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Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Green Mountain

Deer Crossing the top of Green Mountain on 03-05-2006
Deer crossing the top of GM!
6,855 feet (2,089 metres) [N 39° 42.059' W 105° 10.664']
William Frederick Hayden Park - 2,400 acres (971 hectares)
Lakewood, Jefferson County, Colorado, USA

A personal look at a very much loved park and
neighborhood on the western edge of Denver
and Colorado's Front Range community!
 

 

 

(Click on any of this page's thumbnail images for a larger view!)

 

Green Mountain is a great place to live! It offers residents a lot of open space, and a hint of "country" living, while sitting on the edge of one of America's largest, noisiest sprawl centers - the Denver metro area! Despite Green Mountain's close proximity to such a mess, life can still be reasonably peaceful with quiet streets (except along 6th Avenue...), clean air (Green Mountain is almost a thousand feet higher than Denver, maybe keeping it somewhat above the smog?), and great people (The Green Mountainside Civic Association hosts neighborhood Easter egg hunts, garage sales, and summer picnics...) - Welcome!

 

Green Mountain Estates Since parts of the Green Mountain community are so much higher than Denver, temperatures can be slightly cooler and snow accumulations a bit deeper. Nevertheless, Green Mountain is a desirable community that wouldn't mind separating itself from Lakewood and the surrounding sprawl. You can see a hint of this sentiment in the protest photos I've posted below. It seems Green Mountain's residents are very concerned about filling-in every inch of open space with more housing, businesses, and parking lots - let's hope they win the fight!

YouTube Logo Click Here for my YouTube video of Green Mountain from the air during winter!

 

Green Mountain Estates
More pipes mean more people
and less open space...
Sally White is a naturalist who knows a lot about Green Mountain and the adjacent Front Range's geologic and biologic makeup. She leads nature walks and has all kinds of interesting experiences, information, and advice. Her Foothills Fancies blog is well worth a visit plus she asked that I make available to everyone her Weeds on our walk flier and the state of Colorado's Noxious and Invasive Weed List - check 'em out!

Oh, in Sally's blog she describes a naturalist like this, "Naturalists look at things (that's why they're usually so slow). Hikers, bikers, others may look at scenery, I'm willing to admit that, but naturalists LOOK, really look, at things. (And touch them and smell them and whatever else.) They may, depending on their type, be looking at or for birds, butterflies, insects, flowers, trees, ferns, spiders, grasses, shrubs, lichens, geology, rocks, fossils, water, patterns, snakes, salamanders, frogs, fish, fungi, bugs, big critters, little critters, or scat, to name a few --but they are most likely looking AT something. They may be looking at or for a specific KIND of something, like carrion beetles, zeolites, sulfurs, oak galls, rock tripes, or moonworts. They may even be looking at or for all of the above."

She goes on to say, "Thus, naturalists are just different. Not right or wrong, just different. All part of that human diversity we cherish. The thing is, they need open spaces, especially relatively untrammeled open spaces, for their chosen 'sport.' Tamed urban spaces just don't cut it the way remnants of the wild, however modified, still can." - although I haven't asked her, my guess is that Sally doesn't appreciate the pipes and other development along Green Mountain any more than I or my neighbors do...

 

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Skiing Green Mountain!

Over the Christmas week of 2006, two huge storms crippled the Denver area with
an average of almost three feet of snow! On New Year's eve, days after the skies
had cleared, my friend Steve Farley called and suggested we go skiing in our own
"backyard" on Green Mountain! These five photos show part of the experience - it
was great!! The snow was deep, soft and powdery - just like in high country. Plus,
although there were few people there were lots of deer and even a few elk!! The
following pix prove my point that Green Mountain has it all!

 

Roger J. Wendell and Steve Farley on Green Mountain - 12-31-2006
Starting at Jewell Ave.
Steve Farley on the Summit of Green Mountain - 12-31-2006
Steve on the summit
Roger J. Wendell Skiing on Green Mountain - 12-31-2006
Roger skiing down
Green Mountain Elk - 12-31-2006
Elk
Green Mountain Deer Crossing - 12-31-2006
Deer crossing...

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my backcountry skiing page...

 

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Ditch Dwellers Beware!

Other threats to Green Mountain's quality of life (for both people and wildlife!) include economic pressure to construct housing in what Green Mountain residents consider natural drainage areas alongside Alameda Avenue and the Hayden Green Mountain Park. During 2005 and 2006 I noticed a number of very large banners on display along adjacent properties and fence-lines. Having walked through the drainage area, myself, it does seem incredible that somebody would want to build a house there! Also, it appears to be a natural wildlife corridor that shouldn't be disturbed either. It's not often that the desires of the people trump big government or business interests - it will be interesting to see what happens in this fight...

No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Risky area
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Caution!
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Snow
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Foot path
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Drain warning
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Ditch warning

No ditch homes
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Know the risk
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Steep slope
No Ditch Dwellers Wanted on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Stormwater

 

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Green Mountain Miscellanea:

House For Sale on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
For sale
Green Mountain Water and Sanitation - January 22, 2006
Water Department
Green Mountain Water Bill Payment Drop - January 22, 2006
Water Bill Payment
Solar Siren on Green Mountain - January 22, 2006
Solar Siren
Green Mountain as seen from Mt. Morrison - December 7, 2005
Smoggy view from Mt Morrison
Home Sweet Home Front - 09-03-2006
Front
Home Sweet Home Back - 09-03-2006
My Backyard
Deframe and Ohio - 05-26-2007
Deframe and Ohio
Green Mountain, Ohio and Deframe
Ohio and Deframe
South fence line along Green Mountain, Lakewood, Colorado - 05-27-2007
South fence line

 

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Green Mountain Pets and Wildlife:

In the nearly five years that we've lived on Green Mountain, by the time I created this entry in June '07, I had discovered nearly two dozen piles of bird feathers in our yard and around the house. And, I've also seen the neighbors' cats scurrying away from me, in my yard, with all kids of limp and dying creatures clamped tightly in their their jaws. There's no doubt that neighborhood cats are really destructive to backyard wildlife allong with dogs contributing to some of the killing as well. So, it was with some interest that I saw this neighborhood warning about the disappearance of pets around Green Mountain:
GMCA Green Mountainside News
Volume 12 No.2 June 2007/September 2007

Take Precautions with Wild Predators
We're living in coyote country -- The Lakewood Animal Control and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) urge people to take precautions. Several recent coyote attacks on pets have taken place in open space areas and private yards.

In coyote country, January-March is breeding season, which can make these animals aggressive and territorial. "Coyotes are adaptable predators, found in most open habitats, including city neighborhoods, open space, parks and trails" said DOW District Wildlife Manager Crystal Peterson.

Coyotes should be treated with caution and respect:

[They go on to list how to protect pets, discourage coyotes, and what to do during an encounter, etc.]

A COMPANION ALERT IS THAT NEXT UP THE FOOD CHAIN ARE MOUNTAIN LIONS!
The lions will follow the deer and coyotes that have been attracted by food left out in the neighborhood. DON'T DO IT! As harsh as this winter has been it is part of the natural cycle and it is how nature will cull the herd on Green Mountain.

 

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On the Mountain Itself:

Walking to the top of Green Mountain - March 05, 2006
Walking to the top...
Yucca Glauca also known as Soapweed Yucca - 03-05-2006
Soapweed Yucca
Mt. Morrison as seen from Green Mountain - March 05, 2006
Mt Morrison
Rooney Valley as seen from the top of Green Mountain Drop - March 05, 2006
Rooney Valley
Carma Colorado, Inc of Carma Developers LP, Carves up 90 Acres of Rooney Valley/Green Mountain - May 27, 2007
Carma Colorado carves up 90 acres...
Mt. Evans as seen from the top of Green Mountain Drop - March 05, 2006
Looking at Mt. Evans
Denver as seen from Green Mountain - March 05, 2006
Denver and its Smog...
C470 and Bandimere Speedway as seen from the top of Green Mountain Drop - March 05, 2006
C470 & Bandimere
Pediment gravel on Green Mountain - May 27, 2007
Pediment gravel
Looking at Green Mountain through its south fence - May 27, 2007
Looking through the fence...

 

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Dinosaur Ridge:

Okay, although the two are located really close to each other (within 4 kilometres and easily visible) they are two distinct and separate geological formations. Dinosaur Ridge is a north-south running hogback made of exposed sedimentary rock that has revealed dinosaur footprints and plant impressions due to the various layers that have been tilted by the Rocky Mountain Orogony (mountain building process).
Randy, Lisa, Amber and Tami on Dinosaur Ridge - 09-02-2006
Green Mountain view
Dinosaur Tracks at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison, Colorado - 09-02-2006
Dinosaur Tracks
Ornithomimus Track at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison, Colorado - 09-02-2006
Ornithomimus Track
Entrance to Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison, Colorado - 05-27-2007
39. Entrance
Dinosaur Ridge National Natural Landmark, Morrison, Colorado - 05-27-2007
Natural Landmark
Looking at Greem Mountain from Dinosaur Ridge National Natural Landmakr, Morrison, Colorado - 05-27-2007
Green Mountain view...
Green Mountain, itself, rises to 6856 feet and sits about 800 feet above Highway C470 on its west side. Green Mountain is a remnant mass of Green Mountain Conglomerate, a pile of syntectonic gravels that developed adjacent to the rising Front Range about 55-60 million years ago. Syntectonic means that the sediments were laid down at the same time as mountain-building was taking place.

 

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Green Mountain fires!

Unfortunately parts of Green Mountain catch fire at times. Although in recent times these fires have been human-caused
there's probably sufficient evidence that lightning regularly caused fire throughout the grassy mountain's history...

 

November 28, 2016

Green Mountain Fire on 11-28-2016
A fast-moving wildfire on Green Mountain forced evacuations from a neighborhood as crews raced to contain the flames amid gusting winds and brittle-dry conditions. Evacuations were lifted by about 9:30 p.m.
 
A spokesperson for the West Metro Fire Protection District said evacuations had been ordered on three streets on the east side of Green Mountain. Later, the city of Lakewood said residents were evacuated from neighborhoods west of South Alkire Street and north of West Mississippi Court.

 

August 04, 2008:

On Monday, August 04, 2008 about 300 acres (121 hectares) of Green Mountain/Hayden open space burned
after a ligtning strike. Five days later, on Saturday morning, we hiked the entire area to see the
extent of damage. Although I'm in favour of protecting people and homes I still believe fires like
this to be a natural event that's probably occurred many thousands of times over the life of Green
Mountain. Either way, we had an enjoyable hike and took these pix along with a few YouTube videos:

Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Burnt birdhouse
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Firebreak
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Patchwork
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Plant closeup
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Radio tower
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Tami
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Me
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Trail firebreak
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Trail intersection
Green Mountain burn area - August 2008
Water tank

YouTube Logo Click Here for one of my YouTube videos about the Green Mountain burn area...

 

West Metro Fire Protection District:

These folks are not only Green Mountain's fire department, but are also
responsible for emergency response for much of Douglas and Jefferson counties
as well. I've discovered them, a few times, practing mountain resuce techniques
at the trailhead I use to climb Mt. Morrison. This particular morning (Saturday,
November 18, 2006) was clear and warm and I happened to be carrying a small camera!

West Metro Fire Protection Practiing Mountain Rescue Techniques - 11-18-2006
West Metro fire truck
West Metro Fire Protection Practiing Mountain Rescue Techniques - 11-18-2006
Readying the litter
West Metro Fire Protection Practiing Mountain Rescue Techniques - 11-18-2006
West Metro fire truck
Rescue Litter, West Metro Fire Protection Practiing Mountain Rescue Techniques - 11-18-2006
Rescue litter
Rescue Litter, West Metro Fire Protection Practiing Mountain Rescue Techniques - 11-18-2006
Rescue litter

 

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Links:

  1. America
  2. Backyard Wildlife
  3. Boulder
  4. City of Lakewood - Colorado
  5. Colorado
  6. Foothills Fancies - Sandy White's excellent blog about the Front Range
  7. GMCA - Green Mountainside Civic Association
  8. Go the Better Way - Courtesy the Wayback Machine Archives
  1. Green Mountain Water and Sanitation District
  2. Jefferson County - Colorado
  3. Jefferson County Open Spaces
  4. Longhorn Ranch
  5. Pikes Peak and Barr camp
  6. Rooney Valley - Courtesy the Wayback Machine Archives
  7. Snow Day
  8. State of Colorado

 

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