Kicking Bird Trail

We were heading to the Kicking Bird Trail. Pretty cool name, eh! It was named after Kicking Bird, a Kiowa chief. My hope was I might see some birds on this short trail. However short or not it still took us two and half hours. Well I am slow but thorough. 🙂

So we headed off. This was a shortcut to cross Lost Creek. The Kicking Bird Trail was on the opposite side.

This is the source of the Rumbling Springs on Lost Creek! The sound of water is so soothing.

A heart made of stone. In this case it melts my heart and I loved it. 😉
Up the hill we passed plenty of the Lace Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii)!
A Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia) caught my attention. Moreover it looked like a prickly dog.
Oooops, the prickly dog got me. LOL. The glochids (a cactus’ little brown spines that surround the big spine) got me. At least these were easy to see unlike the glochids on the species I have at home.
A Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) was a lot less dangerous. 😉
Ah, we had reached the trail!
The bare spots of soil had some squamulose lichens (Psora). They were still slightly green from the morning rain the day before.
Next to the squamulose lichen above was a tiny plant. Both Suzanne and Claire thought it was a species of Rabbit’s Tobacco (Diaperia). Thanks!
While looking for small things in the grasses I found these vertebrae. Hence I speculated to myself, small snake.
Many of the limestone rocks have fossils!
A good fence or a just place to just stack rocks and keep the kids busy? LOL. There are multiple of the walls/fences on this side of the park. Later from a park ranger we learned the real story. The rock walls were made for cattle fencing in the early 1900’s.
So getting closer you will see the crustose lichens.
Indeed up close you can really appreciate its bright red apothecia! Apothecia are the fruiting bodies of a lichen.

So did we see any birds that morning on the Kicking Bird Trail? No, but we did hear a Bewick’s Wren.

Going back to last week for First Wednesday on a Monday. Carmen snapped this shot of me to share with y’all.
Also by Carmen from First Wednesday on a Monday (Dec. 11th). A lovely closeup of the American Beautyberry! Thank you Carmen for sharing!!

Scientists sound the alarm after salmon species finds new spawning location: ‘An ominous sign’

Near-extinct animal spotted near national monument for first time in 100 years: ‘There’s been a lot more activity in the area since then’

Thanks Suzanne for the two above articles!

Good News: The World Can Now Breathe Easier

Footprint Forensics: How DNA From Polar Bears’ Snow Tracks Aids Conservation

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. So many cool pics and topics tonight. Love the spring of course. And that fossil rock is awesome. Ouch stickers. And can’t forget the fruiting bodies of the lichen. Too much fun.

    1. The Rumbling Springs is just on of the many springs and seeps that feed the creek. If you went further upstream then you will find dry spots and pools and the water was running in places. We wondered if perhaps part of the creek is flowing underground. Certainly seemed that way on some of the other creeks I came across here. Rumbling Springs had the strongest output that I ran across in the park. Of course I have not covered the whole park. 😀

  2. I get excited when I find an active spring these days. It seems miraculous that any of the original hydrology has survived, with all the landscape disturbance humans have wrought.

    1. Me too! And a map (I recently acquired) from 1898 show’s the loss of many springs that are now gone. Yes it is so nice to see the water still flowing at Rumbling Springs !!

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