Morning light illuminates the clouds on the far side of Black Butte.
We finally got some real snow last night. The first day of December began white and wintry. I am not sure how much snow fell in town but up at my place we got close to three inches. Naturally, my kids went berserk at the sight. That coupled with the start of their advent calendars meant it was a festive morning at the Suess household.
With the forecast predicting a lot more precipitation over the next few weeks, December is shaping up to be a pretty white month. It seems the chances of a white Christmas look pretty decent. Another benefit is the likelihood of the Mount Shasta Ski Park having a really good season this year. At the very least, they should be able to open soon and have a solid month of precipitation to build on. Lord willing, we will get a lot more snow and have a great winter.
Thankfully, this snow came right at the right time. Yesterday while taking my outdoor education class out to Lake Shastina to hike, we spotted two large plumes of smoke coming out of the Dale Creek canyon. These were large and ominous and seemed larger than just a normal debris burn. They also looked higher up, higher than any of the properties in the Hammond Ranch area, which lie along the lower stretches of Dale Creek. These were ultimately revealed to be controlled burns but they still felt much larger. Things got really disconcerting at night. The forecasted snow had not yet arrived and looking up onto the north flank of Mount Eddy, above Dale Creek and in the same area where the large plumes had emerged during the day, large flames were visible to the naked eye.
Accompanied by one of my best friends, I went out and set my camera up near the intersection of Summit and Deetz. From here there was an unobstructed view of the flames. To get a meaningful image, I really had to zoom in but the image really does not have the foreboding feel that the sight of large flames on the side of the mountain has. These flames were only 4 miles from my house. Naturally, after all the destruction wrought by fires over the last years, this left me with an uneasy feeling. Thankfully, the snow came and the flames were no doubt extinguished. I love summer and fall but I have never been so grateful that they have passed. Come on winter!