Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Smoking San Francisco Peaks
(Photos by Narca)

Up in Flagstaff, the Shultz Fire has settled down considerably: the 15,000-acre blaze is now 75% contained, to the relief of the city's residents. While visiting my sister Kelly the past few days, we stopped at the command post to talk to Jim Payne, who had also worked the Horseshoe Fire in Portal. Jim and others told us that the nation's foremost fire rehabilitation team is being sent to deal with the aftermath of the Schultz Fire, because of danger posed by debris flows onto houses and the highway.

Green Gentian near Hart Prairie

The further side of the San Francisco Peaks was still open to hikers, and we spent one morning in the high mountain meadows and aspen stands near The Nature Conservancy's Hart Prairie Preserve. Tall gentians were blooming, Mountain Bluebirds foraging, and high-elevation butterflies flitting past. I guess I must have slipped over the line into serious lepping: the butterfly that most excited me wasn't the stunning Western Tiger Swallowtail––it was the nondescript, fabulous Ridings' Satyr. It was an onery bug, never allowing an unimpeded view!

Ridings' Satyr

What excited Georgia the most was friend Bobby's hot tub.

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