Sonoma Fires Part 2: Trees on Fire!

The Santa Rosa fires were of epic proportion. Here is a current page from my creative journal. I titled this drawing, My Memory of Trees on Fire!

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It is a sketch of trees that I see along the 101 Freeway after the fire. You can see the handprint of the edge of the fire, where a green tree ends and black trees start. continue reading

Sonoma Fires

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Map of the Oakmont Fire threatening Spring Lake, several miles to the east, at the Ledson Winery area. This is the fire activity on October 16th.

The fires around Sonoma County are frightening. The Ledson Winery,  the one I wrote about in The Art of Getting Lost in Sonoma, is standing dramatically against a backdrop of flames in the Oakmont Fire!  My mom’s apartment  is just two miles away from this fire and she has been under mandatory evacuation orders since October 9th, and she’s sick so I worry about her. Her neighbors at the retirement community were evacuated to the fairgrounds or to their family. We wait for the rain expected on Thursday to stop this madness…

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Celebrating Octoberfest in Squaw Valley

Octoberfest lady dancing, by Irene RowleyDid you know there was a Octoberfest festival in Squaw Valley, California, with snow?  I did not know…  I went to the Sierras for the autumn colors, and because I loved the mountains. If you have been following me, you know the Sierra Mountains are one of my favorite destinations. So I went to Squaw Valley this season.

Irene, First snow, Squaw Valley, photo by Irene Rowley

I loved the first snow in Squaw Valley …

I found Squaw Valley was a little village nestled under steep and beautiful granite mountains. They were untouched by snow, at least the day I arrived… continue reading

The Wind is Like Fire … a Poem

waterfall and mountain painting, by Irene Rowley

The wind is like fire
tapping treetops, rippling leaves
and touching me now.

I wish I could stay
Forever floating in the valley,
From mountain peak to waterfall,
As quiet but strong as a canoe.

My spirit went into the forest
and found the treasure of my own
warm and beating heart
inside pure waters where
there is no death,
Oh no.

Where there is but rebirth and love,
and the love of children
hopeful and hungry — and
The sound of my own song.

~ by Irene, about a recent hike in the Sierras.