Elaine wanted to take us to a nature conservancy she knew of near Colorado Springs, south of Denver. It took us awhile to find it, but we finally did. Unfortunately the visitor centre was closed, but we were able to wander along the pathway and take a few pix. Lots of birds were around so the bird people were happy.
Aiken Canyon Preserve
A Foothills Ecosystem Hosts an Abundance of Species
Prairie lizard (I think).
Garden of the Gods
We drove back toward Colorado Springs where we visited Garden of the Gods. This is an amazing geological place.
Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs. The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of red and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. Evidence of past ages; ancient seas, eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, alluvial fans, sandy beaches and great sand dune fields can be read in the rocks. A spectacular shear fault can be observed where the Tower of Babel (Lyons Sandstone) contacts the Fountain Formation. The name Colorado is said to come from the color of the sandstone. There are many fossils to be seen: marine forms, plant fossils, and some dinosaur fossils.
All the rock features have names, and if I have a few minutes later on, I'll circle back and figure out what they are - in the meantime, get out your magnifying glass to read them from the sign in the pix.
From Garden of the Gods, we hit the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, which has got to be one of the biggest "gift shops" on the planet! This place just went on and on and on. It had all sorts of stuff - from really nice to really tacky! If you want a "gift," this is the place to find it!