Spending time in the burned zones is an almost overwhelming assault on the senses; this is a familiar world inverted. The colors, textures, shapes, and smells are all unfamiliar. That which should be green is
black. That which should be inside is out. That which should be standing has fallen. Nothing, it seems, can be taken for granted.

About the author

Jacoba Charles is a naturalist and science writer. Her first article, at age eight, was about the behavior of ducks as observed from the roof of her family’s barn. It went unpublished. She later graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism (2007). In addition to writing for Estuary News, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Modern Farmer, Bay Nature, Marin Magazine, and various literary publications. Her botany blog can be found at flowersofmarin.com and her website is jacobacharles.com. She lives in Petaluma with her family.