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Creek Running North
August 02, 2005
Matthew and I didn't get too far into the burn on Saturday. The subsequent storms had washed out the roads, and the Park Service closed them. It was probably a good thing that we only saw as much as we felt like walking to. What little we saw was rather devastating.
I am going to keep most of my thoughts on seeing the burn to myself just now. Saturday is going to be another chapter in the book, and too much blabbing spoils the writing.
But it was bad. Really, really bad. From the Park Service information I got, the fire spread to where we walked from about four miles away over the course of a very nasty hour and a half. More than fifteen square miles of desert woodland and steppe destroyed in ninety minutes.
The cool guy in the photo - and about a dozen of his closest friends - had quite obviously come into the burn from the untouched area across Cedar Canyon Road, to see what was around and worth eating. Blue yuccas had already, in the month since the fire, sent up tentative shoots from their surviving roots. A few of these bore jackrabbit tooth marks.
Jackrabbits cannot run four miles at three miles per hour, so many of them certainly ended up roasted. I hope for the coyotes' sake that they weren't too badly overcooked. Of course coyotes will eat charcoal with bone shards if they're hungry.
I'll put up some burn photos on my flickr site tonight.
Posted by Chris Clarke at August 2, 2005 03:03 PM
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I remember that many of the casualties from the Lakeside fire two years ago were rabbits. My friends' emus survived in the days after the fire scavenging bunny carcasses, in fact.Posted by: Rana at August 3, 2005 11:41 AM
Beautiful photos, Chris. And devastating. When I was in Argentina at Tierra del Fuego Nat'l Park, we took the train through the park and eventually came across what is called the Tree Graveyard, just fields of tree stumps. It was very moving. The prisoners in the colony there at the turn of the last century had cut the trees for logging without any replanting program, and the stumps remain today. Haunting. The guides speak of it w/ a tone of real sadness and regret.Posted by: ae at August 4, 2005 06:53 PM