Where There Is Smoke

We were stargazing last night. Beautiful evening. Warm. Night sky was clear. Saturn was within reach of the telescope. It was so cool to see the rings of Saturn.

Then the sky became less clear. And a certain smell became apparent. Smoke!

We live on a rural property with about 7 acres of heavily wooded land. At 11pm at night, willows of smoke drifting up to the house was not a good sign. Where was the fire? Was it somewhere on the property?

We grabbed a cell phone, flashlights and began walking through the property. It was actually a bit scary. The smoke created a thinly visible fog — everything seemed strange and unfamiliar. After about twenty minutes of hiking through the land, we could find no fire. Lots of smoke. But no fire.

Could it be coming from another property? Lorraine and I headed out to the street and began walking east. Sure enough, there was a fire. Adjacent to a neighbour’s house. I held the beam of a very powerful flashlight on the fire until someone stood up and walked toward the light. Granted, the firepit was about 300 feet or so in from the road. As soon as I saw a person attending the fire, I turned off the flashlight and we headed back home.

Odd that a small campfire would generate so much smoke. Not so odd was the feeling of anxiety over seeing and smelling all of that smoke late at night.

Of course, it is the long week-end. Everything is so quiet here that even when someone nearby has an outdoor event, there is no noise. At least not coming from humans. The noise from the wildlife was almost deafening. A forest is rarely quiet at night. When there is smoke, the forest changes. Not for the better.

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