Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Black and white, plus a hopeful red

with 17 comments

Burned Bastrop Forest 0946

Though most of the Bastrop forest is dead, authorities are looking ahead. That’s what the little red flags are about: each one marks a newly planted loblolly pine sapling. As I drove through Bastrop State Park on March 3rd, I saw plots of ground that were covered with hundreds of red flags, and the plan is for millions of saplings to be planted. Decades or generations from now, though I won’t be here to see it, the forest may again look and smell the way I’ll always remember it.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

17 Responses

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  1. This photo is very original !


    March 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM

  2. A sad story. Like your ending though!

    Tina Schell

    March 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

  3. wow; did insects and disease kill the trees? that’s so sad to see it so barren, but so promising to see red flags of hope!
    great post!

    • I think you came upon this post before the one that preceded it. If you go back to the previous one, you can read about the disaster that befell the Bastrop forest in 2011. There’s even more information if you follow that post’s first link.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 21, 2013 at 3:40 PM

  4. It was a sad happening but now it is a glad thing with the intention of planting that many trees.


    March 21, 2013 at 6:56 PM

  5. They’re not unlike little prayer flags fluttering in the wind.


    March 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM

  6. It’s heartening to read of this effort at renewal after such devastation. May the saplings grow well!

    Susan Scheid

    March 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

  7. Serendipitously, I just found a post by Omar from Panama about his work helping to develop a rural community in the country some years ago. The caption beneath the photo of the Ngäbe-Buglé women tells another pine seedling story you’ll find interesting.


    March 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    • Thanks for the link. That’s quite a coincidence, even the fact that those pine seedlings came from Honduras, where I lived for two years.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2013 at 9:52 PM

  8. I think I have read that loblolly pine are one of the species that require fire to sprout. Not the case?


    March 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    • I don’t know, but I can confirm that over the 35 years I’d lived here before the conflagration, the pines in Bastrop seemed to have no trouble maintaining themselves. Brief episodes of fire might promote the sprouting of pine seeds, but such an extreme blaze destroyed almost everything.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 26, 2013 at 1:59 PM

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