

While away from a computer this last week I have been thinking about you and wondering if you were affected by the fires. I see reading through your posts exactly what the position was.
I am so glad that you were ok and also your parents.
I found it interesting to see these pictures right from where you are. The smoke must have been unpleasant.