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'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.