Reflections Upon Fountain Valley Nature Center Trail

I actually hiked the same trails twice in a week.

I had never been to the Fountain Creek Nature Center and the trails that go into the wetlands and also wind along Fountain Creek in Fountain, Colorado.

Fountain Creek Nature Center

The first time on Saturday was just a “stroll” with the Deja Vu Singles group. That was fun to be with some different people on a hike.

It was a very flat and easy stroll. Though it was easy to imagine it being quite hot in the summer and wouldn’t want to be doing mid-day hikes as these both were.

We encountered many types of water fowl, birds and other visions of natural beauty, but we barely explored the area. We were told when it is warmer there were turtles and blue herons to be seen also.

I knew my usual hiking partner would be delighted by how close the many types of birds came to us. And just such a different landscape compared to our mountain hikes would surely delight her immensely.

I was took quite a few lovely water reflection photos. But the water wasn’t as still as I had thought it was when taking the photos. When downloading them at home, I saw they were more rippled than I had realized. Still, they made for interesting reflections and images.

Reflections of Pikes Peak At Fountain Creek Nature Center

This is an “oasis on the plains” filled with many ponds, wetlands and marshes. It has wide open meadows and forests of huge Cottonwoods. And you walk along the Fountain Creek on one of the trails that has an irrigation ditch on the other side of the trail.

The Fountain Creek Nature Center has some very interesting exhibits, including a large snapping turtle that was found nearby. There is a Cattail Marsh Wildlife Area that had not come to life yet, but I took some intersting photos of them all dried out and with cotton on them.

The ponds were filled with Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks and other water fowl that I couldn’t exactly identify. This is an area that Blue Herons stop over on their migration flight, but there were none to be seen either of the days I hiked here.

Mallard Ducks at Fountain Creek Nature Center

The mountain backdrop made it particularly beautiful and walking along Fountain Creek was something I had never done outside of Manitou Springs.

On each of my visits I saw Red-Winged Blackbirds. This brought up delightful memories of seeing them when I grew up in Illinois. Haven’t seen many in Colorado, and my hiking partner swore she had never seen one before. One posed and sang for us in a tree near the trail to start our hike off on a very high note.

Red-winged Blackbirds at Fountain Creek Nature Center

On my second hike, we walked in various types of wetlands that we could imagine alive with more creatures and much greener after the Spring rains woulf fall. This was such an extreme contrast to the prairie desert where we explored the Paint Mines in Calhan last week.

I saw a few white butterflies, but none held still enough for me to get a picture of on this hike. One major reason we would want to come back later in the year is that this area is a Monarch Butterfly habitat. There are many milkweeds growing here, and that is something Monarch Butterflies.

Monarch Butterfly sign at Fountain Creek Nature Center

Milkweed nectar is a main staple in a Monarch’s diet.

Something I never knew.

I Learn or Discover something New every hike.


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