Denver Kids

Lookout Mountain Nature Center
By Linda Collison & Bob Russell

Did you know that the flowers of the yucca plant open at night and can only be pollinated by the pronuba moth? Just as we were pondering the improbability of this, we saw a speckled fawn and a doe walking through the pines just ahead of us. As many times as we've seen deer, we're still surprised by their delicate grace and their awareness. We stood still for minutes while they grazed and nibbled, stopping frequently to look around. Voices farther up the trail caused them to run, or should we say"spring" away. Three leaps and they were gone.

If you're not fortunate enough to see deer, you'll likely see Abert's squirrels, chipmunks,cottontails, Steller's jays, magpies, nuthatches, and hummingbirds. And if you go during the warmmonths you'll learn to identify grasses and wildflowers. Purple gayfeathers, Oregon grapes,parsley and pasqueflowers, junegrass and larkspur. If you live nearby, go every season and watchthe wildlife change.

Where: West of Denver and Golden; 910 Colorow Road on Lookout Mountain. TakeI-70 west to Exit 256; follow signs to the nature center. For an interesting drive, on your wayback continue down the Lookout Mountain Road and you will end up in Golden at Sixth Avenueand Nineteenth Street.
When: Nature center open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; trails areopen every day. Call to find out about after-school activities for children ages five to ten andguided weekend nature walks and programs.
Activities: Educational nature displays, independent or guided wildlife-viewing,interpretive nature trail, scheduled programs. Donations are appreciated.
Facilities: Visitor center, restrooms, picnic area, interpretive trail; handicap-accessible,but trails exceed minimum grade.
Be sure to bring: A picnic lunch and a light jacket — even in July it can get chilly uphere when the sun goes behind a cloud. Plan enough time to make several unscheduled stops onLookout Mountain to watch hang gliders and slope soarers who catch warm updrafts and circlelike colorful hawks.

© Article copyright Pruett Publishing.


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