This past year had its exciting moments. The most intense excitement happened when we drove up to Sundown Mt to see if it might be a good viewing spot for the eclipse. Instead we watched the Chetco Bar Wildfire blow out from a ridge top nearby. We live at the edge of the Siskiyou National Forest and 2017 was a hot one for this neighborhood. Currently the dirt roads into the burn areas are closed, but we revisited an adjacent area where the Biscuit Fire in 2002 burned nearly a half a million acres. In other words we haven’t seen the fire scar from this past summer, but we could see what it might look like 15 years from now.


Remnants of burnt trees from the 2002 Biscuit Fire.


The loggers call them snags (dead or dying trees). They can be a serious hazard in the woods.


A rather spooky impression created by the mist rising up from the ravines. The sun was going down making the clouds or mist look like smoke in an area that’s seen its share of the real stuff.


The Siskiyou National Forest is a huge area, a landscape shaped by fire, geology and time. Most of it far too rugged for any sort of development other than exploitation by the extractive industries. There’s quite a political struggle as a result. There are those who seem to think that the solution to wildfires is to cut all the timber. leaving a naked and ravaged landscape. On the other side there are those wanting to preserve these rugged landscapes with all their biodiversity.


You can likely guess which side I’m on with my love of wild, untamed scenes such as those above. Surely we could all stand to get out of the frantic cities once in awhile for some peace and fresh air and serenity.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy 2018!

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. 
― Edward Abbey



20 thoughts on “Renewal

  1. I stand firmly with you, of course. I’v read that the area where you are is the most bio-diverse in the Pacific Northwest~surely a treasure to cherish. It saddens me to see that after 15 years it still looks fairly ravaged. What I’ve been wondering is whether the fire-shaped ecosystems still rebound in the same way, given warmer temperatures and altered weather patterns.


  2. Pingback: osprey eye | Movin' on

  3. Well, strangely enough, it seems the view inspired you, Gunta, because these are truly beautiful images. The first, with the hopeful contrast, has so much to look at without being confusing. That fog, stream, and low growing shrubs help tell a bigger story than just the burned trees. At the same time, I love the abstract quality of the second shot – just the trees, it’s great! The third image has such a bleak look, but it’s real, isn’t it? And the final one, with those clouds and gibbous moon, and the lovely evergreen foliage in silhouette – so pretty and calm, after the others. Crooked trails indeed!


    • Oddly (and strangely) enough wildfires provide a benefit to photographers. It has opened up vistas that would normally be hidden behind a thick screen of trees. I like that you caught the story of regeneration in that first shot. It continues in the post I’m working on. I still chuckle at how I managed that second shot, lying flat on my back at the edge of the gravel/dirt road and shooting straight up. At my age it’s no easy thing to get back up. 🙂

      Yep! Here’s to crooked trails! …and just the right amount of clouds!


    • Thank you for the visit. I always enjoy hearing from you and glad to see more of your bird captures again! Quite a few of our wildfires are caused by carelessness, it’s true. In this particular instance they were started by lightning. Oddly enough some actually benefit from fires… woodpeckers are the first to come to mind because they like the snags. I don’t remember details, but I seem to remember that there is more for birds and other critters when the sun creates more understory plants and variety… at least until the tall ubiquitous fir trees take over.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to be a hazard in certain areas. Nature repairs the fires if it’s allowed to. Once you have heavy machinery razing the landscape from logging operations it doesn’t leave much to recover for a very, very long time.


    • Sorry about the association. I can sure understand it. We came pretty close to getting hit here, but luckily the fog and wind off the coast arrived before the threatened evacuation order.


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