Florissant Valley Today
Open stands of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and quaking aspen now dominate the slopes of the Florissant valley. The ecosystem has changed since the days of the dense redwood forests. There are more open grasslands and the cold temperate forest is less diverse, with fewer broad-leaved plants. Where there once was a lake and forested valley bottom, a flower-filled meadow now blooms in the summer. Plants and animals found here today thrive in a cold, dry climate.
Plants and Animals of the Florissant Valley
The grasslands and open forests of today's Montane ecosystem support a variety of wildlife. Abert's squirrels, with their distinctive tasseled ears, depend upon ponderosa pines for food and shelter. Northern flickers chip new nests into the pines each year, leaving their old homes for other birds to occupy. From the sky, golden eagles scan the meadows for their ground squirrel prey.
The meadow wildflowers attract pollinators like hummingbirds. Fairy trumpet is designed for these birds' long tongue and attraction to red. Wapiti hide in the woods but graze the meadow grasses. They keep a keen watch for stalking mountain lions.
1 Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa
2 Mountain Lion Puma oncolor
3 Fairy Trumpet Ipomopsis aggregata
4 Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus
5 Wapiti (Elk) Cervus elaphus
6 Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
7 Brush-footed Butterfly Poladryas arachne
8 One-sided Penstemon Penstemon virgatus
9 Mountain Muhly Muhlenbergia montana
10 Quaking Aspen Populus tremuloides
11 Douglas Fir Psuedotsuga menziesii
12 Abert's Squirrel Sciurus aberti
13 Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
14 Richardson's Ground Squirrel Spermophilus richardsonii
15 Longhorn Beetle Monochamus sp.
Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15807 County Road 1, Florissant CO 80816, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Environment • Parks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 38° 54.807′ N, 105° 17.187′ W. Marker is near Florissant, Colorado, in Teller County. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Delicate Impressions (here, next to this marker); Dawn of the Recent Past (here, next to this marker); Reading the Rings (here, next to this marker); Layers of Time (a few steps from this marker); Is the Trio in Trouble? (a few steps from this marker); Just One Piece at a Time (a few steps from this marker); Ancient Clones (a few steps from this marker); Ancient Forest Diversity (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florissant.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. (Submitted on October 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Florissant's Natural Features & Ecosystems. (Submitted on October 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.