Thursday, August 09, 2018

Smoke gets in your eyes.

The wonderful view that usually greets me and Vinodog 2 when we reach the top of the hill behind Vinoland on our daily walk doesn't exist right now.  Well, the view is there, but at present it isn't visible due to the amount of smoke that is in the air.  My Mayacamas Mountains vista is in hiding, I can barely see it at all.   Also the overall light quality is very odd making everything yellow and muted.  However, I'm thinking a photographer would probably see some benefit to the perpetual golden hour the Napa Valley is experiencing.
There are two major wildfires burning in Northern California right now.  The Mendocino Complex Fire is now the largest wildfire in California history (recorded history, that is), it has currently burned over 300,000 acres and is still not contained.  The Carr Fire in Shasta County, at present the 6th largest fire in California history, at approximately 180,000 is a mere tiddler in comparison.  And all the resulting smoke is drifting south to wine country.
I'm not really worried about smoke taint in the grapevines, but the possible reduction in light- and temperature-dependent photosynthesis is a little bit of a concern.  When it is this smoky, and it has been for the past 10 days, or more, the chlorophyll in the vines cannot absorb enough sunlight to synthesis the sun's energy into carbohydrates.  Bit of a problem when Vinomaker needs those carbohydrates (think sugar) to synthesise into alcohol.  It has already been a cool growing season, so lack of good quality sunlight now is an ongoing concern of mine.
Of course, my first thought is for the safety of anyone, or any animal, in the path of the many conflagrations burning around the entire state.  Godspeed firefighters.

7 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Wow!
The news this morning had 75% California covered in smoke!
Be safe, and may your bunches sweeten-up!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: I hope my bunches sweeten up too :)

As I was composing this post yesterday, there was a small fire burning a couple of miles from here and visibility was down to several hundred yards. It was quickly extinguished though and today the air quality is a bit improved. The Vino-denizens will be safe, as there isn't much left to burn in our neighbourhood.

It did occur to me, looking back at my photograph, that the photovoltaic system in the distance probably isn't producing much electricity right now...good job we have fossil fuels.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Vinodenizens! Love it!
And hahaha as solar goes up in smoke!

Thud said...

Utah looking better all the time!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Yup, bit like wind turbines when the wind isn't blowing.

Thud: Utah is also currently on fire; Springville residents urged to stay indoors because of air quality, Spanish Fork High School cancelled football.

Thud said...

Bollox!

Vinogirl said...

Thud: There are fires there, ask La Serenissima.