Friday, July 31, 2009

Florissant fun

On Tuesday Jason, the boys and I climbed into the purple van and headed out once again. We climbed up and over the continental divide and ended up in Florrisant, Colorado, home of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.Here are the boys posing by yet another sign. Ryan says I take way too many pictures, but mostly everyone was cooperative about posing for the camera.We ate lunch near the ranger station.There were lots of birds and small critters about. Jonas spent a lot of time trying to get a picture of this ground squirrel.My picture of the squirrel.
After lunch, we set out on a short hike. The trail led us past several petrified giant redwood stumps.Ryan ponders the stump.Flowers growing on another stump.
More walking.Woodpecker holes on a tree.Jonas taking pictures of some thistle with Jason's camera.
Of course Ryan wanted to borrow the camera, too. Jason gave him a few pointers...and turned him loose.My picture of the thistle.Ryan and James and I. Doesn't Ryan look happy to be sitting with his mother?
As a reward for taking a picture with me, he got to take this picture of me.
James brought his favorite walking stick on the hike.
Another picture of James and the stick.Walking and talking.
About two thirds of the way through our walk, storm clouds began to roll in.The sky got dark and ominous and it looked as though we were going to get wet.Can you see that shadow coming?Trying to outrun the weather!It worked! No one got wet (at least not that time!). Here is one last picture of the whole group minus me.
July 2009.

Florissant fossils

Of course no trip to Florissant is complete without actually viewing and finding fossils!
The fossil lab is located inside a yurt near the ranger station. I do not know why Jonas is carrying Ryan.James was able to walk in all by himself.
The ranger in the Fossil Lab showed us how to split shale using razor blades and precision instruments.Shale from the fossil beds. We were not allowed to touch this.Studying fossils through a microscope. The fossils found in Florissant are of plants and insects and most are quite small.
The boys were eager to try out their own fossil finding skills so we left the National Monument and its federally protected shale and headed a couple miles down the road to a privately owned quarry.There were no razor blades and surgical instruments here. Instead our tools were old butter knives and hammers!
Note how everyone else is listening to the quarry owner while Ryan strikes out on his own.
Armed and dangerous!Looking for promising pieces of shale.
Jonas found a lot of fossils...but Johannes was the fossil finding champion.
Working together like good friends should.
July 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garden of the Gods

Jason and crew arrived Thursday afternoon in a purple seven passenger minivan. Ryan, James and Seth occupied the extra three seats on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, however, Seth had to go back to work so I got the eighth seat. We started our day with a trip to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.Even from the visitor center, Garden of the Gods is amazing.Johannes, James and Lucas on the visitor center observation deck.Jonas taking a picture from the visitor center parking lot. White rock formation.
More typical red rock formations.
White and red together!
This park is just plain beautiful.
The sun was shining and it was hot so Jason took off his shirt. Pretty soon everyone else (but me) followed suit. The sight of these five skinny, pale chests was too funny. I had to take a picture...Ok, make that two pictures!Deer tracks.
Ryan reading a sign.Lucas ignoring a sign.We walked and walked and walked. We would probably still be walking if it wasn't for Ryan's poor, sore foot!
Waiting for someone to get out of the bathroom. Words carved in the rock face.Kissing camels.
Our whole group!
July 2009.