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have synchronized walks with other 43thingers and post pictures here (read all 138 entries…)
June 10, 2012 Mt. Falcon Park near Morrison, CO

I was able to talk my daughter into getting out for a hike yesterday. It was a relatively easy one, but we enjoyed it. We got started a little late but we were out for about two and a half hours so we were synched with the West Coast & Hawaii ;) We did a loop of about 3.3 miles (5.3 km) with about 900’ (275 meters) of elevation gain. I had hiked all of the trails before but it’s been several years, and the last time was off season so I didn’t get to see the wildflowers.

I was very glad that the heat wave of the last couple days had broken- rather than the 93 F (34 C) from Saturday we had temperatures in the low 60’s (~17-18 C)! It was excellent hiking weather.

This is the view near the beginning of the trail- doesn’t this make you want to go hiking? :)

Additional photos in the comments.


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This was about the peak for wildflowers in the foothills so we got to see many different species in bloom. Here’s a yucca that was getting close.



For some reason the tips of the flower stalks on this yucca were just covered in aphids!

Sorry, the pic is a little out of focus, but I thought that it was still interesting.


Yucca in bloom

Later in the hike we found a few yuccas that were growing in very sunny areas- some of those were already in bloom.


Sedums (stonecrops)

These were blooming all along the trail in the drier areas. They are a type of succulant. I believe that these are Yellow Stonecrops (Amerosedum lanceolatum or Sedum lanceolatum).

I have several more photos to post but I don’t have time to finish up today. Did anyone else make it out yesterday?

GorgeousGoddess soaking in the richness of life :)

palos verdes

Yup.. I was out hiking yesterday .. 4 mi on flat terrain .. more like a walk, but if I have to put my hiking shoes on, it’s a hike lol.

(The pic is from today’s hike tho :)



Although I haven’t posted about them yet, a couple of the “hikes” from this goal I would definitely rate as walks ;)

Nice pic! And how great to be able to do that on a Monday :)

GorgeousGoddess soaking in the richness of life :)

Yup :)

(This comment was deleted.)


Sounds great!

And a tough hike (or a hike at all) isn’t necessary for this goal- it’s just that I prefer to get out on a trail when I can :)



As kids we used to call these “snotflowers” because of the slimy sap that exudes from the stem when you pick one. It was always fun to smear the “snot” on a sibling or friend to gross them out :D I’m not sure that “spiderwort” is much more appealing to most people, but it is a pretty flower!

This one is much closer to lavendar in color than the normal blue- I’m not sure if it was a color variation or just an effect of the lighting.


Spiderwort again

A little farther down the trail I got a pic of one that has the normal coloration.


My daughter on the trail

It was sure nice to see everything so lush and green! That won’t last long, especially if the dry weather we’ve been having continues.


Patterns in Ponderosa Pine bark

There are three tree species that are prevalent along this trail- two evergreens and one deciduous. The evergreen Ponderosa Pine is very common in the foothills and is often the largest trees there. The bark on the mature trees has an interesting pattern and also a very characteristic smell of vanilla or butterscotch.


Douglas Fir

The other common evergreen along this trail is the Douglas Fir. They usually grow in the cooler, more shaded spots that have more moisture. The cones are easy to identify- see the papery seeds between the cone scales? They look like little mice with their heads buried deep in the cones :)

Here is a version of the legend of the mouse and the Douglas Fir cone.



of the little “mouse” in the Douglas Fir Cone.


Gambell Oak

The third tree that was common along the trail here (and the only deciduous one) is the Gambell Oak. People in many areas would have trouble even recognizing these as oaks from a distance- they max out around 25’ (8 meters) tall around here, and they’re usually only about half that. But up close the typical oak leaf is pretty distinctive.

Here an interesting insect is enjoying a Gambell Oak leaf for lunch.

idkbrblol ♫♪ I'm goin' off the rails on a gravy train ♫♪ ☺

re: Gambell Oak bug:

an assassin bug(?) – looks like a close relative of the wheel bug!
lots of nice pics. Must’ve been a nice walk!


Thanks :)

It was a nice hike!

this is definitely not an assassin bug- as the name implies, they are predators and this one was munching on the leaf. I’ve never heard of wheel bugs but apparently they are part of the same group. I don’t know what this one is.


Wild Rose

In a few places along the trail there were wild roses blooming. I recently learned that you can eat rose petals. I guess I should have suspected that (I’ve eaten rose hips, which are very high in vitamin C, and I’ve heard of using rose water for flavoring) but if I ever learned before that the petals were edible, I didn’t remember it.

This one was too pretty to taste, though :)

Wow, reading these posts is like

going on the flower walks my Grandma used to lead in the Rockies. Except you are lacking the stern emphasis on never ever picking anything.


LOL, Amanda

Thanks for reminding people. It is sad to see the dying flowers on the side of the trail or at the edge of the parking lot. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you can never pick anything, but so few people have any idea what they’re picking and if it is very common or very rare. And many plants (like the Columbine that I posted here last week are protected by law- it is illegal to pick them.

Walks with my Grandma were where I first learned to appreciate nature. She wasn’t a hiker but she loved to wander and explore through natural areas :)


Yellow Salsify (aka Western Salsify)

This is actually the seed head, which is more familiar to most people than the not-so-impressive flower. Kids love these things, since they look like giant dandelion seed heads (around 4”/10 cm in diameter!).

I have a bunch of these in my yard and, although they are usually considered weeds, I don’t pull them unless they’re too close to something I planted.


Salsify closeup

To an ant walking through here it would be like us in a redwood forest!

Todd Schoonover will miss all his 43T friends


Back when I was working on my try new vegetable goals, salsify was one possibility. My Grandmother told me about eating it while she was growing up. She said it tastes like oysters.


I've heard that,

but I’ve never tried it.

According to this the wild salsify doesn’t have the large roots that the cultivated variety does. But supposedly the young leaves of the wild plants can be eaten.


At this trail junction,

we had the choice of taking the easier route along the side of this meadow, or the climb to the lookout tower.

The meadow is pretty right now but not too exciting- I chose the trail to the tower :)


View from the lookout tower

My daughter enjoying the view- what there was of it. With the wildfire in northern Colorado it was very hazy. The obvious peak in the background is Mt. Morrison.


Eagle's Eye shelter

A short distance from the lookout tower is this large picnic shelter.


According to the sign,

this shelter ised to be a summer cabin. I wouldn’t mind having a little shack like this for the summers!


View from Eagle's Eye shelter

This is looking sort of west-northwest. Again you can see the haze from the fire, but it’s still a really nice view.

I’m pretty sure that we had taken my daughter on this hike before, but she was fairly young then & she doesn’t remember any of it. For the most part (considering that she doesn’t like hiking) she seemed to enjoy it. It helped a lot that the weather was so pleasant.

And now you can see why I let this goal sit inactive for so long- I’ve still been doing walks & hikes on many Sundays, but it’s taken me all week to post about it! ;)

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