Showing posts from May, 2019

The Endless Winter - Sublime Grandeur

Endless Winter The month of May is almost over and the Endless Winter continues to lay siege to Evergreen, Colorado. Day after day a merciless system of unyielding snow keeps falling heavy, wet and cold. All that moisture combined with warm air creates a ghostly fog that circulates mysteriously through the white woodland. Even the most familiar places seem like strange land because the diminished visibility concocts an eerie atmosphere. The unforgiving stream of storms has wreaked havoc on the plants, animals and people that inhabit this region. The limber pine trees rooted into the mountainsides are erected to withstand this kind of assault but the nesting birds are understandably distressed. We’re all accustomed to enduring the long winters that dig in at this altitude and these delayed storms are not unheard of. In all my time living here, the latest date on which I’ve witnessed a substantial amount of snow is June 24th. What appears like a disaster now will be a godsen

Song Sparrow - A Distinguished Neighbor

Song Sparrow In the soggy marshland surrounding Evergreen Lake he sings his heart out. His sweet music includes twenty different tunes and at least 1,000 improvised variations so it’s no wonder they call him the song sparrow. Full of complex rhythm and emotion, his colorful vocalizations are used to attract females and defend territory. His unique, prolonged melody distinguishes him as a neighbor rather than a stranger. This common sparrow is an adaptable bird whose behavior and appearance is extremely variable and unpredictable. He is found throughout North America but individuals from different regions look completely different from each other. In our neck of the woods, the song sparrow is described by brown, heavily streaked plumage, a mottled back and a white throat. His face is gray with a dark eye line and a white jaw line while his reddish crown has a neat gray stripe. The female builds a nest that’s usually concealed somewhere near the ground but he does help colle

Barn Swallow - A Herald of Spring

Barn Swallow According to legend, the barn swallow got its forked tail because it stole fire from the gods to bring to humans. An angry deity hurled a fireball at the swallow, burning away it’s middle tail feathers. It has distinguished itself as the most familiar swallow in North America and the most widespread swallow in the world. It’s a welcome neighbor as it eats insects and often builds its mud nest under the eaves of man-made structures. The barn swallow is identified by that deeply forked tail, a vermillion throat and forehead, blue upper parts and ochre underparts. It prefers to live near a river, lake or marsh where it can find its favorite food - bugs. A supreme aviator, the barn swallow displays a spectacular array of acrobatics in order to eat, drink and bathe while still on the wing. It’s truly a free bird whose daring flight is both delightful and unpredictable. The barn swallow is a devoted parent who fiercely defends its young with relentless dive bombing.

Blue Spring - Wild Weather

Blue Spring Coming into the month of May and our Blue Spring is distinguished by frosted pine, cool shadows and cobalt skies. Winter is gradually releasing its firm grip and after last week’s big storm maybe the Mad Season will finally let go. The snow keeps pouring but it falls against mild temperatures, transforming flakes into cold water that tries to seep into the already saturated ground. Oh, it piles up during the dark night but by morning it begins to evaporate at the speed of light. Walking up through the forest can be a calamity because of the wet, muddy trail and being drenched by a shower of snowmelt spraying down from the tall trees. Wandering back out of the wilderness you’ll find yourself, like the current state of the landscape, dirty and disheveled. This time of year is marked by dust, wind and wild weather but don’t worry because it’s just a transitional period. Soon, the new leaves, lush grass and colorful wildflowers will make everything in the mountains l