While property damage was surprisingly minimal during California’s recent forest fire epidemic, it was nonetheless a colossal fire. Ash “snowed” from the sky much like it would have in Pompeii; a raging giant moved slowly and uncertainly down the mountains towards the near-defenseless homes below; fire chiefs worked strategies and tactics that would have impressed the most prestigious generals.
Alas, however, when the flames died down and the smoke cleared, I took it upon myself to climb up one of the mountains near my house that had been on fire. I went off the trail, ridge running, on a course that would normally have been 80% bush-whacking. Instead, I found a desolate scene of death and embers, like nature’s version of Hiroshima. It was quiet and lonely and the slightest breeze stirred up vapor-like clouds of ash, rising ominously from the ground.
But it would interest you to know that I stumbled upon something else in this gloomy scene. New life was springing up from the embers, bigger trees dawned a hint of orange vitality -- new bark that was breaking through the charred bark that still clung to it’s branches. Yucca plants, while disliked due to their sharp spines, stood valiant and headstrong against searing temperatures making it one of the only survivors of it’s size.
And while it may have been uncomfortable to witness the destruction, it brought to light for me both the beauty of new life and the fact that nature will always find a way to continue to survive.
I hope to attach photographs of this trip as each photograph is worth a billion words.
I love fire.
Not to the point of taking up arson as a pasttime, but I do love that "Refresh Button" aspect of wildfires. One of my hubs detailes some of the fires I've not only seen but both fought and, at times, been surrounded by.
There is little more beautiful in nature than the green shoots lifting through the black of a valley grassfire.
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