Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Fire Season

Fire Season Sunset
"Fire Season Sunset"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/2000s, f/4.5, ISO 100, 200mm, +0.3 EV

We're in a severe fire season this year. How do I know? Because when I stepped outside the office this afternoon, I smelled burning brush in the air. Looking up, I saw the tell-tale brown tint in the air. How bad is Florida's fire season this year? From the Florida Department of Forestry's Fire Weather:
More than 85% of Florida is experiencing drought conditions following the 2nd driest fall (September-November) on record and a below normal December. Approximately 50% of the state is experiencing severe drought, and 20% of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions. Fall temperatures were near normal, but December had well below normal temperatures. Many locations around the state shattered their records for coldest December on record.
Severe cold that killed a lot of vegetation combined with very dry conditions makes for a bad combination. So far there are 89 wildfires around Florida, the largest being the 17,000 acre Iron Horse fire that's shut down I-95 south of SR 442. It's big enough that that's what I may have smelled and seen part of this afternoon.

Three-fifty gas
"Three-fifty Gas"
Olympus E-P2 with Zuiko Digital 9-18mm
1/640s, f/6.3, ISO 200, 9mm, +0.7 EV

Yesterday I wrote that I thought we'd hit $3.50/gallon for regular unleaded by this weekend. I was off by three days. On the way home down Lake Underhill at Dean I found this Marathon Oil station selling regular unleaded for $3.50/gallon. Two other stations on two other corners, a Mobile and a Sunoco, were selling their gas for $3.49/gallon and $3.47/gallon, respectively.

Red Light Camera
"Red Light Camera, corner of Lake Underhill and Dean"
Olympus E-P2 with Zuiko Digital 9-18mm
1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, 9mm, +1.3 EV

And then I found this brand new red light camera on the east-bound side of Lake Underhill at the same intersection. I don't know when it was put up, but it had to have been since mid-January when I last passed this way. It's a different design, and what looks to be a different manufacturer, than the original's first installed in 2008. There must be some terrible, terribly bad drivers to have all this red light cameras around Orlando.

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