By Ted Grussing
… that was on a sign on a public lawn in Northern California I saw last February whilst visiting up there; due to drought conditions the state had quit watering the grass and it was brown. Add some water and the grass may come back … scorch trees with fire and the probability of a tree in the forest surviving is not great, and if 90% or more of the crown, it is likely gone forever. Excellent article at: http://www.mttreefarm.org/Forestry-Tips/restore.pdf .
I took this photograph this morning and it depicts the same area as the shot I sent out a couple of weeks ago of the Mormon “managed” burn wherein the USFS had just ignited the area above the open finger like area on the right of the meadow and it pumped smoke down into the Sedona/Verde Valley area such that in the Village visibility was exceedingly bad and human health was put at risk. It appears that rather than the happy little ground fires depicted in the literature promoting the use of fire to restore the forests health, large areas of the forest were destroyed too … just check out all the really brown areas in this photograph … not particularly good for the forest and not good for people …
For reference the whitish red rocks from the right side going left is Oak Creek Canyon, Wilson Mountain and the Sedona area, below and to the left of Wilson is Munds Park and from the left side you can see Camp Verde nearly obliterated by smoke coming from the Jack Fire and pouring down the canyons into the valleys and creating a general white haze of smoke against everything. Mingus Mountain is pretty well hazed out too … really nasty stuff to have to breathe.
I’m sincerely hoping that the USFS will begin to factor human health and economic health of the tourism business into account. The summer of 2014 was kicked off by the Slide fire which lasted about two weeks; this was followed by five simultaneous “managed” fires in the area beginning the middle to end of July and which then went on daily for about six weeks or most of the summer; then there were more prescribed fires in the fall. This plethora of simultaneous and sequential fires had a detrimental effect of the air quality over a long period of time and gave me the opportunity to get even more striking photographs of smoke than I did during the slide fire.
For the life of me I do not know why anyone would want to visit this area when the USFS is conducting prescribed or managed burns … if you do plan on visiting the area I would suggest you check to make sure the air quality is going to be good before spending your money … I had friends visiting from New Orleans during the madness a couple of weeks ago and they were not favorably impressed.
So, you are looking at a photograph that shows a significant area of green forest turned brown … the new green … and that act also caused several of my friends to have to go to the emergency room for treatment. The era of burn now and ask for forgiveness later needs to be brought to an end …
Rich and Brian arrived at the airport a little after 6P tonight flying another new ship to be added to the CHP fleet … record for surveillance so far is finding a bad guy at night, 23 miles away from their position and keeping tabs on him until the officers on the ground could get to him. Very impressive!!! Nice dinner at the airport and then home. They will be taking off around 8:15 to 8:30 tomorrow morning flying the ship to its new home base in Fresno. So perhaps you will get a glimpse of this marvelous machine as it leaves.
Have a beautiful day … think I’ll head back to the sky again too; got some great shots from about 16,000’ this morning, but having a few issues getting the smoke out of them to present beautiful imagery.
So each one to his wish, and as for me,
I sit tonight and wait
To find the answers to my soul in me,
And in the beauty of the sky and sea.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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