Smokey Sunset

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Pictures of the smoke haze in Colorado are like those pictures you accidentally take of your own feet - everybody has got one and they don't particularly want another.

But for those of you that haven't been smoked out lately -
This was taken Monday evening looking west. We were having an early bronze-colored sunset. (about 2 hours early) The nearest fire was an hours drive away and the biggest fire several hours away. I think the white blob was a flare off my flash, but it could have been a UFO only visible to cheap digital cameras.

Two days later and the air quality is a little better - I think I might take the dogs for a walk. Morning news says smoke reaches from New Mexico to Kansas and is 30,000 feet high in places.

Thumbnail by pollengarden
Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

Oh boy does my heart go out to you. We were one road away from pre-evacuation here this year. Last year we were just over the 25 interstate. It is an unsettling feeling. My prayers are with you all over there. In the Springs here and getting some of the smoke as well. Yesterday we had ash falling in the morning. Trying to stay inside but it is impossible to escape and headaches ensue.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Yup, wheresthebeach, I was just a few miles away from the evac order to the north, then you all got the rain and it was dropped....thank the heavens!!!! Sure could use some rain to the north of you (here please!!!!). Atleast my Iris bloomed good, this was the first year for this patch and wanted to enjoy the fragrances, maybe next year! And HEY, enough with the fires around the Springs area!!! If the forests have to burn to regenerate, let it be in the back country... I only have 5 native pine on my land, but there are many neighbors who have forests.... Hoping the Monsoons begin soon, enough of the drought already. Are you framiliar with the gal who opens here garden for tours each year? Did her property make it? Wanna say her name is Laren or Laura and think her last name begins with an S.....gosh, sorry, just can't remember..

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Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

I'm 35 miles or so from the West Fork Complex fires. Yesterday I couldn't see the mountains just 7 to 10 miles away. I'm on the western edge where the mountains drop down to flat farming land. There is grass and chico between me and the forest, but the smoke can get bad. So far it's not been unbearable here, as it has been for those closer to it. The people in Creede must be one tough bunch. Last night it had burned over 79,000 acres. I dread seeing what tonight's numbers are.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

My original photo above was supposedly smoke from the West Fork fires. And I'm not that close!
http://www.inciweb.org/unit/photographs/2137/
The above is hopefully a scary picture of the fire from Del Norte.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

A couple more photos taken in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with and without smoke. Got smoked out June 22nd, came back June 23rd to clear weather, smokey again in evening.
The same pine and mountain are in both pictures.

Thumbnail by pollengarden Thumbnail by pollengarden
Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

Just curious if anyone else is having issues with plant leaves becoming scared looking from the smoky rain or if I should consider another culprit. The reason I think it is from the smoke is that even the weeds are seriously affected this year. Quite odd.

Hope everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I guess El Paso county doesn't have extension service anymore. Might try showing your leaves to another county, maybe by email?

Plants do have to breath - you might try washing off any that still look dirty. By wash, I mean water sprayed through the hose -not soap. A little bit of rain did wonders for my blue spruce.
The drought has left plants stressed, too, so they have more trouble fighting off pests and disease.

Pesticides can cause deformed leaves. 2-4-D usually causes sort of a corkscrew. I saw an article just recently about another (forget the name) that trace amounts can cause leaves to look lumpy (like spinach) instead of smooth.

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the input pollengarden. I did do a dawn dish soap wash on the lowest setting last night and this seemed to help overnight. Just waiting to see if the newest growth will show the same signs or not. I finally had to trim back my petunias to nothing because the soot and ash stuck to them so badly and could not be washed off. The ash was accompanied by a very gummy feeling. I think we were just so close that they vegetation suffered seriously.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

If you got that much ash, that was probably your main problem. Burnt Evergreens can make a gummy soot, and it isn't easy to get off things - it is what makes creosote in your chimney. The ash here was fine and dry enough that a jet nozzle would take it off without having to use a soap or solvent.

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

Well that is informative. I think some plants just will not do well this year but I am keeping them ALL just for the sake of it all. :)

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

After a soap bath, all of the flowers bounced back. My morning glories have yet to flower though but everything else did slowly come back around.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Every county should have an Extention Office, they are listed in the pages for county government.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

El Paso county (Colorado Springs) does not have an extension office.
The Extension service is paid for by combined Federal, State, and County funds. El Paso county cut it out of the budget, so the State and Federal Funds were cut, too.
Which is a shame because they had a very active Master Gardener program.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Wow... didn't realize that, that's too bad as it's a good program. How 'bout some of the other surrounding counties. I think Douglas county still has theirs, if not could try Denver or even the Botanic Gardens should have someone to answer the question..

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