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.
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.
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.
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.
See my additional post here… https://kritterspaw.com/2018/07/22/tinder-aftermath/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a number of little lakes around the Show Low / Heber area in northeast AZ. Originally named, Big Lake is one of the larger lakes, with multiple camp grounds, and boat rentals that make up this Recreational Area.
There are signs everywhere to be aware of bear… but we didn’t see any, only Journey who enjoyed a dip in the water during the water summer sun.
We did see some antelope which is always a treat, along with the occasional deer and elk.
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….
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).
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?
Now if that doesn’t describe where we live, I don’t know what does!
We live in the most amazing place, with the most amazing people, and the most amazing animals. It is truly somewhere where it’s quiet. Somewhere between the Mogollon Rim and Moqui Draw, surrounded by Potato Lake, Knoll Lake, and Blue Ridge Reservoir, and littered with elk, deer, bobcat, mountain lions, fox, and coyote. This is what we call our home.
After the devastating Tinder Fire (https://kritterspaw.com/2018/05/02/tinder-fire/) which we still continue to clean up from that raged in our backyards, we are blessed to have friends and neighbors helping each other out.
And this is what it looked like BEFORE the fire. My photo of Moqui Draw, now scarred by the Tinder Fire.
“At sunset, fog shrouds a ponderosa pine forest at Moqui Draw, along East Clear Creek in the Coconino National Forest. This spot is about a mile southeast of State Route 87 and northeast of Potato Lake.” Photograph by Kathy Ritter, published in the June 2018 Arizona Highways Magazine, just after the Tinder Fire devastated this very same area.
On the way to Flagstaff, we caught 2 bald eagles and a golden eagle hanging out outside of Lake Mary.
Eagles are always a thrill to see. I’m still waiting for that special opportunity of an eagle swooping down picking up a fish… but alas, just haven’t caught that yet.
In the meantime I’ll take every opportunity to just enjoy these majestic birds.
This guy looked like he had been digging around in the mud as his white head was covered in mud.
One thing I have learned… is to take the camera wherever we go. It’s when we don’t bring it that we see animals. Fortunately, this time I had it on hand and was able to get a few shots to capture the moment.