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Outdoors

  • Snowberries make an appearance despite little snow

    (Reprinted from Dec. 5, 2012)

    This has been an exceptionally warm, dry fall. We often have nice weather on Thanksgiving, but to have 60-degree days in December is unusual. Moist air coming in from the Pacific Ocean has soaked the West Coast with rain.

    It may reach here by the time this is published, and as it hits the higher mountains, it may well turn to snow. However, that still remains uncertain.

  • Evergreen Audubon finds a new year-round home

    A second base of operations will enable the Evergreen Audubon Society to provide year-round educational programming in addition to the warm-weather offerings at the Nature Center at Evergreen Lake.

    The organization is renting two offices, two classrooms and storage space in a former church building at 29997 Buffalo Park Road that is owned by Ascent Church Evergreen. Audubon board members said the new space was a major investment, but the location will fit the society’s needs perfectly.

  • Squirrels, catbirds are among area’s autumn visitors

    (Reprinted from Nov. 11, 2010)

    There has been very little new at the feeder this week. This is because it is empty most of the time. The maintenance man here at Elk Run is very kind and he tries to keep it up and filled. However, some critter or critters seem to knock it down as fast as he can put it up. Since I hope to be going home in about 10 days, it is not worth the expense of an elaborate pulley system, so I must give up even though the birds bring me much joy.

  • Meet A Ranger: Mary Ann Bonnell

    Name: Mary Ann Bonnell, also known as Jeffco Open Space's "Ranger No. 1"

    Originally from: Alamogordo, N.M.

    How long have you been a ranger?

    "Six years with Colorado Parks & Wildlife; two with Aurora; and now two-and-a-half with Jeffco Open Space."

    Which park, anywhere, do you like to visit most in your spare time?

  • Brown creepers have habit of climbing trees in spiral pattern

    (Reprinted from Nov. 26, 2008)

    Many people have asked recently about a little brown mottled bird with a white breast and a curved beak that they have seen circling around the trunks of their trees. The bird is a brown creeper, a fairly common resident in our woodlands. Why they have become so obvious recently probably has several causes.

  • Cattails and muskrats and long winter evenings

    (Reprinted from Nov. 23, 2007)

    The cattails are withered and brown, and ice has formed in the shallows. Evergreen Lake is about ready for its long winter sleep. Soon ice will cover the lake, snow will fall and the black-and-white world will appear rather desolate and lifeless. However, there will be more life there than most people realize.

  • Red crossbills may appear in foothills any month of the year

    Reprinted from Nov. 12, 2008

    On Wednesday, Nov. 5, our salubrious fall weather came to an abrupt end. Overnight, 12 to 15 inches of snow fell in the high mountains. We had only a skiff of snow here, and the day was bright and sunny, but a wicked wind out of the northwest brought our first really cold weather. Old King Boreas nearly blew us off the mountain.

  • Dark-eyed juncos bring color to fall bird feeders

    (Reprinted from Nov. 3, 2010)

    I am writing this on Sunday, Oct. 31. This has been a beautiful autumn Sunday with temperatures ranging from 60 this morning to the low 70s this afternoon.

    A light breeze is keeping it from being warmer, but the sky is at its best Colorado blue. I am still at Elk Run Assisted Living, disappointed that I need to stay a bit longer, but I now plan to be home with some of my family by Thanksgiving.

  • Witches and bats and bears — oh no!

    (Reprinted from Oct. 28, 2009)

    I am sorry to say that I made an error in my article of two weeks ago. In the article of Oct. 7, I wrote that grizzly bears “had been all but eliminated in the contiguous 48 states.” This is not true, and I apologize. I checked this information in the book “Bears of the World” by Lance Craighead, and assumed it to be up to date, for he is an authority on bears and it is a fairly recent publication.

  • There’s more to turtles than shell games

    (Reprinted from Oct. 21, 2009)

    A reader of this column recently phoned to ask me if there were any turtles in Evergreen Lake.

    Yes, indeed, I have seen turtles in Evergreen Lake. However, turtles are far more common in the rivers and ponds on the plains, mostly below 5,500 feet.