Just in case you hadn't heard, bits of Boulder are on fire. That made today at school a little unpleasant. Campus isn't in any danger, but it was very hazy (I could barely see the Flatirons from the geology building) and everything smelled like smoke. My sinuses are feeling extremely irritated now.
The only mineralogy field trip for the semester was supposed to happen this week as well. I must say, canceling a field trip because of fire sounds a lot more butch than canceling it due to rain. Maybe next time we'll be able to ratchet it up even more and cancel it on account of alien invasion or giant panda attack.
People weren't talking about it that much, but the smoke is pretty oppressive, and fire that close to town is a little scary. At least one of the faculty has had his house burn down. He seemed to be taking it a lot better than I ever would, but at least he had his computer with him when everyone got evacuated. So he might have lost a lot of books and other prized possessions, but at least he didn't lose any research he was working on. Another person I met in the building today mentioned that he'd been evacuated from his house, and he hoped that it didn't end up burning down because he had all of the literature reprints he needed for an article he's been working on for 10 years in his office, and if that goes up in flames he'll pretty much just have to give up on it.
Maybe it's that both of these gentleman are a lot older than me, or that when you live out where you can see something approaching wilderness from your front door, you have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes nature is one mean mother. But man, they both seemed pretty calm and resigned.
This is one more thing that makes me glad to live in the suburbs, though. Stuff is just stuff, but I also have kitties to worry about.
Also: Phil Plait has pictures over at his blog.
The picture of the sunset freaks me out a little - it makes me think of the Hayman Fire, when at midday in south Denver the sky was orange and ash was raining down. Brrr.
Don't fuck with mother nature.