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Outdoors

  • A variety of avian life outside my window
  • Haying operation under way at Elk Meadow

    Elk Meadow Open Space is getting a trim — a contractor is mowing and baling the hay to help keep native plants growing strong, according to a Jeffco Open Space spokesperson.

    It’s the first time such an operation has been done in at least 15 years, said Alicia Doran, Jefferson County weed and pest management specialist. Open Space administrators previously held controlled burns to manage plant life on the meadow, Doran said.

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  • Gentians, bugling elk signal end of summer

    Reprinted from Aug. 3, 2011

    The full rich days of August bring the flowering of fringed gentians, the departure of some summer birds and gangly teenage elk enjoying their first taste of independence. The incredibly beautiful fringed gentians are the dominant wildflower in South Park in August.

  • Blue mist penstemons are abundant near Echo Lake

    Just a week ago, a dear friend of mine took me for an outing to Echo Lake. What a real treat it was for me to get out and see the blooms along the way and to have brunch at the Echo Lake Lodge.

    Wildflowers were in bloom along the road, especially the brilliant blue of the blue mist penstemon.

  • Black-headed grosbeak makes summer appearance

    I looked out at the bird feeder yesterday to see what might be there, getting a last meal just before dark. Much to my surprise, there was a colorful male black-headed grosbeak there, enjoying the black sunflower seeds. This is the 15th bird species I have seen from the windows here at Elk Run.

    Actually, this was the first black-headed grosbeak I have seen this year. I have them every year at my feeder at home, but I have already left there by the time they returned this year.

  • Forest Service: Closing areas to shooting is sound recreational management

    A plan to close a 400,000-acre zone of land in the foothills to recreational shooting would help the U.S. Forest Service manage the sport the way it does other recreation on public lands, according to an official.

  • A really cool hike around an alpine lake

    Heading up the mountain to Echo Lake Park, the temperature begins dropping and the scenery becomes magnificent. Sweeping views of snow-capped mountains come into view as you travel along Highway 103 from Bergen Park to your hiking destination around a natural alpine lake.

  • Early wildflowers, tall grass a result of warm, wet weather

    On a brief ride around the Evergreen area last week, I was surprised to see so many wildflowers blooming. Many seemed a bit earlier than usual. I believe this is due to the exceptionally warm weather and rain in early June.

    Late June had very little rain, but the Fourth of July brought a late-afternoon torrential shower, so it is once more hot and humid. This is not my favorite weather as it leaves me feeling hot, sticky and short of breath.

  • Bald eagles near Evergreen Lake cause a stir

    Everyone in Evergreen has been excited about the two bald eagles that have been hanging out in a dead tree near Evergreen Lake for the past week. I have had several people call me, and others have brought me photographs of the birds. They are apparently two adult bald eagles, easily recognized by their size, dark bodies, white head and tail.