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Outdoors

  • Box elder trees add character to area stream beds

    If you are lucky enough to live in one of the stream valleys, you may have some box elder trees growing near your house. I hope you will make time to really watch them for at least a few minutes every day.

     

    Not only are box elder trees interesting in their own right, but they also seem to attract many birds, especially when they have many seeds hanging on their branches. Box elder is the name by which most of us know this tree, but botanically, it is known as Acer negundo.

  • Hardy species hang around mountain area in winter

    Snowy February has fairly well lived up to its name. We have not had deep snow here, but frequent light snow and cold weather have kept the ground carpeted in white. Of course, more lies ahead for us for spring snows are usually deeper although less frequent.

     

    March snows are usually deep, wet and heavy. Even April, our second snowiest month, brings this same kind of snow with nice spring days in between. Spring can’t come too soon for me for I have cabin fever and just can’t wait to get outside.

  • Hardy species hang around mountain area in winter

    Snowy February has fairly well lived up to its name. We have not had deep snow here, but frequent light snow and cold weather have kept the ground carpeted in white. Of course, more lies ahead for us for spring snows are usually deeper although less frequent.

     

    March snows are usually deep, wet and heavy. Even April, our second snowiest month, brings this same kind of snow with nice spring days in between. Spring can’t come too soon for me for I have cabin fever and just can’t wait to get outside.

  • Canada geese have unusual history in Denver area

    Recently, a reader of this column wrote, asking me to write the story about our local Canada geese. I really don’t know much about this for the changes in the geese population occurred before we moved to this area.

  • Bird feeders, plus native plants and shrubs, will attract birds

     A long-time summer resident recently asked by writing to me via the High Timber Times if I would write an article on how she could attract birds to the yard of her summer cabin near Hangen Ranch.

     

    This is a subject that can’t be properly covered in an article of the usual length for it must cover feeding supplemental food, and planting native shrubs and non-native shrubs that will bear food that attracts birds. She does not say what her property is like: open, forested or creekside, or whether she has a flower or vegetable garden.

  • Dry winter brings mule deer to forage for food in gardens

    Winter is now deeply entrenched in spite of some exceptionally warm days and spring-like temperatures. We still need snow, but selfishly, I am pleased not to have it.

  • Rare redpolls spotted at area feeder

    As I predicted a few weeks ago, this has become a redpoll winter. Over this past weekend, at least four different reports were on the Denver Field Ornithologists Rare Bird Alert.

  • January brings new beginnings, longer days

    Janus was the god of new beginnings and doorways and gates. The early Greek and Roman people had two
    replicas of Janus hung at every city gate, one looking in each direction to protect them from their enemies from the outside as well as those within.

  • Some advice on becoming a better birder

    How does one become a better birder? This is a question I have been asked many times. It is difficult to answer without preaching, but I’ll give it a try.

  • Gambel’s oak is a rare sighting in the foothills

    When I go down Little Cub Creek Road, I always look for a small cluster of Gambel’s oak, which grows on a scruffy southwest-facing slope just south of Mountain Park Road. It is a clump of small trees. Although they have single trunks and are tree shaped, they are little more than shrubs.