Shrouded in Smoke!

We are shrouded in smoke this morning and as you wander outside you'll notice your nose crinkle at the acrid smell of something burning. 800 fires started this weekend!!! Most of them caused by lightening strikes as we had many "dry" thunderstorms this weekend. Put that together with the tinder box dryness that we are experiencing this year and you've got the perfect recipe for fires starting.

Actually this is pretty early to see this intensity of fires. Yes, our fire season does start in mid-May. But, you'll usually see the fires around August-October.

So, we just shut our windows, crank up the air conditioning and wait until the smoke is no longer settling in our area. And, we thank the Lord that we have not seen any of these fires up close! Such is life in bone dry California.

Here's an article on the fires.

See a Huge Moon Illusion Wednesday

Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
Tue Jun 17, 11:15 AM ET

As the full moon rises this Wednesday evening, June 18, many people will be tricked into thinking it's unusually large
The moon illusion, as it's known, is a trick in our minds that makes the moon seem bigger when it's near the horizon. The effect is most pronounced at full moon. Many people swear it's real, suggesting that perhaps Earth's atmosphere magnifies the moon.
But it really is all in our minds. The moon is not bigger at the horizon than when overhead.
The illusion will be particularly noticeable at this "solstice moon," coming just two days before summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere. The reason, according to NASA, lies in lunar mechanics: The sun and full moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week's high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging moon and a strong, long-lasting version of the illusion.
If it's any consolation, space station astronauts report the same effect.
Here's how it works: Your mind believes things on the horizon are farther away than things overhead, because you are used to seeing clouds just a few miles above, but the clouds on the horizon can indeed be hundreds of miles away. So if we think something (such as the moon) is farther away, and it's not, then it seems larger.
If you remain doubtful, test the idea yourself. Go out at moonrise with a small object, perhaps a pencil eraser. Hold it at arm's length as the moon rises and compare the sizes of the moon and the eraser, then repeat the experiment an hour or two later when the moon is high in the sky. A rolled up tube of paper works well, too.
Moonrise times vary by location. On Wednesday, it will come up at these local times at these locations, according to NASA: New York City, 8:58 p.m.; Miami, 8:35 p.m.; Seattle, 9:51 p.m.
The moon rises about 50 minutes earlier Tuesday night, when the effect will also be noticeable because the moon will be nearly full. Oh, and that raises another fallacy: There's no such thing as a full moon.
Additional moonrise times for your location are available from the U.S. Naval Observatory Web site.

Butte Valley Fire

There is a massive fire burning about 35 miles away from us. It is in an area where we lived before buying our home here. It has destroyed 40 homes so far, 20,000 acres and is only 15% contained. It started on June 11, 2008.

It has been HOT here (100 plus) and the last few days we have had high winds and very low humidities. Our winter was very dry too. We have been under a fire watch most of the week.

Please pray for the families who have lost their homes and personal items.

As of Thursday, June 12:

Humboldt Fire by the numbers
Acres Burned: 19,000
Containment: 10 percent
Structures Destroyed: 20-40
Threatened: More than 5,000 structures
Evacuations: 1,200-1,500 people in areas of Paradise, Butte Valley and Butte Creek Canyon.
Injuries: 4
Cause: Under Investigation
Total Fire Personnel: 1,354