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We are in the clean up process of recovering from the fire. We know that our landscape will continue to reflect the fire’s effects for as long as we live here. Many of our beloved ponderosa pines will not live. Some will. Most of the shrubs are gone. A few will sprout back and seeds spread far and wide by birds and other animals will sprout in the spring. Grasses will return too. We have an opportunity to watch these changes and document them. It will be exciting as we see each new green thing poke through the ash. So far I am mostly seeing invasive grass and knapweed but yesterday I found a wild rose coming up on the edge of the road.

I am going to make photos from three photo points that I have selected for as long as I feel like the changes are occurring. I did this at my neighbor’s place starting two years ago and it was fascinating to compare the images taken just months after the fire. Here, I have selected a point at the bottom of our draw looking up at several boulders that we didn’t even know were out there; the brush was so thick they were completely obscured. A second photo point looks down a hill that was once covered with bitterbrush and at the bottom is our neighbor’s garage which burned in the fire. It will be fun to see the ruins disappear and the new garage emerge. The third point looks down on the bench of land in front of our house and across the valley bottom too. That bench of land had some of our biggest weed problems and we hope to work hard on a restoration project across that flat to bring back the natives and once again enjoy watching the deer as they make their way across there in the evening.

I started out with wooden stakes but they were too short plus a certain labrador retriever was very interested in them. Yesterday I replaced those with rebar.

Photo point 1


Photo point 2


Photo point 3


  1. Looking at that beautiful blue, rain-scrubbed sky…it’s hard to believe what happened, but it’s all around you. Love the idea of a running series of photos documenting the recovery. Are you going to replace trees too or just let nature take its course with them? I look at those big rocks and worry they will roll downhill in the coming eroding rains. I confess to being a worry-wart.

    • We will probably plant a few trees once we can tell which ones are dead. It’s not always obvious yet and folks are saying that pines with 10 to 30% of their crowns still green have a chance to live depending on fall rain and winter snowfall. As for those big boulders, they are not on steep ground and don’t present any danger. Our biggest danger is falling trees. We will have some of the obviously dead ones topped so they don’t fall and then they will be available for wildlife. We will seed for native grasses and forbs and we plan to put in some native shrubs using drip irrigation.

      • Sounds as though you have done your homework; now if Mother Nature will cooperate… to all four of you.

  2. Way cool!

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Recording the Changes | My Everyday Photos on 05 Aug 2015 at 3:34 pm

    […] three but I narrowed it down to just two. I made one post right after the fire and you can see it here. It’s been a year now and there have been changes. The pines and native shrubs have been […]

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