Smoky Dog Days Again
For the second August in a row, we are under a huge cloud of smoke originating from fires in British Columbia. The northwest winds have brought in smoke from some 600 wildfires burning in this region. On top of this, there are several fires in the eastern part of Washington contributing to the increasingly thick layer of smoke. Air quality is bad with an index of 171 yesterday.
Normally, we would see poor air quality in winter of this magnitude when the rains and stagnant air can hold in particles, but here we are once again shifting to a new normal. We are one of many that work outside all day and even in the best of health circumstances, it is difficult not to feel a dry sore throat with respiratory tightness. There seems to be a collective community slowdown and a head-out-of-town mantra – “perhaps a good last week to travel before fall.”
Heading into the true dog days of summer, here in the northwest we are not feeling like the elk are practicing the same outlook and have noticed their pace has quickened in the corn planting. Andrew has been on vigilant watch mostly around midnight to run them out of the fields. We also think they have a bear friend joining in on their late night snacks, discovering lots of tracks and for the most part a great deal of trampling of plants.
We are trying to keep the bean crop pristine as it has been one of our better planting’s so far this season. Traveling back from the East where mostly wet and flooding has dominated into the ethereal and apocalyptic smoky Pacific Northwest is a very strange lesson in geography. We are thankful for our abundant sources of water and yet in this drought time know that the weather will soon be back to 50’s and rain!
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