Smoke hazed the horizon. Fires raged all over California. Veronica and I spent the night of July 22, 2017 on a rocky outcrop in Berryessa Snow National Monument, and just the day before both the Garza fire in Fresno county and the Long Valley fire in Lassen county had been announced as contained. The Detwiler fire in Mariposa county still burned. It blew north and ignited the sunset. Smooth hills undulated in front of the colorful sky and misted into the distance. Veronica and I set up our tent on a flat sandy spot between some boulders, took photos of the filmy sunset, and heated up an easy dinner. We sat together as the light faded, listening to the rattle of evening insects. We saw no stars through the murkiness.

Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument, California