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Southern Rockies Nature Blog

  • Opponents of Colorado GMO-Labeling Offer Nothing But Scare Tactics

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Friday October 24th, 2014 at 03:56 PM

    Colorado's Proposition 105, on the current ballot, would require labeling of certain foods containing "genetically modified organisms" (GMOs). Vermont started requiring such labeling earlier this year. The "no," anti-labeling forces have spent $11.2 million, filling my mailbox with billboard-size brochures. The "yes" group, "Right to Know Colorado" has spent less than $500,000. The "no" people would like to say two things, but there is a slight contradiction. 1. Genetically modified foods are...
  • Bible Verses for Pheasant Hunters

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Tuesday October 21st, 2014 at 07:41 PM

    You drive through the prairie states at this time of year, and there are lots of "Welcome Hunters" signs on motels and stores. Pheasant season is at its peak, especially south of Interstate 94, which seem to follow some kind of climate boundarythere are fewer pheasants north of it. Where I am staying right now in Valentine, Nebraska, I can see people walking bird dogs under the motel's red neon lights. On the highway, pickup trucks with dog boxes, some pulling duck boats, flash past. But it...
  • October Weather Report

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Tuesday October 7th, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Square_140_9780826332035 "That October, the weather couldn't decide what to do with itself. Some days it arrived gray and bleak and pensive. Ponderous leaden clouds leaned overhead, their bellies slumped against the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; polar blasts of wind and stiff black leaves blindly scrambling down the streets. . . . . Other days, the weather arrived sleek and sassy. The air was warm and it had a glitter to it, and a fizz. Only one of two clouds trailed across the taut blue sky, each...
  • "Someone" Was Living in that Hole

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Monday October 6th, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Square_140_lower_mason_gulch-smNine years after the big fire.Monday we hiked one of our favorite old trails, severely burned over in 2005. That fire was followed by a flash flood the same summer, wiping out parts of the trail, and then came an influx of invasive weeds. The weeds are not so bad now there is more grass but you still have to pick your way over trunks of dead trees that have toppled in the intervening years. More linkage M. is enough of an animist that of course she would say, "Someone is living in that...
  • In the Southeastern San Luis Valley

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Thursday October 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Square_140_slb_ The evocatively named Flat Top mesa in eastern Conejos County, just north of the New Mexico state line. Taken from a spot looking west, near San Luis-the-town.
  • No, You Won't Be Charged to Take Photos of Your Wilderness Hike

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Wednesday October 1st, 2014 at 09:31 AM

    Lots of hysteria recently around an admittedly poorly present U. S. Forest Service announcement on fees for commercial photographers in wilderness areas. Typical was this from the Outdoor Wire's Jim Shepherd: It may sound far-fetched, but a program like this could mean a wilderness visitor who snapped a photo using a smartphone and later posted it on a personal blog could be considered a "media outlet" and face a $1000 fine. It not only may sound far-fetched, it is far-fetched. As this...
  • Colorado Has More Bears, NJ Bear Goes Rogue

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Sunday September 28th, 2014 at 01:50 PM

    Square_140_may22bear"Colorado bear population much bigger than expected, new study finds." The headline Colorado black bear and there are maybe 20,000 more?actually describes a study in Summit County, but it is not the only one. Researchers found that in every study across the state, in habitats that ranged from good to poor quality for bears, the bear population was double the numbers wildlife managers had been using before. Meanwhile, an incident in New Jersey reminds you of the old joke that you don't have...
  • Thoughts Post-Pioneers Day Parade

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Saturday September 20th, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Square_140_band_kidsThe band kids practice their "hurry up and wait."The Pioneer Days king and queen, in a buggy drawn by a matched pair of white horses, clatter up alongside the fire engine. Were supposed to follow you, says the queen, who has the reins. Youre not going to be siren-ing, are you? No siren, I say, Just lights. She is relieved. The horses have been nervously watching the high school marching band, practicing nearby. Ford 550 brush trucks dont bother them they know trucks but forty kids in shakos...
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