Morris fire area , Hwy 39, March 5, 2010

After getting confirmation from the forest service that I was, indeed, permitted to do this, I drove up Hwy 39 to the site of the Morris Fire which burned in late August of last year, 2009. I made two stops at turnouts on the east side (dam side) of road near mile markers 20.65 and 21.21.

This gallery is more to document what I saw coming up after the fire, than to show closeups of the pretty flowers. The plants are in all different stages and patterns of growth from seedling to seedpod, from crown sprouts to dead wood.

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GROWTH PATTERNS

Growing from seed

Annual rosettes

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Non-nnative winter annuals

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Youngsters, mostly native

Grasses

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Lamarckia aurea, goldentop grass

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Pennisetum setaceum, purple fountain grass

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Bromus diandrus, ripgut brome

Growing from underground roots

Upright perennials and subshrubs in soil

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Black sgae and bedstraw

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Malacothrix saxatilis, cliff aster

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Hazardia squarrosa, sawtooth goldenbush

Stuff growing out of rocks

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Pellaea mucronata, bird's foot fern

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Brickellia nevinii, Nevin's brickellbush

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Red stuff

Growing from crown sprouts, trees and large shrubs

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Juglans californica, California walnut

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Malosma laurina, laurel sumac

THE TOP FIVE FIRE FOLLOWERS BY ESTIMATED AREA

stinging lupine, Lupinus hirsutissimus
wild cucumber, Marah macrocarpus
castor bean, Ricinus communis
collar lupine, Lupinus truncatus
wild Canterbury bells, Phacelia minor

Most prominent among the colorful fire followers are the big three bluish purple to reddish purple flowers of stinging lupine, collar lupine and wild Canterbury bells with stinging lupine winning the coverage race by far.

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Big three on the east side

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Big three on the west side

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Tall collar lupine

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Wild things

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Canterbury bells, oats, and mustard

If you get the idea there is a lot of stinging lupine or purple flowers on the hills, you are right ... all that light purple blur is stinging lupine even on the highest hill

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Stinging lupine

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Stinging lupine

By far the most prevalent non-native is castor bean, more castor bean in one place than I've ever seen before in my whole life

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Castor bean with stinging lupine

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Castor bean following drainage

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Thick castor bean

Wild cucumber is climbing over everything; it's always there, but much more visible now

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Up the dead black wood

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Down the steep bare slope

The snowy range in the background tells us that it's early days yet, there's more to come!

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Snowy range in background

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Images and text copyright © Jane Strong.

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