Thursday, September 17, 2020

Finding art in dirty air

Wildfire Haze Over North Creek Wetlands, Bothell, Washington

For the first time in nearly a week, the air quality at my home north of Seattle is merely unhealthy. Smoke from wildfires up and down the west coast has been piling up in the area for well over a week now. At its worst, the layer of smoke was 3,000 feet thick.

This morning, I briefly saw the sun. I haven’t seen it since Saturday.

As bad as things have been here, other areas have it much worse. Less than 200 miles south of me is air that’s downright hazardous. In New Mexico, thousand of birds have mysteriously died. Wildfire smoke may be the culprit.

The Seattle area usually gets a few days of smoky air each summer, but this is the longest stretch that I remember.

I ventured out for a few brief photo sessions and am sharing some of the images here. There was one day that the landscape was completely bathed in a golden light. Sadly, those images have been lost. For the first time in my 20-year career, a memory card failed on me. The card simply wore out. It would cost more than $1,000 to rescue the files from the memory chip inside.

But I do have several other views to share. Enjoy — and stay safe.

Wildfire Haze, Edmonds Marsh, Edmonds, Washington

Wetland Grasses in Wildfire Haze, North Creek Park, Bothell, Washington

(Follow Kevin Ebi's photography on Facebook or Instagram. Prints of his images are available through

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