OctPoWriMo Day 23: Santa Ana Winds
It’s barely seven in the morning and I’ve just gotten out of bed.
The sun has just come up over the horizon
and I’m already sweating what seems like bullets of lead.
I get dressed, walk out the door, and feel the wind on my face.
The weather is brewing something evil
and spewing the devil’s hot breath like a canister of mace.
The mountain gap winds, so dry in their origin,
whip past giving whiplash to those who can still
withstand Southern California.
The Westward winds fan flames so unbelievably high
it feels like standing in front of a heater while dressed in a wool sweater.
Sadly, it seems the warm weather has made all my plants die.
OctPoWriMo Day 24: Water
Dark black soot covered the earth’s dirt floor. I had spotted burnt trees chopped down to save the ones surrounding it, charcoaled and black colored wood scattered all around our feet as we moved further up into the mountain. We followed the path that was once covered in flames up in to the mountains and out from the green meadow separating us from our campground. The sun was beating down on the six of us as we hiked higher into the mountain of trees all the while looking down at the aftermath of the forest fire that had just been calmed after weeks of burning.
The San Bernardino, CA forest fire broke out near Mill Creek Canyon, near Highway 38, and Bryant Street just north of Yucaipa. The towering flames had forced an evacuation of four homes on the Yucaipa ridge, campsites had been shut down, and fires were temporarily not aloud in the campsites that happened to open back up right before my group’s planned trip. The fire had burned at least 35 acres and was fueled by chaparral plants.
After hiking behind the campgrounds where we stayed, the six of us went back to camp for water to cool ourselves down and to clean up. One of the friendly campground hosts had driven up to a few of us who were washing away the dirt and grime from the afternoon’s hike. He asked us where we had hiked and told us all about the scorched earth behind the camp. (more…)
My eyes are transfixed on the yellows, reds and oranges that paint their warm strokes against the black sky. I continue to watch as the brilliant flames dance and twirl like swifter swaying seaweed in the sea. It’s as if these brilliant colors are alive and quickly moving away from the crackling coals. It breathes in its surroundings commanding attention from everyone around, and we all give in to the authority of the blaze. (more…)