The term Fire Followers might sound like firemen that clean up after fires, but it's actually used to describe wildflowers that come up in the first or second year after a fire.. I first ran onto this designation while I was doing research for my local Wildflower Web Page. I've gone to the Telegraph Fire Burn area many times this spring and became fixated on the extent to which the flowers have returned. We've had a most unusually cool and rainy spring which has contributed to the wildflower season extending from March through May. The flowers continue to bloom. In the meantime my "little wildflower web page" has turned into a full time job. I knew there were many different types of wildflowers in Mariposa County, but never imagined there were so many and they were so varied. I've never been one to try and remember the common names of wildflowers, let alone their scientific names. I've now acquired many wildflower books and use the Internet extensively in an attempt identity to them. My part time neighbor, who is a professor of Botany, has been very helpful with identification. However, even with his help my web page still has a long way to go. I really shouldn't call it my web page because many of you have shared your wildflower photos. It's become a community project because of all your help. The flowers with this article were all taken in the Telegraph Burn area near my home. In fact some of the photos were taken on my property that was burned in that fire. One of the most prolific plants to come up in the burn area is Crown Vetch. It literally covers the ground in some areas. The Bush Poppy is another variety that has sprouted up from the ashes. An unusual plant, Golden Eardrops, in the bleeding heart family, bloomed in several huge clusters on the Telegraph Fire Rd. These flowers all seem to do well after a fire. The Golden Eardrops will only bloom for a couple of years. Crimson Clover bloomed profusely in the grasses that have come up. On MT Bullion a tall orange plant called Wallflower has come up among what is left of the burned Manzanita that is starting a come back from the roots. A somewhat rare and endangered flower called Checker-Mallow is blooming in the stripped area below the Towers on MT. Bullion. Special Thanks to Dorothy Nielson, Dr. Lynn Robertson and Dr. Maynard Moe. Dorothy and I have spent many fun days and evenings trying to get as many photos as we can. So many flowers so little time! I always welcome more flower photos as it looks like the season goes on and on!
*Warning: Telegraph Hill Rd. is rutted and 4 wheel drive is recommended. Linda GastEmail:
Web Pages: www.hummingbirdmountain.com www.goldrushcam.com www.mariposaspca.org