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Saturday, April 12, 2014

It Looked Like Rain

This morning when Becca and I set off for our hike around Tortugas Mountain it seemed as if it could rain.  The skies were completely overcast, and the air felt quite humid.  The rain never came, though, and the sun put in an occasional appearance.  What will come later today, however, is the wind.  We're under a wind advisory starting this afternoon and running through tomorrow.  This is especially concerning because there's a fire burning in the Sacramento Mountains (the Bensen Fire) just three miles west of Sunspot Solar Observatory.  


Dr. K said...

I love the orange-red cactus blossoms.


How does the desert react to fire - is there quick regeneration? Or does it take decades to recover?

packrat said...


It depends on the desert. In the Sonoran Desert west of here Arizona and parts of southern California and Mexico)there are plants--like the Saguaro Cactus--that take over 200 years to mature. So you can imagine the havoc created in a Saguaro Cactus forest burn.

Years ago there was a devastating fire in Soledad Canyon here in the Chihuahuan Desert, and within a few years we saw remarkable regeneration.

I suppose it depends on the degree of fire, too.

packrat said...


I realized after posting my follow-up comment that you were probably referring to the Bensen Fire in the Sacramento Mountains. The Sacramento Mountains are "sky islands," heavily forested mountains in desert territory.

Scott said...

Packrat: I really like your first two images in which the blooming cacti are photographed at the base of the shrub. Puts them into a nice context.

Is your mountain hideaway at High Rolls potentially imperiled by the Bensen Fire?

packrat said...

Thanks, Scott. It seems that our place in High Rolls is out of harm's way. The Bensen Fire is 9 miles south. Also, it appears that the superior firefighters combating the blaze were able to keep it from growing despite the high winds. We'll see what today brings. I have to say, though, that I totally admire and respect those firefighters and hot shot crews. What a job they do!

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