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Outdoors

  • Teal, gulls plentiful at Evergreen Lake this spring

    There have been many species of birds on Evergreen Lake during April. Despite the cool weather, the ice has remained out and with open water, many birds stop just long enough to rest and feed as they continue to move northward for the summer.

    One day last week, we had a thunderstorm in the early afternoon that started with a loud clap of thunder followed by a heavy rain, then sleet, then wet snow, followed by hail and more thunder and lightning. As weird as that seems, I can only say that is more or less typical of spring weather in the mountains.

  • New product helps control persistent woodpeckers

    With the arrival of spring every year, I begin to receive phone calls from the readers of this column, asking for advice on how to keep woodpeckers from making holes in their houses. All members of the woodpecker family are designed with stiff tail feathers and strong feet to prop themselves against tree trunks, and sharp stout beaks to make holes in wood.

  • New product helps control persistent woodpeckers

    With the arrival of spring every year, I begin to receive phone calls from the readers of this column, asking for advice on how to keep woodpeckers from making holes in their houses. All members of the woodpecker family are designed with stiff tail feathers and strong feet to prop themselves against tree trunks, and sharp stout beaks to make holes in wood.

  • Robin song fills the springtime gloaming

    I just came in from the patio where I was listening for a robin singing his twilight song. I have always loved the evening hours just before dark. It’s a magical time often referred to as the gloaming.

  • New book details bird migration information

    The next two months are the most exciting time of the year to all birders. They are the months of spring migration, when thousands of birds move from South and Central America to their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada.
    It is not quite clear why birds make this journey of thousands of miles twice a year, but they do. Many of them migrate at night. Unseen, they pass overhead with no one the wiser except for hearing their call notes. Call notes are short chirps that birds use to keep their flocks together in flight.

  • Skunks and their smell are a sign of spring

    The vernal equinox occurs when the tilt of the Earth and angle of the sun is directly overhead at the Equator at noon, thus causing equal hours of daylight and darkness. This occurs annually between March 20 and March 22. Thus, this year, the first day of spring was officially on March 20. From that day forward, the days get longer and the hours of darkness decrease until June when the summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, also known as midsummerís eve.

  • Feathered friends make a spring appearance

    Oh, how good the sweet fresh air feels. I am sitting in the yard at the Life Care Center, and I can’t begin to describe what a pleasure it is to get outside.
    Yesterday was Friday, March 18, and a small band of mule deer wandered through the yard. The band included one male, two females and one young.
    He was no longer spotted but was very small. I wondered if it would make it through the winter.

  • Red foxes are plentiful in the foothills

    A few weeks ago while visiting the Evergreen Library, I noticed a female red fox curled up asleep in one of the landscape areas. Everyone was asking, “Why is she asleep in broad daylight” and “What is she doing there?”

  • Songs of spring heard in the hills

    Reprinted from March 15, 2006

     

    March came in like a lamb, but it was a very frisky one. The day was warm, blue and spring-like, but that little lamb kicked up its heels, creating a considerable amount of wind. Since then, March has been as fickle as usual, with warm near-70-degree days spiced with spring snow and typical wind.

  • Finches flock to the tundra

    Reprinted from March 6, 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.