by Marty Mayfield
CIMARRON CANYON — A trip through Cimarron Canyon these days shows a stark difference to the scene of only a few months ago when the Ute Park Fire devastated the area and left it looking like a scene out of a sci-fi movie.
On Saturday the canyon was showing signs of regrowth and rebirth as grasses, wild flowers and other vegetation such as wild grape vines, wild roses and the ever-present oak brush has retaken the areas that were expected to be barren for years to come. The rains have reshaped the landscape as rock and other debris has been washed down the hillside into the Cimarron River. With less vegetation to hold the rain water, flooding has occurred along the river and in some places rerouted the flow of water.
Fall will soon recolor the landscape as the vegetation begins to take on its fall color. Along the canyon there is already some signs of the change coming as some of the wild roses and wild grape vines are turning a deep red. The oak brush will soon begin its fall color change which should provide a spectacular sight as it contrast the golds and reds against the charred wood of the trees and oaks.