Sunsets, Sunrise and Nature’s Fury

Just ten days back, the sky was cloudy that by itself should not be a matter of concern to anyone. However in northern California, in summer, we are more accustomed to see clear blue skies during summer than cloudy skies, so much so, that to take a photo with the sky as a background one needs to have a good circular polarizer filter to get some contrast. So when the sky is cloudy, it is much easier to take photos with the sky as a background and normally we are rewarded with beautiful sunsets. So on August 13, Thursday, I was up on One Tree Hill near our house to capture a good sunset photograph. But even I was not prepared to see what nature presented. It was awesome.

Sunset from my backyard on the afternoon of August 13, 2020. Someone said that it looked like Martian sky. Maybe it was just the prelude to what nature had in store for us.

On Sunday, August 16, early morning, California was struck by an unusual dry lightning and thunder storm. Within a very short period of time several hundred intense lightning strikes were reported. As per report, during the next seventy two hours, the state was struck by more than ten thousand lightning strikes, though the majority of intense strikes were on early Sunday morning. As expected, fire started to light up around the state with majority of them concentrated in norther California. Rapidly burning fires forced evacuation as well as destruction of properties and natural wonders. The Big Basin Redwood Forest State Park, about forty five minutes drive from our house was burnt. The visitor center was completely burnt down to the ground. The fate of the old redwood trees, some older than two thousand years and two feet plus tall are not known yet.

Not sure if any of these behemoths are still standing after the fire. These photos were taken on August 1, 2015.

The fires are still burning without much of it being contained. For last four to five days now, the sky is covered by smoke from all the fires burning. University of California, Santa Cruz was evacuated. Thousands of firefighters are fighting valiantly to contain the fires. We pray for their success because in their success lies our safety. Please send your prayers for their safety. Already six people lost their lives. As I am writing this, lots of properties were damaged and many had to leave their homes to safety and others are packed and waiting for the dreaded evacuation orders.

As the state burns and the sky is covered with smoke, nature has presented her colors with beautiful sunsets and sunrises. It’s of little solace to all who are affected by the fury of the fire. We were staying at home due to COVID and now hoping that everyone can stay at their homes and not get displaced due to the fires. Though at first the smokes from the fires produced beautiful sunsets and sunrise, now it is only gray sky hiding the sun.

Sunset on August 17, 2020 from One Tree Hill

Sunrise on August 18, 2020 from my front yard
Midday sun on August 19, 2020 from my front yard. Sky covered in smoke.

Monday Haikus : Don’t Pass The Buck

Today here and now
Tomorrow is far away
Onus is on you

*****
Being good human
Squander not inheritance
Malign not the world

*******
Why do pass the buck
Eyed responsibility
Unite, not divide

*****
Make it great again
By deed, not smoke and mirrors
Talk is cheap, work not

*******
Enjoy happiness
In responsibility
Burden it is not

Weeds

Weeds we are, hardiest children of nature, merrily we strive
Given the slightest opportunity, we grow and thrive
Do not ask for more, we take what we have and live
No TLC, do not care, we know we can always survive

No complaints about life, none at all
We make our own place in this world
We put down our roots strong and sound
Summer, drought, rain or snow, do not count

Create our own opportunity, clinging to life
Lie dormant and hidden when time is tough
Stone and concrete, lawns and roads alike
When the time comes, we come alive

Tormented we are by humans and animals alike
Torn out of our roots and thrown aside
Gardens of non-native plants thirsty for water
Even when sprayed with weeds be gone, we do not bother

Our love for our native land is strong
Nature’s children, we haven’t done anything wrong
Many a hidden curative quality do we have
To cure exotic diseases of the human race

Weeds we are, hardy, strong and sure
Many of us propagate by spores
Do not confuse us with the one you plant
We are not the weed that you smoke and rant


Week 11 of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with “W”

Write Anything Wednesday 4-13-2016