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Outdoors

  • Reeling them in, Evergreen style

    Sitting on the ice as a gusty breeze whipped across Evergreen Lake, Evan Gerbe was trying his luck at ice fishing for the first time.

    “It trips me out,” Gerbe said as he looked at the 2-foot rod he was dangling into a hole cut in the thick ice.

    Gerbe lives in Washington state, where he fishes for salmon with a 9-foot rod in a fast-flowing river. While visiting his mother in Evergreen, Gerbe said, he decided to participate in the second annual ice fishing derby on Saturday.

  • Snowy owls seen more often in northern states this year

    This winter has brought unusually large incursions of snowy owls into the northern states. These big white beautiful owls nest on the arctic tundra, well above timberline, and regularly winter across southern Canada.

  • They are still red foxes no matter what color they are

    Probably the most common animal to be seen in this area is the red fox. When we first moved to Evergreen in 1965, there were only gray foxes to be seen, but it wasn’t long before a red fox moved in, and then gray foxes disappeared. For some time now, red foxes have dominated in the area to the point where I have not seen a gray fox for a long time.

  • When ice melts, beavers will make an appearance at area lakes

    Today has been a gloomy winter day. No sun has shone through the cloud cover. The forest appears almost black, draped in ermine robes. We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and more promised. It has been a depressing day, though the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow. It will be good to see blue sky and bright sunshine even though it will still be cold.

  • Open Space sets priorities for park projects

    Jefferson County Open Space has set an extensive list of goals and priorities for improvements to parks in its system this year.

    Trailhead construction is planned at Matthews/Winters Park and in the western portion of Mount Falcon Park. At Apex Park, there are plans to build a bike skills challenge course, with an estimated completion date in November.

    Lair O’ the Bear, Mount Falcon, Matthews/Winters and Pine Valley Ranch parks are slated for restroom replacement. At South Valley Park, a san-o-let will be replaced with a vault toilet.

  • Yellow-bellied marmots cousins to famed groundhogs

    Editor’s note: The following column is reprinted from Jan. 2010. Sylvia Brockner’s column will return next week.

    Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day, a day that doesn’t have much significance here, but it does in the northeastern states, especially Pennsylvania, where it started.

  • Differentiating between crows, ravens a matter of sight, sound

    This past week has brought us more spring-like weather with temperatures in the high 50s and the melting of what little snow we had left. Once more, my feeders are deserted by the juncos, which obviously prefer seeds that they can find in the fields to what I offer them at the feeders. They do eat the white proso millet when the fields are covered with snow.

  • Jeffco Open Space sets goals for completing repairs to flood-damaged parks

    With help from volunteers, Apex Park may be partially open to hikers and bikers by this spring, according to a timeline established by the staff at Jeffco Open Space.

    The park in Golden has been closed since September, when flooding caused extensive trail damage. Other parks in the Jeffco Open Space system, which also were severely impacted, are slated for repairs in the coming months.

  • Open space advisory board recommends more than $1 million in park grants

    The Evergreen Park and Recreation District is among potential recipients of grants recommended by the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee. If approved by the county commissioners, the park district will receive $79,000 to improve and rebuild the boardwalk and nature center access trail at Evergreen Lake.

    Other recommended grant recipients include the cities of Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, which collectively could receive the lion’s share of more than $800,000 from the Jeffco Open Space sales tax fund.

  • $49,000 grant secured for Evergreen Trails Master Plan

    The Evergreen Trails Master Plan project took an important step recently when it received a $49,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

    The plan envisions a trail network running from the high school to Wulf Rec Center to the Evergreen Library, and then through downtown along Bear Creek.