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The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
Seattle. September 18, 2012.

My morning commute takes me north along the edge of Lake Washington. I often dawdle, drive too slow for the ones in a rush and happily pull over to let them pass and to let me gaze out over the lake. On clear days the Cascade Mountains beyond the lake are my morning muse.

DKos member badger lives on the other side of those mountains. I don't know badger, but on September 9, he wrote here about the fire in his back yard, Life in the Time of Fire (updated). Since then there have been more fires on the east side of the mountains. Huge fires, sending smoke up and west. By mid-week the smoke from those fires had softened the tips of the mountains. By the end of the week the smoke had come down into the western foothills.

This morning the landscape was flat, midwest flat, as if overnight we'd been transported to Kansas. There were no mountains, no foothills, just the faint scrim of Bellevue's tall buildings 10 miles on the other side of the lake. When Bill-the-Dog and I walked in the Forest this afternoon we were surrounded by the faint BBQ fragrance of stale woodsmoke.

We made our way down to the north end of the Forest's peninsula to swim, then returned up through the Forest, slowly. He is old and the smoke makes it hard for me to breathe. Just before the top of the ridge we stopped, both of us needing to rest. From the west two Barred Owls called back and forth. I turned towards their voices. No owls there, just a deep orange light glowing through the canopy. Not sunset. Too early for sunset. Just sunlight cascading through the smoke from fires burning on the other side of the mountains.

May all of those on the other side of the mountains be safe.

September 18, 2012. Smoke from the fires burning in Eastern Washington has reached Seattle.

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Your turn. What's happening in your neighborhood and where might that be? Everyone is welcome.

I'll be back in the late afternoon PDT. Carry on.

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