Monday, July 15, 2013

Kickin' wildflowers, butterflies and a hummingbird's nest

With the success of our hike last week at Three Sisters, and with the incredible thundershowers that have been hitting us every single afternoon, we decided to take the girls out for a hike this morning.  We picked another destination we'd not yet visited: O'Fallon Park, which is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.  Located less than a mile east of Kittredge, it's easy access from Evergreen.

Purple flowers along Picnic Loop trail
While the trails are very well maintained, we (along with the other hikers we encountered) didn't find them to be well marked.  There are also no trail maps at the trailheads.  Next time, I'll print out a map at home before we take off.  

We parked in the third lot, and started off heading uphill on Picnic Loop trail.  From there we caught the lower side of West Ridge Loop, and took another left onto Meadow View Loop to bring us back to the parking lot.  The hike clocked in at 3.1 miles, and both the Bug and the Bunny handled it with ease.  We lucked out by it not being a hot day, and the trails have abundant shade.

As for the highlights.... this is the easy part.  The entire park is currently a giant wild flower garden.  Everywhere you look there are pinks and purples and yellows and whites, flowers of all shapes and sizes.  Some we see all over the mountains; others were new to us.  We saw butterflies galore; from the big yellow swallowtails to the small orange, white and yellow ones, they were everywhere.  They flew between us as we hiked, nearly brushing the girls' cheeks as they passed.  We saw a couple of deer up a hill from us, one with small velvety antlers.

Thistles in a meadow

But the real highlight?  We saw a female hummingbird flitting around a tree right off the trail.  Then we saw her land in a nest.  I've never, ever seen a hummingbird's nest before - it was incredible!  And, as if she knew how cool it was, she sat back in the nest and posed for me.


Karin said...

I am quite jealous your girls love to hike! This last year I couldn't get my daughter to walk the FOUR blocks to kindergarten. All my fantasies of long hikes together while camping may never come to be.

Angie said...

I'm sure you'll be in business soon.... I can't imagine your kids not being into it! :)

I remember HATING hiking when I was a kid, but love it now. We really try hard to pick trails that the girls will like - flowers, rocks to climb on and streams are all good for us.