Fire field orchids

The El Niño dry spell this spring has led to a spate of fires around Pohnpei. Last week the swamp on the north side of the college entrance caught fire and burned. Probable cause is surmised to potentially be a cigarette. The swamp burned during the last El Niño dry spell in 1998
A view toward the Palikir ridgeline to the north
The college maintenance team had to run hoses from the dormitory as there are no fire hose hook-ups at the maintenance building on the north side of the road. 
Looking east-northeast

Given the loss of Lycopodiella cernua on other nan mal areas of campus, I was pleased to see fairly healthy growth of L. cernua out in the bog. These plants are usually protected by the impassable bog, becoming exposed only during an El Niño spring. Although the fire took it's toll, L. cernua typically benefits from the competitive loss of the razor grass post-fire.


The fires cleared the area and the dry weather permitted exploring the bog. Ground orchids are growing out in the bog.




The orchids in the bog are apparently self-seeding and fairly prolific.




Meanwhile, at home, a less common variety of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is enjoying the sunny weather.

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