June 27, Wednesday evening

This is exactly how much rain fell overnight, with lightning: the ground looked wet in the morning, the morning smelled sweet and fresh and cool, and a fast dog leaving the gate kicked up pure dust.

Driving home this evening, the smoke a stain of bruises, purple smudges like thumbprints, along the ridge. I give thanks today as everyday for where I live. Again I pray for the safety of our valley, knowing only by the grace of great good luck or some kind of divine intervention will we escape this summer’s blazes unscathed. One of the first most crucial natural history lessons to learn here is the difference between smoke and clouds: learn to know what each one looks like in the different lights of day and night.