The winds died down today, which means that the smoke is back. Today is one of the worst days I’ve seen yet. Usually, we don’t get visible smoke in the yard until the end of the day, but that’s how we started, today!

In going to pick up the meat pack we ordered, I drove to a town north of us. The fires are all well to the north of us. By the time I got to the exit for the town, I could barely see past a hundred yards or so!

The parking lot we met at was near a bridge. The river, thankfully, is not as low as I thought it might be, with our drought, but it is still much lower than usual. The smoke is actually thicker than it looks in the photo. By the time we finished chatting and said our goodbyes, my throat was completely raw from the smoke.

Once I was back on the highway, I just had to pull over to get another photo. Again, the camera on my phone automatically cleans up the haze, and it was much denser in real life.

On the plus side, we got our meat order, and we’re quite happy. The individual packages were smaller than we would see in a grocery store, but we also got a larger variety of cuts. They change up the package, depending on the time of year. For the summer, they try to include things for the BBQ (though they do have a separate BBQ package, too), while in the winter, they try to include more things like stewing beef. It’s all frozen solid, so for now, we’re just thawing out the sausages and peppettes to try, first.

Around November, when they do their butchering, they’ll have half or quarter beef available. They have to figure out new pricing for this year, due to the increased costs of having to buy feed for their cattle this year, but I am hoping we’ll be able to get a quarter beef for the winter.

The Re-Farmer

Orange haze

20180816-113303_AccuWeatherIt was almost disorienting, getting up to drive my daughter to work this morning.  Instead of the usual brightness for this time of year, it was dark.  Instead of sunshine, everything had an orange overcast to it.

The cloud of smoke from the fires on the West coast that had engulfed our former home for the past few days has finally reached us.

And yet, we weren’t getting any air quality warnings on our weather apps at all – that didn’t come in until several hours later – and it didn’t smell like smoke.

I had planned to bring my older daughter’s camera along, to take photos at the beach after dropping her sister off at work.  I decided to bring it anyhow, leaving the telephoto lens on it.  I honestly didn’t expect to get any good photos, but I did manage a few.


(click on the photos to see larger versions)

Everything was just this greyish orange colour.  There was no sun.  We couldn’t even see any sign of where the sun should have been.

I wanted to stay in town long enough to be able to pick up some prescription refills, so along with my usual playing of Pokemon Go, I decided to walk along the wharf and the breakwater.  The wharf ends abruptly, and then there is a gravel path along the stones of the breakwater.  While walking to the end of this section (there is a gap for the larger boats, then it continues into a cove), I had my game up.  I couldn’t help but laugh.

20180816-083905_Pokémon GO

I can walk on water! 😀

The wharf is on the game’s map, but not the breakwater.

Interestingly, the line of buoys in the lake, marking the closest boats can come to the shore, and the farthest swimmers can go out, is on the map, looking for all the world like a sidewalk, running through the lake.


The stones are naturally more of a pale yellow in colour, but not today!

After  while, I headed to a park that’s part of my gaming routine and stayed a while.  I was just getting ready to leave, when the sun made an appearance, at almost 9:30!


It was so hazy, I could look directly at it, comfortably.  I tried playing with the settings on the camera to try and get how orange it was, but this is the closest I could get.  The orange that you can see around the circumference is what the entire orb looked like in real life.

Though I couldn’t smell the smoke much at all – it was more than lost in the smell of yeast from the distillery – by the time I was done walking around and returned to my van, I could feel my throat and lungs starting to get irritated.  These conditions would be awful for anyone with respiratory conditions!

I pray that the rains will come and help the firefighters put out these devastating blazes.

The Re-Farmer