A photographer has taken spectacular shots that show how quickly nature can recover from the destruction caused by forest fires in Australia.
Marray Lowe, who mostly enjoys capturing coastal sunrises, decided to go out of his way to take shots of the aftermath of the fires that devastated the forests of New South Wales.
While navigating through the fire-stricken Dhurag National Park, Lowe was not expecting to see much signs of life. But to his amazement, he found lively patches of green grass emerging through the ash-covered ground, and even leaves beginning to grow on tree trunks.
“The ground puffed up ash into the air from each footstep as we walked among the tree trunks in the eerie silence and stillness that only fires of this intensity can produce,”
He also wrote on Facebook saying:
“even without any rain, life bursts through the burnt bark from the heart of the trees and the life cycle begins again.”
Lowe had since revisited the area to see how the new forest life is progressing and posted an update with more pictures on Jan 11. He was particularly moved when he noticed how some leaves almost created a pool of water allowing insects to drink from:
“There is life out there and so marvelous to see it all once again regaining it’s foothold on this parched landscape,”
A fire ecologist, named Kimberely Simpson, also added to the BBC news report, that plant life in the forest had developed an evolutionary recovery response due to many fires it has experienced over tens of millions of years.
The reason for such rapid re-sprouting of shrubs and grass is due to a layer of soil acting as an insulator from the intense heat. She even mentioned that Eucalyptus trees, for example, also have a similar insulating effect due to epicormic buds within the tree bark.
However, this years fires were perhaps the most intense even the the forest and nearby residents have ever witnessed. The area had also experienced a record-breaking drought which compounded the problem.
The high temperatures of the fires raised fears and doubts as to whether the ecology of the forest could continue to survive, even for the species which have already adapted.
It’s tragic and sad, but at the same time it’s truly remarkable and inspirational to witness nature springing back to life so suddenly.