Apr. 17, 2017

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Ives Fen Preserve had a controlled burn last week.  These deliberate fires replicate natural processes that can no longer occur.  In the fen they help control shrub growth, and encourage the native herbs.  They aren't great for the rattlesnakes.  This burn was planned with the snakes in mind.  It was started on both sides of the area.  Behind where I was standing for this image is the east edge of the fen.  Fires were started there where they would progress slowly against a wind of about ten miles an hour.  The most distant horizon is the edge of the golf course.  Fires were also started along that line, where they would progress slowly going downhill.  This was all to make sure the snakes and other animals had time to escape or take shelter.  It also helps keep things under control.  There was one crew member assigned to the golf course, to reassure players that things were under control.  The flowers in the foreground are marsh marigold.  The fires don't burn hot enough or long enough that everything is burned.  Underground plant parts also survive.  In a couple of weeks, spring growth will make it hard to tell that this happened.