4th of July used to be so much fun a few years ago...we had only a few neighbours that chose to get into the act and fire off illegal 'works in the area. All 'works that don't give a whoomp and subsequently soar into the sky are legal in our city--the illegal ones are sold though at the many Indian rez's located around the area. However, 'works that stay on the ground are legal inour neck of the Sound, and because we are one of the only cities for miles around where it is legal to shoot'em off, and that combined with lots of new (read: "younger") neighbours, means we have a lot of friends of neighbours coming in to have a party and BYOE (bring your own explosives.)
In the past, we could be pretty certain that we'd have a great show--especially sitting on our deck looking across the Valley at all the displays going up against the Cascade mountains and it's foothills. But now, to sit out on the deck is like sitting in the path of raining schrapnel in an Iraqi war zone. Two houses up the street from us direct their fireworks straight over our house or yard. The next door neighbours down the street from us fire 'em off toward the gorge in the back. It's absolutely INSANE! Especially because we only have a few feet to a few hundred feet between houses! And let me tell you, my chickens were NOT enthused!
This year, like most of the US (well, except for Florida), we are dry as the desert! Conditions here are 3 weeks ahead of normal fire danger levels. There is lots of fuel on the ground. We woke up at 6am to start watering the lawn...took about 3 hours to get everything. Then at 7pm, i went out to water it down again real quick before any more rockets went up. My neighbour across the street flagged me down to show me her fire she had in the early afternoon. RIP a cute little Juniper shrub she had near her house. A holiday isn't really relaxing either if you feel compelled to spend 2 hours of it photographing the new electronic items you've acquired sent you last updated your home insurance file and packing a few items of clothing and the wedding album in the car "just in case". Especially when you have to try to conveince a 6 year old to take precautionary measures and that results in 2 things: scaring them and them packing every treasure they own "just in case". :o)
Around 9pm, the madness commenced. It made for some great pictures and video--especially because we realised that someone must have taken down some trees recently, because we were able to see the show from Sea-Tac's Angle Lake from our deck! It was a great show.
Unfortuantely, it wasn't as relaxing as you can imagine, with spent 'works raining on your head. Saw a few rockets land in our yard on fire, but thankfully nothing developed further. The evening concluded for me shortly after the neighbours next door decided to make a last minute run to purchase more bottle rockets and 11pm and the first one struck a neighbour's truck driving up the street and the second one sailed past my head and hit our house.
With neighbours like these...its just more reason to move and have more property! :o)
Enjoy some of my pictures i'll be enclosing in a letter to the City Council to try to sway their stance on fireworks in our neighbourhoods, but to suggest to open up "parks" (the open spaces we have dotted around for Lifeflight helicopters to land incase of emergencies) for lighting legal fireworks, each space manned with a parks dept volunteer and a fireman/fire truck.