Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Photographs of the effects of fire in the Mojave National Preserve.

This past weekend I took 3 days off and stayed at the Goldstrike Hotel and Casino in Jean, Nevada. I used it as a base of operations and spent the majority of my free time hiking, photographing and just “sunday driving”
through the preserve.

This will be the first of a few posts devoted to facets of this trip and the preserve.

In this post, I will discuss  desert fire and its’ effect, mostly inphotographs. These were taken on Cedar Canyon Road, a mile or so upfrom where it begins at Cima Road.

What was most interesting here was the devastation on one side of the road and verdant, lush landscape on the other side of the road. I shot these directly
across the road from each other.

As you look at these photos, ask yourself which side of the road do you think
animals would have a better shot at finding food, nesting materials, or cover
from the hot desert sun or predators.
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Unfortunately fires are becoming more common and burning much
hotter in our deserts. I believe that after this winters heavy rains out
here in California, coupled with the invasive non- native grasses that
have become such a pervasive presence in the deserts, along with
other easily lit plant species that we may in fact have a bumper crop
of fires this year in the southwestern deserts.

Another reason to visit now, before fire season, and see the desert in its
now verdant beauty before the hot summer sun bakes the area, and setting
up the fire danger scenario.