fire gardening

Pine Grass: Fighting Fire with Fire

Pine grass is really cool stuff. It does what grass does, which is to say it grows up, but then it falls over. It doesn’t break its stalks to do so, and doesn’t miss a beat.

It just smothers everything around it, while allowing anything with a tall stalk, like an aster, to poke through. At the same time, it swirls in the wind, and then holds that shape, for weeks, and months, bends down in the snow, shelters mice down there, and springs back.

It’s a green wind, sorting and sweeping and cleaning, joining tree to tree with sheltered air. What’s more, its green carpet slows down fire in the fire forest, as it’s everywhere and always green. For a human eye, it’s beautiful and catches the light. That, too, is enough. All in all, though, it’s like a green lake, or a dry wetland, one step drier than the sedges and reeds below and one step wetter than than the bunchgrass on the eskers behind which just let fire burn through fast..

Pine grass replaces fire with fire. Have a look at it burning away under the Douglas firs on the Enderby cliffs:

Amazing! A grassland among the trees, keeping everyone in shape.

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