Travels in Colorado & days of fire past

Day’s end
My end of day post with my daily beer. This one was at Golden Block Brewery and Restaurant in Silverton, Colorado.
Chrissy pointed out that my beer pictures imply that I am a boozer. I do tend to drink beer almost every day, but I do not drink all day. I usually have no more than a couple beers, often have only one, and some sad days none at all. I like the “beer experience,” but I do not habitually pound down very many.

Fires of the past
I have been observing the ghosts of forest fires past during my trip. I mentioned the fire that destroyed the piñon pine-juniper ecosystem at Mesa Verde. I will put the link to that one in the comments section. It did not recover even after almost fifteen years.
Today I saw the effects of an even older fire. The Lime Creek fire destroyed 25,000 acres of spruce-fir forest way back in 1879. It has not recovered even now.
This is very different from the fire regimes in Virginia and the Southeast, where the forests begin to recover the next growing season and where many forests are actually fire dependent. I visited the site of the Peshtigo Fire that in 1871 was the largest fire in American history. Those forests have grew back through natural regeneration.

Location and the precise ecology is very important.
Look at the pictures and notice that the trees are in rows. People started to plant trees back in 1911 and the process is still continuing. I didn’t climb up to look, but it looks like there has been little natural regeneration in places not planted. Again, this is so different from what I observe in the rainier pine forests in the south and the lake states.

Quick moves among ecosystems

A remarkable thing about the west is how fast you can move among vastly different ecosystems. Yesterday, we were in the high desert. We went to the piñon pine-juniper ecology by midday and ended the day among the ponderosa montane forests. Today, we moved through the ponderosa and into the spruce-fir ecology, where these pictures are taken.