Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ten days of smoke and ash in Santa Barbara

By Fred Owens

The fire is 230,000 acres and growing. Containment is 25 per cent. Winds are calm. Humidity is five percent. Schools are closed. Most Christmas events and parties have been cancelled. People are staying home and staying inside as much as possible.

The wind blows hot and dry from the east, from the high desert..

The sky is full of helicopters. Fire fighters in yellow shirts are coming into town to take breaks from the flames.

At night the creeping flames are visible from town. The fire crawls westward, across the foothills.

They say it will burn until Christmas or even longer, unless it rains.

What we really need, more than anything, is rain. There is no rain in the forecast, but anxious eyes look out to the west because the onshore breeze comes from the west and that wind blows in the rain clouds from the ocean.

Yesterday we saw surfers at Leadbetter Beach. The waves were decent. Four or five surfers were catching good rides. They were wearing face masks to keep the smoky air out of their lungs....... But the waves were good....Surfers don't quit.

One more thing and it's remarkable. Many hundreds of homes have been burned and many thousands of people have evacuated, but there has been only one fatality so far.

It's not over.

The Queen

One of the great and special aspects of Queen Elizabeth's reign of 65 years is that she is not Trump.

What we can learn from her is that one can preside over a nation without being a total jerk.

It's always been fun for Americans to root for the Queen. And why not? We would never have a monarch in our country. We kicked King George out a long time ago. But we can give three cheers just the same.

Actually I have never paid much attention to the Queen or her horses and Corgis, but two things compel my interest.

One is her longevity. She has been the Queen for my entire life, or for as long as I can remember. She is 91 and in good health.

The other thing that attracts my interest is the escapist nature of it. She is not Trump. I can't stand him and I need a distraction, so we are watching Season Two of the Crown on Netflix. Such a delicious break from reality.

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Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
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