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Outdoors

  • Wood rats are interesting animals, though unwanted tenants

    (Reprinted from Sept. 17, 2008)

    A friend who volunteers at the Evergreen Nature Center stopped by last week to show us photographs of a wood rat taken by a couple who live on Upper Bear Creek. These folks had seen and heard some little critter in their house and wanted to be sure to live trap it and remove it before they left on a vacation.

  • Take a hike: Observing trail etiquette is important for all users

    Within my first month of living in Colorado, I learned the hard way how to use trails properly and politely. And as more and more visitors flock to Colorado — some of those using local trails might be novices.

    Public parks are wonderful things, and open to all. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable using the trails, no matter their type of recreation. So below are some trail etiquette tips that I’ve compiled with the help of Jeffco Open Space.

    For pedestrians

  • It’s important for foothills residents to be bear-responsible

    (Reprinted from Sept. 15, 2010)

    Bears have been particularly plentiful this summer and will continue to be until about the first of November when snow and cold weather will send them into hibernation.

    We have had a female with three cubs roaming around Herzman’s Mesa most of the summer. This is a dangerous situation, and we need to do everything we can do to avoid human contact with these bears.

  • Jeffco Open Space eyes land purchase — in Clear Creek County

    The Jeffco Open Space staff is working on a land acquisition many involved think could be unprecedented for the county.

    Last month, Open Space Director Tom Hoby met with the county commissioners to present his agency’s second-quarter update. The meeting included highlights of eight projects Hoby wants the commission to approve, the most interesting of which is a potential land deal across the county line in Clear Creek.

  • Wet summer has brought new weeds to the area

    (Reprinted from Sept. 2, 2009)

    On Friday evening, Aug.14, the Weed Awareness Committee met for its last summer weed pulling at Evergreen Lake.

    This rainy summer has produced an unusual number of weeds, as well as unusually big weeds. Two of the participants had brought a sample of a new weed that had appeared in their yard.

  • Evergreen teen finds his calling in the wild

    Instead of attending English Composition 101 and anatomy lectures, Winston Buchanan, 19, of Evergreen opted to spend his most recent college semester building igloos and rock-climbing.

    Buchanan took part in the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Spring Semester in the Rockies program, which included expedition courses in which students of all ages learn technical outdoor and survival skills, leadership and environmental ethics.

  • Leafy spurge weeds can grow in abundance unless eradicated

    (Reprinted from Aug. 29, 2012)

    It’s beginning to look a lot like autumn, I’m unhappy to say. Seldom does autumn come this early, but the drought seems to have made plants mature early, and many of the late summer and autumn flowers are blooming or past blooming already.

    When any plant is stressed by drought or any other condition, they do what all plants do: They bloom and produce seeds to carry on the species. Last week, Sylvia Robertson brought me a plant specimen taken from a large patch at Evergreen Lake.

  • Migrating nighthawks fill the evening air

    (Reprinted from Aug. 22, 2012)

    There is a small order of birds known as goatsuckers. The scientific name is the Caprimulgiformes, which comes from the Latin Caprimulgus, a milker of goats and forma or form.

    This name comes from the old belief that these birds, which are often seen in low sweeping flight over meadows, were sucking the milk out of goats. There are not as many species in this order as there are in some other orders such as finches and warblers.

  • The art of birding requires observing and listening

    (Reprinted from Aug. 18, 2010)

    People often ask me how I happen to see so many more birds and animals than they do.

    They often say that they at least drive into downtown Evergreen every day, sometimes more than that, and they don’t see half as many things as I do.

  • Teen workers repair trails at Elk Meadow Park

    About 90 teenagers were working to repair trails at Elk Meadow Park throughout the day on Aug. 2.

    Jeffco Open Space’s Trail Stewardship Team, which is a paid summer job for 14- to 18-year-olds, works on trail maintenance projects Tuesdays through Thursdays for eight weeks in the summer.