After the Fires

This would normally be a Wordless Wednesday post, but today I have something to say about what has happened in my beautiful state.

This weekend Bosque Bill and I went down the Calabacillas Arroyo access to the Rio Grande to see what was happening there in light of the monsoon rains that have occurred following the La Concha and Pacheco fires earlier this year.

It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed looking at the flowers …

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Hyssop Lily

Hyssop Lily

Globe Mallow

Globe Mallow

Bee Plant

Bee Plant

Blue Flax

Blue Flax

… and the dragonflies and damselflies on the walk down to the river. I am not at all confident in my ability to identify dragonflies and damselflies. Please feel free to correct any mis-identifications.

Variegated Meadowhawk

Variegated Meadowhawk

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher

Aztec Dancer (male)

Aztec Dancer (male)

Aztec Dancer (female)

Aztec Dancer (female)

Powdered Dancer

Powdered Dancer

We walked down to the Rio to enjoy the beautiful view of the river and the Sandias.

Rio Grande and clouds over the Sandias.

Rio Grande and clouds over the Sandias.

We watched Snowy Egrets flying overhead.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

And what does all of this have to do with the devastating New Mexico fires?

When we got to the edge of the river, we could see that the river was dark gray with ash from runoff from the burn areas. There was a great deal of black ash along the edge of the water.

Ash in the Rio Grande from runoff after the La Concha and Pacheco fires.

Ash in the Rio Grande from runoff after the La Concha and Pacheco fires.

There were chunks of burned Ponderosa Pine floating in the Rio.

Charred Ponderosa Pine bark.

Charred Ponderosa Pine bark.

John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal has written a blog post about how a fire affects an entire watershed. The damage from the fires and the subsequent flooding has devastated many beautiful areas in New Mexico including the Santa Clara Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve and Dixon’s Apple Orchard. Many important birding and wildlife areas were burned. It will take many years for these areas to recover.

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5 Comments

Filed under Damselflies, Dragonflies, Flowers, New Mexico birds

5 responses to “After the Fires

  1. Nice post and pics, Linda. Fire is incredibly destructive, but also restorative. It will be good to see those areas affected regenerate and bloom with new life.
    We see the natural cycle of fire and regrowth in our northern boreal forest in SK every year. It’s scary when there’s a big fire. The policy is not to suppress forest fire unless it threatens human life and habitation or significant economic value such as mines or high value timber stands.
    We had an awful fire this summer in Alberta that couldn’t be controlled. It burned half of the town of Slave Lake, pop. around 7000. One firefighter died in a helicopter crash, but everyone in the community survived. There was a massive evacuation.

  2. We’ve had horrible fires this year as well, most of them the result of unnatural fire suppression over the last half-century. I’m afraid that quite a bit more will burn before the damage is un-done. There are so many areas in our state that are full of deadfall and spindly trees. Unfortunately, some of those area are prime residential and/or recreational areas.

  3. Cindy

    This is a great post! I so enjoy seeing what wild flowers you have ..and the dragonflies. I shall have to get an ID book for those, as I have no clue. My favorite picture is the Snowy Egret in flight..ephemeral lovliness… I hope NM recovers quickly from the fires!

    • Thanks Cindy. It’s going to be a long hard slog to recover from the fires, worse if we continue this dry stretch. Have to admit that I cheat and use Bosque Bill’s website for dragon and damsel ID. Works great for NM; maybe not so well for NY. I had no idea how many kinds of dragons and damsels there were until I really started looking at them.🙂

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