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Outdoors

  • Townsend’s solitaires are strange members of thrush family

    I always associate the Townsend’s solitaire, Myadestes townsendi, with working in the garden. For many years, a pair of these little gray birds nested just across the road on my neighbor’s property. The male chose the utility line, which ran along the road, as one of his territorial perches.

  • Large turkey vultures may hide in plain sight

    It is difficult to believe that you can live in a community where a big bird with a 5 ½- to 6-foot wingspan is considered to be relatively abundant in summer without ever seeing one. Yet, that is exactly what happened recently to a friend who told me he had seen one perched on a fence post near his home. He had never seen one before but knew what it was immediately.

  • Pine grosbeaks are difficult to find in the foothills

    People frequently ask me why they never seen pine grosbeaks at their feeders and where they can see one. They are a very beautiful western bird living in the Rocky Mountains just a bit higher than most people do.

  • Black-headed grosbeaks are common bird in the foothills

    Many people’s first reaction on seeing an orange-and-black bird is that it must be an oriole; this, however, is not the case. We have another orange-and-black bird in the foothills that is not an oriole. It’s short thick finch bill and dull burnt orange color will immediately rule out an oriole.

  • Western red squirrel antics are a comical sight to behold

    If you have a resident western red squirrel in your yard, you are in for daily episodes of enjoyment and laughter.
    I have lived in this house for a little over 48 years, and when we arrived in April of 1965, a pair of golden-mantled ground squirrels and a pair of gray-and-white tassel-eared squirrels thought they owned our patio.

  • Final segment of NEAT trail being built

    It’s a “pinch-me” moment for the president of North Evergreen Activity Trails, as construction began last week on the final leg of 1.8 miles of sidewalk connecting Evergreen Middle School to Bergen Park to Bergen Valley Elementary School.

  • All plants big and small

    When you begin to study wildflowers, you, out of necessity, begin to learn about the development of plants, learning that plants range from microscopic algae and mosses to giant and thousands-of-years-old trees.

  • The tale of a 41-year-old ponderosa pine

    After an unusually hot spell during the first two weeks of June, the weather has returned to the June normal of hot sunny days and cold nights. However, I am glad to be able to keep my windows closed for it keeps out a bit of the pine pollen.

  • June’s wildflowers let us all walk in fields of gold

    One of the most beautiful flowers in June is golden banner. It is in full bloom in my yard, but it starts blooming as early as April and May on the high plains. There are large yellow patches of golden banner now blooming throughout the foothills.

    Soon it will march even higher with its yellow banners sparkling until it is blooming at Echo Lake in July and occasionally a bit higher above timberline in August.

  • Masters swimmers can train at Evergreen Lake

    Masters swimmers can train in Evergreen Lake

     

    The Evergreen Park and Recreation District is expanding its Masters Swimming program to include open-water swimming in Evergreen Lake this summer.

    Beginning June 18 and continuing through mid-September, the park district will permit swimming in the lake for registered members of the Colorado Masters Swimming Association during designated open swim times on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings.