Horsehair Worms!

The Crater Lake Trail at the Maroon Bells demands that one spend quite a lot of time looking down at their feet. The 1.8-mile trail eventually becomes relentlessly rocky, passing through talus fields and rockslide remnants that require careful footwork of even the more experienced hikers.

The roaring Fork is Roaring

Roaring Fork River streamflow

The Roaring Fork River has certainly been living up to its name this past week, reaching peak flow thanks to a combination of steady warm temperatures, melting snow in the high country, and the suspension of the Twin Lakes diversion near the river’s headwaters (more on that in a minute). As water recreationalists rejoice during this period of high flow, water managers and conservationists have been keeping a close eye on how the annual spring runoff progresses.

Morning Birding Species List | April 4, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 7:30AM - 10:30AM
Weather: snowing lightly
Location: ACES at Hallam Lake and Rio Grande Trail

Species Identified  
Canada Goose
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee 


RBR News | April 27, 2017

Posted in Ranch Report

Last summer, we designed and constructed a new passive solar seed “start” house to improve seedling preparation for the growing season. Several of the structure’s energy efficient features were made possible with a generous grant from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE). Construction was not completed until late in the summer, so this is the first full season that we have put it to use and we have grown more vegetables this winter and spring than ever before.  

Fire Causes in the Roaring Fork Valley

Who starts more fires in the Roaring Fork Valley, Mother Nature or humans? A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that humans ignite the vast majority of wildfires in the US. The research was conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder and examines trends in wildland ignitions and size in the US between 1992 and 2012.

A Hoot of an Event

Posted in Kids' Corner

A mass of squirming children locked eyes on me and fell quiet as I came out of the classroom door. For a group of over fifty first graders, sitting still as a mouse is no small feat. But seeing a live Great Horned Owl on their ACES teacher’s arm was no small event either. With a shuffle of feathers and a blink of those big yellow eyes, the audience was captured…

RBR News | March 23, 2017

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch – 

Lambing season is one of the first signs of spring at the Ranch and a cue that warmer days are on their way. Yet spring in the Roaring Fork Valley can be unpredictable. We had a few weeks of warm weather in February and then, in an instant, our first lamb was born on a below-freezing morning under a blanket of fresh snow. 

RBR News | March 16, 2017

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to prepare the menu ACES Snow Moon Dinner, an event for Donor’s Circles members (click here to learn more about our Donor's Circles program). I worked as a professional chef for many years prior to transitioning to farming and host our farm to table events during the summer, so “catering” events is not necessarily a new experience for me.Just another event - or so I thought - and I went about writing the menu as I have for the past several years with ACES. 

Annual Colorado Association for Environmental Education Conference

Posted in Kids' Corner

On March 10, seven members of ACES’ education team traveled to Denver to attend the Colorado Association of Environmental Education (CAEE) annual Advancing Environmental Education Conference. The conference is two packed days of team building, networking, idea sharing, and professional development with other environmental education organizations and individuals in Colorado.

Morning Birding Species List | March 7, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 7:30AM - 10:30AM
Weather: sunny
Location: Hallam Lake and Slaughterhouse area of Rio Grande Trail

Species Identified  

Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Red-tailed Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker (pictured above)
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Woodhouse's Scrub-jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow