August 30, 2010
August is usually a very rainy month, we're told, but there's hardly been any rain. It's also usually very cold, but it's been tolerably mild for the most part. This makes for comfortable living for us, but I'm not sure what it does for the overall crop situation here.
So the past two weeks, folks all over the country and over the borders into Argentina and Bolivia, have been burning fields. This is done not only to kill the undergrowth of weeds and thistles and to promote new grass, but also in an effort to bring rain. How? I don't quite understand, but something about drawing up the water from the ponds and creeks in the smoke, and over-saturating the clouds. That's a new one to me, but who am I to question a weather wives' tale?
This means that the whole world--well, at least our part of it--has been covered in a dreary haze of smoky fog day and night for more than a week now. It doesn't smell like smoke, but it blocks the sun, obscures long-range viewing, and just leaves everything gray and depressing. When the sun can be seen, it looks like a full moon. Just a reddish round ball in a sky of gray. And at night, the moon is totally red, a bit spooky. It was spectacular last week when it was red and FULL.
Any of you scientists and wanna-be scientists can feel free to google this one and see if there's any validity to the burning theory, but as for me, I'm just hoping the fires are almost done and we'll see the bright blue sky again soon.