Driving north on the 2 Freeway, one can't help but notice the grandeur and beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains and the little Foothill communities we call home.
This was not always the case, however. Two years ago, the Station Fire burned more than 251 square miles of wilderness and destroyed 209 structures. Brown hillsides, charred earth and erosion caused by recent rains constituted the scenery. Many roads like Angeles Crest Highway remain closed, as well as several local hiking trails.
Fortunately, Mother Nature has a way to recover from such tragedies. Many types of shrubs and chaparral seeds germinate with the help of fires. These fires open up the forest canopies from shadows to sunlight allowing new shoots and re-sprouts to grow and reproduce. Fertile soil from ash accelerates botanical growth and the spring flowers are beginning to present their colorful displays.
With a keen eye, frogs, salamanders, deer and coyotes are just a few neighbors you may have the pleasure of running into during once-again scenic hikes.The San Gabriel Mountains are a treasure we need to take care of, especially in these delicate recovery years.
If you would like to help in recovery efforts, visit the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club's site.
For now, enjoy the photographs!