• Wildflowers abundant in late summer

    One of the most common roadside flowers of the late summer and early autumn is the yellow sweet-clover, Melilotus officinale. The common roadside plant, oddly enough, is not a native.

    According to the books that I have, the white sweet clover is a native, but the yellow was introduced from Europe because it was known to be both a good honey and forage plant. It is also known as honey clover and yellow melilot.

  • Residents concerned about sport shooting on public lands

    Old Squaw Pass Roadresident David Grasso is worried enough about sport shooting on public land near his home that he's thinking about moving away.

    "I don't want to sit at my kitchen table and get hit by a bullet," Grasso told a reporter. "It's kinda dangerous here. I've lived here 40 years, and I've had it."

  • Four more hummingbirds occasionally visit the area

    Last week I wrote about the two most common hummingbirds seen locally, the broad-tailed and the rufous.

    Broad-tailed hummingbirds usually arrive in April and nest here. Rufous hummingbirds, which have gone north along the Pacific coast in early spring, have nested as far north as southern Alaska and return south along the mountains where there are still wildflowers.

  • ‘It’s not always an easy thing moving moose around’

    Colorado Parks and Wildlife personnel tranquilized a moose that was on the loose in Idaho Springs and moved him to South Park on July 7 after the animal became hostile with officers.

    Spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said the bull moose wandered into town, and officers tried unsuccessfully to scare it off.

  • 13-mile segment of greenway trail will enter design phase

    Design work can start on a 13-mile segment of a greenway trail in Clear Creek County, now that public officials have signed a $1.1 million contract with the Denver-based Greenway Foundation.

    After months of work on the project, Clear Creek County commissioners approved the contract with the nonprofit group on July 7.  

  • Pitching in

    The trails on Mount Bierstadt are getting a much-needed facelift this summer to fix damage that has been done because the area has increased in popularity.

    Last weekend, 30 volunteers worked to reinforce trails and help stop erosion in the area.

    Because of the popular Fourteener’s proximity to the Front Range and easy access with the paving of Guanella Pass in 2011, the area has had a recent explosion of visitors.

  • Santiago Mill off limits during cleanup

    A picturesque, historic gold mill is off limits for the next three to five years during a cleanup — its road access blocked by a newly built fence.

    The Santiago Mill in the ghost-town region of Waldorf is a popular destination for Jeep clubs and other off-road groups who love the trip up an axle-busting gravel road and the spectacular mountain scenery above treeline.

  • Rare and interesting ferns grow in the foothills

    Ferns are not what one could call abundant in Colorado, but we have a few, including some that are rare and interesting.

    The large stands of tall ferns found in the moist, rich eastern woodlands are not to be found in our dry climate, but we do have some rock and cliff dwellers as well as a few that grow in the sub-alpine bogs and meadows.

    The most common fern in the Evergreen area is the delicate brittle fern, Cystoperis fragilis. The stipe or stem of this fern is dark brown to black at the base, shading to straw color or green.

  • Warblers’ beautiful songs fill the air in the foothills

    I can hear what I believe to be a yellow warbler singing, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I am not positive of my identification because I don’t trust my ears. Unfortunately, my hearing is not what it used to be.

  • Improvements eyed for Saxon Mountain four-wheel-drive roads

    Saxon Mountain's four-wheel-drive roads and trails could soon get a U.S. Forest Service spruce-up.

    The popular backcountry area on the mountain south and east of Georgetown is riddled with old mining relics and tailings. Rocky, unmaintained four-wheel-drive roads up the mountain can be accessed from downtown Georgetown.