Peggy on her way to China
Fens in Colorado are generally small and fairly rare on the landscape. These squishy habitats are found only in specific environments defined by ground water discharge, soil chemistry, and peat accumulation of at least 40 cm (about 16 inches). Fens form at low points in the landscape or near slopes where ground water intercepts the soil surface. The fairly constant year-round water level, with water at or near the surface most of the time, leads to the accumulation of organic material (peat). In addition to peat accumulation and perennially saturated soils, many fens have distinct soil and water chemistry, with high levels of one or more minerals such as calcium, magnesium, or iron.