Thursday, October 25, 2007

Smoke gets in your eyes

We have just returned from a short trip to San Diego. Most of you are aware of the extremely vicious wildfires currently affecting that area. While the location of our stay with friends at La Jolla Shores was not directly in the path of the fires, their effects could be felt, none-the-less. There was a constant trickle of fine ash particles; my wife found that the smoky smell affected her breathing, and I had an irritated feeling in my eyes. None in our group was seriously inconvenienced, but in general, the media reported a prevalence of breathing problems.

We have our share of natural disasters here, but I cannot think of another calamity short of an earthquake which would be as destructive as these fires, and so far beyond human control. The only option if you don't want to take chances is not to live in the areas subject to disasters. That's like saying that if you don't want to get rained on, move to a place where it doesn't rain. Generally, desirable locations (mountain slopes, picturesque valleys, lakeside or oceanside viewpoints, etc.) are also subject to some sort of problem (slides, floods, wave erosion, and so on...).

No enjoyment without some risk...

Here are some pictures:

an eerie sun

orange beach scene

From the plane on the way home: smoke as far as you can see.