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Paradise Lost

  photo and story by Dee Conway

I took this image in Yolo County during the smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise.  I saw these sheep in the field in that smoke and with an urgency I had to photograph them.

Those many, many dark days were filled with smoke and eery atmospheric conditions. I would hear first that 9 people died, and day after day the numbers of people who died grew and grew.  

Notice that the most of faces of the sheep are missing. This represents all the people we didn’t know who they were, if they were dead or alive. It also represents all the people listed as missing.

Look Closely: The top of the sheep have a golden streak across the top of their body- representing the fire itself upon them. The sheep are grey. The grass is grey, just like the color of ash from fire burned to ashes. The power lines are strongly represented here (PG&E responsibility?).  The sky is smoke, yellowish - Dangerous particulate matter.  The small yellow sun represents a gleam of hope and the cross from the telephone pole just diagonal below it, the same, although I never saw that cross until I framed this piece.

While not a happy story, the image is beautiful.