I love living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. They twist, turn, dip and undulate like a soft grassy blanket over the rising earth.
Their topography never ceases to amaze me, as does their colors, which are ever changing with the seasons.
My husband and I are fortunate, because we live in Ken Caryl Ranch's valley, and the majority of the 20 plus miles of open space trails in this valley are for the private use of the residents and their guests, My husband and I decided to walk on one of the more rustic private trails, Dutch Creek Trail, early one weekend morning. It is considered an easy to moderate trail that leads from the North Ranch Road to Highway C470.
It is a winding, rustic and narrow dirt trail, and we weren't sure what we'd see.
We kept on with our walk along the trail, keeping our eyes open for snakes and other wildlife.
We could finally hear running water of Dutch Creek at this point on the trail. My husband stopped to look down the ravine at the water and wait for me...
...until I finally caught up to him.
As usual, I had been busy taking photos of the creek and surrounding views. Notice my sun hat--it's an absolute necessity to wear one when walking the trails here. There is not much tree shade and the sun is very intense because we are at over 6,000 feet elevation in this valley!
This is what has also been making me lag behind as we walked the trail--wildflowers! Every place I looked along the trail I saw unique and beautiful wildflowers! I bought a field book about Rocky Mountain Wildflowers recently, and I'm trying to learn the names of as many as I can. Let me show you what I saw--and please, if anyone has more knowledge than me, please correct any errors in the comment section of this post and I will correct it. Many wildflowers look alike!
Prickly Poppy Flower
I believe this flower has the fanciful name Butter 'n' Eggs--I could not get too close to it as it was on the other side of the creek and was blowing in the wind.
Blue Flax Flower
Wild Roses -- growing along the banks of one side of the creek in thick hanging brambles
There are quite a few different daisy-like wildflowers, but I believe this one may be Porters Aster or Rose Heath
Salsify Seed Head
Western Spiderwort Flowers
Field Bindweed Flower
Bristle Thistle --in pre bloom.
This was high up on a hill, but I believe it is called Mormon Tea or Jointfir
Looking up at this point of the trail I could see the rock spine of the hogback, and I wondered if these boulders could come crashing down one day?
Many rested near the trail, so it was a true possibility, and made our walk seem even more daring!
My husband is ahead of me again on the trail on the way back, as I am still looking for wildflowers I might have missed.
If you click on this photo to enlarge it you can see that the archaeologists were still investigating the hill top. I wonder if they found anything of interest?
As we drove home, I spied more trails leading up into the foothills that we will have to investigate one day soon. I'm sure there will be many more wildflowers waiting to be admired and photographed by yours truly!
PS: I've been busy editing my photos from my recent trips to New York, Chicago, San Francisco and the wine country of Napa and Sonoma, and hope to show you more from those visits very soon!
PSS: if you are a woman over 50 years of age, and would like to find out how you can have a chance to win $10,000 to "reinvent" yourself, please read my prior post sponsored by Oxytrol® For Women and BlogHer.
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