• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Officials peddle amenities of completed trail segment

    Gov. John Hickenlooper climbed onto a bright red mountain bike in Clear Creek Canyon on Sept. 30 and toured the newest segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, which connects Clear Creek County and Jeffco with a concrete path constructed through a collaboration between the two counties.

  • 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.

  • Work begins to improve sheep habitat by thinning forest

    A multi-year project to thin 500 wooded acres northwest of Empire began last week to remove forest-fire fuels and to further improve bighorn sheep habitat.

    Contractors are working for three weeks to thin the area’s vegetation as part of the Blue Creek Project. The work will complement a 50-acre prescribed burn that took place near Mad Creek in June.

  • SHARE with your wild neighbors

    Christie Greene
    She was lying in a shallow ditch, very still, when our dogs spotted her. They sniffed her curiously, and before we could react, one dog gave her a quick lick on the nose before we shooed them away.
    I very slowly approached the tiny elk calf, at first concerned about her condition. Was she hurt? Should I call Parks and Wildlife for help? I agonized that she may even be dead. She was so utterly still. Her body lay in a shallow ditch, her head resting quietly on the path.

  • Bears springing into action after winter hibernation

    By Christie Greene

    Last fall, as the days grew shorter and the sun moved lower in the sky, the bears listened to their instincts and began eating, really eating, up to 20,000 calories a day. As their foods sources dwindled and the temperatures began to sink, they ambled into the woods to make a den.

    In the meantime, we adjusted our clocks, made soup and readied the snowblowers. While we settled in front of the fire with a book, the thick-coated, fat-laden bruins curled up inside cozy dens and began living off their acquired fat stores.