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Outdoors

  • Bears springing into action after winter hibernation

    By Christie Greene

    Last fall, as the days grew shorter and the sun moved lower in the sky, the bears listened to their instincts and began eating, really eating, up to 20,000 calories a day. As their foods sources dwindled and the temperatures began to sink, they ambled into the woods to make a den.

    In the meantime, we adjusted our clocks, made soup and readied the snowblowers. While we settled in front of the fire with a book, the thick-coated, fat-laden bruins curled up inside cozy dens and began living off their acquired fat stores. 

  • OUTDOOR BRIEFS

    We’d like to know about interesting events or activities. E-mail items of 125 words or less to news@evergreenco.com. Items will appear on a space-available basis.

     

    Nature Journal Club

  • Mountain community remembers Chow Down’s friendly felines

    By Christie Greene

    Visitors to Chow Down Pet Supplies in Bergen Park may wonder why the store counter seems so wide and empty. Instinctively, we turn to the right, expecting to see two lethargic, lounging cats that were a fixture in the store for more than two decades. Butch and Sundance were a constant presence at the store, presenting lazy tummies and chins for obligatory scratches.

  • Wildlife watch: The scourge of mange and the mighty mites

    By Christie Greene
    For the Courier

  • Tent caterpillars help more than hurt wildlife

    (Reprinted from March 10, 2010)

    If you are one of the many people who find tent caterpillars objectionable in your backyard, now is the time to control them.

    I know they do little harm in our forests, but I find it difficult to be tolerant of them. Their favorite food is the new leaves of apple trees, so they were very common and considered destructive pests in the apple-growing sections of New York state where I grew up.

  • Rosy finches flock to tundra in variety of latitudes

    (Reprinted from March 5, 2008)

    For many years when winter visitors to Colorado called us to inquire about where they could see rosy finches, we would either take them or send them to the top of Squaw Mountain to visit the Swanlunds.

    When we were faced with this request recently, we didn’t know a really “sure spot” to send these visitors.

  • You can help with Great Backyard Bird Count

    (Reprinted from March 4, 2009)

    Editor’s note: This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count will be Feb. 17-20)

    I have just mailed in a count for the Great Backyard Bird Count to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Ithaca, N.Y. This count is a joint effort of the Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon. It is such an easy count to do that I thought some of you might be interested in taking part next year.

  • Red-winged blackbirds are a feisty bunch

    (Reprinted from Feb. 6, 2008)

    Usually cold and wintry, February is made bearable by the first signs of spring — nothing as showy as the first daffodil in bloom, but still good, dependable signs of spring.

  • Winter cottonwoods and a new year of good birding

    Reprinted from Dec. 31, 2008

    The good news is that the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. From now on, each day grows a bit longer until the spring equinox brings equal days and nights, the official beginning of spring.

    Actually, the first signs of spring appear long before March 21. Easter daises will be found blooming in February, early migrant birds will begin to move, and the twigs of the cottonwoods and willows will begin to glow with color as sap rises upward to nourish buds and soon-to-be flowers and leaves.

  • Winter solstice heralds the coming of spring

    (Reprinted from Dec. 28, 2009)

    Looking out the window, I still see snow on the ground, and we will have snow for at least three more months. However, this past Monday, Dec. 20, was the changing point, and yesterday was the beginning of the change, the winter solstice, or the first day of winter.

    That’s the day my husband, Bill, used to call the best day of the year because it meant that from that day forward every day became a bit longer, and this meant spring was on its way. The best time of the year.