Genesis 1: 11-12 describes the creation of all vegetation and the beginning of horticulture on the Third Day of Creation. Those must have been such happy times. Nowadays, it is getting to be more like the Book of Revelation! During this time of pestilence, while smoke obscures the sun, moon and stars, I have been contending with locusts. The premature defoliation of box elders that I mentioned last week (supposedly) might be associated with diminishment of sunlight by so much smoke.

1. Gloves which seem to have been worn for the Battle of Armageddon were my primary defense against the hellacious swarms of locusts that have been tormenting us for more than a year.

2. Thorns of black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, are nasty! They are paired like the horns of Satan! The thorns are modified stipules, so are actually neither thorns nor spines, but ‘prickles’.

3. Swarms of locusts are more numerous this year because more mature locust trees were cut down last November, leaving more stumps and many more roots of the not quite so deceased.

4. Smoke and fog filled the sky with old fashioned smog before the sun rose on Wednesday. (‘Smog’ is an abbreviation of ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’.) Not much is from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.

5. Smoke was so dark at noon that street lamps and this porch light came on. That is a big coast live oak in the middle, with a California buckeye to the left and a coastal redwood to the right.

6. That was not the worst of it. It was so dark by 4:00 that I needed headlights to drive back. Those are deodar cedar to the right, a cottonwood to the left, and a coastal redwood in between.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

48 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Revelation

  1. Pffffff That smoke and fog, along with locusts, gives very unpleasant conditions. Re the Robinias – I have two in the garden, grown 25 years ago from seed sent by a friend in the USA. They have made fine trees now and I like them very much. They drop twigs regularly and send up suckers here and there but not to the extent to be a bother. Locusts – you can keep them!

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    1. The locusts are not native here, but were brought, with a few other now invasive species, by the 49ers from the East. I would like them, or one or two, in my own home garden. They are so elegant, with such distinctively fragrant white bloom. However, there were several than naturalized here a very long time ago. It will take a lot of time and effort to kill the roots off. Modern cultivars are much more complaisant, and supposedly better structured. I am none to keen on them though, with their uninterestingly round canopies and fragrantless pink or reddish pink bloom.

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  2. That series showing the increased smoke density is horrid. Living through a fire is one thing; living through days and days of that smoke surely wears on the nerves (and the lungs) even of people not in danger of the fire itself. I looked at the smoke maps last night, and we’re in line for its arrival this weekend, albeit not so heavy or dramatic.

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  3. Your fire smoke photographs were quite eye-opening! We began seeing a bit of haze from the smoke cover yesterday here in Oklahoma, and the density will increase today according to the smoke maps. I can’t imagine what it must be like in your neck of the woods… be safe!

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      1. I can remember when smog was still bad in the Santa Clara Valley, and the last remaining orchards were burned before anyone was concerned about air quality, but I can never remember it as bad as it was for the past month or so.

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    1. The air is not so smoky on the ground. Somehow, it stays even cleaner inside. I just do not open windows when it is noticeably bad. It does not bother me much, but I prefer to keep Rhody in from the smoke during the day.


  4. It’s been ugly all the way to Aliso Viejo and beyond — the sky has been yellow, and not much brighter than what you show in these photos. I have had an occasional whiff of smoke wafting through the house in the evenings, but still am safe from any fires. I hope you are still in your house, and things normalize very soon!

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    1. It is not so bad now. During this next week, some of those who lost their homes locally will be moving into some of out unoccupied cabins, which will be saddening. This is a good place to be in a bad situation though.

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  5. Ugh – feel your pain from up here in Oregon. I have not yet seen a sky as red as yours, though. Everything is a smoggy, sickly yellow. Luckily the 50+ mph wind gusts we had a week ago died down completely, but reportedly more wind is in the forecast. Damn, that’s the last thing we need. Praying for rain, which is supposed to arrive on Tuesday. Stay safe down there.

    My brother and his wife run an educational organization in Sweden promoting responsibly harvested lumber, and an ecologically focused timber industry, where only mature trees are felled. Happy to say, it’s quite successful, and the demand for this much higher quality lumber is high. Their website is in Swedish, but here it is, if you want to check it out.

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    1. ?! I can not read it. Oh well. I can guess what it is about. It is probably obvious and logical. In California, we are not interested in the obvious and logical. Californians are more interested in preserving as much fuel as possible within the already violated forests.

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      1. It is SO infuriating! All these treehuggers who want to outlaw responsible resource management think that they are such experts, but none are educated or experienced in such matters. Nor to they consider that the forests are not allowed to burn naturally like they did before modern history. The forests get more combustible annually. Also, we need lumber, and I would rather it got harvested from forests that need management, rather than forests that have not yet been violated . . . or from countries that are not at all concerned with ecologically responsible management.

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      2. I would agree with that. Weyerhaeuser is clearcutting a swath of forest I see on my way to work. Clearcutting is such a piss-poor practice, it should be outlawed. A big YES to more sustainable and responsible forest management, but I fear we have a long way to go in educating people. Which is why I SO appreciate those who try.

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      3. This region would benefit from selective harvest. Groves of redwoods grew where individual trees were cut down a century ago. It is not natural for them to live in such crowded groves. They should be thinned out. I appreciate the redwoods, but I would not mind losing a few superfluous trunks to benefit the forest.

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      4. The difficulty is that responsible resource management is getting to be illegal. So-called environmentalists want to protect damaged ecosystems in their damaged and dysfunctional conditions, rather than allow responsible management that would help the ecosystems recover from former damage. Burning is difficult because so many of us live here now.

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  6. So sorry to hear about all the tribulations. I can’t imagine smoke so heavy it makes the daylight seem like night. Some of the smoke particles have made their way here, to Pennsylvania! We are under a high pressure system and should be enjoying bright sunlight and skies the color of a sky blue Crayola, but instead, the sky is essentially colorless, the sun is weak, and shadows are dim. Best wishes to you!

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