On May 16, M. and I re-visited the burned ridge behind our house for the first time since November. It burned last October 23, part of an extremely fast-moving fire that destroyed 15 homes and various outbuildings in the space of about thirty minutes, reaching a total extent of 2,500 acres.
|Here is the area that we re-visited as it looked at 6:40 p.m., October 23, 2013.|
|Fisher, not bothered by dirt and ash.|
|Attaching a sling-load of mulch and grass seed to a helicopter—April 2013 (Pueblo Chieftain).|
|Mulch had fallen into the little spring. Fisher decided to clear it out.|
Then we went to see if the seeding had had good results.
|Grass coming up through the mulch.|
|Dandelion and deer droppings (to left of central rock, top of clear spot).|
|Golden banner with 500 ml bottle.|
And of course the burnt Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), which could probably survive atom bombs, is sprouting from its roots. As the CSU Extension office says, "Fire readily kills the above-ground portions of oak brush. However, intense sprouting follows almost immediately and usually causes the stands to become even denser."
Birds seen: some crows, two woodpeckers (probably hairies—did not have a good look), and to our surprise, two Western tanagers (migrants).