Monday, September 12, 2011

Lest We Forget

Cabins have been rebuilt to replace those lost in the Aspen Fire
Returning back home for awhile, I thought it would be important to visit Tucson with a photo series dating back to May before the major fires burned a historic amount of land in the state of Arizona from this past summer.  It just happened that we also visited the Chiricahua Monument a day before the Horseshoe 2 fire. We'll take a look at this National Park tomorrow and then return to Mt. Lemmon for several days.  I wanted to capture in this next series of posts some of the benefits a fire can bring to our environment.  So today, I'm up on Mt. Lemmon many years after the Aspen Fire taking a look at what's going on.....
New growth is everywhere!!
While the tree canopy does not tower over many areas on Mt. Lemmon like it once did, sunlight now passes onto exposed land allowing new trees a chance to grow. 
Some trees still fall today from those fires, but for the most part, there is a resurgence of new plant growth. Ash from the fires help create better soil.
On the road to the cabin
Some areas on Mt. Lemmon were spared the devastation which now act as an oasis for birds and other mammals.  Fires, we found out, carry on their own personalities.  My friend's cabin and this patch of woods in the above pic weren't touched because of the way the wind happened to be blowing during the fire.  While heat slowly killed several of the larger trees around their place, a lot the original vegetation still remains.  Some call this Russian Roulette.  Others will plainly say that they were lucky.
This trail is near the cabin off the road with the ski lifts.  I know my way around the mountain, but I don't know the names of the trails or streets!!  It's like my hometown of Two Rivers. I still don't know those streets!!!
This pic is what Mt. Lemmon looks like today.  Here we took a walk with the 5 dogs for a little exercise.  While I was on this shoot, I noticed a lot of amazing things happening ecologically and I'll present them over the next several days as we explore this series I'm calling, "After the Fires"

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