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Outdoors

  • A view from Sylvia’s window

    As most of my friends know, I took a tumble in early August and broke my right wrist, so I have been confined to a nursing home ever since I got out of the hospital. That’s only because I can’t manage very well by myself with only one arm. However, it’s doing well and I’ll soon be out of a cast and then I can do a great deal more, I hope, even though it will still be stiff and sore.

  • Elks’ bugling buffets fall landscape

    Originally published Sept. 7, 2006

     

    Once more it is time for the “bugling” of the bull elk to flow down the mountains. This eerie, wailing sound is part of the rutting season and as much a part of the Rocky Mountain autumn as the turning of the aspen leaves.

    The first call reported to me this year was on Saturday, Aug. 26. A bit early but not too unusual. The calling will continue through September and dwindle in October, with still a few last calls heard in November.

  • Crows are something to crow about

    When we moved here in 1965, crows were officially named the “common crow.” But, they were definitely not common in Evergreen, except in winter. Summer crows in the mountains were few and far between.

  • It's important to be bear-responsible

    Bears have been particularly plentiful this summer and will continue to be until about the first of November when snow and cold weather will send them into hibernation.

    We have had a female with three cubs roaming around Herzman’s Mesa most of the summer. This is a dangerous situation, and we need to do everything we can do to avoid human contact with these bears.

  • Time to frolic for ground squirrels, chipmunks

    These lazy, warm summer days are what living in Evergreen is all about. But for some of God’s critters, they are a harbinger of a winter to come. Each morning our golden-mantled ground squirrel saunters out, blinks his eyes and ambles over to the birdfeeder for a hearty breakfast and to enjoy the warm sunshine. He frolics through his old haunts, runways and hideouts, then settles down at the feeder, obviously “in residence” for the summer. His appetite will increase soon as he stuffs himself in preparation for winter.

  • A lucky day to be part of Our Evergreen World

    Friday the 13th, an unlucky day for some people, happened to be a lucky day indeed for my friend and fellow birder Warren Roske. Warren saw a northern goshawk on Friday at Evergreen Lake. This is one of the few sightings of a goshawk at the lake. But it was no accident that Warren was birding there, as he, my friend Loie Evans and a few other birding friends try to keep a daily tally of the birds at Evergreen Lake. They post which birds, and how many individuals, they see on a bulletin board on the Lake House side of the boardwalk.

  • The birding arts: observation and listening

    People often ask me how I happen to see so many more birds and animals than they do.

    They often say that they at least drive into downtown Evergreen every day, sometimes more than that, and they don’t see half as many things as I do.

    I usually reply to this that birders are made by learning the art of observation. I am not as good an observer as my late husband Bill was. He began birding the minute he woke up. Many days he had the first bird on his daily list before he got out of bed by looking out the bedroom window.

  • Douglas fir got its name from fervent botanist

    The Douglas fir, pseudotsuga menziesii, is one of our loveliest trees. It is probably the largest tree growing in our forests today. It has a fascinating history that is closely woven with the man for whom it was named, David Douglas.

  • Babies abound during the foothills’ summer months

    Summer is in full swing with August weather starting in July.

    As the weathermen have been saying, the monsoon winds are bringing warm and wet air up from the Gulf Coast, which is bringing us rain when it bumps into our cool mountains. This usually occurs in August, but this year two near tropical storms brought some similar weather in July, so we have had unusually hot and humid weather, very unlike the hot dry weather we are used to.

  • Cordilleran flycatchers have little luck with nesting spots

    Although spring migration has long been over, we had a bit of excitement in the yard this week.

    The house wrens have long been nesting in a swallow box on the supporting post of the front porch. In fact, they are feeding young. Although it is supposed to be a swallow box, the swallows have never had a chance to use it because the wrens arrive earlier and have already taken it over. They usually have eggs in the box by the time the violet-green swallows arrive. That was the case this year.