My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, June 29, 2012

SkyWatch Friday: Smoky Sunset

The skies over the Rocky Mountains are very smoky and hazy due to all the devastating wildfires in the region, the worst of them an epic, tragic firestorm that's blazing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Closer to home, a 26,000 acre grassfire was burning out of control a few miles to the south of us. The smoke from it and several other wildfires in Wyoming and Montana filled our valley, obscured the mountains and made for difficult breathing for a couple of days. 

It has also made for some spectacular sunsets, like this one I photographed last evening from our neighborhood... 

But we'd trade the colorful sunsets in a heartbeat for some much-needed rain over the Rockies and an end to these fires

Visit SkyWatch Friday to view skies around the world

(I can especially appreciate Raf's SkyWatch post this week!)


  1. Beautiful capture of the lovely sunset.Have a great weekend!


  2. Hoping for rain and healing.
    Jane x

  3. Truly beautiful, but the cause is so sad. Hope that the fires will settle down soon.
    I'm imagining things over at your new house are getting exciting.

  4. Stunning shot! Almost looks like a painting! Love the colours and texture! Hoping for an end to the fires and better breathing for you...
    Love the story of your blog title! Very cool!

  5. Do hope the weather sorts itself soon and sends you rain. Tragic about those fires. On the plus side that image is a beauty!

  6. Wild fires are really scary!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. The fires are so sad — so many people are losing their homes, the beautiful land is being destroyed and no doubt many wild creatures are losing their lives as well as their homes. Your photo is beautiful, though it has an ominous quality that is appropriate to the situation. Hope you have some rain and relief, soon.

  8. Dangerous beauty, great composition!

    I am so sorry for all those who suffer under these horrible fires. May relief come soon!


  9. Beautiful sunset, very colorful. I hope you are safe from the fires. Take care and have a great weekend!

  10. Je ne comprends pas! It says 'House Progress' on my Blog Update list for your blog Laurie, but when I click on it I come to this post... Have you been pressing the wrong buttons on the interwebz again?!? :oP

  11. NatureStop ~ Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend as well!

    Jane ~ Thanks - I sure hope they get some relief in Colorado, especially. And now east of us, where they're sweltering and suffering destructive, deadly storms! Mother Nature appears to have had enough of our disrespect and vandalism.

    Sue ~ Me too. It sounds like there's been improvement in the C. Springs situation, and our local fire is under control though we're having another smoky morning. I sure hope the awful heat and storms don't reach Maine, and wonder if the massive storm and power outages will effect your upcoming flight! Hope not! Your trip to Cuba is way more exciting than anything that's happening on our house these days! :-)

    Janet ~ Thank you! I noticed those interesting textures as well - I didn't edit that photo at all, so the smoke must be what is creating that effect. You're right that it looks like a painting! Thank you for your good wishes regarding the fires out here, now our concern is for the folks back east as well!

    Barbara ~ Me too! But gotta love your "glass half full" perspective! Spoken like a true photographer. LOL

    Gary ~ They sure are! We experienced one in 2009 when we had to evacuate for a few days. Our home and wildlife friends were safe, but we lost an outbuilding, fence and a lot of landscape. It was very traumatic, so I can barely imagine what the folks in some of these places in Colorado are experiencing. I really feel for them!

  12. Andrea ~ I couldn't have said it better myself, you echoed all the things I've been thinking and fretting about. Terribly sad. I find myself hoping they discover that it was caused by lightning rather than arson (or even stupidity). The destruction is the same, but at least it wouldn't have that evil component.

    You're right about that sunset having an ominous quality. It was definitely foreboding, I don't care what sailors say about red skies at night!

    Thank you for your wishes for rain and relief, I hope for the same and for relief to come to those back east suffering with that oppressive, dangerous heat and the storms.

    Merisi ~ What a sweet comment, thank you! "Dangerous beauty" - that would have made a great caption for my photo!

    eileen ~ Thank you, and I hope you are safe from the heat, storm and power outages!! I'm sending you good thoughts, and hoping you are out of harm's way!

    Barbara ~ Oui, mon cheri, I had a spaz attack and hit "publish" instead of "save." (Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention ~ you are more wicked than a wicked thing!) ;-)~ Good thing I'm only blogging and not working at a nuclear power plant, huh? :-) Afraid you shall have to wait just a bit longer for the post that wasn't quite ready for prime time!

  13. Glad I could be of service :O))))

  14. Gorgeous! Visiting late from Sky Watch Friday.

    Please come take a peek at my Sky Shots, have a great weekend!

  15. Chubskulit and Brenda ~ Thank you both!

  16. Wild fires are so scary. I don't blame you for wanting to trade the beautiful sunsets for a good douse of rain. You photo is fantastic but oh so scary. My heart goes out to all who are faced with living so near such a dangerous event. Stay safe.

  17. I appreciate your sensitivity to the high price that was paid for the beautiful skies. Keep praying for rain. Beautiful pic. Cheers.

  18. Nita ~ What a sweet and thoughtful comment, thank you! I see that you live in Virginia, and hope that you were not in the path of that destructive derecho storm. I also hope you're able to stay cool in that sweltering heat that's blanketing your area. (It was 103ยบ here yesterday, "but it's a DRY heat!" as they like to say!) There is no shortage of crazy, dangerous weather events this summer. I hope you stay safe and comfortable, and thank you for your good thoughts!

    Craver Vii ~ Thank you, Craver, that's kind of you to say! We went through a frightening wildfire and evacuation in 2009, and though we lost some property (an outbuilding, fence, trees, etc), our home, the homes of our neighbors, and our wildlife friends came through okay. So I have a lot of empathy for people suffering a similar experience, and a great deal of sympathy for those who have lost their homes. I do hope rain will come soon enough to spare others that fate!

  19. agreed, those sunsets are bittersweet. Does make for a beautiful sky though, lovely pic!

  20. Johnny Nutcase ~ Thanks, Jill - "bittersweet" is the perfect word for that sunset (it even shares its colors with Bittersweet's berries!)

  21. W - O - W !!! That is a stunning capture. Hopefully by now you will have received some much-needed rain and those who were most affected by the fires are beginning to pull their lives back together.

  22. Valerie ~ Thank you! No rain yet, but we have the best chance for thunderstorms this afternoon that we've had in weeks (40% chance). Let's just hope there's rain in those storms and not just lightning! The fires are still very bad in some areas (including around us), but have been suppressed in others. I fear it's a very long road ahead for the people, their companion animals and the wild critters who lost their homes and habitats, but an end to the fires will be a good start.

  23. What I love about this photo is the jagged yellow line. It reminded me a little of a lightening strike and it looks like it's hitting those trees. It actually looked sort of spooky to me in that fun way we enjoy seeing the sky in scary movies that get us all tingly. Really amazing photo!

  24. Jo ~ I hadn't noticed it before, but it does look like a bolt of fire hitting those trees, and it definitely looks like a scary-movie sky! Ominous and apocalyptic ~ yet, strangely beautiful, too. It was the most unusual sunset I've ever seen, and an elderly man I often see walking when I'm on my evening bike rides stepped to watch it with me. (He's on oxygen and I felt badly for him when the air was so smoky during those days!) I'm glad you liked it!

  25. Glad I pointed out something new! I love being a critic. It's a great excuse to be opinionated!!

  26. Had to click on the thumbnail for this one when I saw it at bottom of today's post. What a gorgeous shot! Here's hoping the recent snow has helped with some of those wild fires out west!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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