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Southern Rockies Nature Blog

  • Memories of Floods Past

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Thursday July 31st, 2014 at 01:26 PM

    Square_140_disasterspueblosketch1933 flood waters at Union Station, Denver (Colorado Historical Society).At the end of a rainy week, let's remember some famous Colorado floods not the only ones, and not just last year's. Today is the anniversary of the 1976 Big Thompson Canyon flood, which killed 143 people, including a state trooper who was racing ahead of it, trying to warn people. (That canyon flooded again, less destructively, last September.) Sunday will be the anniversary of a flood that I was unaware of: the 1933...
  • Blog Stew: Who Lit the Fire?

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Thursday July 31st, 2014 at 06:00 AM

    After a year, is El Paso County about ready to prosecute someone for starting the Black Forest Fire? It seems obvious that it started at someone's home. Women & Guns celebrates a 25-year anniversary with a retrospective article about the magazine, concealed-carry purses, bra holsters, and the evolution of the firearms market. The Denver Post looks at the decline in Colorado's mule deer population, which I think the robust elk numbers tend to mask. Energy development on the Western...
  • The Bachelors

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Wednesday July 30th, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    The re-seeding of one of the recent forest fire burns near home, combined with two wet-enough springs in a row, produced wonderful grass. Despite the lack of thermal cover, this one area is holding a little bachelor herd of as many as five (just four here) bull elk, captured in June on one of my scout cameras.
  • The Short, Footloose Life of Bear 839

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Friday July 25th, 2014 at 04:11 PM

    Square_140_lombardyA neighborhood in Aguilar (Google Maps).A prequel. I do not know where Bear 839 (her ear-tag number) was born or whenmaybe in 2011but on August 24, 2013, she entered a open residential garage in the tiny town of Aguilar, in southern Colorado. Culvert trap for bears There she found a chest freezer and another and helped herself to their contents. As the local district wildlife manager's (game warden) original report read, Bear(s) came to freezers in open garage, no doors. Destroyed two chest...
  • How Do You "Prep" for a Solar Storm?

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Thursday July 24th, 2014 at 03:49 PM

    There would have been no more arguments about global warming, etc., after 2012 if this had happened a little differently mainly because there would have been no electric grid, hence no Internet. Analysts believe that a direct hit could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldnt even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. No more cat pictures either.
  • A Rant about Shoes

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Sunday July 20th, 2014 at 05:00 AM

    I have always owned sneakers, but they become more and more expensive yet don't last any longer. M. usually blows out a pair of sneakers in a year, "blow out" meaning cracks so large you can see the wearer's feet inside, just by walking vigorously on dirt roads and forest trails. I get maybe two years that was the case with my last pair of Teva sneakers because I rotate more pairs of shoes. (Check the prices: something comparable is $66 on sale.) H. S. Trask: Bison leather and a softer kind...
  • All My Flycatchers, Season 10: Fly or Die!

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Saturday July 19th, 2014 at 01:39 PM

    Square_140_cordCordilleran flycatcher (Cornell Ornithology Lab). Previous episode: "The 'Plop Plop' of Falling Birds" As I mentioned in the previous episode, there was a built-in design problem. Four fledglings, but only comfortable nest space for three. One, probably the last-hatched by several days, always seemed to be the runt, the usual story. Were its siblings shoving it out of the nest by the first week of July? Despite our efforts putting a metal sheet between the nest and the top of the porch light...
  • The Cycles of Sand

    from Southern Rockies Nature Blog

    Thursday July 17th, 2014 at 01:43 PM

    I wlll look at the sandstone boulders behind the house in a new way after reading this: Most of us are used to the idea that sand is created from rock by weathering, but less familiar is the idea that it can be turned back into rock again. "Sand grains originally born from granite long ago", Welland explains, may accumulate, be buried, and become naturally glued together, lithified (from the Greek for stone or rock) into . . . a sandstone. When this, in its turn, is exposed at the surface, it...
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