If you've ever sat on a hillside and wondered what the land you survey looked like one hundred years ago, imagine what visions came to DMNS paleontologist Kirk Johnson and a trio of seasoned paleoartists when they
looked over the local landscape. Actually, you don't have to: Johnson and company took the initiative last year and created Ancient Denvers
, an exhibit and accompanying coffee-table book that feature scientifically correct images of Front Range locales as they probably appeared during various periods over the last 300 million years. Some of our most familiar geological landmarks of today -- including Red Rocks, Garden of the Gods and the Dakota Hogback -- were given the way-back treatment with brilliant results, but who'da thunk their back yard might ever have been a dank, disgusting swamp to rival the one surrounding the outlands of Mordor? Truth can
be stranger than fiction.