Friday, June 14, 2013

Summertime and the Living is Smokey

I have never been a fan of summer. I think it started when I was a kid on the farm in southeastern South Dakota. Summers meant working outside in the heat and humidity. We would get up early to do the chores. I did the chickens, feed and water them, and gather the eggs. Then my brothers and I would head for the soybean fields to cut the weeds, usually cockleburrs and stray cornstalks. We would stay in the fields until mid-morning when it got too hot. There was no air-conditioning, but we did spend some time at the river. School meant we didn't have to do the fields, so I loved school.

When I moved to Colorado, I was thrilled with the cooler and drier summers. It was rare to get temperatures in the 90's and the 100's were almost unheard of. However, in the past several years, 90-degree days are commonplace, and we even get a handful of days in the 100's. With the heat, we now have more fires.

The Black Forest Fire is about 20 miles southeast of our home. It has already destroyed 360 homes and killed two people. We get the smoke when the wind blows in our direction. We are also eyeing the side of the mountain to the west of our home covered with scrub oak and pines. It is truly beautiful, but this time of years, it is also frightening. We live in one of those subdivisions that could easily be wiped out by fire. Ken has removed most of the scrub oaks and underbrush bordering our home but it might not be enough. We have our pictures and home videos packed up from previous evacuations along with our cat carrier for Neko. We have good insurance and we would be okay. But every summer, we watch the ridge along the west for whiffs of smoke after lightning storms and cringe when we hear fireworks in our area (yes, they are illegal here). We get nervous when we see our deer herd getting nervous and when the birds stop singing. We hope it is because of a mountain lion or black bear in the area instead of a fire.

I am ready for the snows of winters that Colorado is famous for.


  1. Keeping all of Colorado in my prayers, I lived this in Pagosa Springs, I do miss so much about Colorado, but not the summers of fear, wondering what will spark the next fire, a foolish camper, lightening, a careless smoker, a kid on a dirt bike, so many things that can ignite in a flash. Take care, may gentle rains soon fall and refresh and relieve the worries for all of the state!

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you are ok Laurie. Have been thinking of you while watching the news on TV. Feel so sorry for all those who have lost everything. May the rain come soon for you.
      Anne in Dunedin

  3. Stay safe! I'm in CO right now hiding out from Hurricane season. We had some smoke far North and East of you one or two days. I can't image being any closer and having to breathe it! Ick.