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Fire equals life
Posted By: Dale, 06-21-2009, 04:06 AM

Well, for the first time in years I had to take leave over our summer fire season here. Lucky for me this was paternity leave and some other leave combined. I got to spend part of my time as a member of joe public rather than being in the thick of things as my job demands.

While relaxing at home, I could not help but notice this burn down behind my place:



An unexpected seabreeze had led to the burn spotting over into inaccessible wetlands, with the inevitable consequence of the burn escaping and becoming a wildfire. The next day things got even more interesting as it warmed up:



It took a few more days to contain the fire. I recently took some time to have a good look over the burn area. I never cease to be amazed at the speed at which the flora recovers. Mind you, everything growing in this area needs fire as part of its life cycle, so it is well adapted to fire.

The most obvious plants are the Austral grass trees. The area has very thin soils, almost non existent.



Great swards of these grass trees are quite obvious post fire:



A close inspection reveals other regrowth appearing. The scented sundew is a carnivorous plant found all through area, making use of insects as a source of nutrient where the soils have very little:



The area is well known for its orchids, and the first of those are just poking up through the ash:



All these taken with a handheld K10D and the versatile Sigma 17-70mm. I left my tripod in the car, so the macros where somewhat challenging.

To see more, click on over to my Flickr pages

Thanks for looking.
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06-21-2009, 04:36 AM   #2
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Ah, grasstrees. Not allowed to call 'em blackboys anymore. I love their flower spikes; my brother and I used to have fights with them. Which I also think you're not allowed to do.
06-21-2009, 04:41 AM   #3
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Great series.
I'll steer away from those spikes, myself...
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