One of the most visited scenes in Colorado is an extensive group of red sandstone formations known as Garden of the Gods – monoliths towering above the green Juniper trees. The Colorado Springs city park lies at the very edge of the Great Plains below the 8,000′ uplift that forms the massive mountain known as Pikes Peak. At over 14,000′ elevation, the summit is accessible by a toll road.; the lower part by a an inclined railway. The access to Garden of the Gods City Park is free, with a network of paved roads, viewpoints, and hiking trails. What is most astonishing about this park below the tall grey mountain, is the color – the red of the sandstone, turning to orange in late afternoon. The rock is the remnant of ancient inland sea sediments, uplifted and tilted to form what is known as the Colorado Plateau, extending Westward to Utah for over 400 miles. The Rocky Mountains poked through the plateau millions years later. Colorado is a Spanish word for color – the color red that the Conquistadors saw when the first came North from Mexico. Photographing the Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background, is not easy – the peak faces the flat light from the East in the morning and is backlit from the West in the afternoon. But in the Winter, as you can see in the photograph above, the angle of the sun from the South in mid-morning lends itself to a beautiful picture – not flat or in the shade. I took the picture in Late February of 2019 after a foot of fresh snow, before it started to melt away. I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time!
- Ancient Tree on