NATURE ALI'S GRAND ADVENTURE - Day 6 - June 25, 2009

Stayed over for a night to enjoy time with Brandon and Desiree. Brandon was up at dawn to show me the Rocky Mountain Elk which fade back into the forest shortly after the sun rises. Off we went toward Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument where a herd of about 40 elk were grazing at the edge of the forest. Then we went for a hike in the monument.

Florissant Fossil Beds is a cool place with 34 million year old fossil redwoods and other remnants of the past that fossilized quickly with the eruption of a nearby volcano. Saw Richardson's Ground Squirrels and Nuttall's Cottontail along with other species, was thrilled to see Williamson's Sapsuckers.

Left Florissant for a quick 1430 mile drive to pick up my sister in Cleveland, OH. I stopped to take photos of amazing clouds accenting fields of yellow flowers in eastern Colorado. Then soon entered Kansas with amazing thunderstorms to the north and south but clear sailing along I-70, Mother-Nature always seems to clear a path for me.

Kansas is a wonderful and beautiful state with many clean rest stops and lots of nature along the way, I wandered through one of the rest stops just before sunset and saw what I thought was a Baltimore Oriole which would have been a year bird… but it turned out to be a rusty orange… a life bird instead… Orchard Oriole. I did not find Kansas the flat uninterrupted landscape that had been described but an undulating state with varied habitats. I will return to this state. I took a few naps along the way and spent the night on the road in Eastern Kansas.

591 miles

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Nature Alley is dedicated to protecting natural communities wherever they exist. She is involved in many scientific and educational programs, promoting environmental appreciation and ethics.


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