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Photo essay: Red Rock Canyon staying wet through winter

       Still flush with last fall's heavy rains and recent snowstorms, the main ponds in Red Rock Canyon Open Space are nearly at capacity levels. Even an oft-dry detention pond that's uphill from the two main ponds near the pavilion is retaining water.
       TOP: Looking south from a rock fin in Greenlee Canyon, both the upper and lower ponds near the pavilion are visible. The upper pond is in the background at left, behind the dam. Both were built for flood control by the Bock family, which owned the 790-acre property for roughly 80 years before selling it to Colorado Springs for public open space in 2003.
        BELOW, TOP LEFT: The spillway connecting the upper and lower ponds apparently suffered some minor damage during flooding last summer. Rainfalls at that time also filled those ponds. (The lower pond was empty, and the upper pond was approximately 15 feet below the top of the dam.) The upper Bock pond is currently at its maximum level.
       BELOW, BOTTOM LEFT: Water ripples just below the level of the lower pond's overflow that drains into a ditch to Fountain Creek.
       BELOW RIGHT: The detention pond near the top of Red Rock Canyon (the canyon within the open space) still sported ice on Feb. 28, including some heavily cracked layers on the shoreline.

(UPDATE, 3/16/14) The highest pond, behind the top of the landfill (which used to feed the now filled- in Gypsum Canyon), was still ice-bound and wet on March 15. BELOW LEFT: View shows the start of the frozen area of the pond. BELOW RIGHT: Photo taken near the first bend of the icy area.)
     

Travers Jordan photos, special to the Westside Pioneer
(Posted 3/10/14; Updated 3/16/14; Outdoors: Red Rock Canyon)

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