White Chalk Formations with their Yucca Companions

 It was hard to fathom how beautiful pure white formations could be unless you are walking among or above them.

We hiked for a long stretch of Prairie, then looked down to see these are views that resembled looking into White Sands in New Mexico, but much harder lines and more colors intermingled in the hills and gullies. I have visited White Sands three times, and would go back in a heartbeat. But the Calhan Paint Mines are closer, and I have only gotten there twice since living in Manitou Springs.

Yucca & White Formation at CO Paint Mines

The forms and shadows played with your imagination and changed dramatically as one continued on the path that took us around this area.

In many places the white ended, then either gold or green or lavender colors were above the stark white.

There didn’t seem to be any order to what the next color would be above the white which made it all the more fascinating.

Yucca & White Formation at CO Paint Mines

Sometimes the white turned a bit grey, but within that grey other colors could be seen also.

Yucca & Grey Formation at CO Paint Mines

 There again were colorful rocks just hanging out adding to the mystery and beauty of this stark white environment.

What mineral creates those magenta rocks?

 Yucca & White Formation at CO Paint Mines

The Yucca plants that grew on the formations intrigued me almost as much as these stark formations.

Yucca & White Formation at CO Paint Mines

Yuccas showed up in some of the most unlikely places.

How do they hang on to the crumbling formations?

Looking at the harsh environment makes one really wonders how they find nourishment enough to live there.

Yucca On the Prairie at CO Paint Mines

How can anything survive in this windy climate that sometimes goes from freezing cold to scorching hot all in one day?

But the Yucca and many other plants do.

In the next post, we will go walking among the most colorful formations in the Park.

Colorful Formations in Calhan's Paint Mines Park


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