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pyrocumulus

August 31, 2009

Mrs. O’Leary herself (to say nothing of the cow) would be staggered by what’s going on here this week.

By day, it basically looks like an a-bomb went off over the city:

Los Angeles Forest Fire, originally uploaded by Tivor the Browncoat.

(Incidentally, I learned a new word. Pyrocumulus is a cloud formed by a rising thermal from a fire.)

By night, it looks like Mordor:

La Canada Fire, originally uploaded by anosmicovni.

It makes me think of a sentence from Will Durant that I ran across years ago: “Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” Southern California is a better-than-usual illustration of his point; I’m sometimes amazed that anybody still lives here at all. Every year the whole place either burns or flash floods, and every ten years an earthquake comes through and knocks down whatever we’ve got left. But we all keep rebuilding and settling in to wait for the next disaster. Maybe the thought of life without In-N-Out is worse than the constant threat of having Mother Nature turn your roof into your floorboards.

In any case, send cold, wet thoughts towards the west coast, would you?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2009 5:54 pm

    I can’t get over those pictures. They make me sad, yet at the same time I kind of wish I was there. My best friend’s just lost their house…:(

  2. September 11, 2009 10:20 pm

    Those latter Photographs—upper-case “P” clearly meant—are simply phenomenal. (I lived in Los Feliz in 2007 and worked for some nabe papers; the night the infernoes what crept over Griffith park, I was in a news van racing up Riverside and which was nearly toppled over the ridge by LAFD fire trucks racing rearwards to escape that which we drunken and hell-bent newsmen were attempting to acquire!)
    I now reside in East L.A. and have some smudgy snapshots of those fire-lined teeth eating their way into the west side of the Foothills–none hold a candle to the superb shots here! Amazing.

    • Kate permalink*
      September 22, 2009 5:29 am

      They’re beautiful, aren’t they? I can’t take credit — I found both on Flickr. Lots of people over there who are far more talented with a camera than I.

      Thanks for the link on The Bus Bench! How did you stumble in here?

  3. September 26, 2009 9:42 pm

    *AND* you quote from Will Durant? You will make a geek a happy man someday.

    These are some amazing pics, I think you need to get yourself a nice camera.

    http://www.loganlo.com

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