Country Living Series

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where there's smoke, there's fire

Older Daughter and I went into Coeur d'Alene today for a day of running errands. As we started to head for home, we saw a heavy plume of smoke over the mountains. Unlike the years we lived in Oregon, this didn't cause us heart-stopping fear because August is when the local farmers burn their fields.

Field burning has been banned - with justification - in many areas, but is still legal in our county.

We drove closer and closer to the smoke:

Here the smoke is mushrooming over a small town of about 200 we passed through...

Dramatic, ain't it?

We got to the point we were passing the spot they were burning, and on impulse I turned off the highway toward the burn.

In the foreground you can see the blackened ground, from which the crop residues have been burned away.

The smoke got thicker and thicker.

With the permission of one of the farmers supervising the burning, we turned onto a side road and plunged right into the smoke.  Oy!

Here's the sun shining through:

Suddenly the wind shifted and blew the smoke right over us.  Oh my goodness, we were completely blinded.  Charred bits of grass blew across the windshield.  I know field-burning has caused fatal multi-car pileups on highways in the past (which is why it's been banned in most places) and after this it was easy to see why.  We literally couldn't see more than five feet ahead of the car.  I had to turn around on a narrow gravel road (doing one of those "eighteen point turns") and hope no one was going to barrel through the smoke and broadside us.

It was a relief to drive out of it, that's for sure!

If you spend any time in the western half of the U.S., you live in constant fear of fire.  When we first moved to northern Idaho, it took me awhile to get over that jump-out-of-your-skin feeling upon first seeing smoke.  Here there may be fire, but thankfully it's tightly controlled.  Field burning rarely gets out of hand.


  1. what crop will they be putting into that field that they need to make fertalizer of the ashes of the food fiber food additive growing there?

  2. Burning off the stubble is one of those practices that naturally improves the soil,
    but makes it temporarily unpleasant for anybody in the area. It's a win-lose kind of thing.

    Someday, when your area is thoroughly Californicated (a term I learned on this blog), this farming practice will be outlawed. And that, my dear Patrice, will mark the beginning of the end for farming in Northern Idaho. I know, I've seen the trend here in Northern California. First they went after the stubble burn-offs, then the irrigation, and then the farmers themselves.

    Relish the burns, they're going to be a part of the past someday soon. Mark my words. Farming in America is under attack - our farmers are too successful, according to the NWO freaks.

    Anonymous Patriot

  3. These photos remind me of the cane burns in Hawaii. Woo. Some nasty stuff. Lots of plastic tubing and chemicals burned in the process, sending up huge clouds of smelly, toxic, black smoke.
    I know it's a different situation there in Idaho, but still, if you go there again I'm gonna spank you.

    I'm well aware of the term Californication, since it was originally coined, if I'm not mistaken, to describe the terrible effects of illegal immigration. There's a book by that title.

    It's therefore a label that is incorrectly applied to most California refugees, and I take serious exception to any suggestion, intentional or not, of a comparison of my family to illegal aliens.

    There are more than a few native do-gooder progressives already here in Washington who are flinging open the doors to illegal immigrants and the very anti-ag trends A.P. writes about witnessing in Northern California. I know whereof she speaks, having lived through it myself in another part of that state. It's surreal, to put it mildly, and carries deadly consequences.

    So, even though there are those moving here who bring with them that same intellectual/political/moral world view, it's unhelpful to paint all California escapees with the same dirty brush. Some of us come bearing warnings and scars earned through hard experiences, and wish nothing more than to be a credit to our communities and share what we've learned in the hope we can better prepare them to fend off the very ills we fled.

    We came here, to a state with no personal income tax, and started a small business, which means we're picking up a hugely disproportionate share of the tab for everyone's public services. Cha-CHING. We intentionally chose to purchase an existing home..Cha-CHING...that required not one shovel-full of dirt to be disturbed so as not to add to the tide of unwanted development about which the locals complain so much. We support local businesses...Cha-CHING...both by buying locally grown foods as well as locally produced products and materials for use in our trade. We provide critically needed votes for conservative candidates and we give thanks to Our Creator every day for the chance to escape the nightmare life had become in the formerly golden state. We feel in some ways like we've come home to America, and view the creeping crud of 'progressivism' with sadness and dread.

    So the term Californication is one we know the meaning of all too well, and it doesn't apply to all your new neighbors just because they came from California. Yes, we know all about those who come and bring their 'me first!' attitudes and driving habits...they moved in on us in our fine agricultural community down there years ago. They came from L.A; S.F. and back east and drove real estate prices up by 265% in just one five year period alone. They hired illegals as their gardeners and housekeepers, then mounted political campaigns to do away with the 'nuisances and dangers' posed by our farms and wildlife, while they vociferously championed the causes of illegal immigration and gay rights. Yeah, we know those folks. They ain't us.

    Anonymous Patriot is wise and correct about the assault on Farming in America by the NWOers. They went after our oil production, killed it and now they're after our food producers. Anyone who dares and has a strong enough stomach should do a Bing search of Agenda 21. It's a horrifying U.N. juggernaut unleashed on us by the Clinton administration and bears clear witness to the unspeakable evil that creeps ever closer to the heart of an unsuspecting America. Read it and smell the fetid breath of the NWO beast.

    Well, I need to get off this soap box and go do some chores...and let y'all do the same. Sorry. I didn't mean to ramble. It's just that there's so much to say and so few people listening, except when we're here. Thank you for hearing me.

    A. McSp

  4. Uh-oh. My bad.

    In my previous post I stated there is a book titled Californication, the subject of which is the impacts of illegal immigration. While there may be such a book out there somewhere, what I was actually referring to the book Mexifornia, by Victor David Hansen.

    My apologies for the confusion.

    A. McSp

  5. they made yard burnings illegal in my old homestead and forced a neo mafioso trash collection system on the land and people not part of the crony capitalist politics

  6. I was watching some golf this weekend on T.V.and they said it was from somewhere east of the Cascade range in Oregon. I didn't see enough to pin it down. What a beautiful landscape. The kind of beauty that makes an atheist's brain turn to mush.(If they were honest.)