Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

A Tequila Sunrise And The Burning of Multnomah Falls


Image: Ilona Elliott

The sun resembled a slice of molten pink grapefruit this morning, partially obscured by the green lace of fir and cedar branches on the eastern edge of the yard. It made for an interesting composition framed by the wide expanse of clerestory windows over the bed. Sunrise in Western Washington isn’t usually such a spectacle. Sunsets are generally the thing here. A lot of things haven’t been “usual” in these parts lately.

And there was a thin bank of white clouds higher up in the murky sky, with a ribbon edge of bright magenta, which gave them the appearance of thunder heads against the pale backdrop of milky sky.

And last night the moon rose red-orange with gray features in relief, another spectacle.

And I remember waking up numerous times to the smell of smoke.

And as the day wore on in between, the light remained yellow and refracted, and splashed itself through the bedroom window and across the floor in unexpected golden rectangles.

And in spite of all the haze and the ash in the air distorting the sun’s light, the heat rose quickly and peaked above ninety degrees for what felt like the hundredth day and humidity made even the weakest physical efforts produce sticky sweat and unreasonable fatigue.

And there was a coating of white ash on the car and on the black landscape fabric in the unfinished back yard.

And the vegetables at the farmer’s market were wilting.

And the sunset tonight as I walked through the thick unhealthy air was odd– the sky still hazy pale gray, the sun cranberry red, but flat and dull, with no iridescence, making it look like a paper collage of a sunset sky and not the real thing.

And The Columbia River Gorge is on fire.

And the Multnomah Falls Lodge is threatened.

And people in the area are being evacuated from their homes, given fifteen minutes to get out of harms way.

And this is just one fire of seventy five burning in the western United States.

And the entire summer has been mysterious and surly and unforgiving, and sometimes it feels like the Gods have replaced our blue planet with a set from the twilight zone, or like we’ve been living in a model experiment for the green house gas effect.

And these are the observations of  just one person.

And this is not a test.

©2017 by Ilona Elliott

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)




  1. Beautiful photo and description. Frightening world we live in…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Three years ago I took my oldest up Eagle Creek and sometime the past few months he and I had started discussing an autumnal return….. I was surprised at the details he remembered about the walk. An older shutterbug friend of mine has been tugging my arm for years to take him up there as a kind of dream-come-true expedition of waterfall photography.

    The fire is bad enough. The circumstances around it have left me feeling alternately blazingly angry and depressed. Mostly depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have wonderful memories of a day spent hiking there a couple of decades ago and always thought surely someday I’ll do it again. The Gorge has become a go to destination for us since we moved to Lewis County also. I share your depression TF. It’s a tough year for the entire western US and the east has its’ own challenges also. It’s difficult to feel at ease anymore with the obvious changes and the obvious denials of the root cause of them, despite they are following exactly the model that we have been told they would. Take care of yourself TF! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


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