Monday, May 23, 2011

Regrowth is starting to emerge; plenty of park to enjoy

Still spectacular views from the Rock Shelter atop Davis Mountains State Park
Bits of green starting to emerge in the hardest hit portion of the park

A view from a burned portion of the park (foreground) of a completely unburned mountainside in the park
These views were taken last night from Skyline Drive in Davis Mountains State Park, from some of the hardest hit portions of the park.  The park is mostly unscathed, only 700 of its 2700 acres burned, so there's plenty of untouched land to enjoy--including all the campsites and the beloved Indian Lodge--all untouched.

The park tells us that, "blackened is not dead!" and there are enough bits of green emerging from some of the blackest soil to feel very hopeful about the prospects for this park.   Yesterday more of the campsites were used by visitors getting a truly special experience in the park...the birds and wildlife were active and easy to see and enjoy.

Being there was quiet and peaceful, though the birds were plentiful.  We saw raptors hunting.  The sky was clear and crisp and blue.

We're all waiting for rain.  The park distributed a Q and A flyer about the fire, and here's an important point:

"Q:  What will the Davis Mountains look like in the future?
A:  Fire-dependent habitats rapidly recover from fires.  New green shoots of growth from existing plant roots and new seed germination can already be seen in many areas that burned.  When the region receives rain, grasses and wildflowers will be common within the burned areas, including species that are fire dependent and are usually less common in the landscape.  Remember, blackened does not mean dead!"

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