Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | May 23, 2012

Fire Clouds

Imagine this…..you are sitting in the comfort of your air-conditioned home on a quiet afternoon, listening intently to a particularly suspenseful chapter of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, when you sense that the light outdoors has changed.

You gaze out a south-facing window and there is the serene, blue, New Mexico sky that you had been viewing all day.

Then, you peek out a window that faces west, to see a bizarre sky filled with angry looking, orange-yellow clouds moving slowly across the sky, erasing New Mexico blue.

We grabbed the camera and rushed outside, expecting, perhaps a “storm of Biblical proportions” approaching……but the weather report predicted a sunny and hot day.

After shooting these pics, we learned that this was no ordinary storm….in fact, it wasn’t a storm at all.

The clouds had been generated by a series of fires in the Gila National Forest several hours away….a place we had visited just a few weeks ago.

The smoke had filled the mountain valleys near the fires, and was now rising up and over the mountains, carried high above on the westerly winds.

We can’t really smell smoke at our level, but this certainly is a “first” for us….for the sake of the forest, we hope it is also a “last”.

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