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Renewal --  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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In August 2011, the Dollar Lake fire burned more than 6,000 acres on the northern slopes of Oregon's Mt. Hood Wilderness.  It altered the landscape in profound ways, destroying nearly all the trees along many favorite hiking trails.  Most Oregonians think of Mt. Hood as a forested mountain until one reaches timberline, but this fire has opened up a substantial area of meadow country below timberline.  It will become a new kind of habitat in the coming years.  The changes are just beginning to take shape.  One surprise is that avalanche lilies survived the hot fire because their bulbs grow deep underground, far enough from the flames to emerge unscathed.  With more sunshine and plentiful minerals from the fire's ashes, they now grow in abundance.  

This picture shows a field of these lilies in a grove of dead trees.  Mt. Hood is visible in the distance, at center.  The display is even better than those on Washington's Mt. Rainier.  As time passes, the trees will rot and fall, opening the slopes and the views even more.  New trees will sprout and as they grow in, the flowers will diminish.  However, that process could take two decades or more.  For now, we have a beautiful new destination to appreciate the restorative power of nature's cycle of growth and renewal.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of 36MP digital capture, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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All images, text, and design copyright Chris Carvalho.  Reproduction restricted to terms of the Limited Use Agreement.

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