WITH VISUAL AIDS
For the longest time it seems, Google satellite images hadn't updated the fire area in the maps...they finally did and consequently, we discovered that Google Earth has a timeline function. Compared to the memories we have, the dramatic view is seen each day at ground level, and now it can be seen over time from above. (Click for larger image)
Google satellites happened to capture an image three days after the fire broke out (9/7/11), which was before we even received confirmation that the home was gone. When we did return, we still were very optimistic about the trees around the home site, however over time the drought and fire shock were just too much. You can see the 99% loss of the trees on our property...we only have a handful of mature green pine trees that remain.
The image above also shows the logging road that was cut through the property for our timber harvest at the back of the property. We still have many dead trees that ultimately won't be milled and most likely will be used along the property bounds as natural barrier and animal habitat. My dad pointed out to me that the logging road is shaped like a raised fist...How awesome is that?!... Power to the people!... and the trees!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *With that, check out the natural growth of our new cottonwood and black willow trees. They came up on their own since the fire 22 months ago...and some already over 15' tall! On the left Rob (6'1") is standing next to a Cottonwood, and on the right he is pointing out the height of a baby pine. We are going to have this awesome willow grove in no time flat...it's a pretty cool positive sight to see.
It may seem odd to some, but it seems we have grieved for the loss these woods more than our home and "stuff". We moved here for the natural environment and that old growth forest can't be replaced in short order. Facing the changes in the landscape has been emotionally challenging, leading us to this passionate mission. We are "big picture" people and know time heals all things...fire is a natural process for ultimate regeneration of the forest to an abundant vegetative state.