Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 7th, 2011

Fire!

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Those of you in central Texas know, and those of you elsewhere may have heard, that we had at least half a dozen wildfires here over the holiday weekend. The long drought that I’ve mentioned many times in this blog has left the vegetation so dry that a spark can easily set off a fire. What made this weekend’s blazes much worse than they would otherwise have been was an unrelenting wind that spread the flames from one place to the next.

One of the fires took place in Pflugerville, a fast-growing suburb adjacent to the northeastern part of Austin. In fact that fire began at a house just down the street from where some good friends of ours live. The wind quickly pushed the fire toward their house, and it ended up burning down the wooden fence at the back of their yard. They had to evacuate when the flames got that close, but they were lucky not to sustain any further damage. The house where the fire started was destroyed, as was one other near by.

Today’s photograph shows what was left of one part of the wooded area behind our friends’ home. This is a departure from the usual pictures you’ve seen in this blog, but for better and for worse fire has always been a part of nature. The lowest third of the image could almost be a black and white photograph: black from the charred trees, white from the ashes that cover the ground. Most intriguing to me is the strange configuration of the front-most dead tree, with the remaining section of one branch of its upper trunk hanging straight down.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2011 at 5:50 AM

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