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Outdoors

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The sound of elk bugling buffets the fall landscape

    (Reprinted from Sept. 7, 2006)

    Once more it is time for the “bugling” of the bull elk to flow down the mountains. This eerie, wailing sound is part of the rutting season and as much a part of the Rocky Mountain autumn as the turning of the aspen leaves.

    The first call reported to me this year was on Saturday, Aug. 26. A bit early but not too unusual. The calling will continue through September and dwindle in October, with still a few last calls heard in November.

  • Wood rats are interesting animals, though unwanted tenants

    (Reprinted from Sept. 17, 2008)

    A friend who volunteers at the Evergreen Nature Center stopped by last week to show us photographs of a wood rat taken by a couple who live on Upper Bear Creek. These folks had seen and heard some little critter in their house and wanted to be sure to live trap it and remove it before they left on a vacation.

  • It’s important for foothills residents to be bear-responsible

    (Reprinted from Sept. 15, 2010)

    Bears have been particularly plentiful this summer and will continue to be until about the first of November when snow and cold weather will send them into hibernation.

    We have had a female with three cubs roaming around Herzman’s Mesa most of the summer. This is a dangerous situation, and we need to do everything we can do to avoid human contact with these bears.

  • 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.

  • Wet summer has brought new weeds to the area

    (Reprinted from Sept. 2, 2009)

    On Friday evening, Aug.14, the Weed Awareness Committee met for its last summer weed pulling at Evergreen Lake.

    This rainy summer has produced an unusual number of weeds, as well as unusually big weeds. Two of the participants had brought a sample of a new weed that had appeared in their yard.