setting sun through wildfire smoke, maple tree

Strange Days

The south coast of British Columbia is in the middle of a heat wave. High temperatures are in or near the 30s (degrees C; 85 to 100 F), but more than that, easterly winds have brought a haze of smoke from fires in the interior.


The light has a strange coppery hue. As it rises and sets, the sun is blood red, and the moon is a rich gold colour even when high in the sky. Parts of the garden are on life support delivered by hose and watering can, and some plants are doing peculiar things.


The foliage of this columbine plant has turned a dark purple, almost black.

Having an afternoon sleep (siesta?) is the thing to do, but on getting up I feel weirdly disconnected. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear chanting from somewhere in the neighbourhood, or to meet a small dragon in the woods. It’s as though some unknown prophecy is manifesting. And in those days the sun was the colour of blood, and fires sprang up, and strange beasts roamed the land…


All this is fancy, of course. People close to the fire zones, who have been evacuated or lost property to the fires, are living the grim reality.

We’ll all welcome cooler temperatures — and rain.



  1. Strange days indeed. We’re holed up in our little cottage with our portable A/C doing double duty as an air filter … unless we get a good blow from the south-west I don’t see this clearing much before the end of the weekend.

    … and I do think the dragons are just beyond the haze … waiting … 🙂

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  2. It seems to be a pattern everywhere: intense heat followed by intense rain. Not sure what’s going on with the columbine. Colouring in plants is sometimes connected to climate (autumn colours for example). It must be confused. Things flowered early in England this year.

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    1. That columbine had black (well, really dark purple) flowers too. It produced a lot of seeds. I’ve saved some, so it’ll be interesting to see if its weirdness has been passed along. I rather like the foliage colour, but as you say it may be weather-induced. We’ve had only 4 mm of rain since late June, so are overdue, but hopefully it won’t be a deluge when it does come.

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  3. Well done, Audrey, pulled me in. Changes are certainly under way, sorry about the fire smoke. We toured Zion National Park several summers ago and the wild fire smoke haze was a hazard. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Michael. We’ve had a change in the wind direction, so no more smoke here on the coast, but fires rage on in central British Columbia. This seems to be a year of extremes.


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