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Outdoors

  • 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.

  • Leafy spurge weeds can grow in abundance unless eradicated

    (Reprinted from Aug. 29, 2012)

    It’s beginning to look a lot like autumn, I’m unhappy to say. Seldom does autumn come this early, but the drought seems to have made plants mature early, and many of the late summer and autumn flowers are blooming or past blooming already.

    When any plant is stressed by drought or any other condition, they do what all plants do: They bloom and produce seeds to carry on the species. Last week, Sylvia Robertson brought me a plant specimen taken from a large patch at Evergreen Lake.

  • Migrating nighthawks fill the evening air

    (Reprinted from Aug. 22, 2012)

    There is a small order of birds known as goatsuckers. The scientific name is the Caprimulgiformes, which comes from the Latin Caprimulgus, a milker of goats and forma or form.

    This name comes from the old belief that these birds, which are often seen in low sweeping flight over meadows, were sucking the milk out of goats. There are not as many species in this order as there are in some other orders such as finches and warblers.

  • Migrating nighthawks fill the evening air

    (Reprinted from Aug. 22, 2012)

    There is a small order of birds known as goatsuckers. The scientific name is the Caprimulgiformes, which comes from the Latin Caprimulgus, a milker of goats and forma or form.

    This name comes from the old belief that these birds, which are often seen in low sweeping flight over meadows, were sucking the milk out of goats. There are not as many species in this order as there are in some other orders such as finches and warblers.

  • Eastern fence lizards are frequent visitors to our area

    (Reprinted from Aug. 13, 2008)

    A few weeks ago a lady named Elizabeth phoned to tell me she had seen a lizard in her yard on Old Squaw Pass Road. She was delighted to have this new resident sharing her garden but wondered what kind it was and why she had never seen one before.

    The answer to what kind of lizard it is: It probably is an eastern fence lizard, since they are the only species likely to be seen here.

  • G-town lands grant for accessible piers at lake

    Georgetown has received a $50,000 grant to build two disabled- and senior-accessible piers on the west side of Georgetown Lake.

    It’s one of six projects being funded by the Fishing is Fun program of the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife. The goal is to improve fishing opportunities in the state.

  • Cordilleran flycatchers have little luck with nesting spots

    (Reprinted from July 28, 2010)

    Although spring migration has long been over, we had a bit of excitement in the yard this week.

    The house wrens have long been nesting in a swallow box on the supporting post of the front porch. In fact, they are feeding young. Although it is supposed to be a swallow box, the swallows have never had a chance to use it because the wrens arrive earlier and have already taken it over. They usually have eggs in the box by the time the violet-green swallows arrive. That was the case this year.

  • The facts about our water mammal neighbors

    (Reprinted from July 16, 2008)

    A friend volunteering at the Evergreen Nature Center last week asked me about an odd water mammal called a nutria. It seems that a volunteer on the boardwalk has pointed out a muskrat to a group of visitors, and this person came into the center and informed the volunteer on duty that “those animals out there are not muskrats; I grew up in Louisiana, and they are nutria. I have seen enough nutria that I know what they look like.”