Life after the fire

This is the new, big fireguard that stopped the “southern excursion” that took off on August 3rd. If you read back through the fire posts you will remember that people worked all night – my trail camera shows headlights of sprinkler crews roaring in at 1.30:AM. A forester later told me that they were really worried about our places that night – the wind had done an unusual flip. But when the wind dropped, they were able to stop the fire.

Life after the fire consisted of stock-taking of what there was and what I had to do. The garden needed watering now the sprinklers were no longer being run, but the bird-planted sunflowers seemed to be doing just fine.

The greenhouse, however, was a total loss. Both door and ventilators had to be shut for fire safety so not only did the plants not receive any water, but also the temperatures in there must have been cooking.

After soaking the ground, in went seeds, and soon new shoots were showing.

My pond still had a bit of muddy sludge in the bottom, but the lower pond was dry.

The dam itself was alive with plants, the principal of which was wild peppermint.

It grows all through the wetlands but is usually tangled in vegetation so I took advantage of this easy harvest and hung it to dry in the greenhouse. The broad-leaved plant is Swiss chard – I’ve never had such a good crop of that.

Shortly after I arrived home, a Search and Rescue meeting was called to organize familiarity with the group’s new boat and sort out equipment.

The second event happened the following day. A couple of years back, our community hosted a refugee family from Sudan. They moved to Lethbridge; I had taught Hussien to drive and now he had a license and a vehicle. He was able to drive his family back to visit us. In Tatla, they had two children. Now they have four! it was wonderful to see them so happy and healthy and doing well.

I am becoming familiar with our new road. Some trees are green on top, but I am afraid that if their trunks are burned at the root, they will die.

I walked up into one of the blacker areas.

This had been burned early on in the fire – and it was amazing what was starting to push through the charred soil.

At the other end of the fire, through the southern “excursion”, not much was showing. (The bit of green in the picture was unburned.) The fire was too recent. I found a trail the firefighters had cut out.

It ended overlooking a large pond.

A nearby slough was full of ducks. There are some real gems up there; however, next year the fireguards will be bulldozed in to allow the forest to regenerate, and access to these places for people who can’t do a lot of walking will be cut off.

Bees love sunflowers.

They often spend the night in them. One evening, there was a heavy, cold rain. Poor cold, wet bee.

The rain put fresh snow on the mountains.

And the following morning……

One thought on “Life after the fire”

  1. Very interesting Chris…I’m glad you are safe… I have been going through your books one by one, and have just finished
    ” Lonesome”…what a wonderful book…I cried at the end…Am now starting your 2017 book about your fire and am looking forward to backtracking all your blogs…After reading and rereading your books over so many years, its such a joy to read your comments on current your life!!!

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