Monday, September 05, 2011

The Craziness

Well, it's gotten a little crazy down here. Have a look:

25,000 acres is forty square miles.

The big fire is 25 miles away, as the crow flies, from the state park where Eli 10.1 attened Camp Half-Blood a few weeks ago. The fire started in another park (Bastrop State Park), in a section called Lost Pines, which is a particularly special place:
The Lost Pines Forest is a 13-mile (21 km) belt of loblolly pines (Pinus taeda) near Bastrop in Central Texas. The stand of pines is unique in Texas because it is a disjunct population of trees that is more than 100 miles (160 km) separated from, and yet closely genetically related to, the vast expanse of pine trees of the East Texas Piney Woods. It is thought to have originated as part of a much larger pine forest that shrank in size during the last glacial period of the Pleistocene era.

That's from the Wikipedia entry.

I can attest to its beauty, because I was there about 15 years ago. A narrow, one-lane road runs through much of the forest, and the pine trees are so thick that they form an archway of sorts that the road passes through. In the summer, it's so much cooler in the forest, and so much darker, that it feels like you stepped through a passageway into another world.

I don't use this word often, or ever, but it was enchanted.

It's so dry down here, and the winds have been so high for the last two days, that fires are breaking out all over the place, but resources are limited to fight them because everyone is at the big fire in Bastrop.  Some of our friends have been temporarily evacuated because their neighborhoods, or part of them, are in flames. We're fine (and our neighborhood is at very, very low risk of fire), but it's surreal to have all of this happening so relatively close to us.

I thought about fire as I was thinking about Lost Pines today. Fire is so uniquely vengeful because it never recedes. It just stops burning, and everything that was already burned is destroyed.

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