Over the weekend a friend and I checked out a stand of trees that burned back in May. It wasn’t a natural forest, rather a plantation of red pines, but forest fires aren’t nearly as common here around the Great Lakes as they are out west and it was interesting to see up-close what woods look like in the aftermath of a fire. Because this particular fire only burned for a few hours, the trees are still standing, but they are mostly dead and dying with blackened trunks.
Wood-boring beetles are slowly working on demolishing the standing dead trees, and we could literally see and hear the process. Sawdust slowly drifted through the air around us and settled at the bases of the trunks.
At the edge of the stand of pines a fire break was created to keep the blaze contained, and the contrast between burned on one side and not-burned on the other was sharp.