Monday, April 23, 2018

Return to the Fire

 A couple weeks ago, the kids and I headed after school to Strawberry Creek, a place that had a big fire a couple of years ago. I was curious how things were recovering. The road is now open to the campground area in the pinyon-juniper area, although all the camping amenities have been removed because it's not that great an area to camp in right now, with everything black and no shade.

We stopped outside the park boundary and the kids headed towards the creek while I went up the ridge. I heard so many birds as I was walking. Finally I got a photo of one--a mountain bluebird.

Up on the ridge I found this metal lying against the tree. I'm not sure what it was.

I think this is a female Cassin's finch.

I really enjoy walking in burned areas. The meadow down near the creek made a stark contrast with the grey hillside behind it.

After awhile I headed back down to the creek. I found a lot more vegetation on the less steep slopes, like this American vetch (Vicia americana).

The Basin Wildrye was recovering nicely. That's the tallest native grass around, and I'll be writing a lot more about it this summer as I have a project to restore it.

I found the kids happily playing in the trees, Desert Girl with a hatchet and Desert Boy trying to fit something together. They seem to be happy to be outside, as long as they don't have to hike too far.

The Oregon grape made a bright contrast with all the black.

 But my happiest moment was seeing this little sagebrush. Not so long ago, all this area was dominated by sagebrush. It's so great to see it coming back.
They did lots of aerial seeding in this burned area, so hopefully we'll continue to see lots more vegetation and regeneration of the land.

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