Tuesday, November 8, 2005


The hike Debi and I made up Cuyamaca Mountain on Sunday (see two preceding posts) had some unanticipated moments of beauty. In the two years that have passed since the Cedar Fire, the ground-dwelling flora have been growing luxuriantly. Between the nutrients added by the fire, the exposure to sunlight now that the forest is basically gone, the wet year we had this year, and the fact that many of these plants have evolved to take advantage of the fire’s aftermath, happy days are here again for these plants!

At the 5,000 to 6,000 foot level, where these pictures were taken, there apparently has been a hard frost some weeks ago. In the top row of photos (click on any of them for a larger view) the brown tones are dominated by ferns; in the lower row it’s other plants I have not identified. I thought the contrast and textures of the charred trees was interesting; certainly not what we would ordinarily see on an autumn hike like this…

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