Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘wildfire smoke

Plans Change

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I changed my mind. I wasn’t going to show my latest sculpture project until I was done but apparently, I’ve used up all my patience trying to train Asher lately. I’m not waiting any longer. It may seem like an illogical time of year to begin an idle pleasure that has the potential to occupy many hours when spring growth is happening faster than can be managed in a day.

Since when is artistic whim logical?

The trigger for me was the accommodating weather allowing me to work outdoors on creating wood shrapnel and sanding dust. I decided to see if there might be a heart shape hiding in this Y-section of a maple tree we cut down at some point.

It’s lopsided, so I’m trying to decide if I’m feeling moved to compensate for that or let it remain imperfectly balanced.

I chose to give it more attention yesterday because the air quality was poor due to Canadian wildfires and I didn’t want my lungs to suffer from my panting away on a bicycle. Since the air made wearing a mask worthy, I figured I might as well work on something that is incredibly dusty.

I hesitate to reveal the vision I have for the bottom portion because I don’t have a firm plan on how I will accomplish it. Maybe if I state it, doing so will add incentive for me to keep after it, one way or another.

I hope to achieve the appearance of a melting heart. There are so many times when I feel moved to say that something melts my heart. A visual representation makes sense to me.

Somehow, I will need to try to fit the next level of sculpting in between mowing and trimming sessions, because if I stop now, I may never finish. It would get added to my trophy case of umpteen other art projects that I started but have yet to complete. I’m guessing this risk is why I was considering not talking about the melting heart until it was actually a thing.

Well, self, the plan has changed and the challenge accepted.




Really Happening

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It’s happening right before our eyes. The changes currently playing out on our planet are no longer just scientific theories. They are actual events. Record high temperatures. Droughts. Wildfires. Floods. Thawing permafrost. Rising sea levels. Shrinking glaciers.

I’ve tried to mentally prepare for the possibility of any of the first four catastrophes directly impacting our property, but the thing we are dealing with currently is only peripherally related to the wildfires burning in Canada just to our north. Our air quality is so bad the Pollution Control Agency is advising we avoid being outside and breathing the smoke particulate matter.

Measurements are reaching record levels for Minnesota.

We should probably hold more meetings to discuss how we can reduce our carbon emissions to net-zero by some future date. [sarcasm]

I asked Cyndie if we have any idea what to do in the case of a wildfire suddenly bearing down on our location. She said we should paint our phone number on the horses.

I’m sure they would be fine with that if we were able to find any paint and get them to stand still during the highly emotional panic that would be occurring as a fire threat is bearing down on our property.

Even though the dramatic stories of lost lives and property in the recent floods in Germany and China and the ongoing Bootleg fire in Oregon depict the trauma at the epicenter of such events, life at home feels strangely distanced.

Our horses are calm. Their grass is dryer than optimum, the flies are a constant nuisance, the temperatures are getting too hot again, and the smoky air makes breathing less fun, but they aren’t ones to complain. I sense they may still be contemplating whether the situation they now find themselves in –living out their days in comfort and safety with us– is for real, or not.

Based on my assessment of the reality of global climate calamities playing out in plain view right now, I can understand any hesitations they might have about the comfort and safety part.

There should be no denying anymore that the ramifications of human activity causing increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are already playing out.

It really is already happening, whether people collectively acknowledge it, or not.

Every day that I don’t have to drive my fossil-fueled car anywhere is a tiny victory in my effort to reconcile still living with a carbon footprint that reflects how we got into this climate predicament in the first place.

May we all keep looking for individual ways to do something helpful, or simply stop doing things that are hurtful, long before governments and greater society finally get around to enacting more broadly effective changes.

I look forward to that really happening.