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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fire and Water

Yesterday we had a long soaking rain, which was much needed and will encourage the final emergence of the leaves on the trees and stimulate growth of plants including my lawn. The days of twice a week grass cutting are upon us. This is not my favourite activity.

For yesterday I spent a great deal of time on the couch relaxing as are three of my cats in the photo below. Two of them are grooming the third. When I come back let it be as a cat. I did manage to do a couple of repairs in the house and spend an hour cleaning manure out of my shed. I was not a total couch potato.

I have been watching the fires and flooding in the US. These are dreadful experiences for those who are threatened. I wonder how much if it is in part caused by human intervention. I am sure flooding in the Mississippi watershed is aggrevated by the agriculture that has drained so much of the land so that the run off is too fast. Clearing the land right up to the river and channelling the river through built up areas also must be part of the problem.

Fires can be started by people but most are started by lightening. In very dry conditions there is a great risk. One human intervention that contributes to forest fires is years of supressing fires leaving lots of debris fuel on the forest floor, when fire does occur it is much worse than it need be. Fire is normally part of the ecological cycle of forests. Letting them burn is not an option in built up area, but more and more they are being allowed to burn in Wilderness areas.

A great deal of research in the use and abuse of fire and the restoration of watershed to limit flooding is needed. Last week the Ministry of Natural Resources started a study to see how fire behaves in very dry conditions, (in spite of the greening up of everything the forest is very dry due to Winter drought conditions.) They were to burn a hectare of forest under a controlled burn. Well, it got away from them. We now have a raging 15 square kilometer forest fire. So far far fire has not been a problem around here yet. The forest fire season is ahead of us.

This a a young white pine we planted three years ago.
My modest contribution to maintaining the watershed I live on is the planting of 10,000 trees along the mile frontage of the river I have stewartship over. Years ago, I signed a agreement with the MNR to have them plant 8700 trees which I have protected for 20 years. More recently, I have had my son's students come on two occasions to plant trees as a geography/ecological project. They planted an additional 4000 trees. Complimenting this I have also gone to great lengths to keep cattle from having access to the river. They can do enormous damage in a short period of time.
To protect the Earth we need to more skillfully learn to live with nature and understand the place of fire and water in our environment.
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At 1:07 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Somehow, it relieves me greatly to know that you didn't plant all of those trees by your little, old self.

At 4:43 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

Diva had 2 bucks today!


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