It's a bit disconcerting to wake up at 4 a.m. to the smell of heavy smoke when you live in a forest.
Walking outside before dawn this morning was like standing next to a campfire, with the wind blowing the wrong direction. The yard light illuminated tiny spirals of ash swirling all around, like snow flurries. The moon glowed red overhead, adding a sinister note.
We're pretty sure all the commotion is coming from the big fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is due west of our house. At least we hope it's not anything closer.
It makes me think of family members and friends who care for us, asking why we choose to live in such a challenging place. It's hard to explain, but like the people who live on the coast where hurricanes roar in, or on the plains where tornadoes rip through, we stay because this land calls to us. It's home.
Update: Our prayers go out to the families evacuated by the Fern Lake Fire in Estes Park, and to the firefighters trying to control it.