October Visit (10/8/2017): View from the Trailhead

Having been on the other side of the country, I missed a spring trailhead view of Stebbins this year.  It was great to draw another fall view this October, just over three years since the fire.

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Here is the view from September 2017:

TrailheadView_2017Sep08_sm

And the previous four (March 2017, September 2016, March 2016 and September 2015):

TrailheadView2_2017Apr01_sm   closedtrailhead2_2016sep29_sm

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2016mar23_sm    coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2015sep11_sm

September Visit (9/8/2017): View from the Trailhead

Just over two years after the fire, here is the view from the old trailhead.  Trees and hillsides are looking considerably greener, even at the end of summer.  Some of this is due to the wetter winter last year, but shrub and tree regrowth is also responsible.  Vines of wild cucumber and wild grape are taking advantage of the shrub skeletons that remain bare – many vines are visible in the middle distance in this painting – but shrub resprouting and reseeding is also widely in evidence throughout the reserve.

TrailheadView_2017Sep08_sm

The view in April 2017:

TrailheadView2_2017Apr01_sm

The view in September 2016:

closedtrailhead2_2016sep29_sm

The view in March 2016:

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2016mar23_sm

The view in September 2015:

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2015sep11_sm

September Visit (9/8/2017)

Early September brought strong winds, which proved too much for some of the oaks in the reserve that had been weakened by fire.  The one below was on the trail just before the actual entrance to the reserve, very near where the new trail access meets the original trailhead at Highway 128.

FallenOak_2017Sep08_sm

Although weakened, this oak had been alive before it fell.  This is post-fire regrowth:

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April Visit (4/1/2017): View from the Trailhead

Approximately a year and six months after the fire, it is apparent that the crowns of many of the trees near the trailhead have filled in considerably.  There is also a lot more vegetation on the ground than there was in March a year ago.  Chaparral shrubs are resprouting from their bases, but I have noticed this winter and spring that vines (wild cucumber, wild grape) are responsible for a lot of the newest greenery on the hillsides, growing up the trunks of the burned shrubs.

TrailheadView2_2017Apr01_sm

The view September 2016:

closedtrailhead2_2016sep29_sm

March 2016:

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2016mar23_sm

September 2015:

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2015sep11_sm

The Closed Trailhead (9/11/2015)

Due to extensive damage to the trails and the overall sensitivity of surviving plants and wildlife at the reserve, the Cold Canyon trails are closed until at least spring 2016.  In September, I visited the reserve’s closed trailhead, to take a look at the landscape and to document the trail closure.  Looking through the chain-link fence, I could see charred ground and skeletal trunks of trees and shrubs, but noted that the signpost was left unscathed.

coldcanyonclosedtrailheadv2_2015sep11_sm