This morning I decided to head out to our wetlands area. On Wednesday they did a controlled burn, generally an annual event in the spring. Last year they did not do the burn due to extreme drought. Instead they dug out areas of the reeds and grasses. It was quite messy, and I’m not sure it was as effective.
Because I was not visiting the site when they did the last burn, I was curious to see the process. I did an internet search and learned that this burn is necessary to remove dead and thatched bulrush and cattail, which, if not removed, will eventually stifle new growth. It is also a training exercise for the city fire department. I also learned that they burn only a portion of the wetlands park each year.
Ironically, I read a post yesterday and saw cool smoke photos by Ritva (Ritva Sillanmäki Photography: see her post here). Today I had the opportunity to experiment with some photos of smoke rising from areas still smoldering from the fire. Had I not seen her post, I may not have thought to get creative. Thank you Ritva!
The walk did not provide many ducks or birds like I had hoped (I saw a few, and heard a lot in the trees). But there were signs of life (I even saw the bobcat walk in front of my camera while taking a photo!), and it gave me the opportunity to see the process, as well as some of the hidden areas generally hidden behind the reeds. It was eerie and fascinating!
Below are a few of my smoky photos, as well as a few additional photos of the area. Hopefully in the next few weeks the birds will return and the colors will turn from browns to greens.
I find it kind of cool to imagine forms and images in the smoke.
What do you see?