It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A little more Bastrop

Bastrop State Park opened in 1937 on land acquired from the city and private owners.  The Civilian Conservation Corp did the original work at the park.  Additional acreage was acquired in 1979 to make the size of the park 6,613 acres.  This area is known for its "Lost Pines"; the area is very sandy and the loblobby pines and oak trees flourish.  Or they did until last Labor Day when a wild fire swept through the park.  While we were there I asked at the headquarters what the cause of the fire was - it was caused by a dead tree branch falling on power lines.  I noticed that the LCRA power lines that run through the park now have a very wide clearance on either side.  The fire was fierce, jumping over 4 lanes of Highway 21 to race through the park.  Through tireless efforts of firefighters they were able to keep the fire from consuming most of the historic structures built by the CCC. If you want to read more about the fire go to

This was one of the structures built by the CCC.  I think it had a roof over it and was a pavilion.  You can see a burned beam on the left of the structure in this picture.  Note the blue stripe on the tree on the right - this is a signal not to cut the tree because it is still alive, just singed. 

This is the view from the Scenic Overlook now.  It looks like a winter scene.
These trees were untouched at the top by the fire.  I have always loved the smell of pine trees and these smelled wonderful; however, the smell of charred wood still lingers and mixed hauntingly with the fresh pine scent.
The ferns were beginning to reappear, I could only imagine what this area looked like pre-fire.  It will take years for the low growing foliage and wild flowers to regenerate and decades for the forest to re-establish itself.  I was saddened by the destruction but amazed at the emergence of new life.

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