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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Fire Creek

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas MARCH. 08, 2021

[218-365] 7th. March 2021- Todays lesson for the day. However often you have photographed the same view there is always something new to find. I never thought I was going to find a bonfire today but there it was.

I went out with my camera on the spur of the moment because the sun was out and I hadn't taken a photo for my 365 so I thought I might get something but didn't really go with any great expectation.

I could see smoke from the bridge and it looked like someone was having a bonfire further down the shore so I went to investigate. I thought some blue smoke might give me something new to try. I walked up the road and then down the lane to the slipway and there was the remains of a small smouldering bonfire on the beach. Not very exciting, nothing to write home about.

As I moved up wind of it to try and get an angle through the blue haze I heard a voice and as I turned a man whose garden comes down to the creek appeared carrying a dried out Christmas tree. We chatted and he explained that it wasn't his bonfire but he'd spotted it and was clearing his garden so thought he would use the opportunity to burn his old Christmas tree.

He placed the tree on the smouldering fire and this happened. I don't think it could have been more spectacular had it been soaked in petrol. Who knew Christmas trees were so highly flammable. It just went up in a roar, and the crackling was like a sack of fireworks. I suppose pine needles are full of essential oils and here was the proof.

There was I with camera in hand about to take a photo, so talk about being in the right place at the right time. A couple of minutes either way and my shot of the year would have been missed.

This one below was only five minutes later so we know Christmas trees make a big show but don't last long.

This one below looks like it's been edited with some special effect filter but actually it is the heat from the fire acting as the filter.

I always thought the words flammable and inflammable were strange because they sound like they should be opposites or antonyms, as in one burns the other doesn't, and yet both mean able to burn so why the two words?

Flammable-Inflammable-Inflammable and flammable are synonyms and mean "able to burn" even though they look like opposites. Both flammable and inflammable are correct, as they both mean "capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly." This makes no sense to the Modern English speaker.

We get inflammable from the Latin verb inflammare, which combines flammare ("to catch fire") with a Latin prefix in-, which means "to cause to." Inflammable came into English in the early 1600s.

Things were fine until 1813, when a scholar translating a Latin text coined the English word flammable from the Latin flammare, and now we had a problem: two words that look like antonyms but are actually synonyms. There has been confusion between the two words ever since. Merriam-Webster

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