We climbed Johnson's Peak and learned about how it got its name, and how it was formed. The cedar trees are the main living feature. They are spaced six to twelve feet apart and capture sixty to seventy percent of the sunlight.
There are several types of cacti. You can see cholla, which has pencil-thin pads. It is sometimes called the Christmas or pencil cactus. You can also see the prickly pear cactus. It produces cup-shaped yellowish orange blossoms in May and them a bright red pear-shaped fruit in late summer. This fruit is an important wildlife food and makes an amber colored jelly.
Every plant on the hillside seems to be armed with spines. This protection is one of their adaptations for survival in dry climates.
Johnson's Peak is made up of massive limestone ledges. Limestone results from limey sediments that filtered to the bottom of prehistoric seas as the remains of dead plants and animals.
The top and sides of Johnson's Peak is capped with a weather resistant rock, a piece of Pennsylvania limestone. The rock, even though eroded, has slowed the erosion of the peak.
On the way down we stopped at a fossil pit and got to pick up fossils. The fossils were small and gray. If you were to put a drop of vinegar in the middle of the small fossil, tiny holes would appear.