Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fire Revegetation

Not far from us we had a wildfire this past summer in a sagebrush habitat. You can see some photos of the fire on my friend Jenny's blog. I was going past the other day and decided to stop and take a closer look at what's coming up a couple months after the fire.
The raven had a high vantage point as he looked out over the charred landscape. It was clear that a lot of green was making an appearance.

Bunchgrasses were coming up from the roots. Apparently the fire was fast enough that it left some of the roots intact.
The bunchgrasses were fairly extensive.

I was surprised to see the wild rose emerging. Rose comes up quickly after a fire, but the reason I was surprised was I hadn't known it was there before!

Skunkbush was also emerging in one area.

Desert Boy was happy because he found a bone, and it was slightly charred on one end.

Prickly pear had burned, but small new prickly pear pads were starting to pop out of the ground.
Fortunately I didn't see any cheatgrass. It will undoubtedly come, but it's nice that some native plants have a head start.

One other plant I saw a lot of was this heron's bill. It's sometimes considered to be a weed, but at least it's keeping the ground down!

It was really fascinating to see what's coming up, and I'll have to take a look again and look for changes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Colorful Hike

 The other day Jenny and I loaded up a bunch of kids and headed up to the Summit trailhead to do a short hike. Here's Isaac at the trailhead, ready to go.

 The main goal of the trip was to enjoy some of the fall colors. We've had a beautiful fall, with lots of warm days and cool nights.

 We had the kids pose at the beginning of the hike. They were all in fairly good humor except for Desert Girl, who was not at all happy. Especially when I made her walk.

 The "big" kids took turns being the tour guide and finding interesting things to show us.

 Hiking with kids always makes you see things in a different way. They showed us things I certainly wouldn't have seen without them.
 After awhile Desert Girl stopped scaring the wildlife with her crying and started enjoying being outside.

 The aspens provided a wonderful foreground for the mountain scenery. The kids didn't seem at all impressed with the scenery. They loved the fallen tree obstacles, though.

 Pinecones were a very fun item for Isaac and Desert Girl.

 We continued hiking, in search of more fun items.

 This tree stump provided a good photo opportunity.

 These two crack me up. They are always talking and showing each other stuff.

 I think they were cracking each other up, too!

 Desert Boy tried to make a bridge of pine cones on the way back. It didn't work too well, but it looked neat.

Jenny remarked about the eyes on the trees. How cool!

 Then Jenny pointed out the bulgy aspens. I had never seen them before, even though they're next to the trail. I'm not sure what causes the bulges. We only found the trees in one area.

Even with a few little temper tantrums, we achieved our goal of enjoying the fall colors. This is such a magical time of year. I hope we can go on a few more hikes and enjoy the bright hues.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Taste of Cake

 Awhile ago, Desert Girl got to join her friend Remy for an outdoor birthday barbeque. They were happy to play with pinecones and run around.

 Food always seems to taste better when it's cooked outside! And as long as I don't have to cook it.

 We celebrated Victoria's birthday with a big cake. Look at the two little heads right next to the cake. They weren't going far from it.

 Time to eat cake!

 I'm not sure what prompted Remy's expression, but it sure is cute.

 Desert Girl really liked the pink flower icing.

 Really, really liked it!

Birthday cake makes any day a better day! Happy Birthday, Victoria!

A Strawberry Stroll

 We wanted to find some bugling elk, so we headed up Strawberry Creek. The end of the road has been closed all summer, and you can see by Desert Boy's expression that he wasn't too thrilled about walking.

 So it started out a little more like a drag than a stroll. But we persisted. Actually, I had the idea that this nice autumn day could be a good day to take a family photo, so we gave it a try.

 The disgruntled looks don't make for an enchanting photo. Oh, well, onwards.

 The feel of autumn was really in the air. I love this time of year--we're about to quiet down and have some time to relax!

 I think some of that eventually soaked through to the kids, as they calmed down and started finding things to enjoy. Desert Boy was entranced with the beetle galleries on a piece of bark.

 Before long, Desert Girl was even interested.

 At the end of the road we reached the reason the road was closed: a new parking area.

 On the other side we crossed the very long pedestrian bridge.

 We tried again for a family photo, but it didn't work out so well. At least this one of Desert Girl and Daddy turned out decent. While my husband and kids amused themselves with the creek, I walked a little farther, still with hopes of seeing some elk.

 I didn't see elk, but I saw lots of sagebrush (and tried to get a sunflare photo for a photo challenge).
Eventually it was clear that the elk had moved on, so I turned around and headed back.

 On the way I saw a sudden movement across the trail: a snake slithered across, with something in its mouth. How cool!

 The snake had caught a rodent, and she moved quickly to go enjoy her treat.

Back at the bridge it was time for me to play in the stream and my husband took some photos.

 The kids had gotten pretty happy after playing in the water for awhile. And they weren't even too wet!

Even though we didn't see any elk, it was still a nice family outing. It was also interesting to see how the leaves hadn't changed much, even those the ones at higher elevations were very colorful.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates