.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Outdoors

  • June finally brings spring’s green hues

    June has finally brought spring to the mountains. Our Evergreen World is GREEN, as green as I have seen it since last August when the drought turned everything to a uniform tan. Even the ponderosa pine trees had lost their scintillating sparkle. Now, after nearly a month of rainy weather, they are sparkling in the sunshine. The hills are green with evergreen trees, kinnikinnick and grasses, and the valleys are green with the new growth of willows.

  • Late-spring arrivals making appearances

    Just as in days past, the summer folk have arrived in Evergreen. It used to be families that arrived as soon as school was out, and there were cabins to be opened, bed linens to be aired out and meals to be prepared during the last of May or early June. Now it is summer birds that still arrive during the last of May or early June.

    The summer birds have territories to locate, songs to sing to warn others to stay out of those territories, mates to court and nests to build. Soon they will have young to feed.

  • Rudy ducks are rowdy in mating season

    Editor’s note: Sylvia Brockner is under the weather this week. We’re reprinting a column from May 16, 2007.

    It is a lovely May morning as I write, a bit cooler than yesterday but still very spring-like. After throwing her last temper-tantrum snowstorm on April 24, April decided to behave herself, and the last few days were warm and beautiful. As a farewell gift, she brought back the sora and a flock of 14 ruddy ducks to Evergreen Lake on Monday, April 30.

  • Little green heron and Bill’s memorial bench

    Sunday, May 3, dawned wet and soggy. Not a very propitious day for the dawn chorus or, more important to me, the dedication of my husband Bill’s Memorial Bench. I think there were more people than birds. Birds have better sense than to be out and about in such weather. The bird count was low for the date, but at least the people had good views of the birds they did see, for there were plenty of spotting scopes available for everyone to look through. Western grebes showed off their black-and-white tuxedos and their diving ability. Eight song sparrows skulked in and out of the fog.

  • Big snow made squirrel population smaller

    With not much to do during the four-day power outage caused by the big snow, I had some time for squirrel watching.

    Under deep snow conditions, most of the tree squirrels stay in their treetop penthouses, sleeping away the time. However, when they become hungry, they are forced to venture out to obtain food. When the snow is light and fluffy, they sometimes just plow through it, but when it is heavy, wet snow and 3 to 4 feet deep, that is an impossibility.

  • Finches bring springtime joy to Rockies

    The big snow has come and gone. It was not quite as much as we had a few years ago, but it was more than we needed at one time. I measured 3½ feet at our house, but it was so warm that much of it melted as it fell, and it weighed so much that it compacted what had already fallen. So, measurements were less than accurate. I decided that the actual depth didn’t much matter. After you pass 2 feet of wet heavy snow, most of the roads are closed and the damage to power lines has been done.

  • Spring’s early arrivals make appearances

    Thursday, April 9, brought one of the earlier spring arrivals to the area. A hermit thrush showed up in a friend’s backyard on Fleming Road. Actually, they have been seen earlier, sometimes showing up in late March at lower elevations such as Red Rocks Park.

  • Pussy willows and mourning cloaks

    Spring returned again on Tuesday, April 7, with temperatures in Evergreen reaching the 60s. It was a lovely day sandwiched between two snowfalls, typical of “Springtime in the Rockies.” It was warm enough to be out with just a sweater and one of the first days that I wanted to work outside.

  • Trumpeter swans appear on Squaw Pass Road

    If you were driving up Squaw Pass Road recently and nearly had an accident because you thought you saw three swans on the second pond in Noble Meadow, have no fear: You are not flipping out. There really are three swans on the pond.

  • Bill’s Bench coming in time for favorite birds

    The ice went out of Evergreen Lake faster this year than I have ever seen before. One day it was honeycombed, with a few openings along the north and west shore, and the next day it was all open. The long spell of warm weather had weakened the ice, and a windy morning set up water movement, and the ice began to break up fast. By midafternoon the lake was free of ice from shore to shore. It was good to see the open water and a chop on the lake, even though the wind was bitter cold. I stopped by again the next day, and once more the cold wind sent me scurrying home to sit by a fire.