Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Exploding Witch Hazel Pods (Bursting Witch Hazel Pods), undated; watercolor on paper, 30 x 40 inches; Private Collection, Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, September 24, 1950
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Dark and cold. It was not until noon that I first noticed the strange yellow light outside. It kept getting darker and darker. The strange hot tawny color at the zenith, had the quality of a yellow August afterglow, yet different. By 2:00 P.M. it was almost like night. By the west deep blue black clouds, then the sky went from Mars violet up to tawny orange – lower clouds white and cold. In the S.E. brilliant yellow light at the horizon.
Over the radio, we learned that it was a huge bank of smoke from extensive forest fires in western Canada. It lowered the temperature about 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Very depressing as well as awesome.
Charles E. Burchfield, September 24, 1950