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Today's Features

  • 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.

  • Last Wednesday was fairly warm and spring-like during the morning hours. However, as is so often the case, it foretold of snow to come.

    The lake has been slowly opening. An ever-widening inlet and a delicate curve of open shallow water along the north shore and between the inlet and the Lake House have made every day seem more spring like, even though it refroze every night. For a few nights now, it hasn’t frozen, so the warm days accomplished a bit more melt. This was enough to tip the Rotary club barrel into the lake, which made many people happy.

  • “Zeet, zeet, zeet, buzzy trill.” I stop to listen. Yes, it is the first song sparrow I’ve heard this spring! The three bright, clean starting notes, followed by a rapid jumble of short notes, is a loud announcement by a male song sparrow that he is claiming about an acre of local real estate as his nesting territory.

  • Some time ago, I mentioned the Eurasian collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto, and said it was becoming more common in Colorado. This beautiful dove has only recently become a part of the Colorado avifauna.

  • A few warm days this week have finally made it seem a bit like spring. There is a good bit of clear ground showing; only the deep drifts remain — a welcome change from all white. Although we are being promised more snow in a day or two, we at least know there is hope.

    I have a bouquet of daffodils on the living room table, from the supermarket gardens, but nevertheless they are bright sunshine yellow and sweet smelling. They give me hope that the daffodils in my yard will bloom someday soon.