Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hollis Canyon Ecology Tour

You can't keep nature down!

Richard Baker, the Refuge's head of Fire Management talks to our group.
I went on an ecology tour today into the restricted area of the
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. 37,000 acres of the 59,400 acre
refuge are off limits to the public, but occasionally there are guided tours
 into this south side by the refuge ecologists. When I toured Hollis Canyon 
two years ago it was lush with sugar maple foliage. However, last year's 
wildfires caused a lot of destruction and instead of autumnal-colored maples, 
I saw a lot of bare trees - a cemetery of charred skeletons.

 2% of fires are caused by lightning, 
the other 98% by mans' negligence.

Prescribed burns are an important tool in maintaining a healthy ecosystem
on the prairie.  However, wildfires are dangerous and destructive.  
My home is right next to the refuge, so I also live with wildfire threats in the summer.   

 This little Post Oak is growing out of its manure hill.
There is a life lesson here.


Sugar maples are sprouting again.

Post Oaks are changing colors too.
The mysterious chimney out nowhere,,,
Chinquapin Leaf
Leaving the south side.

1 comment:

  1. Every day with you is a "field trip". Those sugar maples and oaks are really electrifying! What a neat place and the mystery of the rock fireplace. Who lived there? How old is that chimney remains? You live in a wild place, my dear.