Saturday, October 29, 2011



The fall weather in Colorado Springs has been of the fantastic variety during the last several weeks.  In fact, it was a great time to take hikes, visit the local rocks, and take a peek at whatever would pop up. 

Colorado Springs lies in the drainage basin of Fountain Creek. The stream heads near Woodland Park flowing southeast to Colorado Springs and picks up the major tributary, Monument Creek.  In fact, the latter is probably the master stream but it lost the naming contest.  Upper Fountain Creek, and the tributaries, cut through the Precambrian Pikes Peak "granite" and a variety of Paleozoic rocks exposed on the way east.  Monument Creek, heading near Palmer Lake and the Monument Divide, flows south along the east flank of the Front Range through Pleistocene, Tertiary and Cretaceous rocks and sediments.  After joining together the combined streams flow south to the Arkansas River at Pueblo picking up whatever the Cretaceous Pierre Shale has to offer.

CSMS members have "walked the creek" for many years and have collected a great variety of rocks, minerals and fossils.  In my short walk this week it was easy to observe: pieces of Pikes Peak "granite" of all sizes from large cobbles down to the quartz and feldspar components, Precambrian Idaho Springs metamorphic rocks, collectable jasper of several shades of orange, yellow, brown, broken concretions and cone-in-cone from the Pierre Shale, petrified wood from the late Cretaceous and/or Tertiary, a variety of Paleozoic limestones (some boulder size), and other rocks.  Some of the CSMS rockhounds have collected amazonite, crystal clear smoky and clear quartz crystals, a variety of Pierre cephalopods, and other interesting "things"!   
And then there are the recent artifacts and "junk".  The most interesting were the many pieces of round and colored glass and porcelain.  Most "junk" was the result of many lazy people, and our country's love of all things "plastic".