Fire, Fungus and the Wood Wide Web
In the heart of fire-swept Trione-Annadel State Park, blackened columns of Douglas Fir, bare exposed earth, and the ghostly gray limbs of oak, madrone and bay still stand on the steep ridges and rolling hillsides between Oakmont and Bennett Valley. Amid the devastation, meadows have sprouted with new green grass. But the regeneration of the forest itself hangs, literally, by a delicate thread. Down in the smoke-scented soil, beneath the dark char and white ash, tiny tendrils known as mycelia, thin as spider silk, are spreading. And their survival is key to the restoration of the woodland giants towering overhead.