Early this morning, Islanders awoke to the smokey haze in the air, yesterday included. Bill and I like to sit outside on our porch to drink our first cup of coffee and discuss our plans for the day, plus enjoy the beauty of the early sun rays filtering through our tall evergreens. But this morning, the air had an eerie feeling to it; it was warm to our skin, no cool marine breezes to freshen away the stagnate air, there was a constant heavy haze in the air hiding the clear blue sky. The landscape was encased in a warm yellow glow, the rising sun did not have the normal blinding glow to it, but a light yellow bleeding into warmer shades of yellow to almost orange around its rim.
This strange appearance is caused by forest fires burning in eastern Washington and British Columbia several 100 kilometers north of Vancouver. We had experienced a very wet spring but this summer has ended up hot, dry, and almost windless. That’s not good for the healthy evergreen forest in the mountains and low lands in the Pacific Northwest encompassing Oregon, Washington, B.C. and Alaska. At this time, there are several fires burning acres of beautiful pristine forest and harming the wildlife in the area. I realize that natural forest fires are necessary to revitalize the earth but it is a sad feeling when they do occur even naturally. Each year there seems to be an increase in forest fires due to climate and careless people.
I sketched the forest scene this morning with an attempt to express the eerie glow in the air.