Today I went for a walk with a hiking group in Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, just a few short miles from my house. The last time I stopped by the refuge, it was the middle of the summer, the sun was intense, and there was not an animal to be seen! Today was a different story.
Just as soon as we got on the trail and veered around a barrier marking some damage from the September floods, we spotted a coyote. A moment later…a buffalo! Oh yes, I forgot, we saw a herd of buffalo this summer, but they are behind a fence, so that wasn’t too exciting to me.
As we continued on along the flat gravel like trail, three deer trotted ahead of us. Then we spotted a large buck with a nice rack! The trail crossed a road and then curved past a placid Mary Lake, despite ominous clouds rolling our way. Golden leaves trickled to the ground by the wooden bridge in the crisp breeze as we continued on toward the Ladora Lake Loop.
Part of group returned to the cars as a few rain drops spattered on our jackets while the rest of were treated to glorious light shining on the mountains in the distance. Then we came upon another family of deer, at least eight, with another big buck grazing on the tall grass.
We crossed the floating bridge to find some water birds, sadly I don’t know the kind despite my step-father being an avid birder and returned toward the visitor center. In all, we hiked about five miles connecting four different trails, Discovery, Legacy, Lake Mary Loop, and Ladora Loop.
I actually really enjoyed the walk and think I will go back out there with something more than my iPhone to capture of photo. I found out there was a photo contest that just finished…darn! Maybe next year…ETB.