In A Vase, With Fire


Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon', Dahlia 'Holland Festival',  Leucadendron 'Blush', ivory Rose 'Snowbird', white Eustoma and Hydrangea, a bit of white and yellow Lantana
 
 The first strong Santa Ana Wind event of the season drove me indoors.  Creating a floral arrangement seems fitting, because this weather ruins delicate flowers, so they might as well be cut and taken indoors. 

I thinned out the Eucalyptus foliage a bit.  Does that improve the arrangement?  On the right, yes, but too much removed on the left.  Couldn't get it right. 
 From this angle the Dahlia vanishes but the beautiful 'Snowbird' rose is better visible.   The color of the Dahlia is rather disruptive.  This color blend is more cohesive.
 Arrangement made and photographed, smoke appeared on the horizon...a wildfire erupted about two miles from here.  Two weeks ago there was another in the same area, but that one was moving in the opposite direction.  This one is more worrisome because the winds are not only stronger, but are also pushing more in this direction.  It's not reason for alarm, but it is reason for watchfulness.   

At this point the wind is pushing the fire more west than southwest.  We're south west.  The danger is embers flying and starting new fires in dry palm fronds, and Eucalyptus trees.   The neighborhood in gravest danger at this moment is full of big pine trees;  at least they look recently well thinned out and limbed up.  Developers planted pines because they grow fast and are cheap, rather than native oaks which grow slowly, are not so cheap, but are far less of a fire danger.  Watching TV news now:  oh, there on the TV a house just caught fire.  You can see smoke coming out of the roof.   Oh, crap.  Flames.  Another house is going up.  Oh, crap.  The fire gets into the vents or under the eaves, and the house goes up.  Oh, crap.  The one next to it now, the flames shooting out now.  

In A Vase On Monday is hosted by Cathy at the beautiful blog Rambling in the Garden.  

This post is ending on a very different note from where it started.  

Update: 11:45 am PDT
 Update 2:44 pm


Comments

  1. You said it: Oh, crap. That update (which was posted while I was commenting) is mighty scary regarding the kind of trees seen

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    1. It got really, really close, then two DC-10's came in with 12,000 of Foscheck each, and the wind suddenly ceased. So, it's not so scary right now, but we'll stay alert and we are packed and ready to scoot.

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  2. Oh dear Hoov, this must create much anxiety . We are hideously engulfed in smoke here, but I don't live in or near the hills and wind direction will tend to push the fire(s) away from my area. We could use about 2 inches of rain right this minute.

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    1. It was an exciting day alright. Here I was phiddling with some flowers in a vase, expecting an uneventful day... I was thinking of you up there wondering how you were. Glad to hear you are safe, but terrible news from up there, 1500 homes burned--only around a dozen here, which is bad enough.

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  3. Gosh, reading your topical update was quite alarming - are wildfires always a potential hazard when it is the season of Santa Ana Winds? I am trying to remember my distant geographical knowledge about these winds - hot and dry and are they sandy too? Do they completely trash your garden? I am so glad you rescued these blooms to share with us - the white blooms look so pristine against the eucalyptus, don't they?

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    1. The classic Santa Ana season is usually mid-Autumn until the winter rains begin in late November, but we can get this weather phenomenon into March some years. What happens is a large high-pressure system over Utah sends strong winds into the Los Angeles basin. As the winds go over the mountains they are compressed and heat up and temperatures go to the 90sF (32-38C) Humidity drops to 5% - 10%, and fires erupt.

      When my garden was new and nothing was established, the Santa Anas did trash the garden! It was pretty awful. Now I have a lot of mature plants and a lot of Agaves and Aloes in the driest areas, so it isn't nearly as bad as it used to be.

      I was having fun creating a bouquet, and then everything changed. What a day.

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  4. Oh crap is right. That looks much too close for comfort, not to mention those poor folks whose houses are burning. Keeping my fingers crossed with hope for you all.

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    1. Thanks! A dozen homes destroyed. The wind had died down for the night and the flare up nearby was beaten down quickly, but we are staying alert and ready to evacuate immediately.

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  5. I'm so sorry your in a fire zone! I can't imagine how horrible that must be. I do hope you'e ok. Your arrangement is lovely. Eucalyptus is very exotic and the flowers are incredible. I never knew they bloomed! (You can teach an old dog new tricks!)

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    1. I never realized some Eucalyptus have quite spectacular flowers myself. Search up some images of E. macrocarpa. The flowers are quite something. I should have specified that the Euc in the bouquet is just the foliage.

      We're okay here so far, keeping our fingers crossed and watching the news for status.

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  6. Yikes! That's too close for comfort. I was visiting a friend recovering from surgery most of the day and grew ever more anxious the closer I got to home as the sky turned browner. There were 2 fires here on the Peninsula but the smoke and ash blowing our way is coming primarily from the Anaheim Hills fire. The last report says 1000 homes have already been evacuated. I hope it's moving away from you! I also hope you haven't been enveloped by that awful smoke.

    Your vase and the flowers in it are beautiful. The pomegranates add to the vignette.

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    1. Yep too close for comfort. The Sheriff came by with a megaphone saying get ready to go--and then the wind died and they got the nearby flare up knocked down so we didn't leave.

      Weird but we got very little smoke here. it was going west most of the time, missing us (thankfully!!!).

      Happy someone noticed the bouquet! I put some effort into that. My neighbors gave us pomegranates from their tree.

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    2. Glad to hear you're okay - and I hope that remains the case. My sister-in-law up north is in a similar situation - ready, watching and waiting.

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  7. Hope you guys are safe! Fire is always scary... Even more so as it gets closer!

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    1. We seem to be okay at least for tonight. The firefighters and the pilots of the helicopters and planes that drop water and foscheck were awesome!

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  8. Thinking of you today. This was the color sky for my garden too with an angry red sun. The wind will return but hopefully they can get this out soon. Very very scary stuff. Going to be a long night and wish there was something I could do. The arrangement is beautiful. Stay safe friend. KittyM

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    1. Very kind of you, KittyM. Thanks for thinking of us. We're lucky so far, but we're staying alert for the night, just in case. The wind is calm or close to it and the humidity is up for the night.

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  9. Aren’t you the one who claimed to have no talent for floral arranging? I think you put together quite the fantastic creation, the pomegranates adding the perfect finishing touch.

    That last image gives me the shivers, your beautiful home and garden so close to this sad destruction. Fingers crossed things keep away from you and are quickly under control, I know that’s a tall order, but I’ll keep on hoping for it.

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    1. I've been trying to learn and be inspired by some very talented bloggers who show their creations nearly every Monday. It has helped!

      When I walked out of the house and saw that--it was a "Yikes!" moment.

      Looks like we are going to be okay this morning--wind was predicted for sunrise but we are still at zero wind at 8am and there was a thick fog from about 6-7:30am, a sure sign the winds will either be non-existent or weak. At least 10 homes destroyed nearby and another dozen or so damaged. We were lucky!

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  10. Oh Hoov, hope you're still safe! Very scary.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. The amazing fire crews got fairly good control overnight, and the danger appears to be over, though we'll remain alert and ready to go today. Another Wind Event is predicted for the weekend; hopefully the spot fires still burning will be out by then.

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  11. How awful, I've been hearing about it on the news. That is too close for comfort.
    It seems very trivial but that rose is stunning.
    Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks! We seem to be in the clear now, at least until the next Wind Event. I do love that rose, it is a beauty, but yes, it seemed unimportant for a while.

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  12. I really liked the very first shot of the arrangement, with all the eucalyptus foliage. It worked for me, heavy but dramatic, kind of like the later portion of your post. Hope you stay safe. The news from California is so scary.

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    1. I think you are right. I should practice arrangements more as they are educational as far as design principles go (something I need to learn better). We'e okay now. Santa Rosa area is much worse off. Terrible news from there.

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  13. Beautiful arrangement, thank you for sharing. Glad to hear you are safe.

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    1. Monday was crazy, wasn't it? All happened so fast.

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    2. Yes, running home from work mid-day to pack up 'essentials' made me realize two important things. 1. How unprepared I am, and, 2. How little that 'stuff 'I cling to matters.

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    3. Wise lessons learned! To realize 1.) and be motivated to plan better; to realize 2.) and re-order life's priorities a little. :)

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  14. Watching those fires, and glad you are OK. Definitely too close for comfort with those towering piles of brown smoke.

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    1. Thanks! It was horrible for the people who lost their homes. Up north in Santa Rosa it was much, much worse. :(

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  15. Glad to see you're okay. I've been watching the wildfire situation aghast from this long distance. What a tragedy for those involved. On the flower front, I agree with Alison – I preferred the "more is more" version of the foliage, but the other is lovely too. If I had the time and money and the space to display them, I'd arrange flowers for myself every day. The more you do, the better you get.

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    1. Could be the lighting on the foliage is what perturbs me. Not enough texture. I think you are right: practice really helps! It has been a pleasure to enjoy the arrangement the past few days; its holding up surprisingly well. Perhaps that will inspire me to make an arrangement more often.

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