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Outdoors

  • Counting crows … and a few other winter birds

    "Another crow! There’s too many to count,” Hannah Crangle said while gazing into the wintry sky on Saturday morning.

    Hannah was the lone but enthusiastic participant in Evergreen Audubon’s first Kids Bird Count. Surrounded by Audubon members, the young girl was checking out the area around Kittredge Community Park with an experienced eye.

    Hannah has a family history of birding. Her great-grandmother is Louise Mounsey, who founded Evergreen Audubon with Sylvia Brockner, the longtime nature writer for the Canyon Courier.

  • After the holiday, turn your Christmas tree into a bird tree

    This year’s Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 15. All in all, it was just about an average count with totals of 4,690 individual birds observed and counts of 45 different species. There were no rare or unusual birds observed and no major decline or increase in any species.

  • Jeffco Open Space master plan draft sets goals for preservation, stewardship

    After months of review and revisions, the draft of the updated master plan for Jefferson County Open Space is complete and waiting for final approval.

    “We’ve created a vision,” said Amy Ito, manager of park planning and construction for Jeffco Open Space, who has worked on the plan with other staff members. Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee members also have played a key role in developing the draft as they critiqued and refined it during their monthly meetings.

  • Annual Christmas Bird Count adds children’s event

    Once more, ‘tis the season for the Christmas Bird Count. The CBC is more than 100 years old. It was the custom for sportsmen to go out on Christmas Day to see how many birds they could shoot.

  • Winter birds coming to feeders in wake of arctic blast

    November brought us some variable weather. Not unexpectedly, we received our first measurable snow and a few brief snow squalls. November also brought us some fine spring-like days with temperatures in the foothills in the high 60s and Denver even reached 71 one day.

     

  • Steps to serenity: EPRD hiking group provides members a weekly getaway to the wilderness

    It’s 28 degrees at 8 a.m. on a recent November Thursday morning. Eight hikers pile out of a van at Staunton State Park, ready for an 8-mile hike, ready to view spectacular scenery, and ready to spend a beautiful fall day with friends.

    The eight are part of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District’s hiking group, which meets every Thursday. Most of the year, they hike; the remainder of the year they snowshoe and cross-country ski.

  • Balancing outdoor recreational needs with wildlife preservation

    Getting outdoors in wide-open spaces can have health benefits for people. However, converting wild, unspoiled lands into recreational venues for humans can have a questionable impact on wildlife

    Finding a balance between outdoor recreational needs and wildlife protection was a focus of the PLAN Jeffco conference on Nov. 16 in Golden.

    “Can wildlife survive in these areas humans tend to develop?” Dr. Mat Allredge, wildlife researcher with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, asked during his presentation. “Will all wildlife be tolerated?”

  • Why are some plants weeds and others not?

    We hear a lot about noxious weeds these days, which makes me wonder why some plants are called weeds, and others are not. Just what is a weed?

  • Repairs in progress to flood-ravaged Open Space parks

    “We’ve made some significant progress at Lair O’ the Bear,” said Stanton LaBreche, Jeffco parks operations manager, while speaking to the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee on Nov. 7.

    With help from volunteers, the popular open-space park through which Bear Creek flows reopened on Saturday. One bridge that is considered unsafe is still closed in the park near Evergreen, LeBreche noted.

  • Boisterous pygmy nuthatches visiting feeders

    November arrived with a few nice days, but it is definitely autumn with a real chill in the air. We have had so many nice autumns in recent years that I have become spoiled. I don’t like to see the cold weather come so early.
    There were a few warblers drifting through in October, but things have dwindled down now to little more than the local resident birds coming to the feeders.