Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bastrop Wildfire

I traveled out to Bastrop (well, as close as I could get, anyway) yesterday to shoot some photos of the Bastrop wildfire. I didn't know what I'd find, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw. Huge parts of the Lost Pines forest were consumed by the blaze. I ended up at Park Road 1C, which is a scenic road that runs between Buescher and Bastrop State Parks. It's also the part of the MS-150 bike tour that is both loved and feared: loved for its beauty and feared for its challenging hills. I didn't even recognize it when I arrived there, even though I've both driven and ridden the road dozens of times. It's now a charred wasteland, and realizing where I was was quite jarring. The good news is that after some good (hopefully) winter rains, the forest will grow back and will be green with new life next spring. I just hope that the tall pines weren't too damaged by the drought before they were swept with fire. Losing those tall trees would be a tragedy, indeed.

I was in West Texas and Possum Kingdom earlier in the year shooting shots of wildfire aftermath there. And while I saw quite a lit of damage there, I think I was moved more by what I saw yesterday, possibly because it's a more familiar place and possibly because while there was a lot of cactus and mesquites burned out in West Texas, there wasn't the kind of tree and vegetation damage as in Bastrop.

Here are some of the shots that I took yesterday:

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