Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hiking in South Valley Park

I took a pleasant hike in the South Valley Park today. 

It was a perfect place for ambling along and photographing the geology.  The Lyons Formation, a long cliff of white sandstone (the remains of ancient sand dunes), provided a background to the east. 

Jagged outcrops of the Fountain Formation punctuated the foreground.  The Fountain Formation layer is rich in pink feldspar, which gives the outcrops their reddish color.

Around the outcrops are thick stands of scrub oak, the shrubby black sheep of the proud oak family.

Some of the outcrops are home to cliff swallows, who build their mud nests in sheltered crannies on the rocky sides.

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