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A plane just flew over our house. Red tail. Four prop engines. White body. Filled with red fire retardent I’m fairly certain, or at least they were recently.


Not too low. Not too low. Not low enough for me to wave hello at the pilots. I’ve seen them that low on occasion. That’s too low because it means they are hanging out in the area.

But, they weren’t too high either. They were flying from south to north.

Pardon me while I check to see what’s going on north of here.

While I’m a little more prepared for it now, I’d rather not have the chance to do some fire-blogging.

8 Responses to “hmmm…”

  1. Nate R. Says:

    Hi there, just looking at your site…got to it from ‘gathering in light’… I too look out my window this time of year and see the familliar white bomber plane with red stripes… My wife and I live in Sonora, CA, which is about an hour east of Modesto. We have been having some major fires close enough that we’ve had this brown haze for the past week or so. The plane thing is interesting because my wife’s friend’s husband (how’s that for a double possesive) a pilot for the CDF (California Department of Forestry) and he flies the ‘command plane’–the one that circles all day and tells the bombers where to drop their red koolaid… A few weeks ago I even got to go to the CDF base and sit in the cockpit!! Yippee…


  2. Patrick Says:

    Yeah, I woke up to that brown haze a couple of days ago. The wind must be blowing your way now. It sounds like that fire is pretty well contained now.

    I know the command plane that you’re talking about. He, or one of his co-workers at least, was a regular around these parts back in ’03. Indeed, that plane is a welcomed sight. When it showed up in the morning that meant the bombers were going to come in. And it also meant that even if we don’t know what’s going on or how bad it’s going on someone with a radio does.

    That’s a great line of work. Tell your wife’s friend’s husband thanks for all of us who’ve been protected by his efforts.

    Oh, and thanks for visiting!

  3. Debby Says:

    Stay cool and safe. That fire was burning pretty close to us too, but that rain must have done something. I’m not riff-raff btw, am I?

  4. Patrick Says:

    Yeah, that was a wonderful rain wasn’t it? And it seems to have cooled things off up here. It’s been quite temperate the last couple of days, with a cool mountain breeze keeping things comfortable, which is important in a place where air conditioning isn’t all that common, and non-existent where I live.

    Nah, you’re not riff-raff. Unless you’re trying to sell me something. Or are calling me names. Well, even if you’re trying to sell me something that’s fine. Only I don’t have any cash, so it wouldn’t be all that worth your time. And I guess if you call me names I would assume I deserved it, because it would take a lot for you to call me a name.

    So yeah, you’re definitely not riff-raff. Unless, you somehow have turned into a flimflammer of late. But I highly doubt that.

  5. Nate R. Says:

    You must live pretty close…are you in the bay area or in the valley?

    Nate R.

  6. Patrick Says:

    Nate, no I’m not close at all. But I am geographically confused at times. I know where Sonoma is, and I know where Modesto is, only for whatever reason my mind refused to accept the knowledge and went ahead to think both were on the other side of these mountains where I live. Clearly that’s not the case. We have some different fires here, and I think the smoke must have had a little more than charred forest in it.

    I live in Lake Arrowhead, a little ways east of Los Angeles.

    Maybe it’s the fact that for the past year I’ve been looking at Northern California as a place to move when next I have that choice, and I wanted to live closer to your fires than to my present fires.

    I don’t know. It was lunch time, so maybe I was hungry.

  7. Nate R. Says:

    I know the exact feeling…life for me always seems so exciting somewhere else… BTW, do you like ‘Lake Arrowhead’ water? I always want to like it b/c of the name, but when I drink it I can’t seem to get into it…it always seems kind of mineraly (if that’s a word).

    Nate R.

  8. Patrick Says:

    Nate, I do like Lake Arrowhead water, though you’re right it’s a littler mineraly (which is a word now, since it has been used twice in conversation). I think it’s the reality of growing up in Southern California. Tap water is generally bad, so we’re used to a little flavor in what we drink. Of course, when I first moved up here the tap water came from Lake Arrowhead itself, water which was quite a bit more pure than the bottled version (which comes from somewhere that they keep secret, not the Lake, despite the name and the picture). Unfortunately the developers have gone crazy greedy up here and now there are so many houses they don’t use the Lake anymore because it was getting depleted.

    Personally, Northern California, or the coastal part of it, sounds appealing because I’m rather a bit tired of the hot weather down here, and I think there’s a lot more of the native California left up North.