These are strange days, indeed. Rather than going on my regular walk up Morningstar, I walked over to Ratcliff Ridge this morning to survey all the blackened vegetation and to see what might have survived the conflagration known around here as the Ocotillo Fire.
In all the devastation, a small outcropping of prickly pear cactus somehow survived the blaze.
So I called my fire-fighting friend, John Kraetz, and this is what he said: "Nope. Just must have had light brush around it."
And speaking of brush, it didn't help that the area around Ratcliff Ridge was blanketed with stinknet and buffelgrass, invasive weeds that are so aggressive "they suck up all the available water after a rain, before other plants can," according to Don Swann, a biologist said in this morning's Arizona Republic.
Adult saguaros are called Carnegien gigantea.
I will keep my eyes on this area (I can't help it because it's the first thing I see every morning!) and report on any and all come back efforts.
I'll see you in Helvetica!"
—Damning with font praise