IN LIFE AS IN THE DANCE : GRACE GLIDES

ON BLISTERED FEET.
---Alice Abrams

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And the Wind Blew Our Way!

Stepping out in front of our place at 4:30 in the afternoon, the sky looks like a winter storm is moving in. But the color is a bit off. The reason for that is this isn't a storm front, it's August and this is smoke from the Zaca fire over 100 miles away!!! You can see that we're on a hill and the sky is blue at the bottom of the photo. The Zaca fire originated by Santa Barbara on July 4th and was finally contained on September 4th! It burned over 240,000 acres and cost over $118 million dollars.
This was taken from the back yard - it was so dark the flash on my camera went off! It's no wonder we all had headaches and sinus problems!!!
You may or not know that this area is second to none for air quality in the U.S. We are in a valley and all the junk from the bay area drifts down here and backs up against the mountains to the south. We actually have days in the winter where the air cops encourage neighbors to tattle on neighbors for lighting fires in their fireplaces.
In the summer months, of course we have all the pollutants from extra traffic on the freeway and from agriculture. And thanks to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, we have L.A.'s crap (literally!) spread on some land LA owns which is going to affect our ground water! We voted to ban it (wouldn't you?) but thanks to the wonderful courts, they overturned the desires of the voters. Add all of this to the stew, and you get our air. Now we're getting Mexican trucks, too! AIYEEEEEEE! This is taken from Tehachapi Mountains, looking out over the valley in which I live, in the winter. What you're seeing is valley fog, what we lovingly refer to as "Tule Fog," (pronounced as tu-lee) because it hangs so low. All of the pollutants (such as smoke from wood fires, hence the ban on fireplaces) stick in this fog and make the air unbreatheable for people with lung conditions. And, it's deadly. People drive too fast for the near zero visibility and we have horrific traffic accidents, some involving many cars and big rigs.

The joke in all this is our city council members decided to place a sign at the outskirts of town that reads, "Bakersfield, Life as it Should Be." Sure, if you don't breathe!

10 comments:

Lois Grebowski said...

Oh my! I guess I can't visit with my asthma and all...YIKES!

Come to TN... the air is much better! (except for the pollens).

Shaz said...

That's so sad. We are killing our own planet (& those that live on it!). All I can say is WHY?

Mags said...

Oh wow...poor Gracie. If I could send you some clean CT air, I would in a heartbeat.

Amazing Gracie said...

Lois: I would LOVE to live in Tennessee!!! The mountains, lakes and clean air...
Mags: thanks for your wishes! We'd love to live somewhere else. The problem is 1. Finances and foremost 2. Kids and grandkids!
We have a goal of moving up the hill to Tehachapi and buying a new modular in a couple of years. The air is clean and it's NOT hot!
Shaz: In our area, they're selling off farmland for new houses that aren't selling now! They can't give them away! And our concerns are - where is the water going to come from? We have problems buying water from the northern part of the state now! Greed...When you follow the money trails, that always seems to be the answer.

Sanni said...

I´m so sorry to read that, Gracie!

Keeping my fingers crossed for your new home in Tehachapi ♥

Hope you don´t mind I included you into the Viral Link Story making the rounds.

Travis said...

I remember the tule fog in the central valley outside Modesto CA. When I moved to SoCal they used to lament the "foggy" days. I'd laugh. Coastal fog made things slick, but I never thought it was anything to get fussed over down south.

I don't consider it foggy unless visibility is down to an inch or so. I can remember days when the fog was so thick along Hwy 99 that you couldn't read the instrument panel inside your car.

Gledwood said...

yeah there was a thing about fires on bbc world service last night... did you hear there were fires in greece? well the American ones .. and I'm talking about the state of Arizona ALONE were 20 TIMES BIGGER.. that is frightening... also i heard Arizona had 40 days this year with temperatures OVER 110 degrees.. that is ridiculously hot i just hope it killed some scorpions, black widows etc

i'm glad you were all right in the end tho!

Queenie said...

So sorry I hope all goes well with your move.

Heart of Rachel said...

That first photo looks almost eerie. I'm sorry to hear what the air has brought with it. The smoke must be causing health problems for some people. Hope the air will clear out soon.

Loving Annie said...

The days of the horse and buggy had their advantages.....