Burned trees in winter
I went into the area during the first weekend it was re-opened to the public following the fire. It was a black and grey landscape. I laid in the ash to take some of the photos, and the ash was still warm from the fire. I will never forget the silence and the hollow feeling of being the first to touch the holy ground. The white wraith-like spirits of the dead trees hovered in the air, and thunder rumbled from advancing storm clouds. I shivered, but stood still, letting the ghosts envelop me.
Over the past couple of years I have watched blackened cinder-like remnants of pine trees be cut down, then hauled away by the big logging trucks that are ever-present in the ruined forest; I have also watched the aspens being re-born from roots coaxed to life by the flames. It has been a heartbreaking experience in some ways, and an amazingly hopeful one in others.