Brave Birds Among the Ancient Cedars in Garden of the Gods

This hike had many interesting facets to it, not an ordinary Garden of the Gods hike.

When we stopped for a lunch break on the way back down, there were some very brave birds. I often leave some nuts or dried fruit for creatures to find when we are gone. I placed a few pistachios in their shells on a rock in the cedar grove we were sitting in. But these Mountain Blue Birds did not wait until we left. They first checked us out from the trees above, then came down to see what treats we had for them.

Mountain Blue Bird in Ancient Cedars in Garden of the Gods

We opened up quite a few more pistachios and tossed them into the center of our picnic area.

These birds would cautiously fly back into one of the trees, look at us, move down to a lower branch, and check us out some more.

Then they would fly into the area that the pistachios were and  pick up as many as their beaks could hold, then fly off to a nest.

 Spectacular View in Garden of the Gods

While waiting for a bird to return, we would enjoy the spectacular view that was presented to us.

Off in the distance is Red Rock Canyon Park that we hike on many times and on many trails. A different perspective to see it from here compared to when one is in the park.

And I really love the beauty of the Ancient Cedars that are found in this part of the Garden of the Gods park.

I think there were just a couple of these Mountain Blue Birds, but it was hard to tell as all the feathered visitors looked pretty similar.

Mountain Blue Bird eating a pistachio

We probably spent 20 minutes enjoying the antics of these very delightful and very happy blue birds and enjoying the view.

Notice the cactus near the bird.

The hillside we had climbed up was filled with cactus with huge spines.

I had made it up unscathed, but my hiking partner slipped once and got a few needles in her hand.

Cactus in the Garden of the Gods Colorado

They did come out easier than the needles from smaller cactus, but still not a fun thing to run into on any hike.

We were following deer trails to get to the “summit” of this trail. Pretty rocky and uneven terrain, but doable.

And it was worth every panting step we took.
 Ancient Cedar on Summit of Garden of the Gods Hike

 I hiked a little further up than my hiking partner.

I saw an easy trail that led to the North, but knew that would not be explored today.

It certainly was tempting to just go a little bit farther . . . but I resisted that Temptation.

Trail not Take at Cedar Summit

Still, I had a hard time turning back and heading back down to begin the descent and leave the Ancient Cedars behind.

I found myself stopping and just breathing in the beautiful scent of these Ancient Cedar Trees. And then looking up and taking another photograph of either the cedars or spectacular views that presented themselves to me as I hiked down.

There were some particularly spectacular views of Pikes Peak that I found myself taking a few risks to get a clear photograph. I never even stumbled as I leaned on some trees or rocks to steady myself near an edge or holding the camera past some tree branches and hoping when I clicked a great picture would be where I couldn’t see.

Spectacular View of Pikes Peak

Because I was so distracted and into my own world of beauty, I didn’t realize that my hiking partner was following a trail going down faster than we had come up. When I realized the path she was on and tried to steer her more to the East, it was a bit too late. I then knew we were going to be hiking back on another very rocky creek bed, rather than the gentler trail down I had intended us to take. I had hiked both ways, and made it out before, so knew we could do it, but this would mean we needed to be very cautious where we stepped.

Creek Bed Exit Trail in Garden of the Gods At times we had to hike up a slippery slope to the side when the rocks became cliffs or just not safe to climb on in the creek bed.

The colors of rocks fascinated us both. Reds, purples, golden yellow, white, rusty, milky quartz and others sparkled in the sun. Another type of beauty that had us totally intrigued making it easy for us want to look down, rather than up as we did on the other trail and to progress slowly down the creek bed back to the starting creek bed.

And it was a bit cooler in this area, making my hiking partner more comfortable after being in the heat above.



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