||[Oct. 10th, 2012|09:34 pm]
A very strange thing happened this evening. The feral cats had gathered for dinner on the back porch. Suddenly I heard a helicopter approaching. This is not unusual during fire season. CalFire has several helicopters which they use to monitor fires. But there was no smell of smoke in the air, and the helicopter didn't sound like those we usually hear. It was growing very loud but still not in view, being hidden by the trees. The feral cats grew increasingly restive, and finally scattered, seeking cover. |
I kept looking east, as the Cal Fire choppers usually travel east to west, but this one suddenly appeared through a gap in the trees to the southeast, traveling north. It was very low, and following the low dale which runs a couple of hundred feet east of my house. The biggest surprise was that it was a brown military helicopter, not a light colored Cal Fire machine. It appeared to be no more than a hundred feet above the ground. As it proceeded north, it turned a bit more west to follow the course of the dale. A minute later it was gone, though its racket could be heard for a minute or two after it vanished among the trees.
The last time we had a strange helicopter incident was about dozen years ago, when one inexplicably landed in an open field just east of the orchard, stayed for several minutes, and then left. I never found out what that was about, and I'll probably never find out what a military helicopter was doing flying over this placid backwater— especially since it was so low, as though keeping cover.
Maybe they are practicing for an invasion of Syria or Iran, or some other place which has some terrain similar to this area. Or maybe they are just planning an attack on Butte County. Butte County would be an excellent place to practice for that, except for the fact that it would warn all the loony survivalists and pot growers who live farther back in the mountains. But, as I said, I'll probably never find out. Well, not unless one of those possible events actually comes to pass.
Aside from the brief excitement of the invasion, it was not an eventful day. It was much nicer outdoors than in the house, but the house at least warmed up to 66 degrees before the evening began cooling off. I closed the windows about half past five, and we've only lost about a degree so far. With luck, it won't drop any lower than 60 before morning. I still haven't fired up the furnace. I really like to have the bathroom at least 68 when I take a shower, but I guess I'll just let it stay colder and then dry off as fast as possible. But I'd better go take it before the house gets any colder.