The rocks of Eastern Colorado

img_07001.jpgThe rock formation in our logo and one of the inspirations for the name of our seedstock herd, Solid Rock,  is a Laramie/ Fox Hills sandstone outcropping from the Laramie/ Fox Hills aquifer. This type of rock is not unique to Eastern Colorado. It is similar to the aquifer layering in the sand hills of Western Nebraska.  Although different names, it is similar in structure and layering.

IMG_0693The rocks and caves in the”Breaks” area of the ranch – a rocky and pine-covered out-cropping  – are also layered sandstone. Being from possibly a different layer or area, the minerals provide different colors and designs in the rock.

All of these rock formations are home to various lichen and moss species. Some are very fragile and and others appear very hardy under the harsh conditions of the Eastern Plains.

Various fossil and shrimp tunnels can be seen in the rocks. The shrimp tunnels were created when the shrimp and their matter decayed over time leaving tunnel formations in the rocks. These tunnels make unique and mysterious looking shapes.

IMG_0708A sea turtle nest was discovered in recent years on the ranch by a local geologist. It has been restored and can be seen in a museum at the School of Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota. This whole area was, of course, underwater at one time. Just ask Noah, but these “oceanic” and aquifer layers are due to that experience and the drying out after the flood.

It is interesting that these sandstone rocks have always provided home and protection for some animals. Whether it was shrimp, sea turtles, or small fish or currently, insects, mice, rabbits or birds and snakes, this area that looks so desolate teems with life.

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