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Dorland, Days 6,7,8

The last couple of days have been really good. I received overwhelming support from so many of you in response to my last post and I am so grateful! It felt amazing to know people were reading along, but even better to get so much love and encouragement from friends and family. Thank you all!

I lot has happened since then. After the up-and-down nature of Day 5, Day 6 was sort of a recalibration day. I finished my first drawing while being here and felt a lot more inspired. I've been taking so many more photographs and I think that's going really well too. (I sent my first batch of film out and will hopefully get some test scans back on Tuesday!) And I started feeling a lot more comfortable and confident here.

Day 7 was even better! In the morning, I started another drawing. But I didn't stick around the cottage long. Adrienne and I decided to meet at a beach between us called Little Corona del Mar. Southern California is experiencing a heat wave this weekend and it was supposed to be over 100 degrees here and 95 in Los Angeles, so we decided to beat the heat with an ocean breeze. I was feeling a strong urge be outside and I wasn't going to be able to do that in 100+ degree heat here at Dorland.

Little Corona was much smaller than we thought, but beautiful. It didn't break 80 F in the afternoon, the fog filtered the hot sun, and the breeze felt amazing. This beach is more like a cove with tons of tiny tide pools in the rocks, which are home to sea anemones, urchins, chitons, crabs, etc. It was fun to explore and play at low tide. In the evening we shared a tequila flight at a hip Mexican Restaurant in Newport Beach and then went to a bakery and ate dessert for dinner. I dreaded the long drive back, but felt ready to return to my cottage and get back to my drawing. That desire to work again felt really good. A day away had totally recharged me.

Yesterday, Day 8, was... Well. A wildfire started a couple miles from us and we noticed a lot of smoke billowing into the sky. It started small and has grown to 139 acres in less than 24 hours. Dorland has asked us to have a grab bag ready to go in the case that we are evacuated. At this point this seems unlikely. The fire appears to be under control and stopped on our side of it. But it is a little unnerving. I've been following the fire department's incident report which gets updated as the fire grows...

6/4/2016 11:40 a.m.: CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters are on scene of a vegetation fire. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

Update 12:40 p.m.: The fire is 15 acres with no structures threatened.

Update 12:45 p.m.: The fire is now 30 acres.

Update 3:12 p.m.: The southbound I 15 is closed as well as the northbound number 4 lane. For updates on road conditions and closures please visit The California Highway Patrol website.

Update 4:09 p.m.: The fire is now 35 acres and 10 percent contained. Two lanes of the southbound 15 have been opened to motorists with a safety escort.

Update 5:56 p.m.: One firefighter sustained a non life threatening injury and was transported to an area hospital. Pala Temecula Grade has been opened.

Update 6:40 p.m.: The fire is now 70 acres and 20 % contained.

Update 11:11 p.m.: There has been no change in acreage or containment. No further updates for the night unless incident activity increases. Resources will remain on scene through the night.

Update 6/5/2016 8:26 a.m.: The fire is now 139 acres and 30 % contained.

It just keeps doubling! At this point, you can skip ahead if you like. I'm about to share a lot about the fire because this has fascinated me. Currently there are 370 firefighters battling this fire. They are using helicopters and planes as well. There was some live footage of them working from a helicopter yesterday and I was watching the firemen literally use hand tools to bushwhack up the mountain with a big hose to get to the fire. Crazy. The planes were dropping fire retardant to surround the fire with a "fire line," which the fire has breached a couple times and thus why it keeps doubling in size. It started practically on top of the highway. People were driving by snapping photos of enormous flames and said they could feel the intense heat.

Here are a few photos being shared around the internet, aka not mine:

Insane, right? This wildfire thing is a whole new ball game for me. But it appears this fire isn't a threat to people or structures right now so that's good! But it's one of 4 fires in Southern California burning right now and other fires have prompted evacuations.

Here's the view of the smoke for us:

Might not seem impressive, but here's what it looks like on a clear evening. You can usually see the entire city of Temecula and even a mountain range out there:

Other than that, yesterday was good. I started a third drawing and met the other resident artist, Kelly Mueller, who is delightful.

My favorite thing so far about being here is that the hummingbirds visit me all the time. It's wonderful. I got a mediocre photo of a female Anna's hummingbird. She's silvery gray and beautiful. Visits me every morning and evening! Lovely.

"Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing."

Rebecca Solnit, "A Field Guide to Getting Lost"



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