Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday in Wyoming -- August 9, 2017

Summer and early fall are fire season in Yellowstone. If you're old enough, you may recall the fires of 1988 which destroyed a huge portion of the park and created an uproar when the flames approached iconic parts of the park.

The dead trees that you see in the middle ground are evidence of that fire, but -- as you can see from the amount of new growth -- new trees have grown, creating a reminder that while fire is destructive, it can also benefit forests by providing opportunities for new trees.

Did you know that some trees are so well prepared for fires that they produce two types of seeds, one of which germinates only after the heat of a fire opens the shell? Those seeds are called serotinous.  (Even though spell checker is protesting, that's the correct spelling.)

Notice the smoke hovering over the hills in the background. Yes, it's yet another fire, although fortunately not one of the magnitude of the '88 fires.

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