Tinder Run-off

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We have been trying to take advantage of the moody skies, fog, and rain to capture the aftermath of the Tinder Fire.  Only yesterday, this ‘water hole’ was dry.  But with a recent rain storm, and lack of vegetation destroyed by the fire, the water ran down the hill and formed this instant lake, crippled by ash scum coating the top.

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It’s one of the many features and stories told by the aftermath of the Tinder Fire that I want to capture for posterity, having lived through it.

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If only these signs of the fire could talk and tell the story for themselves of the fear and danger approaching.  The charcoal and cinder, soot and burn left in it’s wake as testament to the flames that rolled through.

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It’s a new day post – Tinder Fire, and may we all remember the horror and effect of forest fires and the camaraderie of others during difficult times.

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Tinder Aftermath

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They opened the forest today, against my advice.  Not that they consulted me… but I made sure to voice my concerns.  We have had 1/2″ of rain in the last week.  That hardly seemed like enough rain to justify opening up our burn areas to traffic (and campfires), but thankfully we have gotten more rain today.

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We were anxious to see the effects on the forests we call our backyard.  While it has a tremendous amount of burn, scorched earth, and sad landscape, I was relieved to see some green trees.

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There was new growth already cropping up which we found moving and inspirational after the trauma our forest has had.  It made me think of the resilience of our community that continues to re-build and heal from this terrible event.

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I actually found the ‘burn sculptures’ to be fascinating and eery.  The textures and character left by the fire scar has now become part of our new forest, and I thoughtfully walked through our new landscape and tried to capture some of the tales it tells.

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I hope to get back out there, and document some of our forest’s stories, and will share them as they unfold.  For now, I was just happy to be able to walk among the trees, see several elk doing the same, and finding patches of green and new growth.

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Tinder Fire

It’s been a month since the Tinder Fire, and our community continues to heal.

I first wrote about it here….   https://kritterspaw.com/2018/05/02/tinder-fire/

We had a community craft fair this July 4th weekend to celebrate our freedom and independence.  Talented members of community shared their talents, hand crafted goods and tokens of the Tinder Fire, along with their stories of desperate helplessness during the fire.  It seems an appropriate time to remember our own turmoil, our survival, and tenaciousness to rebuild.

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This fire was like ‘The Devil’, as it tore through our lives with terror in it’s eyes as it faced us down in our neighborhoods and communities, with it’s 40′ flames and spiraling gusting winds.  It created it’s own fire storm and took daylight and turned it dark; green turned to charred black; and ground to ash.

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But we have persevered and are re-building.  Only a month later, many who lost homes have excavated the ruins and cleaned their grounds, as they prepare to set new foundation and build back up their lives and their homes.  We have seen more fire-wising since the fire, than ever before, as people rake pine needles and clear dead and downed trees.

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The goodness that we have witnessed during and after the event is what I want to remember and not forget.  Neighbors helping neighbors; the few that stayed putting out fires and doing what they could for their own communities; the many donations of water, food, and supplies to the fire house and their communities; donations of time and money to help those in need.  It makes my heart feel good to see so much kindness to so many.

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It’s in a time of despair that the best (or worst) comes out in people.   Our neighborhoods are forever scarred, but we are stronger together, more so now than ever.

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The Ram Have it

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It’s not very often we see ram (otherwise known as mountain sheep).  I think the last time we saw them was on Canyon Lake in Mesa.  We have never seen them in Northern AZ.  There was a time ww saw some in Utah, in Zion National Park….

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But during our trip through Greer / Hannigan’s Meadow area… an area between 8500 – 9000 feet in elevation, we saw a whole herd (of 4).

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I was ready at the camera to get some shots.  They didn’t pay much attention to me when I told them they should go into the light, as they gravitated to the shade (who can blame them?), or look toward me… say cheese, er, grass?

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Carnero Lake

Carnero Lake, just outside of Show Low, AZ, doesn’t seem much more than a water hole or pond.  They say there are 20″ trout in the lake, but we never saw any, nor did our fishing poles.  The lake is very shallow and truly needs a float craft to fish from it’s interior rather than shore fishing.

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More than fishing, it was a peaceful respite, and for us, a perfect place to spend our 31st wedding anniversary.  It was quite the water fowl habitat as we saw numerous birds calling it home.

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Watching the sunset and rise over the lake was enchanting and peaceful.  We loved it, and will have to go back.

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Elusive Elk

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We go to the Mogollon Rim often just to look for animals.  Our elk have been very elusive lately.  On our most recent trip we saw a large herd of probably 100 elk.

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But with all our multiple sightings, they were very camera shy and spooky… and by spooky I don’t mean scary, I mean scared. They ran at the mere sound of us, and just wouldn’t stay still for a shutter release.

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I keep telling ’em… I’ll make you famous :).   But they don’t listen.

No worries… I’m persistent.  I’ll be back!

 

Tonto National Monument

I was born in Phoenix, AZ… and have lived here all my adult life (despite the fact that I have traveled and lived in a dozen or so states).  So we are pretty familiar with AZ, and her backroads.

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But, I have never been to Tonto National Monument, until this week.  It was a first for both John (who moved here when he was 11 mo. old) and myself.

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Despite the fact that I was less than impressed, it was a good trip, a nice hike (which Journey was marginally allowed on), and very scenic.

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We loved the view of Roosevelt Lake from the ruins more than we liked the ruins themselves.  It was blue blue sky day… but made for a nice diversion for the day.

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