Alerts Button
E-Alerts
Podcasts Button
Podcasts
Movies
Movies
Youtube Button
Youtube
Traffic Button
Traffic
ListenLive Button
ListenLive

Tuesday

Increasing Clouds
Increasing Clouds
High: 90 °F
Low: 61 °F

Wednesday

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
High: 86 °F
Low: 60 °F

Thursday

Sunny
Sunny
High: 85 °F
Low: 60 °F

SCV Outdoor Report: Part 2 - Aftermath Of A Wildfire: Dress In Layers

By Wendy Langhans



 

Sponsored By:

Velvet Cupcakes
What happens after the flames die down, the smoke dissipates and the news-crews go home.

 

In a conversation earlier this week with my Aunt, she mentioned they had just gotten 7 inches of snow.  Not atypical for a winter snow storm in Wisconsin.  That brought back childhood memories of shoveling the driveway.  But she reminded me that it’s also good news; the snow provides a protective layer of insulation for the plants in her garden.  She ought to know; she’s lived on a dairy farm most of her life.

 

Here in the Santa Clarita Valley, our plants also rely on insulation to protect themselves from the heat of wildfires.  There are two types of insulation - soil and bark.

 

An inch of dry soil can tame a raging inferno on the surface into a cozy below-ground sauna.

 

That’s why this Yucca plant appears singed on the surface but you see new growth emerging from the underground rhizome.

 

Image

 

The same thing happened with this wild cucumber - the underground tuber survived the fire.

 

Image

 

Tree bark also serves as insulation, much like a cozy jacket on a cold blustery day.  Here you see new sprouts emerging from a blackened Coast Life Oak.

 

Image

 

That conversation with my Aunt sparked another memory - walking to school on a cold winter’s day.  The good news was there was no windchill; the bad news was the temperature was 20 degrees below zero.

 

That’s just one more reason why I love living in California.

 


 

Upcoming Outdoor Events: 

 

Save the date - January 24, 10-12 AM.  Fire Ecology Hike in Wilson Canyon.

Heavy rain cancels - call the day before to confirm (310-858-7272 x 115).  For map and directions go here.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

Saturday, December 20, 8:00-10:00 AM.  Morning Bird Hike in Towsley Canyon.  Towsley Canyon is a year-round home for birds.  They like our Mediterranean climate, the local bounty and the California  Bring your binoculars and meet at the entrance.  Heavy rain cancels.  For map and directions go here. sunshine.

 

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

Saturday, December 20, 2:30-4:30 PM.  Get-the-kids-out-of-the-house walk in Pico Canyon.

Do you need some time wrap presents without little eyes spying.  Send the kids out with a visiting relative for a taste of nature - the real glitz. Heavy rain cancels.  For map and directions go here.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

Saturday, December 13th and 27th, and every Wednesday, 8:00 AM.  Trail Maintenance Volunteers at Towsley Canyon.

Come join our trail maintenance volunteers for camaraderie and a heart-thumping workout.  For more information contact Steve Ioerger at 661-291-1565.

 


 

You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

 

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to www.LAMountains.com.