Holy Smoke, Batman! It’s Dismal Outside.


I wish I could take credit for this blog title, but I stole it from my Facebook friend’s status. This photo was taken on the North Carolina side of the Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge when we went biking this past March.

photo courtesy of Jennifer Land

One of the greatest treasures (other than the ocean) shared by Virginia and North Carolina is the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge. I’ve referenced both sides in several of my past posts as it is a wonderful place for both hiking and biking. It is home to an abundance of wildlife as it consists of over 112, 000 acres of “forested wetlands.” Now, these lovely woodlands are on fire!

photo courtesy of Jennifer Land

These photos were taken by my friend Jenny who lives about five miles away from the area of fire. At the time she took these, I think the fire had spread to about 200 acres. Sound like a lot? Well, now it has devastated over 3200 acres.

photo courtesy of Jennifer Land

They are reporting that this was caused by lightening. However, I remind all to please be careful how they handle fire, whether it be a cigarette or a campfire. It only takes a spark to spiral in this dryness and many little critters lose not only their homes but their lives, not to mention the damages caused to the land or the environmental pollution to the air and water.

photo courtesy of Jennifer Land

I live all the way in Virginia (at least thirty miles away, my geography sucks so I don‘t know exact mileage!), and I can smell the stench of burned wood. It is quite hazy. In fact, we have been smelling it for days. I think the fire started on Friday, August 5th. The smoke thickens the air, stifling one’s breath in this current almost unbearable heat wave. I feel really badly for people who work outside or those with asthma. I don’t even want to think about the damages to the habitat and it’s inhabitants. It is truly sad.

photo courtesy of Jennifer Land

“Only you can prevent forest fires.” — Smokey Bear

*****My mistake when I wrote this was that this fire originated in North Carolina. I was wrong as it started in Virginia but near the North Carolina line. It has now crossed over to North Carolina. At this point it has now burned 4700 acres.

37 thoughts on “Holy Smoke, Batman! It’s Dismal Outside.

  1. This is awful. I remember living near the Ocean in San Francisco when there was the Oakland Firestorm that took out so much property and land. Our backyard was covered in ash and the smoke was horrible. This happened right after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989. Just a really bad time in Northern California.

  2. When I lived in California, there was a wildfire that was so close we could see an orange glow on the hills behind our house. Fires can be so frightening! Frequently, even if there was a fire burning a long way away, ash would fall from the sky and cover our cars in white. Just a reminder that nature is more powerful that we like to believe.

  3. OH, Suzi this makes me so sad because I think of not only all the trees, plants, flowers, but also the animals 😦

    I know the smell you speak of because Florida is notorious for having fires because of the tremendous heat and lack of rain sometimes. The smell would travel for miles and miles.


  4. Seeing land after wildfire depresses me. The charred wood and absence of wildlife is so sad. My state has had a few big wildfires this year. One of them burned around 500,000 acres. In fact, campfires were 100% banned last month, but they have since lifted the restriction.

    Thanks for the reminder for everyone to be careful. Love the Smokey the Bear quote, by the way 🙂

    • It is depressing…and it takes so many years to replenish though it’s much lusher and more fertile, and the poor animals. Love old Smokey, looked forward to his yearly visits to our elementary school as a kid!

  5. That is terrible news! It is scary to live so close too and see/smell the smoke from your house. I went to college in Orlando back when all of the state wild fires were going on like crazy and I remember some days not being able to see across the parking lot of my apartment complex. So scary.

  6. There, Suzicate, I made it. That was quite a party we had last night so I had a sleep-in – then spent a good part of my day washing all my windows inside and out.

    Now, my heart aches for all living beings in and around these fires. That is so sad to read. I live on an island in the Pacific where we have thousands of tourists. We hold our breath and pray everyone respects the fact that we would have nowhere to go if our Island caught fire. The carelessness is amazing…

    I’m going to go now and check out some of your other posts. So glad to connect!

    • It was a great party! We need to have more of those! I’m hoping they will get that fire under control soon. I will be heading back over to your blog soon. Enjoyed what I took a peek at the other night!

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