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Fire flower

fire life.JPG

This solitary sprout greeted us when we got to our new camp at Roundrock several weeks ago. You see that it is growing up through the grill, having found purchase in the soot and ash of the camp fire station.

I have no doubt that many plants prefer the type of soil found in a fire ring, but there are strips in our forest when trees don’t grow that I have attributed to them having been the site of burn piles. I’ve always thought that a “scorched earth” plan was intended to make land non-arable.

Before we built our fire, I raked all of the fallen leaves away within a ten-foot diameter. Safety first, and all that. Also, I do not park my truck that close to the fire. The “road” to our campsite is tight and twisty, and I have to jockey the truck back and forth to turn it around and slip into its dedicated parking space. At the time I took the photo above, I had simply not yet done the jockeying work.

Missouri calendar:

  • Don’t miss the fall colors of cypress and tupelo gum trees at a swamp in the Bootheel.

4 Responses to “Fire flower”

  1. FC Says:

    Wow, that’s a fast grower.
    Didn’t you just cook steaks there two weeks ago?

  2. Ed Abbey Says:

    The heat from a large fire can and does sterilize the soil. I saw Yellowstone a few years after the big fire there and can attest for that fact. I doubt however that your fire pit ever gets hot enough to sterilize the soil. I’ve dug many a fire pit out on backpacking trips and try and find them when I’m in the vicinity the next year or even years later. The vegetation is always growing nicely over the top.

  3. LauraP Says:

    I think the scorched earth thing applies more to the people living on the land and trying to find something to eat right now. I got a fascinating on-site lesson a few years ago from an Alaska park ranger friend on the whole sequence of post-fire plant life — what grows first, next, and so forth until it’s a forest again. I have immense respect for Mother Nature’s recuperative abilities.

  4. pablo Says:

    FC – This is a photo just prior to the steak cooking evening.
    Ed – I knew stuff would grow in the soot and ash. It just seems that we had visited the site less than a month before and there had been no plant there then. It seemed.
    Laura – Nature always wins. I learned that lesson some time ago. (Not that I consider it a contest.)

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