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Outdoors

  • Swallow in flight a fascinating sight

    The lake is calm and peaceful this morning. Some 37 Canada geese are resting on the sandbar. Among them, a few double-crested cormorants jostle for room. A light breeze is rippling the surface of the lake, and the path of Bear Creek can be seen by the dark streak running across the ripples like a smooth black ribbon.

  • Know something about wild mushrooms before you pick them

    August is usually a rainy month. I had thought that it might be drier this year due to all the rain we have had in June and July, but the rain seems to be continuing into August.

  • August brings late wildflowers, fall migration

    July has been a great month. Most of the days have been blue and sunny, with cool mornings and warm afternoons with scattered showers. The summers of 1965 and 1969 were much like this, and I had very little need to water to have a bountiful garden. It seemed like we had moved to Camelot.

  • Ladybird beetle swarms a rare occurrence

    There has been a great deal of excitement in Our Evergreen World this week, all due to a big concentration of ladybird beetles in Genesee Park.

  • Kids need to be aware of poisonous plants

    If you have not taken a drive to see the wildflowers this year, now is the time to do it, for they will soon fade. Shrine Pass is always a delightful trip for wildflowers, and many can be seen without a great deal of walking. Arapaho Pass (west of Boulder) is also excellent but takes a bit longer and involves a bit more hiking. The unusual amount of moisture this year has made the wildflowers exceptional. Just last week friends of mine drove me to Bailey for dinner one evening, and the flowers along U.S. 285 were prolific, and the back roads were spectacular.

  • Cattails have served many uses over the years

    Summer is here, along with the Denver International Airport weather station registering the first 90-degree temperature for the year on July 1. Along with the warm weather, afternoon thunderstorms continue to rumble across the mountains, bringing storms and tornadoes to the plains. There have been a few interesting bird records, but the spring migration has just about come to a standstill.

  • Wildflowers dot the landscape, but only for a while

    The wildflowers have been spectacular this year. I can’t quite get used to the peak bloom being in June, for I am accustomed to the peak of spring bloom being in May, for that is when the broad-leafed deciduous forests of western New York are carpeted in bloom. I had forgotten that the peak of bloom is in June in Colorado. What a glorious month it has been. Not only is it green from all the rain we now have had, but now all that verdant green is splattered with the color of various wildflowers.

  • Saving birds from death from window strikes

    About five years ago I was reading about the thousands of migrating birds killed every year by flying into windows. I had been concerned about the many birds that hit my big picture windows every year and decided I should do something about it. The article I read also told about a college student who was doing research on the problem and mentioned that a black-plastic anti-deer fabric had the best results in his tests.

  • The many and varied forms of clematis

    Last week we took a brief look at the white clematis, or Western virgin’s bower. This week we will take a look at a very similar plant known as yellow clematis or Chinese clematis, formerly Clematis orientalis. This is the plant that is on the noxious weed list and which so many people are concerned about.

  • Clematis vines add interest, beauty

    Several readers have asked recently for an article on clematis vines, since one of them is on the noxious weed list and others are not. Many people seem to be having trouble telling them apart. There have been five species in the genus clematis found on the eastern slope until recently, one white, one yellow and one blue. They have now been renamed, and although the plants are still the same, they are now in four different genera and six species.