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Outdoors

  • Spring temperatures throw off bird migration

    Driving into Evergreen this past weekend was a great pleasure. Spring has used her magic to turn the otherwise dreary day into a splash of color and beauty.
    The stream valleys were fringed with chartreuse lace as the willow’s golden twigs put out new green leaves, bringing color to every creek. It happens every spring, but I never tire of its glory. The streams are so proud of their new chartreuse dress that they dance all the way down to the plains.

  • Virginia rail makes its way back to Evergreen Lake

    Last week, Loie Evans phoned to tell me there was a Virginia rail at Evergreen Lake. They have been seen and heard at the lake before, but they are not as regularly seen as the sora.
    Rails are difficult to see for they live among the reeds and grasses in marshes and seldom come out in the open where you can have a good look at them. They are not particularly shy or afraid of people; they just like to stay in their marsh where they find the food they need.

  • First flowers of spring bring color to foothills landscapes

    It is wonderful to see spring greening the hills once more. I drove south to Colorado Springs and Pueblo with friends last week and was once more impressed by the changing landscape south of Colorado Springs.

  • Western red squirrels begin roaming forests in April

    March has been an interesting month with weather zig-zagging between record highs, record lows, exceptional spring-like weather along with exceptional drought with which came a serious forest fire near Conifer. All of this brought a great deal of uncertainty.
    April has already greeted us with a rain and a snowstorm, and we can’t help but wonder what else it will bring before the month is up. April has a reputation of being unable to make up its mind as to whether she will spring or put on her parka and dive back into winter.

  • Fascinating great-horned owls may make an appearance here

    The great spring weather has miraculously continued through another full week of late March. In fact, March has been so unusually mild, I am beginning to worry about what April and May will bring.

  • Warm weather brings buds on narrow-leaf cottonwoods

    What a remarkable day this has been. It is only March, but the temperature soared to 72 degrees in Denver, and it feels like spring.
    The sky is mostly blue, and the willows along Bear Creek area dressed in their brilliant spring orange-yellow. The buds of the narrow-leaf cottonwood are swelling. The sticky bud scales are giving color to the otherwise bare crown. As the buds swell, the crown appears to start to fill in or thicken even though there is not yet a true leaf in sight.

  • Mountain bluebirds already seen at Three Sisters

    The weather has been surprisingly spring-like this past week. However, driving by the lake, I noticed very little change. It remains frozen shore to shore. The first sign of ice breakup is usually the appearance of a larger and larger amount of open water at the inlet.

  • Ducks will arrive soon at Evergreen Lake

    Soon the ice will break up on Evergreen Lake, and migrating ducks will begin to appear. Usually blue-winged teal are the first to arrive. It is interesting to keep track of the large variety of ducks that can be seen on this little lake.

  • Trip to Red Rocks Park nets a plethora of bird sightings

    This past week has once again been one of vacillating weather with spring-like temperatures one day followed by a day of snow. Temperatures have ranged from normal to 20 degrees above normal.

  • Hint of spring can be found on the plains

    Friday, Feb. 17, was an amazing day. A friend called to say she wanted to go out on the plains to search for the snowy owl that many have seen just east of Barr Lake and asked if I would like to go with her. She didn’t want to go alone and was willing to put up with me, my oxygen, etc., so I went and had a great day.