Regeneration

fire damage

Photo of crop damage (got this pic from the internet, with thanks to whoever took it) from the fire.

fire hay burning

This is from the internet too (photograph by Dean Martin), showing hay bales smouldering after the fire had gone through. There was heaps of burnt hay in the paddocks on the way north.

About a month before Christmas there was a fire north of Adelaide that burnt through thousands of hectares of crop land. Some of the fire ground is in my path as I travel to Auburn, so it has been sobering and sad to see all the destruction as I go up each fortnight. Many crops were either just due for harvesting, or had already been reaped, with hay bales left as small smouldering piles (see photo above). There were so many fences gone, and the paddocks were scorched and bare, so that by Christmas, when my sisters came up to Auburn, they were amazed by the dust storms and whirly winds. And that is not to mention the animals, houses, cars and sheds which were destroyed and the people who were killed.

It continues to be a pretty bleak run up now, but I am starting to notice that the gum trees are beginning to reshoot. What amazing trees they are, with their capacity to come back from the seeming dead. They have these things called epicormic buds that shoot from beneath the bark of the trees, and lignotubers which are suckers that shoot from the base of a tree that looks burnt beyond hope within a few short weeks of a fire. Here is more information about these processes.… And here are some shots of the new growth that I saw on the way back to Adelaide last weekend.

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The shoots coming from the roots of the tree (and a bit of my shadow in the late afternoon light)

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Epicormic leaves shooting along the branches

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You can see the new shoots on the trees, alongside the destroyed fences and the very bare paddocks. It rained the week before I went up, so there is a touch of green to the paddock.

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Lignotuber I presume, and the blackened earth around it

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Tree really showing signs of regrowth

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These pictures were taken on the Adelaide side of Linwood Bridge looking north. You can see the burnt ground, the lack of fences, and the burnt trees. You can also see the bright green of the new growth…

 

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