Monday, July 18, 2016

Rhymes with Ice

There's now a humongous fire on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Started by lightning three weeks ago, it is, to my minds eye, out of control. Tons of heavy equipment, 500 firefighters and support personnel (helicopter pilots, and others) and a million dollars a day to fight what was a nine-acre (now 13,000 and counting) fire.
It's in old spruce/fir forest headed to open grassland and just claiming earth in it's path. Zero contained, it's expected to burn for Two. More. Months.

This photograph is from that internet thingie here.

Why do I go on? Because we were just there.

We planned our summer get-away back in February and we were already late in getting a reservation then, grabbing the last available camping spot (it's a big celebration for our National Parks System--the centennial, so rezzies filled in quickly). While driving to the rim last week, we saw smoke from a hundred miles away and wondered if we'd have our little vacation.
We went anyway.
After all, Gil earned his lifetime park pass months ago and we had yet to claim it.
I asked the first park ranger we saw for details on the fire and her response was, "What fire?" She couldn't see the fire for the trees. From where we stood, the tall Ponderosa forest hid all signs of smoke.
As it turned out, we had four glorious days of blue skies and cool, crisp air (80s, no humidity), a respite from the desert heat we have returned to. From where we camped, the fire was about 10 miles to the northeast is all. I spent three nights trying to capture the sky from our campsite, particularly a single branch of a mighty pine.

I gazed at that one branch pondering last week's Diva challenge from Suzanne Fluhr (CZT and world traveler) to embrace Peace. If I had been home, I would have used the olive trees for inspiration. I have yet to get around to drawing this, now that we're back to "reality."
But I'm liking the photograph for inspiration as well as meditation, like a giant "Om." It's not the greatest picture I've ever taken as the wind was blowing 30 mph (helping that fire over there) and the branch was never still.
Perhaps I can still tackle this image to draw as this week it's about "movement!"

In the meantime, I'll play with the EIM. My current offerings for "spiral:"

I drew a "fake" Spirograph (remember those? I used to love em!) in Photoshop and dug up a fractal image and a strangely similar nautilus shell and a spiral nebula.

I'll get back around to the various artistic endeavors. While we as humanity try to digest the recent events across the planet, I try not to infuse my work with tragedy or politics. The title is a reference to France, even though it doesn't.
For whatever reason, the fire has gripped me tightly. Words, and pictures, which usually spill from me, somehow fail me.


  1. Beautiful spirals.the fire sounds awful so I hope that dies down soon. With you on the other events it is all so sad

    Love Chrissie xx

  2. Great inches as usual. How sad to hear about the fire, it must be killing so many trees and animals. There are enough troubles in the world without nature adding her penny's worth.

  3. Wow, that fire was pretty close! I hate to see all the devastation that they cause.

    Brilliant selection of inchie spirals you've shared.


  4. I could have written almost the same post, Cheryl. We were probably not too far from each other and I didn't even know about the fire. I took several similar pictures looking up through the trees as well. We were at Black Canyon lake where the results of a fire many years ago were still there to remind us to be careful with all the beauty around us. Lightning cannot be helped however. I gave myself a break from all Internet and phone so I didn't participate in all the challenges. Skipping this week's Diva because if I try to draw while moving, well, let's say it wouldn't be a pretty site LOL! Love your spiral :)

  5. Love your spiral - that spirograph thing was one of my favorite toys. I have even thought about getting another one for my second childhood! That fire looks so scary - what a loss!

  6. I don't participate in EIM---because there are just so many hours in the day, but I love what you found for spirals. I also had a spirograph. In fact, it seems that many tanglers of a certain age enjoyed them in our youth. Your shell spiral and nebula spiral demonstrate how popular that concept is in human experience. You could have also included a photo of water spiraling down a drain, it's that basic a concept. I'm glad your road trip and camping weren't overtaken by the fire situation out west. I can't convince Mr. Excitement that even glamping would be fun. :(

  7. Natural disasters are just that and I was sad to hear of the fire raging near where you were holidaying and no chance of it being controlled. We once watched a forest fire rage on a mountain slope near us in Wales but luckily there was no civilisation in its path and eventually with so much natural rock on the mountain it did burn itself out. But I love your photo of the spruce and sky. I used to have a Spirograph (actually still have it!!) and played all the time with it - it was so fascinating - great display of spiral inchies x

  8. Beautiful pics of the forest. Glad you were not in the middle of the fire and nice that you were able to go camping. I love the inchies, they are are so cool looking. I had a spirograph and I think that is one of the reasons I love geometric pics now.

  9. We in Canada recently had the Fort MacMurry Fire which had 80,000 inhabitants - the entire population of the town - evacuated (thousands of miles from where I live, though). We are currently in a fire ban where I live because everything is so dry and I worry a lot about fire - so destructive, so uncontainable.

    love the way you always provide us with multiple images - I remember spirograph well and loved it. well done