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Outdoors

  • Nest boxes for sale; bluebirds a happy arrival

    (Reprinted from March 5, 2014)

    Once more Evergreen Audubon has some bluebird and chickadee nest boxes for sale.

    The boxes are made of cedar and don’t need painting unless you so desire. Nest boxes seem to become more and more expensive, but these Audubon boxes are the best prices I have seen anywhere. Lumber keeps going up in price, but since club members volunteer their time to help build the boxes, they can still be sold at a reasonable price and make a little money for other club activities.

  • Residents challenge closure of Mount Evans Wildlife Area to hiking, other recreational uses

    Evergreen residents are asking the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to remove restrictions at the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area that prohibit hiking and other recreational use from mid-September until November.

    “We’re asking the commission to go back to historical usage,” said Peter Jacobson, an area resident who enjoys hiking in the Mount Evans area.

  • Rare wintering northern flicker adds flair to season

    (Reprinted from Feb. 25, 2009)

    It was 8 degrees above zero when I went out this morning, and Our Evergreen World was shimmering with hoarfrost.

    Every, twig, stem and pine needle was encrusted with diamonds. Our entire landscape shimmered like Tiffany’s window. Backlit by the rising sun, each tree and shrub was a scintillating piece of jewelry.

  • January brings new beginnings, longer days

    (Reprinted from Jan. 16, 2013)

    Janus was the god of new beginnings and doorways and gates. The early Greek and Roman people had two replicas of Janus hung at every city gate, one looking in each direction to protect them from their enemies from the outside as well as those within.

  • Two gray birds dominate during winter season

    (Reprinted from Jan. 12, 2010)

    It is winter again this week. Snowflakes have been in the air several times, but so far, we haven’t accumulated much, just added clean sheets to the snow bed that was already on the ground.

  • Pygmy nuthatches regularly flutter around feeders

    (Reprinted from Dec. 30, 2014)

    The birdfeeder below my window is still bringing a variety of birds into view. One of these is the tiny, beloved pygmy nuthatch. Almost daily, a few of these tiny guys are busy gleaning the ponderosa pine above the feeder, gathering insects, which keeps the pines healthy as well as the birds.

  • Rafting hits high-water mark in Clear Creek

    The number of people taking commercial rafting trips on Clear Creek this year was likely higher than 2014, which would make 2015 the third straight year of improvement for the industry, according to the Colorado Rafting Association.

    The association saw more than 72,000 commercial customers in Clear Creek in 2014. The association hasn’t finished compiling figures for 2015 year, said executive director David Costlow, but “my guess is this year it will exceed that,” he said.

  • Wild turkeys are thankful they’re not extinct

    (Reprinted from Nov. 26, 2013)

    While we have many things to be thankful for, I think the wild turkeys must be thankful for being alive because these big, beautiful, wild birds came very close to extinction.

    This great American bird was fairly common over much of America and was taken to Europe in the early 16th century where it was domesticated and became a very popular dish. In America, it was also very popular, but there were no domestic turkeys to buy at the market.

  • Tree, chipping sparrows visit foothills at different times

    On her way to visit me last week, my friend Loie Evans saw a tree sparrow in the yard here at Elk Run Assisted Living. Tree sparrows are interesting birds because they do not breed here; they breed much further north. They breed in the low shrub growth just above timberline. They are most frequently seen here in winter in the middle states.

    They are not tree birds as you think of big, high trees. They are birds of the scrub land, nesting in the Hudsonian Zone all across northern Canada, where such trees as birch and alder are more shrub-like, only four to six feet high.

  • Autumn’s dry flowers are fodder for craft projects

    November is often referred to as the brown month. Nightly frosts have put an end to the green growing season, and meadows and prairies have slowly turned brown.

    Although we may have snow, there is seldom enough to stay on the ground for long, and before we settle into the black-and-white days of winter, we have about a month of brown frozen weeds and grasses. November is usually the month when the summer growth has matured and ripened seeds.