• June 8, 15, 22, 29
    The Oh My Gawd Rodeo features bulls, broncs, ropers, racers and mutton bustin’. The rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. Fridays at the Kiefer Arena. Take Interstate 70 to Idaho Springs, then take the frontage road west. Adults, $10; kids ages 10 to 17, $5; children under 10 admitted free. For entry information, call 303-622-9745.

    June 11

  • June is here with all her green profusion. In terms of weather, June is probably the best month of the year. It’s not too hot and not too cold with enough spring moisture to maintain her greenness. June comes pretty close to perfection. The burst of new growth has turned everything green and lush, and many wildflowers are in bloom.

  • Ninety-four years ago in France, Ralph Wilkins, an infantryman from Idaho Springs, became the first local resident to die in World War I.

  • The little brown house wren has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. They always nested in a box in our yard on the farm where I grew up, and they were common nesting birds in most every yard in the village.

  • Reprinted from May 27, 2009

    Just as in years past, the summer folk have arrived in Evergreen. It used to be families that arrived as soon as school was out, and there were cabins to be opened, bed linens to be aired out and meals to be prepared during the last of May or early June. Now it is summer birds that still arrived during the last or May or early June.
    The summer birds have territories to locate, songs to sing to warn others to stay out of those territories, mates to court and nests to build. Soon they will have young to feed.

  • Many things may be learned when engineering a duck-race benefit, especially in May, and especially on Clear Creek.
    Brett and Kristin Hochmuth have orchestrated the duck race, which benefits their nonprofit Get Outside and Learn Something — or GOALS — for four years, and they have learned tons about making the event run smoothly.

  • May has had its usual fling of one last snowstorm. Fortunately, this year it was just about four inches, not the four feet it brought us a few years ago. Now that it has succeeded in ruining Mother’s Day for a good many people, it seems to be clearing up and the coming week’s forecast looks like we will be having not just spring, but summer weather.
    I didn’t get out on a birding trip this week, but I had proof of an interesting sighting brought to me.

  • The 48-star flag is worn and stained, and is missing a few stars.
    But a retired couple from Fort Collins were to determined to help Old Glory complete a return journey to Idaho Springs that started 95 years ago when the United States entered World War I.

  • Local veterans will get a little extra assistance, thanks to a coalition formed recently with their interests in mind.
    A nine-person group called the Veterans Services Coalition consisting of volunteers and local officials will help veterans get better access to services and job opportunities. Additionally, the advocacy group plans to organize volunteers to participate in  events and other county-wide veteran-related

  • It is wonderful to see spring greening the hills once more. I drove south to Colorado Springs and Pueblo with friends last week and was once more impressed by the changing landscape south of Colorado Springs.
    North of Colorado Springs, the rolling hills of the prairie are green, and trees were beginning to leaf out. South of the Springs, you quickly enter desert country. In a few places, we saw cacti that looked like they might soon produce new growth and flowers, but in most places, the land was so overgrazed that the entire landscape appeared to be sand colored.

  • Lynne and I went out birding again for a few hours on Thursday, April 12. It was another fine spring day. The willows were leafing out along Bear Creek. Apples, pears and flowering crab were in full bloom. In Red Rocks Park, the native American plum was also in full bloom, its heavy, overly sweet fragrance in the air everywhere. Pasque flowers and yellow violets were also in bloom.

  • Waking early this morning, I looked out my window to see what kind of day it was going to be. It was a beautiful spring morning and hadn’t dropped below freezing all night.
    The sky was cloudless, and the sun was just peeking over Stanley Mountain’s shoulder. The small amount of snow that had fallen the day before was gone. It had started melting even as it fell, and the warm night had completed the meltdown.

  • Part two of a two-part series.
    Self-assessment is important because when drinking at home, in a bar or at a social event, few of us get monitored. Maybe you will do what I did and redefine what “moderate drinking” is for you.

  • This is part one of a two-part series.

  • The weather has been surprisingly spring-like this past week. However, driving by the lake, I noticed very little change. It remains frozen shore to shore. The first sign of ice breakup is usually the appearance of a larger and larger amount of open water at the inlet.

  • Soon the ice will break up on Evergreen Lake, and migrating ducks will begin to appear. Usually blue-winged teal are the first to arrive. It is interesting to keep track of the large variety of ducks that can be seen on this little lake.
    Ducks are usually divided into two main groups.
    The so-called tip-up ducks or puddle ducks are those that tip their tail up into the air, and their necks and heads down into the water to feed in relatively shallow water. There are 16 species of puddle ducks in four genera.

  • Friday, Feb. 17, was an amazing day. A friend called to say she wanted to go out on the plains to search for the snowy owl that many have seen just east of Barr Lake and asked if I would like to go with her. She didn’t want to go alone and was willing to put up with me, my oxygen, etc., so I went and had a great day.

  • Late winter brings strange weather into this area. This year, January brought much warmer weather than usual, giving everyone spring fever.
    February thus far has turned out to be colder than average and has brought back-to-back snowstorms with scarcely a break in between.
    The only thing that you can be positive about is that it will change. Whatever it is like at the moment, it probably won’t be the same 10 minutes from now or tomorrow.

  • The greater roadrunner, which has been seen for the past few months at Dinosaur Ridge, has been an interesting visitor.
    Although they are regular residents in the southeast corner of Colorado, they seldom go north of that. They are essentially desert birds and are found all across the desert Southwest. That little corner of our state is the only place where they apparently have traditionally felt at home.

  • We were blessed with spring-like weather during much of January, while the high country has had plenty of snow for the ski resorts. Who could ask for any better weather for all of us? Now I can’t help but wonder if we will have to pay for this fine weather with too much snow in February and March.