Sunday, July 6, 2014

Clark's Nutcracker...Mount Herman Road

Garden of the Gods RVC Outdoor Destinations
Colorado Springs, CO
July 3, 2014

After doing my homework using my new The Sibley Guide to Birds and google, I concluded that I photographed a Clark's Nutcracker. The coloring, bill, size, habitat, and loud fussing noises helped in my decision. The one confusing factor is what they eat...mainly seed.

 Even though their diet is mainly seeds, I did read they are omnivorous...flies must have been a real catch for the day!

We saw two of these beauties...actually we heard them before we spotted them...carrying on quite a conversation. When it was time for us to go, they were both in the pine tree below. I hope they resolved whatever the issue seemed to be and their day ended on a nicer note!

This was a first sighting of the Clark's Nutcracker for me.

We had stopped on Mount Herman Road...a very nice gravel off-highway road when we saw them. 

We also ordered another book...Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails by Charles A. Wells. Unlike the Moab edition, this guide covers all of Colorado. There are 16 trails listed for the Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Pikes Peak Region. Twelve of those are rated easy and moderate. Our pick for the day was Mt. Herman Road, Rampart of the easy trails about 36 miles in length.

As I was looking back in the book for a reference to post about the ride, I saw two pictures I had taken that were also in the guide. The picture below is one of them. The description under the picture in the guide states...

Mt. Herman as it climbs out of Monument.

Winding our way up Mount Herman...

The Noses

Not in the guide was a picture of rocks
we dubbed...The Noses!

This was  the stopping spot at the top of Mt. Herman where I photographed the Clark's Nutcrackers.  And below is the other picture included in the guide.
The guide stated...Mt. Herman Road is smoother at the top.
The road was smoother, but I was more interested in the rock.

There is a crack there you know...

I had read about the butterflies on Mt. Herman. We were not disappointed as they flew along with us on the trail...big and little, orange, yellow and white ones fluttering all around. They were enjoying the wildflowers and gorgeous day as much as we were! 

We did learn a valuable lesson on this trail. It is best to call BLM and check on the road conditions and closings before heading out.

When we reached the turn to enter Rampart Range Road, which would have taken us to Garden of the Gods, it was closed. The picture below shows remnants of fires from last year and the road hasn't been reopened.

Back track it was...but that didn't really matter. It all looked different anyway!

Until next time,

happy trails from Colorado Springs!


  1. Another blog filled with gorgeous photos. You seem to find all the good shots.

    1. Thank you Jeri! This is a great time to be in Colorado Springs!

  2. This is very exciting that you are in a new area with road trails. Yes!! I will be Pinning these:) Thanks! What awesome rocks! You know how I love rocks. And I do enjoy butterflies. That's a beauty you captured. We are thinking about CO for next summer so keep the info coming!!

  3. Not sure what happened, but wrote a comment that didn't show up. Anyway, love, love your shots of the Clark's Nutcracker! They are beautiful birds and fun to watch. Glad to see you are putting your new Birding Guild to use. Happy Colorado Birding!