Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chasing Fire

The first time I chased fire I was thirty yards into a stand of pine trees before I stopped to see if my shoes were melting.  Luckily, the fire of a prescribed burn moves quickly and once the fuel and flames are gone, so are the high temperatures.  When the conditions are right, the flames engulf the underbrush and effectively eliminate competition for the growing pines.  In cold weather, with proper conditions including acceptable relative humidity, steady winds, and good fire breaks in place, the fire stops almost as quickly as it starts.  It is incredible to experience this forestry practice that promotes healthy tree growth, controls competing vegetation, reduces tree disease and creates beautiful stands of trees to enjoy as the pines mature.


Imagine being my daughter perched in a truck watching her father drip fire from a torch in a ring around the trees creating a blaze reaching for the sky while her mother chases the very thing she had been cautioned about since first seeing a flame atop a birthday cake!

That time it was a night burn - and what an amazing time my camera and I had.  We had to move quickly to change camera settings and get the tripod set before waiting for some long exposures.  The stars were out, the sky was blue, the smoke looked like clouds, and the fire was our light source.


Sometimes my photographs need to tell the story, so I will stop with the words and let you enjoy the images.  As you will see - even the day after a burn is quite beautiful.  And in case inquiring minds want to know, these images look incredible printed on metal and fine art paper as well as metallic paper mounted to acrylic, so do let me know if you know someone who needs such a handsome piece of art. 


This girl who can be found all gussied up at a black tie affair also loves the chance to get dirty and do crazy things like chase fire.  Thank you for the invitations to get dirty, follow kings, and so much more.  I sincerely appreciate your following my photography journey, sharing my e-mails, giving me thumbs up on Facebook, and calling me with photo ideas.  Where shall my camera and I go next?