Cuyamaca Rancho State Park


West Mesa Area
May, 2005

 

Trailhead on Hwy 79 -- West Mesa Fire Road                                                                                                               Photo by Barbara Barnes

Beginning the climb up to West Mesa                                                                                                                           Photo by Barbara Barnes

Dead pines marked for cutting                                                                                                                                         Photo by Barbara Barnes

Lush undergrowth; a mix of wildflowers and weeds                                                                                                     Photo by Barbara Barnes

    

                                             Baby stars                                                                                          Summer snow             Photos by Barbara Barnes

Charred oaks and conifers                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Barbara Barnes

Fire damaged oak in recovery                                                                                                                                           Photo by Barbara Barnes

 

Grand collomia                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Barbara Barnes

Black oak sending out new growth from its surviving root stock                                                                              Photo by Barbara Barnes

Close-up of burned Jeffrey pine bark                                                                    Photo by Barbara Barnes

    

                                                                                                              Mountain dandelion                                             Photos by Barbara Barnes     

Scarlet bugler                                                                                                                                                                       Photo by Barbara Barnes

Palmer's lilac                                                                                                                                                                         Photo by Barbara Barnes

Vista from West Mesa Fire Road showing extent of damage from the Cedar fire                                                   Photo by Barbara Barnes

Guard lupine and dead conifers on Fern Flat Fire Road                                                                                              Photo by Barbara Barnes

      

                                                                                         Guard lupine                                                                                Photos by Barbara Barnes

Ripgut brome (6ft. tall) along Fern Flat Fire Road                                                                                                        Photosby Barbara Barnes

Splendid Mariposa (Mariposa lilly)                                                                                                                                  Photo by Barbara Barnes

Dramatic Black oak felled by the Cedar Fire                                                                                                                 Photo by Barbara Barnes

Same tree from a wider angle                                                                                                                                            Photo by Barbara Barnes

Example of the Cedar fire consuming a tree and its root base, leaving only a large crater                                  Photo by Barbara Barnes

Fern Flat Fire Road supporting lush Spring grasses and weeds                                                                                Photo by Barbara Barnes

Close-up of California brome                                                                                                                                          Photo by Barbara Barnes

Blue wild rye                                                                                                                                                                        Photo by Barbara Barnes

Small fescue                                                                                                                                                                         Photo by Barbara Barnes

West Mesa Trail marker                                                                                                                                                     Photo by Barbara Barnes

Trail crossing Japacha Creek                                                                                  Photo by Barbara Barnes

     

Trail erosion from winter rains                                                                                                                                       Photos by Barbara Barnes

Charred Black oak and confiers, lupine in the foreground                                                                                          Photo by Barbara Barnes

Fallen Coulter pine                                                                                                  Photo by Barbara Barnes

No surviving trees in this stretch of West Mesa                                                                                                           Photo by Barbara Barnes

 

The Cedar fire was hot enough to incinerate these confires                                                                                        Photo by Barbara Barnes

Coulter pine cone wedged against charred log                                                   Photo by Barbara Barnes

Looking Southeast from West Mesa Trail (4800 ft.)                                                                                                     Photo by Barbara Barnes

California poppy's and Owl's clover along the trail                                                                                                     Photo by Barbara Barnes

 

                                              Slope semaphore                                                                            Enlarged blossom        Photos by Barbara Barnes

                                                                              Looking Southeast from West Mesa Trail                                                Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                              Very large Coast live oak struggling to recover                                 Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                                   Black oak seedling                                                           Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                                        Oak underbrush                                                              Photo by Barbara Barnes

Unexpected discovery at 5,000 Ft.; a stretch of oaks and mixed conifer spared from the fire                             Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                     Healthy Blackoaks and Coulter pine                                          Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                Untouched meadow and oak woodland                                          Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                       Closer look at fire-spared mixed conifer forest and oaks          Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                          Black oaks and Incense cedars                                                  Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                           Further up the trail (5200 ft.), looking East back through high burn area   Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                           A stand of young Pondersosa pines lost in the Cedar fire                 Photo by Barbara Barnes

     

                                                                           Charred Coulter pines with their cones still attached                       Photos by Barbara Barnes

Looking Southwest as West Mesa Trail loops down to Airplane Monument

                                                                                     Extensive fire damage on West Mesa                                           Photo by Barbara Barnes

                                                                                Remnants of oaks and conifers on West Mesa                                 Photo by Barbara Barnes

 

Photo Credits:

Barnes, B. (2005). Assorted photographs from San Diego County, 2005. WhiteSage Cafe@AOL.com