The Pawnee Buttes are two, about 90-meters (300-feet) high, flat-top hills in the Pawnee National Grassland
in northeastern Colorado – about 75 minutes outside of Fort Collins.
While the surroundings have worn away through erosion, the soft
clay-like foundation (Brule formation) of the buttes is protected by a
higher layer of sandstone mixture (Arikaree formation).
big buttes themselves are a stunning sight. But what makes this area an
even more perfect location for an outing are the chalk bluffs you can
climb onto for great views or walk through their crevasses and natural
trails below. There is a great natural-feeling man-mad trail on the
north side of the Lipps Bluff leading you to the two Buttes. Apparently,
this area is great for bird watching (but the trails are closed from
March 1st to June 30th to not disrupt the nesting of falcons, eagles and
hawks). However, I didn’t see any birds – just an antelope, a rabbit
and several grasshopper remains… oh and our dog Whiskey running around
having the time of her life.
Because we ran out of light the
first time Scott and I went to see the buttes, I returned this past week
to get more footage. The entire time I was out there, I didn’t see
another human being – or any signs of them except for some oil rigs in
Especially when I was sitting on the lower rocks of
the West Butte, looking back at the sun going down behind the Lipps
Bluff (it’s in the video) and the empty plain stretched before me, I
felt an extraordinary sense of calm and peace. Sometimes our path is
long, treacherous, leading up hills and down canyons, but then we
finally arrive and realize that we are at peace within ourselves. It was
an extraordinary experience to feel this serenity.
what’s next? Get up, hike some more, discover some flowers along the
path and film the beautiful display of the shadow of one butte move
across the other butte as the sun sets and the sky turned pink and blue.
I am so happy that I can share this with you.
For the techie
nerds: the moving shadow is sped up at 8000%. Because I not only shot
during different lighting situations on different days and from
afternoon to dusk, I had to do quite a bit of color tweaking on this
video, which is why this video is a day late and some of the colors
still seem a bit off (if you ask me). Oh, and I sneaked in a
self-portrait where you can see how windy it was while I was standing on
the big bluff, which I’m also using as an excuse for all the dirt
specks on the lens 😉
have just discovered him on the fantastic FreeMusicArchive.org and I’m
sure I’ll be using many more of his songs in upcoming videos. His by now
over 180 songs are available for free on his website: http://www.joshwoodward.com
|Pawnee Buttes seen from Lipps Bluff|