Whatever Weds. Flatirons

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Have you heard of or been to the Flatirons outside of Boulder, CO? I had never heard of them before, but I ran across an article or review of them while researching “things to do in and around Denver”. The hikes sounded interesting and pretty so we added this destination to our itinerary.

It was just over an hours drive from our hotel so we got up early had breakfast at the hotel then headed out for Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO. That’s where we’d find the Flatirons. They’re rock formations that back in the 1900’s were know as the Chautauqua Slabs, and later they were called the Crags… Wikipedia.

They do resemble clothes irons. They’re numbered 1 through 5. The big one in front is number 1.

The Flatirons

Upon arriving and reading the trail map we discovered a big sign notifying hikers that the trail we hoped to hike was closed for repairs, so Plan B. We hiked up this trail in the image above and caught the Bluebell-Baird trail which made a nice loop and a great stretch the legs hike.

Ready? Let’s go I’ll show some of what I saw along the way.

The wide open space soon changed to a dense forest.

Bluebell-Baird Trail

There were still some wildflowers in bloom. I think this is Narrow Goldenrod, but I’m not positive. Any one know for sure? I apologize for the missed focus. My iPhone and I weren’t having a good moment with focus. 😂

Narrow Goldenrod ?

We walked around a bend in the trail and on both sides of the trail were cairns! I can’t recall seeing so many in one place before!

Cairns, cairns, cairns!

There are so many! More than fit in my frame. The park had fenced off both sides of this area but, if you know me and rocks…you just know what happened next. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody, but I had to, HAD TO add a rock to a cairn. This one.

Added one rock on top. Cairn Bluebell-Baird Trail Chautauqua Park

Then before we knew it we out in the open again. Here’s a little view of Boulder, CO.

It’s all downhill from here. Before we finish up let’s take a look behind us shall we?

Flatiron 1

Geoolgy Fun Facts:

The Flatirons consist of conglomeratic sandstone of the Fountain Formation. Geologists estimate the age of these rocks as 290 to 296 million years; they were lifted and tilted into their present orientation between 35 and 80 million years ago, during the Laramide Orogeny. The Flatirons were subsequently exposed by erosion. Other manifestations of the Fountain Formation can be found in many places along the Colorado Front Range, including Garden of the Gods near Colorado SpringsRoxborough State Park in Douglas County, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison.”~ Wikipedia

I’d like to go back to this park one day and hike the trail that was closed. From here we headed to Estes Park the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. More on that in a future post.

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 22.5.1

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Lifers 3, 4, & 5 for 2021

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

At the end of May He-Man and I went for a hike on a new to us trail called Deadman’s Creek Trail. It’s a nice short trail just a wee bit over a mile up and 280 foot elevation gain with a wonderful payoff at the end. There’s a lovely gazebo at the top of the hill, and the view is gorgeous.

Washoe Lake with Slide Mountain in the background
Washoe Lake Reflecting Slide Mountain

To top this off being a nice hike it was an even better hike because I saw three new to me birds on this trail!!

Number 3 new bird for the year was the Rock Wren. It posed for me nicely. Later it sang for us too.

Rock Wren

On the way down I saw the next two. First was the Female Lazuli Bunting. It’s not a great image as she was out of range of my lens, but it was a good enough look to get her identified. I’ve seen the male before but, not the female so I was excited to have now seen both the male and female of the species.

Lazuli Bunting Female

The last new to me bird was the Black-throated Sparrow. I’ve been back to try to get a better image of it twice, but I haven’t seen it again.

Black-throated Sparrow

All I know of how the trail got its name is back in the 1860’s a man bought a ranch near here and grew produce to sell to the miners in the valley. In 1864 he sold half his ranch to another man who became his business partner, but in 1865 the two ranchers were found shot dead. It was first thought they were murdered, but later they changed the thinking to a murder suicide situation. It’s a story true to the Wild West tales that’s for sure.

On a happier note there were wildflowers in bloom along the trail too. I put together a Contact Sheet with several thumbnail images of the highlights of the hike to share.

Deadman’s Creek Trail, Washoe County, Nevada

We’ve had #1 Grandson with us for 11 days and Big Baby Boy flew up for a short visit too. We’ve been going to the lake to beat the heat and paddle on my SUP board. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of my images and videos of that so I won’t repeat that here.

Big Baby Boy left Tuesday, and Baby Girl, The Handsome Surveyor, and Littlest are arriving this evening for a short overnight stay and take #1 Grandson home tomorrow. The visits went by too fast!! That catches you up on my doings. What’s new with you?

I hope you’re all having a lovely week, and you have a great week-end!

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Wordless Wednesday-Profile of an American Robin

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

AA

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm| PS CC 22.4.1

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Wordless Weds.- Purple and Pink are the colors I choose.

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mountain Lupin

Mountain Lupin

Sunset color over Hot Springs Mt.

Sunset Colors on Hot Springs Mt

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm| PS CC 20.0.6| Lexar Digital Film

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Whatever Weds. The Tahoe Rim Trail

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday He-Man and I went hiking along the Tahoe Rim Trail. We heard the views were amazing, and I want to get back in shape and explore our new area. Since I feel out of shape and easily winded at this altitude still we opted for a 3 mile out hike and back.

We quickly discovered that Spring has sprung in the mountains at 7000 and 8000ft elevation. I was so excited!

Here are just a few of the flowers we saw.

Nuttall’s Larkspur with Bumble Bee. We took a side trip up the Vista Trail to the top of a ridge and found a view of Carson Valley and these wildflowers busy with Bumble Bees.

Wild Nuttals's Larkspur

Mule’s Ear was blooming all over the place and it was perfect blooming time!

Mule's Ear-Wildflower

Coast Paint Brush? I’m not positive this is what it is, but it looks like it.

Coast Paintbrush-Wildflower

There were thousands of Butterflies along the trail. I thought at first they were Painted Lady’s which I had heard were migrating through and there were thousands being reported but looking at them and my images confirmed that’s not what they were. It’s new to me called a California Tortoiseshell ( Nymphalis Californica).  There was also White cabbage and Sara Orange Tips I believe but, those little guys were already warmed up and flying all over the place rarely landing and when they did they alighted almost as soon as they touched down.

Californ Tortoiseshell- Nymphalis Californica

We had a glimpse of Lake Tahoe about 2 miles into the hike. It was a great place to catch my breath too.

Lake Tahoe from the Tahoe Rim Trail

I have more images of flowers I need to identify, and two birds too.

There is a gorgeous view we’re told 5 miles in, so we’re going to work up to that.  The Tahoe Rim Trail is 165 miles long going around Lake Tahoe. I’m hoping to do bits and bobs of it here and there, but I don’t think I’ll ever do the whole thing.

Our stats for the hike were:

6.5 miles total distance, 1000 ft elevation gain, and 3H:56 minutes…due to me stopping to smell the roses, watch butterflies, gaze at the views, and stopping to catch my breath.

It was a great hike! I hope I can get back up there before the butterflies flee, and the Lupine is in bloom.

I hope you’re all having a great week, and good Wednesday!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Wild Weds. 11/52 En Media Res

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went hiking both Saturday and Sunday hoping to find something interesting in nature as well as stretch my legs, but I hoped to see wildflowers. Saturday I saw flowering trees looking lush and pink in their full bloom and not much else in the way of flowers. I did see a pair of Does resting in the grass near the creek at the bottom of the trail.  I really do think Deer are my Spirit Animal.  He-Man and I stuck to the wooded area trails and did the steep switchbacks to gain some elevation.  We hiked over 2 miles and gained approx. 500ft in elevation.  I also rode the Fit Desk for 4 miles on Saturday which did not burn off nearly enough calories! 😦

On Sunday I proposed a different route that would take us along meadow and grassy trails, but still be hiking uphill, and if I didn’t run out of steam I’d even go up the wall.  Our mileage wouldn’t much  over two miles, but the elevation gain would be close to 600 ft having to go uphill to the top of the mountain/hill then down to the valley and back up the steep hill, and WALL then down the back hill to the car.

I saw several wildflowers in  bloom, there were fiddle necks, Hounds Tooth, Pacific Pea; Lupine; and a few others, but the best came when hiking up the hill leading to the WALL.

He-Man was well ahead of me because I kept stopping to photograph flowers, new pine-cone buds, a lizard in camouflage or so it thought,  so I was making tracks trying to catch up before he hit the WALL- which is the last section of this hill, but it’s nearly vertical.  I’m not kidding it’s really steep.  The grade must be 9 or 10%. Everyone calls it the Wall.  Thankfully it’s fairly short from there to the top.

Anyway, I was looking high, low, and sideways for flowers, birds, insects, etc, and in a thicket of dry and dead thistle or teasel I spied something like leaves, and kept going up the hill a few steps then my brain said, ” uh, no there shouldn’t be leaves  like that on those, back up!” So, I did and look what I saw when I really looked at it!  A pair of Silvery Blue Butterflies en Media Res!

Silvery Gray Butterflies en Media Res 2

 

I have never seen this type of Butterfly before and never in this position! I was so thrilled and excited; doing my happy dance!

The Silvery Blue is in the Gossamer-Wing Family.  Its habitat is varied but, not in deserts, but there is an exception as they are found in the Mohave Desert.  They are found where there are Lupine, Pea family, and Vetches. All of which were present when I saw these two.  Their season here is Feb- Aug.

He-Man missed it completely. 😦  I was tired and running out  of gas so took the cutoff right before the wall so, gained a little more mileage, but a wee bit less elevation. Next week I’ll take my hiking poles and claim the Wall again! 🙂

I was so grateful to have seen this. I’m still Wowed by it!

I’ll share some of the wildflowers in future posts.

Happy Hump Day!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm @f/5.6| ISO 400| 1/1250s| Handheld

more to come…