Signs were set up not far from here along Highway 82 yesterday denoting a prescribed burn. By the end of the day, smoke was hovering inside the city limits of Saint Jo, Texas, eventually lifting and filling the sky with even more particulates than already existed, just as it has for months now across the area of the Red River Valley where I live. I don't recall a time when so many prescribed burns and wildfires have existed across the South in all the years I've lived here.
A prescribed burn of the LBJ grasslands outside of Decatur, Texas altered my route home yesterday from the DFW Metroplex. In the early hours before dawn I could still make out several large areas of glowing light in the direction of those fires to the south (independent of the city lights that normally haunt the horizon from the direction of the DFW Metroplex). I've heard tales of the problems it's causing those with breathing issues locally, and read of several deaths up in the Panhandle, and of hundreds of thousands of acres burning across multiple states. (A news search of the term “wildfire” produced article after article published in the last 24 hours alone).
All of this smoke is making yearly outdoor chores a little less enjoyable on certain days, but not impossible. At times, the sky looks more like a congested city with no air quality regulations in place than the rural country air I’ve grown used to. What a consternation 2017 is already turning out to be, certainly in more ways than some could have imagined. Still, life carries on.
Gobbles rise daily from the bottomland as the sun rises and sets. Turkeys sound like they are ready to do their turkey thing with the onset of Spring. Despite all the dry grass, the ponds are full and new shoots of grass are slowly greening the pastures again. New calves are running and kicking in a playful manner and dove have returned to the bird feeders. I suppose it won't be long now before the swallows return with all the morning chatter of a squirrel who has spotted something in its territory; although the swallow’s songs tend to sing of happiness as opposed to anger. (Sometimes my comparisons need a little work.)
Though I don't read as much news these days, I think I'll move on to my morning breakfast routine. Counting blessings doesn't seem as important these days as simply recognizing they still exist, regardless of the number.