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Outdoors

  • Brown creepers have habit of climbing trees in spiral pattern

    (Reprinted from Nov. 26, 2008)

    Many people have asked recently about a little brown mottled bird with a white breast and a curved beak that they have seen circling around the trunks of their trees. The bird is a brown creeper, a fairly common resident in our woodlands. Why they have become so obvious recently probably has several causes.

  • Red crossbills may appear in foothills any month of the year

    (Reprinted from Nov. 12, 2008)

    On Wednesday, Nov. 5, our salubrious fall weather came to an abrupt end. Overnight, 12 to 15 inches of snow fell in the high mountains. We had only a skiff of snow here, and the day was bright and sunny, but a wicked wind out of the northwest brought our first really cold weather. Old King Boreas nearly blew us off the mountain.

  • Dark-eyed juncos bring color to fall bird feeders

    (Reprinted from Nov. 3, 2010)

    I am writing this on Sunday, Oct. 31. This has been a beautiful autumn Sunday with temperatures ranging from 60 this morning to the low 70s this afternoon.

    A light breeze is keeping it from being warmer, but the sky is at its best Colorado blue. I am still at Elk Run Assisted Living, disappointed that I need to stay a bit longer, but I now plan to be home with some of my family by Thanksgiving.

  • Alpine Rescue veteran willing to take on any, all challenges

    Editor’s note: Three volunteers with the Alpine Rescue Team have reached the milestone this year of serving on 1,000 missions. This is the first time since the team’s creation in 1959 that any of its 800 members has reached this landmark. Of the 80 or so current members of the team, the closest will not reach 1,000 missions for another four years. For the average member of Alpine Rescue, it will take 20 years to come close. This story is part two of a three-part series profiling these volunteers.

     

  • Witches and bats and bears — oh no!

    (Reprinted from Oct. 28, 2009)

    I am sorry to say that I made an error in my article of two weeks ago. In the article of Oct. 7, I wrote that grizzly bears “had been all but eliminated in the contiguous 48 states.” This is not true, and I apologize. I checked this information in the book “Bears of the World” by Lance Craighead, and assumed it to be up to date, for he is an authority on bears and it is a fairly recent publication.

  • County buys property to be used for greenway, recreation

    Clear Creek’s county commissioners have approved spending $542,000 for a 10.9-acre parcel in Dumont belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    The property at 445 W. Dumont Road will be used as part of the county’s greenway and will possibly have other recreational uses, according to County Attorney Robert Loeffler.

  • Forest Service considering permits for access to Mount Bierstadt

    The public’s overuse of Mount Bierstadt is prompting the U.S. Forest Service to consider charging visitors in an effort to limit damage to the environment.

    The same concerns have Clear Creek’s county commissioners continuing to discuss creation of a toll or permitting system to control access to Guanella Pass to curtail the damage being done by overuse.

  • There’s more to turtles than shell games

    (Reprinted from Oct. 21, 2009)

    A reader of this column recently phoned to ask me if there were any turtles in Evergreen Lake.

    Yes, indeed, I have seen turtles in Evergreen Lake. However, turtles are far more common in the rivers and ponds on the plains, mostly below 5,500 feet.

  • Reminiscing about the first snowfalls of the year

    (Reprinted from Oct. 9, 2013)

    Last Friday, Oct. 4, we all awoke to find a cold wet snow had covered our evergreens and golden aspen with inches of white. It was beautiful but brought an abrupt end to summer. It also brought back memories to me of other first snows.

    When I was young, my father called up the stairs with a cheery good morning. He ordered us all to turn out because there were apples still to be picked before it turned cold enough to freeze them. We had a great time and were soon soaked to the skin in melting slushy snow.

  • Evergreen Lake is too congested for ospreys to nest

    (Reprinted from Oct. 7, 2009)

    The first two days of fall brought quite a few migrating birds to Evergreen Lake. A cold front moving down out of Canada brought cold rain followed by the first snow. I am not ready for snow yet and hope we may still have some Indian summer weather.

    The strong cold front also brought a flurry of late migrants at the lake. On the first day of autumn, a large flock of 200 or more mallards was on the lake. They were certainly not the local yokels that nested here but a big flock of migrants.