Garden of the Gods
This timelapse was compiled between September 26th and October 25th, 2011 in the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
The Garden of the Gods is a City of Colorado Springs park located at the foot of Pikes Peak near Manitou Springs. The park is free and open to the public year round. It is one of the most beautiful places I know, and is only minutes from my home.
Being a city park with well maintained roads means that people and cars are in the park day and night. I was still surprised to see cars at all hours of the night including a group making high speed laps while I was filming at Balanced Rock. At first, I thought the timelapse would be ruined, but I think it turned out fairly interesting. Almost every night scene has some type of stray light in it whether from a car, bike, or headlamp from a night jogger. Besides this, light spill from Colorado Springs to the east and south, and Denver to the north, kept me facing west as much as possible during the night. Otherwise, the nights were peaceful and quiet. The only ‘wild animals’ I saw were a house cat, and something that looked like a miniature fox.
How it got it’s name:
It was August of 1859 when two surveyors started out from Denver City to begin a townsite, soon to be called Colorado City. While exploring nearby locations, they came upon a beautiful area of sandstone formations. M. S. Beach, who related this incident, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden” when the country grew up. His companion, Rufus Cable, a “young and poetic man”, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.” It has been so called ever since.
Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
More information at the Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods Park is a 1323-acre registered National Natural Landmark.
The world’s only Theophytalia kerri fossil that was discovered in Garden of the Gods Park in 1878.
The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is located at the main entrance to the Park at 1805 North 30th Street, just minutes from downtown Colorado Springs. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, call 719-634-6666 or visit www.gardenofgods.com
The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of red, blue, purple, and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. Evidence of past ages; ancient seas, eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, alluvial fans, sandy beaches and great sand dune fields can be read in the rocks.
A spectacular shear fault can be observed where the Tower of Babel (Lyons Sandstone) contacts the Fountain Formation. There are many fossils to be seen: marine forms, plant fossils, and some dinosaur fossils.
The hogbacks, so named because they resemble the backs and spines of a pig, are ridges of sandstone whose layers are tilted. Instead of lying horizontally, some layers are even vertically oriented. Each hogback can range up to several hundred feet long, and the tallest (called North Gateway Rock) rises to a height of 320 feet (98 m) tall.
A notable rock feature on this hogback, the Kissing Camels, appears to be two very large camels sitting face to face with their lips touching.
One of the most popular features in the park is a large balancing rock, known locally as Balanced Rock.
On one occasion during the nineteenth century, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, vice-president of and “gem expert” of Tiffany & Co., wrote about a “specimen of obsidian” he was shown from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. “A friend recently made a trip through parts of Colorado, and knowing our desire to obtain materials suitable for cutting into gems, he purchased at a pavilion, near the gateway of the Garden of the Gods, a specimen of what the dealer called “obsidian.” It was carefully packed and carried thousands of miles, and was handed to us with the ceremony befitting an elegant gift. We received it with much delight, and after removing yards of tissue paper, held it before a lamp light, and saw a transparent mass of about 4×4″ of pure bottle green- glass.”
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