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Outdoors

  • When ice melts, beavers will make an appearance at area lakes

    Today has been a gloomy winter day. No sun has shone through the cloud cover. The forest appears almost black, draped in ermine robes. We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and more promised. It has been a depressing day, though the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow. It will be good to see blue sky and bright sunshine even though it will still be cold.

  • Yellow-bellied marmots cousins to famed groundhogs

    Editor’s note: The following column is reprinted from Jan. 2010. Sylvia Brockner’s column will return next week.

    Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day, a day that doesn’t have much significance here, but it does in the northeastern states, especially Pennsylvania, where it started.

  • Open Space sets priorities for park projects

    Jefferson County Open Space has set an extensive list of goals and priorities for improvements to parks in its system this year.

    Trailhead construction is planned at Matthews/Winters Park and in the western portion of Mount Falcon Park. At Apex Park, there are plans to build a bike skills challenge course, with an estimated completion date in November.

    Lair O’ the Bear, Mount Falcon, Matthews/Winters and Pine Valley Ranch parks are slated for restroom replacement. At South Valley Park, a san-o-let will be replaced with a vault toilet.

  • Remembering Clarence, a Capitol fixture

    There are people we encounter in life who achieve notoriety and influence beyond what any reasonable person would expect. Clarence Miller, who passed away last week at the age of 64, was one of those people.

  • Differentiating between crows, ravens a matter of sight, sound

    This past week has brought us more spring-like weather with temperatures in the high 50s and the melting of what little snow we had left. Once more, my feeders are deserted by the juncos, which obviously prefer seeds that they can find in the fields to what I offer them at the feeders. They do eat the white proso millet when the fields are covered with snow.

  • Starlings showing up at feeders

    Every winter, I receive a phone call or letter from someone, asking about the strange beautiful bird at a feeder. Apparently, the unusually cold weather gives starlings the drive to investigate feeders, and many people see them for the first time during the cold days of winter.

  • Open space advisory board recommends more than $1 million in park grants

    The Evergreen Park and Recreation District is among potential recipients of grants recommended by the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee. If approved by the county commissioners, the park district will receive $79,000 to improve and rebuild the boardwalk and nature center access trail at Evergreen Lake.

    Other recommended grant recipients include the cities of Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, which collectively could receive the lion’s share of more than $800,000 from the Jeffco Open Space sales tax fund.

  • Jeffco Open Space sets goals for completing repairs to flood-damaged parks

    With help from volunteers, Apex Park may be partially open to hikers and bikers by this spring, according to a timeline established by the staff at Jeffco Open Space.

    The park in Golden has been closed since September, when flooding caused extensive trail damage. Other parks in the Jeffco Open Space system, which also were severely impacted, are slated for repairs in the coming months.

  • Dove sightings becoming common

    During the holidays, I received word from a reader of this column, Brian Parsons, that he had what he believed to be a pair of turtle doves at his feeder south of Evergreen. He described the birds as being “a pair of light-colored doves with a black neck ring.”

     

    I talked to Mr. Parsons on the phone, but I have not as yet been able to see the birds myself. His description could be either of two birds, both of which have been seen in Colorado in the past.

  • $49,000 grant secured for Evergreen Trails Master Plan

    The Evergreen Trails Master Plan project took an important step recently when it received a $49,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

    The plan envisions a trail network running from the high school to Wulf Rec Center to the Evergreen Library, and then through downtown along Bear Creek.