Dragon’s Breath

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I go through layers after layers of air, these days as I descend from the mountaintop at 7000 feet elevation through the layers of central Texas smog to approximately 100 feet elevation near the Gulf. I call it dragon’s breath in the middle layer, and at the bottom, on those days that the sun is completely obscured and the windshield is streaked, I call it (pardon) dragon snot.

Where are the dragons? I thought Harry Potter had killed those things off. Obviously their caves are now hidden in areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico, and they must range up to about 1500 feet, as the airborne materials are thickest below that level. From 1500 to about 3000, it’s just ordinary smog, and somewhere above that, about when one is just leaving Texas two days later, it thins out and the sky looks like it used to look everywhere when I moved to Texas 30 years ago. I guess that’s why all those pipelines converge on the Gulf. Hungry dragons.

140304-DragonBrath-ASC_8324RLSs copy.This has been true, the layers of air, for three round trips over two years, different seasons, getting worse. Now that I have found the best route (avoiding all cities by the way) I will continue to take photos at selected locations during every trip and see what happens next. Dead trees and dead people would be my guess. Like the story of boiling the poor frog, I wonder what it will take for the people who live in this snot to realize THAT’S WHY THEY FEEL SO FUNKY, and that’s not even mentioning the actual illnesses that are increasing by the decade: Alzheimers, asthma, cancers, you name it, the dragon’s breath exacerbates it and not infrequently causes it.


PS, I did nothing to these pictures that would make them look worse. In fact, I might have brightened up, just a bit, the picture of formerly beautiful rolling farmland just to make sure it looks like it looked at the time and not worse, and you old-timers know that, thirty years ago, it looked in this spot near Gause, Texas (below) just as gorgeous as it now looks in Santa Rosa New Mexico (above), with or without the difference in cloud cover.