But not all was desolation
Much of what I saw along Bastrop State Park’s Red Trail on February 10th was dead, the remains of the great fire of 2011, but at the same time I saw many signs of life in the burned-out forest. The first photograph shows a fruiting yaupon tree, Ilex vomitoria, an evergreen relative of the possumhaw you’ve more often seen here.
In the second picture you can see that although some 90% of all the loblolly pine trees, Pinus taeda*, in the Lost Pines Forest were destroyed in 2011, new ones have kept springing up and providing patches of vibrant green amid the shades of brown and gray.
Below is a closer look at that new growth. How about those long needles?
* I’ve just learned that taeda was the Latin word for ‘a pitch-pine tree.’ By extension it could also mean (ominously, for Bastrop) ‘a pitch-pine torch.’
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman