Garden of the Gods – Part 3

We didn’t see any rattlesnakes as we were wandering through the park, but we did see a mule deer, and a mountain bluebird and a spotted towhee and a family of pigeons that lived inside one of the formations. We all laughed as we watched them crawl (wait, I don’t think pigeons crawl) out of the split in the rock – they just kept coming.

DSC_0201Anyhow, I think my favorite was the spotted towhee because as I was standing on the path taking pictures, a tiny little girl walked up and stood next to me. Quietly she watched me take pictures for awhile and then she turned to her father, “What’s she looking at, Dad?”

I told her there was a spotted towhee in the tree and her father lifted her up so she could see it. She reacted with quiet reverence. The dad then repeated the name to her and she giggled. Later the father asked me what another bird was  – a pigeon/rock dove. (I didn’t even have to ask my brother to identify that one.) I don’t think the man was from the U.S. or maybe he just hadn’t been around a lot of birds, but he was friendly and inquisitive and his daughter was cute as she hopped along next to me waiting to see what other pictures I would take.

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Roger got its picture jumping over the fence, but I wasn’t quick enough.
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A mountain bluebird.
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A columbine – but not a good one – it’s on its way to wilting which I guess all flowers are – but this one was a few steps closer than some.
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a southwestern prickly poppy

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Sunflowers in the Park

Another fun small Kansas town (where we did actually see other people) was Goodland. Although there are other things to see in town including a couple charming restaurants – we focused on the sunflower painting

Actually the picture idea started a long way from Kansas – in Canada where a Canadian artist decided to replicate seven Van Gogh paintings. He asked Goodland if they would accept Van Gogh’s sunflower picture since they are the Sunflower Capitol of the Sunflower State.

Unfortunately we didn’t actually see any REAL sunflowers – probably a little early in the year.

But the Van-Gogh-Canadian-artist sunflowers on the easel were cool –

The picture is 24×32 feet and the easel is 80 feet tall. Altogether, the painting/easel weighs 45,000 pounds so it’s good the picture didn’t topple over and hit us on the head or something.

Again – a quick stop on the way across Kansas.DSC_0126