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Outdoors

  • Starlings are more interesting than people think

    Nearly every winter just after a snow storm, people call me to ask about a beautiful bird at their feeder. It is described in several ways, but usually along the lines that it is mostly black with a lot of purple and green on it, and its whole body is spattered with white stars. When I tell them it sounds like a starling, almost without exception, they reply, “Why, no, it’s not a starling. It’s beautiful.”

  • Cold weather brings out unusual winter birds

    As the holidays finally came to a close, a brief winter storm left about five inches of snow on the ground around the yard. It also brought bitter cold weather with temperatures way below zero.
    However, this is not surprising since January is usually our coldest month. Winter is here. It is the one month that I would gladly leave this area for someplace warmer.

  • Kinnikinnick, and winter in the woods

    Reprinted from Dec. 19, 2007

     

    Winter seems to have settled in with a fairly stable blanket of white. However, it is not too deep for walking in most of our area, and all but the back roads are fairly passable. This makes it possible for most anyone to get out to see what winter has in store.

  • Weasel sighting was among bird count highlights

     

     

    The Christmas Bird Count is over. Sunday, Dec. 19, was a pleasant day as CBC days go.

  • Christmas Bird Count is this weekend

    When wondering what was new in Our Evergreen World that I could write about this week, I discovered three noteworthy items.

     

    Christmas Bird Count on Sunday

    First and foremost is that Sunday, Dec. 19, is the 2010 Christmas Bird Count. This international event is sponsored locally by Evergreen Audubon.

  • Bobcats on the increase here, but lynx live further north

    Ever since I wrote about seeing a bobcat several years ago, I have had a good number of reports about them and about lynx being seen in the area.

    Bobcats, yes. They seem to have increased in the area or at least are being seen more frequently. Lynx? I don’t think so. The Canada lynx is a close relative of the bobcat but is a bigger animal. It was at one time known in this area but is believed to be extinct here in recent years.

  • Full-moon walks are full of adventure

    Reprinted from Dec. 5, 2007

     

    I hope all of you were able to enjoy the three beautiful nights of Nov. 23, 24 and 25. They were the night before the full moon, the night of the full moon and the night after.

    It is seldom that we have three crystal-clear nights in a row at the time of the full moon.

  • Jeepers, brown creepers are here

    Reprinted from Nov. 19, 2008

    Many people have asked recently about a little brown mottled bird with a white breast and a curved beak that they have seen circling around the trunks of their trees.

    The bird is a brown creeper, a fairly common resident in our woodlands. Why they have become so obvious recently probably has several causes.

  • Squirrels, catbirds are among autumn visitors

    There has been very little new at the feeder this week. This is because it is empty most of the time. The maintenance man here at Elk Run is very kind and he tries to keep it up and filled. However, some critter or critters seem to knock it down as fast as he can put it up. Since I hope to be going home in about 10 days, it is not worth the expense of an elaborate pulley system, so I must give up even though the birds bring me much joy.

  • Dark-eyed juncos bring color to fall bird feeders

    I am writing this on Sunday, Oct. 31. This has been a beautiful autumn Sunday with temperatures ranging from 60 this morning to the low 70s this afternoon.
    A light breeze is keeping it from being warmer, but the sky is at its best Colorado blue. I am still at Elk Run Assisted Living, disappointed that I need to stay a bit longer, but I now plan to be home with some of my family by Thanksgiving.