Posts Tagged ‘Forest Fires’

So, our garden planting got delayed by about thirty minutes today because this young bull moose parked himself in the yard and proceeded to snack on willow and birch leaves. I was standing in the bed of my pickup truck while I took photos. Mostly, I just watched him strip entire branches of their leaves.

The day before the moose came, our garden planting was delayed because of a forest fire. The fire didn’t threaten our house but we could see flames through the trees while standing on our deck. I abandoned the garden and drove up the road where I could get a better view.  This is what I saw:

700 acres burned in a few hours. Flames were shooting 100 to 200 feet into the air.

Watching a fire rage and looking at a large animal that could stomp you in an instant are both humbling experiences.

I felt sad as I watched the fire (sometimes I just had to look away) because I know people who live up in the area that burned, and I felt sure that houses were being destroyed. Miraculously, no houses were lost–I’m still amazed that the fire fighters were able to keep things under control.

And the moose, well, at one point he turned and looked at me and my heart did a little leap, like okay, get ready to jump down and scoot into the cab because it feels like that moose is going to come my way in a big way. But then he just kept tearing leaves from the trees.

So, those were my weekend highlights. What were yours?

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Smoke plume from the Willow Creek fire just six miles from town.

I hope the smoke stays away from town. This weekend I’m running in the Santa Claus half-marathon  so fresh air would be nice.

Have a great weekend:-)

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We’re in Indiana visiting family but I wanted to write about something cool that happened before we left Alaska.

A couple days before leaving Alaska we took a hike on a trail that borders the back of our property. We wanted to check the remains of a fire that had burned just a half mile from our house while we were away on a river trip over the weekend. But before we got to the burn we saw this young bull moose just off the trail.


I was so focused on getting to the burn that my wife, Dana, had to tap my arm and say, “look,” or I would’ve missed him.

I was interested in the burn because the MC in the story I’m writing spends a lot of time in a place that has recently burned.

I stomped around in the burn, watching the way the ash puffed up from my shoes.

Then I inhaled deeply through my nose trying to experience the smell, and ended up in a sneezing fit.

I put my hand in the ash. It was still a little warm, and was neither as dirty nor as fine as the ash from my woodstove.

Hands-on research. It can’t be beat. You feel it, smell it, taste it, or hear it.

Last year I tried to set a space blanket on fire but all it did was crinkle and melt so I had to change that little detail in my story. I was hoping it’d burst into flames. The label said, “flammable.”

Have you done hands-on research for your stories? Did you find out anything unusual? Did you have to change your story based on your findings?

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