The Garden and the Fire

Photo by by sierachris

Photo by by sierachris

I had planned to write an interesting and informative post about woodpeckers for today, but life was interrupted this past week. I’m sure you’ve heard about the massive fire in Black Forest, Colorado. Well, guess where we live… yup, Black Forest, Colorado. We were evacuated within hours of the fire’s start, and have been unable to get back into our house until now. We are grateful that we still have a house to get back into!

You can read more about our personal experience on my other blog, www.compost-blog.com. Today I’d like to share about what I am calling the miracle garden.

Tuesday morning dawned perfectly clear, and temperatures quickly climbed into the high 90s, as they had been doing for several days. We hadn’t had rain for weeks. My beans were just sprouting, I had planted seedlings of lettuce, zinnias, parsley, basil, and other crops a few days earlier, and I knew I had to keep them damp until they grew bigger roots.

The wind had picked up, and was blowing the mist from my hose back into my face. I thought, if ever there’s going to be a fire out here, today would be the day. (Note that I think that a lot. We live on five acres, and about half of that is Ponderosa forest. Fire is never far from our minds, especially after the Waldo Canyon fire that burned 347 houses across town last year.)

I spent about an hour, watering, weeding, and feeding the eleven hens we currently have, then headed back into the house to cool off. I was surprised to find three messages on the answering machine, then more on my cell phone (which I’d left on my desk), plus a dozen I-M’s on my computer screen. What was going on?

I called my husband and learned that there was a raging fire less than half a mile away! Yikes!!!  He had tried to get home but was turned away at a roadblock. It was up to me to save what I could.

I turned on the TV to monitor evacuations and tossed my backup drive into my car. Then I tried to think. What else was essential? Cat. Papers. Irreplaceable art. At one point I took a break from running up and down the stairs and watered our numerous houseplants, including a tray of parsley and lettuce seedlings yet to be planted. Then I went back to loading the car. While the fire was very close, it was being blown away from our house, so I wasn’t in imminent danger. Still, I assumed I’d be forced to leave very soon.

It was only about 45 minutes later when a sheriff showed up at our door. “Leave, now!”

Shoving our ancient cat into her carrier, I added her and our gecko (in her 10-gallon terrarium) to the stuffed car, then drove away. Would I see any of this again?

“God, please watch over our home!”

To be continued…

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