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Outdoors

  • 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.

  • Check out scrub-jays at Red Rocks Park

    One of our most interesting birds is the western scrub-jay. This bird is not regularly found in Evergreen, but it is found in Kittredge and in Red Rocks Park. It is not a forest bird, but it is a bird of the scrub-land area. You can tell if you are in good jay country just by looking at the shrub growth. It can be found regularly in the scrub oak along the road, which is the Morrison entrance to Red Rocks Park.

  • Campers should watch out for gray jays

    While my family was here to celebrate my birthday, I had the opportunity to visit Echo Lake. We drove up for one last trip before snow puts an end to our mountain driving in hopes of showing my family the beautiful aspen gold of our autumn.

  • Students, dignitaries dedicate completed NEAT trail

    Bergen Valley students and faculty, along with a couple dozen local, county and state dignitaries, celebrated on Oct. 9 the completion of the NEAT trail, a 10-year project that helps children get to school more safely.

    NEAT — North Evergreen Activity Trails — is a nonprofit that set out in 2002 to find the money to build a sidewalk that links Evergreen Middle School and Bergen Meadow Elementary with the Bergen Park shopping area and Bergen Valley. The 2-mile project has been built in five segments since 2006 and cost nearly $950,000.

  • Birders hope winter will be good for finch sightings

    As autumn arrives, all birders across the northern states begin to wonder if it will be a good finch winter. This is not just wishful thinking. It is based on the fact that for many years, some winters have produced large numbers of northern finches in the northern states, and some years, they have extended much further south along the Appalachian Mountains.

  • Reminiscing about first snowfalls

    Last Friday, Oct. 4, we all awoke to find a cold wet snow had covered our evergreens and golden aspen with inches of white. It was beautiful but brought an abrupt end to summer. It also brought back memories to me of other first snows.

  • Repairs to flood-damaged parks will take months to complete

    Extensive damage to Lair O’ the Bear and other Jeffco Open Space parks caused by recent flooding will take several months to repair, said Stanton LaBreche, Jeffco parks operations manager.

    During his presentation to the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee last Thursday night, LaBreche said that heavily damaged parks in the system will be closed until the first or second quarter of 2014.

    In addition to Lair O’ the Bear in Bear Creek Canyon, trails at Apex and White Ranch parks are closed indefinitely.

  • Harmless Mexican woodrats collect shiny objects

    This past week brought two interesting events to my attention: a letter from a reader of this column asing for helpin in identifying a bird was forwarded to me from the newspaper and another reader called me to ask about a critter in her yard.

  • Health focus in open space master plan criticized by advisory committee

    The relationship between open space and public health gets an inordinate amount of attention in a second draft of the master plan for Jeffco Parks and Open Space, according to some members of the advisory committee.

    “I think there is an inordinate amount of text devoted to community health,” Jan Wilkins said while reviewing the second draft of the plan with other committee members last Thursday night.

    “There are so many aspects of open space,” Wilkins said. “There should be a more comprehensive description of what we do.”

  • Aspen leaves begin to turn gold amid cooler temperatures

    The aspen just below our house have turned yellow in just two days. As I write, they have changed from a sickly yellowish-green to a sickly greenish-yellow.