Although the terrible Camp Fire is many miles away, northeast in Butte County, the San Francisco Bay area is blanketed with the smoky air which has a strong smell.
For the past three days, I have been using N95 particulate face masks whenever I am outdoors, whether commuting to work, or watering plants in the garden.
Usually I spend a lot of time on the weekends outdoors pruning, deadheading, or weeding around plants. But this weekend I had to limit my time to the bare essentials, watering the plants and cleaning the birdbath, filling it with fresh filtered water.
Yesterday I watered the plants in the backyard, and today in the front yard.
That was a total of maybe one and a half hours, compared to six to ten hours per weekend.
It looks like the birdbath has been a very popular spot because I've had to practically completely replenish it with fresh water at least once a day. Probably the poor birds have been thirstier these days.
Yesterday morning, just after I cleaned the birdbath and filled it with fresh filtered water, I observed a white crowned sparrow happily splashing in it. It must feel great to be the first bird to get into a clean bath.
Above is a photo I took from our front porch of the sun around 4.30 pm, shortly before it disappeared in the smoky gray sky.
And here is a satellite photo taken at 8.40 pm on November 8th, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
You can see how much smoke from the fire has been covering the Bay Area.