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Today's Features

  • On a recent Sunday morning, Linda Zakes of Sundance Gardens phoned me to ask about a bird. I was flabbergasted when she told me it had built a nest in a pot of penstemon on one of the display tables in her nursery. I finished up the work I was doing and was on my way to Sundance Gardens filled with curiosity about which bird had built its nest in such an unusual place.

  • Summer weather is finally here, with all its outdoor activities. Hiking, birding, botanizing, camping, boating, swimming, climbing and exploring the backcountry are all part of summer’s pleasures. However, there are hazards in the outdoors that everyone should be aware of.

  • All during the long, cold spring, Community Weed Day is the day I have longed for.

    This is a “what is so rare as a day in June.” Sun, an intensely blue sky, white puffy clouds and a crisp gentle breeze have combined to make this a “perfect” day. A few widely scattered showers cooled off the afternoon, but now the sun is out, and everything is “bright and beautiful” again.

  • Editor’s note: Sylvia Brockner was a little under the weather last week, so we’re reprinting a column from June 1987. Sylvia reports that she’s feeling much better and that her column will return next week.

    My husband, Bill, and I have spent considerable time in our breeding bird atlas territory this past week.

    I fully expected to enjoy the time spent birding, but there is an additional dividend that I had not foreseen.

  • On Thursday morning, May 15, the birds at Evergreen Lake were awakened by the robust, rollicking song, “bob-o-link, bob-o-link, spink, spank, spink.” Words cannot do justice to the jubilant, bubbling sound of the bobolink. It is a loud explosion of exuberant joy, sung during migration and heard even more once they are on their breeding grounds. They sing on the wing, flying horizontally above the grasses in the fields where they nest.

  • One of the fondest memories of my childhood is that of the chipping sparrows that nested every year among the orange rose-like flowers of the vine that grew on a trellis between the window and the door to the cow barn. This location was subject to considerable traffic, as both people and farm equipment passed within a few feet of it frequently. The nest was about 5 feet up in the vine, just high enough that my mother had to lift me up to see the greenish-blue eggs with their purple-black markings.

  • I have received many inquiries lately about the Rocky Mountain pine beetle and whether or not I thought we were going to lose all our ponderosa pines, whether we should spray and with what, and, the real panic question, will we lose all our forests?

  • Spring is here, in all its glory. It is our most extravagant season. Each day spring flaunts something new to dazzle your eye, titillate your nose, send your spirits soaring and boggle your mind with splendor.

  • April is such a promising month. This year it has been an exceptional month, with very little snow and some truly summery weather. Many birds are streaming northward, and with the lake free of ice, waterfowl and shorebirds are arriving daily.

    Sunday, April 20, brought a broad-tailed hummingbird back to our yard and six white-faced glossy ibis to Evergreen Lake. Tuesday, April 22, brought the first chipping sparrow returning to our feeder. Wednesday, April 23, brought white-crowned sparrows, yellow-headed blackbirds and yellow-rumped warbles stopping on their way north.

  • Once more, fickle April had lulled us into believing spring had arrived with 80-degree temperatures, only to have our face slapped with soggy snow the next day.

    Tuesday, April 15, was unbelievably warm for the date, and its 80-degree temps brought two reports of broad-tailed hummingbirds. The first came from Inga Brennan on Lookout Mountain and the second from Sherman Wing in Indian Hills. On Wednesday, April 16, Rune and Trisha Toffte phoned to say they had a hummer at their feeder in Kittredge just before the big chill brought hummingbird activity to a standstill.