Thursday, July 31, 2014

Swirling whirling thunderstorm

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We had a thunderstorm move through the other day. The clouds were incredibly cool on the bottom of the cell which swirled around us for several hours. It spit rain on us for five minutes or so and blew a few big gusts, several lightning flashes and a few thunderclaps before moving on. It really didn't seem like much of a storm given the mayhem we later discovered.

It blew the combine seat cushion off the combine and down the bowl of the hill into the pigpen. No biggie. It scattered all the tidy raked hay ready for baling into a perfectly even layer across the whole field. Annoying since Nathan had to re-rake the entire field. The real doozy was that it pushed the east wheel line into the west line, then pretzeled them together over the top of each other then sheared off the west line in two places and broke the chain that drives the motor. Most curiously though the line that got twisted off was the charged line and was full of hundreds of gallons of water, it is very heavy. That empty line sliced right through it though. I wasn't fast enough to get up on the hill to take photos before they had started dis-entwining the lines so I have no photos of that.

It is always something with a summer thunderstorm. Nathan and Lloyd spent the rest of the day cobbling the two lines together into one so we can get water up and running again on the alfalfa for our third cutting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


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This photo is from last week. The smoke has since cleared but was pretty dramatic when we were up at the hay patch that evening.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The burn

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Part of the burned area from the Ward Canyon Fire along the Antelope Highway.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fire is out!

Good weather really helped the crews snuff out the last little bit of fire. Now we can back to work! Today's task, finding where our cattle wandered off to when they got tired of waiting for us to move them to a new pasture :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fire season

It's hot and dry and and it feels like there is fire in every direction I look. Much of the week Lloyd and Nathan have been out fighting our closest fire, the Ward Canyon Fire (est 15,000 acres) along the Antelope Highway. There are also several fires out of Ashwood, Shaniko, Clarno, Maupin and on the Res with many more throughout Central Oregon.

It's hot and smoky down here in my little canyon. Here's a smattering of photos from the last few days:

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Ward Canyon Fire starts from dry lightning storm on Sunday July 13th and sends up smoke immediately instead of smoldering until the next afternoon.
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Smoke blowing west and meeting up with smoke from the Res

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A scattered thunderstorm blows through, barely enough rain to settle the dust.

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Next few days are choked with thick smoke, my life has its' own sepia filter

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Ward Canyon burning east towards Indian Creek, the disc is hooked on to the tractor ready to drag more fire trails around our crops and property as needed to supplement our seasonal "just in case" fire lines and back burns.

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Reflection of flaming pink sun in the roof of the upper granary

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Hazy, smokey days

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Changing winds give a little break from the smoke

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Another incredible fire season sunset

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Evening backfiring along HWY 293

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 The glow at night

This particular fire, as with most local fires is still burning away. BLM was out here for an evening then got called to more urgent fires. Just us locals and a rural fire protection district for now trying to keep everything in check. As long as it doesn't jump south of Hwy 293, we aren't in any direct danger. The weather is cooler with higher humidity over the next few days, hopefully this will give everyone a chance to get it knocked down so we can all get back to work. I'll share more photos as I can.