It's summertime in the garden. Once again the wildfires burn. The wind blowing the smoke into this valley, blocking out the sun.
When we do see the sun it is eerily red. I can't see the mountain today. It's only a few miles away, yet it is invisible. It's difficult to breathe. The smoke lingers for weeks at a time and even seeps into the house some days.
Everything is quiet and still, feeling oppressive, apocalyptic.
The garden still needs tending though. I put on a respirator and go to work.
No birds sing. It's colder with the smoke choking out the sun. No bees buzzing about, rather they are lethargic and nestled in between the petals of the roses. Some are under the leaves of the mint and the blackberries. No hummingbirds either. The garden isn't growing very well without the sun.
I don't remember this many fires or this much smoke growing up here. Will it be like this every year? Is this the new normal? The weather has been crazy this summer too. Weeks of unusually strong winds. Days upon days of temperatures well over 100 degrees, which is uncommon. This isn't normal for where I live, but maybe it will be.