A somewhat late welcome to the most depressing time in California, Fire Season. Today we finally got our first “fire sky” here in the Central Valley. The sun peeps through a dense layer of smoke and throws a beautiful, golden light on things. From a photographer’s point of view, there is no better light. From the perspective of someone who needs to breath, it downright sucks. Usually, this lasts several weeks before we can breath decent air again.
We are in a drought. Severe water restrictions will be called for, and I think the governor is only waiting to get past his recall election to implement them.
Adding to the problem, this summer we have had more Covid-19 cases than last summer, despite the massive dispensation of the vaccines in the previous six months. Any Californian adult who wanted to get vaccinated has had the opportunity to do so. Curiously, I now know more people with covid-19 than I did last year in the same period, and a few of them are fully vaccinated. The hated mask mandate is back. The State, the Federal Government and the private industry are pressing people to get their shots, and some local bars and restaurants have taken upon themselves to ban custommers who cannot prove that they have been vaccinated. Fewer businesses (but they do exist), forbid the entry of the vaccinated. The vaccine rollout has opened another wedge between Californians: the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.
The photographs on this post were taken during a hike I did with my son back in June in Napa County. The Palisades trail to Table Rock, at the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, used to be one of our favorite hikes back some 10 years ago. In the past few years, Napa has been ravaged by fires and we didn’t attempt to hike there for a long time. Currently, there is little left to burn in that county.