Into Dinosaur: My First Two Days

Well, I finally made it to Dinosaur! Before I get ahead of myself, I am Luis Garcia Falcon. I am a passionate outdoors person, nature photographer, and advocate for preserving our natural treasures. This summer I will be continuing the Monarch project and doing science communication at Dinosaur National Monument located 25% in Utah and 75% in Colorado. As I am writing this, I have only been here for two days. It was a long trip to get here from Miami, Florida. However, the actual drive to the park was around 5 hours long and included a beautiful overlook of the Rocky Mountains and long stretches of lonely state highways.

The first two days at the monument have been amazing! On my first day, I met with my supervisor and we went over the various materials I will be using to survey the Monarch butterflies, measuring night sky quality, and all the general administrative tasks. Later in the day, my supervisor and I went up Harper’s Corner Road to take in the sights and familiarize myself with the monument. One of the things you notice immediately is the livestock. Specifically, the cows that graze throughout areas within and outside of the park boundary. It was interesting to see the mixed use of resources in this area and looking forward to learning more about how it works. We stopped on Harper’s Corner Road to take in the views of Echo Park in the canyon pictured below. 

On my second day in the park, I met with my supervisor at Josie Morris Cabin, which is on the Utah side of the park. This historic homesteading cabin was built-in an oasis, at least for Monarchs. This area is well-known as one of the most productive habitats for these butterflies. Since, it is near various water sources that create wet meadows and other riparian conditions that allow for various species of milkweed, Canada Thistle, Rocky Mountain bee-plant, and numerous other plants that Monarch’s need to use for feeding and various parts of their life cycle. Pictured below is an image of the first Monarch I tagged. 

Well, I hope I have more stories to share with y’all soon!

Thank you, 

Luis Garcia Falcon

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