Posts Tagged ‘Wildfires’

The cool September morn

September 1, 2021

I guess I can skip the rubdown with SPF 70 this morning.

Huh. Must be a national-holiday weekend on the horizon. ’Cause there’s plenty grim-looking clouds up there to keep it company.

Looks like a page-one meeting at The Washington Post:

“Gloom, yep. Despair, check. Agony, roger. How about a light feature? ‘How the delta variant stole Christmas?’ We need art, maybe a Barbie on a ventilator.”

Gaia must have the DTs. She’s boiling Lake Tahoe like a teapot and power-washing Tucson like a redneck sheriff blasting hippies and coloreds off his streets. A brother-in-law had to drive from Maryland to Louisiana and back to rescue a daughter whose Nawlins vacation went all Waterworld on her.

And unvaccinated Americans are advised to avoid Labor Day travel. Ho, ho, etc. Unless they’re traveling to a vaccination clinic to terrorize health-care workers.

Me, I’m just glad I got a nice ride in yesterday, ’cause it looks like the surf’s up today. And when it comes to surfing, you can call me Charlie.

Smoke gets in your eyes

August 8, 2021

Where’s the fabled New Mexico wind when you need it?

The smoke has finally paid us a visit here in the Sandia foothills.

The world sometimes feels like a very small place, and never more so than when a wildfire in Northern California can make your eyes sting in New Mexico.

“Very hazy, hot, and dry,” predicts the National Weather Service. The women must be happy to be first off this morning as the criteriums wrap up masters nats at Balloon Fiesta Park. It was already 63 in the Duke City foothills as racing kicked off down below, where the high temp should be challenging the century mark this afternoon.

A tip of the Mad Dog sombrero goes out to Colorado hardman Wayne Watson, who took the 70-74 road-race title yesterday with a solo break. Wayne was hard to catch Back in the Day® and it seems that this, unlike so many other things, remains unchanged.

Fire on the mountain, lightning in the air

August 7, 2021

Weather Underground ain’t got nothin’ on us.

Hot and windy for the old folks today as the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships continue with more road racing northeast of Sandia Park.

The forecast is for a high of 88° with winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph. And the National Weather Service advises that we might expect some elevated haze since most of the western United States is on fire. Bother, wot?

Still, it beats Colorado, where Boulder meteorologist Russell Danielson advises that Saturday should be one of the worst days of the year in terms of fine particulates in the air.

Adds colleague Paul Schlatter: “We’re expecting very poor air quality throughout the day Saturday.” Cut me off an extra-crispy piece from the end there, Paul old scout. I like my air well done.

Speaking of very poor, after all the chin music about the fat stacks masters nats is expected to bring to our fair city, the homers aren’t covering the actual gold rush as far as I can tell. So you’ll need to keep an eye on social media, particularly Twitter, if you want to know who’s doing what to whom.

USA Cycling posts the bare minimum at the end of the day, basically writing off the results — I expect that other little event in Japan has been distracting the A team — and you can find the actual results at One2Go.

Meanwhile, our informal 15-mile foothills ride yesterday was a huge success. We saw a young Cooper’s hawk working the backyard doves before departure, and en route encountered quail, a bunny rabbit, and a six-pack of antlered bucks strolling through someone’s yard.

In the finale Herself won the driveway sprint when I stopped to check the mail. She’s sneaky that way.

A wee misinterpretation

June 10, 2021

“Oopsie.”

Well, it sure is shaping up to be an interesting summer.

Lake Foul is a couple quarts away from becoming a pump track. Lake Merde, a skatepark. And we have to boil the air before we can breathe it.

Good times. Maybe not.

It seems we took God literally when She said: “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Now I can envision Her muttering: “You write ’em books and all they do is chew on the covers. You see anything in there about Phoenix, Las Vegas, or California? You do not. Because I was writing the Bible, not ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’

“I send you my kid and Ed Abbey and this is the thanks I get? I hope you meshuggeners like drinking your wee-wee. Straight, no chaser.”

Cat got your lung?

June 8, 2021

Looking down toward town from the top of Comanche.

Bad air. Bad, bad, air! Now go pool down there along the Rio and think about what you’ve done.

The smoke makes it to the Sandias.

Actually, by 8:30, this bad, bad air had found its way up to El Rancho Pendejo, after traveling all the way from just outside Globe, Ariz., where about 121,000 acres of nicely cured fuels are burning with a vengeance.

InciWeb counts a dozen fires in Arizona at the moment, and a half-dozen here in New Mexico. The air is liable to remain a tad crunchy for the foreseeable future, according to the people who know about such things, and the vigorous outdoor exercise may be contraindicated for the nonce.

We got it all, man. Your coarse particulates, your fine particulates, your chenopodiaceae.

Breathing this mess feels like waking up after a three-day drunk surrounded by empties and full ashtrays, under a table holding a dusty mirror, a razor blade, and a rolled-up dollar bill. Someone has painted your toenails an appalling shade of pink, and you may be wearing this someone’s underwear as a party hat. Your face, of course, is in the catbox.

Smokey the Bore

June 2, 2021

No, those are not smoke signals.

The National Holiday Road Trip© is finally in the rear-view mirror, and here in New Mexico we seem to have escaped with one forest fire caused by some shitbird’s abandoned campfire. ’Ray for us.

There’s never a killer drone around when you need one, it seems.

“The good news is [the fire] did not grow since yesterday,” said Julie Anne Overton of the U.S. Forest Service.

If that’s the best you can do, we’ll take it. But next time, unleash the flying murderbots, please. We gotta thin the dumbass herd most ricky-tick. Roast their little weenies for them. It’s barely June, f’chrissakes.

Sore arms and sunshine

April 26, 2021

Sunny, warm, and windy. Don’t smoke ’em if you got ’em, please.

Well, here we are, enjoying our first Monday of total vaccination.

Not really. It’ll be a couple weeks before we’re deemed properly armed against The Bug® v1.0. But we’ve both had both shots, and so far the side effects seem mostly minimal.

Herself required a longish nap the day after she got stuck, and so did I. Sore arms for both of us, too. But the procedures went even more smoothly than before, zip and zip and zip. I’ve seen slower Golden Pride drive-thrus.

Before bagging some Z’s yesterday I went out for a short stroll to keep all the pivot points well oiled. It was shorts weather. The official high was 83 degrees, three short of the record and 11 above normal. Less than an inch of precip’ since Jan. 1. “No significant weather was observed,” adds the NWS. Ohhhhhh-kay.

Today we have more of the same, with single-digit humidity and winds from the southwest that could hit 50 mph. We’re already had a couple small fires in Torrance and San Miguel counties and it would be nice if we didn’t have any more, please and thank you.

In other weather news, freak cold snaps devastate vineyards in France. In The Washington Post, Rick Noack writes: “By the end of France’s big freeze, at least one third of this year’s wine harvest and many other crops were lost, in what by some estimates was the country’s worst agricultural disaster of the century. It may take years for some vineyards to recover.”

I guess we’ll all be smoking weed before much longer. That shit will grow anywhere, under any conditions. The roaches will be toking up long after Gaia has given us the shove.

A Grimy Handshake from Patagonia

September 13, 2020

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits
the Cibola National Forest.

I’ve somehow gotten myself on Patagonia’s mailing list, probably through buying stuff from them — and good stuff it is, too — and they sent me a note the other day linking to a piece by Mike Ferrentino.

Yes, that Mike Ferrentino, he of the Grimy Handshake. His stuff is even better than Patagonia’s.

Anyway, Mike wrote about wilderness, and why he no longer poaches trails there, and it’s worth your attention.

In other wilderness-related news:

• A forest ecologist from CSU-Fort Collins wonders whether some iconic forests might fail to bounce back after a wildfire.

• Trying to take pix of the fires? Ian Bogost says your phone’s camera was not built for the Apocalypse.

• Have the orcas finally had enough of our bullshit?

Less bushwa

September 11, 2020

OK, now they’re just fucking with us to see if we’re paying attention.

You can’t make this shit up. “Liz Bourgeois?” Yeah, right. Who’s her supervisor, Heywood Jablomie?

Ash Thursday?

August 20, 2020

Looping around to the west-northwest and the Indian School trailhead.

A fine haze hovered above the Rio as I hiked around the Foothills trails yesterday.

A neighbor remarked that it looked like a “Star Wars” scene set on Tatooine.

And come evening, all that vaporized forest certainly made for a thrilling sunset.

The photo really doesn’t do it justice. The sun was as red as Sauron’s Eye, and it vanished long before the actual horizon in an impenetrable cloud of smoke. Whether it came from the Medio fire near Santa Fe or one of the many, many others scattered around the West, I have no idea.

I had been thinking about a nice long road ride this morning, but now I’m not so sure. I like my air a little less chewy.