Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Monday, April 30, 2007

More on the Fen Burn

I recently blogged about the burn that took place at Bluff Spring Fen three weeks ago today. I promised updates to show the process of recovery from the burn. Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Chicago, and a visit to the Fen seemed like a great idea.



As expected, Bluff Spring Fen is greening up nicely following the born. Though this year it has taken longer than normal, because the burn was followed by an extended cold spell. Still, the recovery from the burn is rapid and dramatic, as evidenced by before and after shots. By August, the grasses will be taller than I am over much of the preserve.

Note the cattails in the background and dried vegetation from last year in the foreground

Skunk cabbage and other plants sprouting in the foreground. Charred stubble of cattails in the background- but they're greening up, too

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At 22:36, Blogger Ur-spo said...

good stuff
what plants should we see in succession/and won't weeds take over first?

At 10:23, Blogger robin andrea said...

I like the follow-up, doug. It's great to see things spring right up after that burn.

At 19:03, Anonymous mark h said...

I must be naive out here in the rain forest ...... With the old growth forest behind us, I get thrilled to watch the slow decomposition of downed trees, of falls dying annuals that slowly add layers of rich humus to the soil...and as the trees rot, NEW trees/plants grow out of the softening wood.... I KNOW a burn helps a forest that may be extremely old, but once a year seems extreme from the soggy boys point of view. Isn't there any value in letting things "rot" for a season, and....don't you kill some "living" animal life (but not as much as you gain by creating the growth spurt of green I suppose?) ?? Interesting, Doug...I remember the propane burning machines torching fields as a kid, but that's not done much here anymore. IT IS done, however, out in central WA/OR in the wider dry prairie lands....and I suppose that is exactly the idea your communicating. THANKS for the thoughtful before/after posts.

At 21:19, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just reading up on this and the Indians. It's interesting stuff really. I love skunk cabbage. It's so green and grows like a giant rose kind of.



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