Monday, July 17, 2017

Wildflowers on Columbine to Coyote Song Trail





I'm very fortunate to live in a community that has access to many trails. Some are public and some are private for the use of residents only. I've blogged about the Cathy Johnson trail before--click here to read that post--which is a public trail very close to our community. In fact, while I was walking on the Cathy Johnson trail recently, I took this photo looking back towards the beginning of the trail, and you can see a portion of our neighborhood to the left. Please click on the photo to enlarge it to get a better view. It gives you an idea of how we live at over 6,000 feet elevation, but we are in a valley between the Dakota Hogback and Colorado Front Range foothills.  I love to take hikes like this in late spring and early summer, when many wildflowers are in bloom. This time my husband and I decided to take an off shoot of the Cathy Johnson Trail, called the Columbine Trail, that crosses over a smaller Lyons Hogback to the west.


Most of Colorado has been arid this summer, and at times we've had above normal temperatures, yet hardy wildflowers continued to share their beauty. As soon as I began hiking the trail these flowers were the  first ones that I saw.

I also saw prairie dogs on the north of the Cathy Johnson trail, They face a hard time in many areas of the front range and plains as development grows.  This quote from this article in the Denver Post states: 
"A Century ago, black tailed prairie dogs numbered in the hundreds of millions and were possibly the most abundant mammal in North America. Colorado officials reckon prairie dogs inhabited 7 million acres in the state--an area 14 times larger than prairie dogs inhabit today. But plague, urban development, poisoning. roads and hunting, here and around the Great Plains, reduced prairie dogs by 95% Federal biologists estimate 10 to 20 million have survived."


We arrived at the turn off that leads to the Columbine Trail....


...where we happily saw many bees and insects at work!


The Columbine Trail climbs in elevation about 500 feet and crosses over the Lyons Hogback


There were many wildflowers on this trail!


There were also a large amount of scrub oak trees.


 As you can see from this photo the trail cuts in and out of these groves of scrub oaks.  Unless one is in one of the many pine forests at higher elevations, most Colorado foothill trails are fairly tree less......


....so even this small amount of shade was nice.


We saw many pretty delicate wildflowers in this area of the trail.


As we reached the crest of the Columbine Trail to cross over the Lyons Back, we could see a Lockhead Marten Space Systems Company in the distance, and a portion of South Valley Park ahead.



There were cactus flowers and other beautiful and colorful wildflowers at this point.


Now the trail began to descend....


...with rock steps to aide in the footing.


Looking back you can see the Lyons Hogback and signs that show that now this portion of the trail connects with Coyote Song Trail in South Valley Park.  I've blogged about the entire Coyote Song Trail on this post.


There are many stunning red rock formations on South Valley Park.  It is interesting to see how this land that was hundreds of millions of years ago the shoreline of a sea, and was uplifted by geological forces that lasted for 150 million years. Archaeological evidence in this area also points to hunter gatherer people occupying the South Valley 7,500 years before the pyramids of Egypt were built! These red rock formations also provided shelter for early Native Americans.


As we approach the end of Coyote Song Trail and South Valley Park, houses in my community can be seen over the ridge.


We hiked back past the Lyons hogback...


...and turned back towards home in front of the Dakota Hogback.



It was a pleasant hike so close to home and filled with beautiful views and exquisite wildflowers. How fortunate I feel to be able to experience all this beauty, almost in my own backyard!

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32 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

One of the pleasures of hiking in the mountains is seeing all the beautiful wildflowers. You've captured them so well, Pat.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Patricia, what a lovely hiking trail. The views and wildflowers are gorgeous. You live in a beautiful area. Your mention of the prairie dogs reminded me of my first sighting of the prairie dog was in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge. I would think there are many wildlife sightings off this trail, I hope you do not walk alone. Awesome series of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Tom said...

...what a wonderful part of the world, complete with nature's gardens. Thanks for stopping by, let's do it again!

Sylvia said...

Pat, Taking a nice hike is always good. Thanks for sharing your photos. Have a great day. Sylvia D.

Daniela said...

Dearest Pat,
your outstanding images charm me more and more, thank you for sharing such wonders !

Wishing you a most lovely new week,
I'm sending blessings across the many miles

XOXO Dany

Lorrie said...

What a great place for hiking. The wildflowers are a bonus along the trail. I love to think of them blooming away, not caring if anyone sees them or not, feeding the bees, and raising their pretty heads to the sun. Have a great week, Pat.

Vee said...

It looks as if you are living in an Alpine village. Oh a bit more dry, of course. I really like the delicate, white, ruffly flower in the first collage...poppy-like. Do you follow Mr. Favoriti's example and use walking sticks? Very handy!

Maggie said...

My goodness you do live in a beautiful part of Colorado, imagine having all that wonderful country to hike through so close to your community.
The wildflower mosaics are so very pretty, delicate blooms and colours of every hue, thank you for being our hiking correspondent this week @ Mosaic Monday.

Linda W. said...

Love all the wildflowers!

Betty said...

That sure is beautiful country. I guess it's not too warm to go hiking which would be so nice right now. The poor prairie dogs. Kind of like the coyotes here. They're really being driven out by all the development and then people complain. It looks like Lockheed Marten is out in the middle of nowhere. Seems like a strange location for them.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

There are so many great hiking trails near you and summertime is the perfect time to get outside. It's too hot and humid here right now so our hiking days are on hold. Love the abundance of wildflowers there and you take the best photos! Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

Michelle said...

You really have a way with your camera and capture your area so well.

Lea said...

Beautiful country!
Lovely flowers!
Have a great week!

A Colorful World said...

Hi Pat! Love the wildflowers! We saw a few when at Crater Lake (same relative elevation) amid the snow. I always enjoy your posts so much! Have a great week.

jeannettestgermain said...

All these wild flowers, so pretty Pat!It makes walking this trail really worth it! Envious it's so close by:) Thanking you from All Seasons, and wishing you a lovely week!

ellen b. said...

Looks like a real beautiful hike/walk from Columbine to Coyote Song Trail. Even the name sounds great.

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Lots of pretties to look at, and what a gorgeous sky! Those clouds! So pretty!

Angie said...

Pat - this is right up my alley - hiking AND wildflowers - what a super collection! I also loved the rock formations - so different from anything that we have in Montana!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Thank you for the hike and the look see at so many beautiful wildflowers. I haven't been on a mountain hike in years. I miss the mountains.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'd love to be able to hike these trails and see the beautiful scenes along the way and the many pretty wildflowers. Thanks for sharing all this beauty with us, Pat!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That is really some amazing backyard Pat! You two have adapted to the altitude and dryness as if you were born and raised in Colorado! It really is no wonder it is the most healthy State in the country! That's a beautiful trail -- I love the wildflowers. Also appreciate how you include some of the history of the area you visit.

Rambling Woods said...

You do live in such a wonderful nature filled area..thank you for sharing Pat!!!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Enjoyed your post immensely - love the wildflower and the spectaculor clouds

Ida said...

Wow that's quite the trail. So many delicate and beautiful wild flowers. Loved the rock formations and the clouds as well. You are truly lucky to live in such a gorgeous part of the country.

Nina said...

Beautifully captured flowers Pat! Your trails look amazing - as well as the landscape ... Here in Denmark it is very flat. I enjoy walking as well ~ best way to relax is to pick up your camera and go walking!
Popping by from Michelle's Thankful Thursday,
Nina

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for linking up today and have a GREAT weekend!!!!!!

Jim said...

I love clouds like that.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

A gorgeous hike and location. I would love to hike that area! Amazing (and sad) about the prairie dog population.

Lady Fi said...

A lovely hiking trail and great pictures!

bettyl-NZ said...

What a wonderful part of the world you live in! The flowers are so bright and pretty and the scenery is amazing!

carol l mckenna said...

Magnificent floral and landscape shots ~ collage and I love the 'hiker' photo ^_^

handmade by amalia said...

I so enjoyed our hike, Pat. To be out and about, surrounded by magnificent views and lovely flowers, perfect.
Amalia
xo