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Passing Through

Deer

Sometimes it is really easy to forget that we work at a nature preserve. Six elk grazing in the deep snow on the far end of Hallam Lake can remind you that there are plenty of animals passing through. My coworker Lindsay Gurley spotted these Elk from about 250 yards away with her keen vision. After work I went home to grab my camera and headed right back to Hallam Lake in the fading light. I headed along the Roaring Fork River and tried my best to silently walk through three feet of snow.


Puzzling Prickly Prints

Atop Aspen Mountain I was waiting for guests to join me on a tour. One o’clock passed and no one arrived except a fellow Naturalist, Robin. Instead of taking Robin on a tour that she also leads, we decided to just walk the trail and enjoy the day.  As we walked away from the hustle and bustle of the ski hill we started through the forest. It had just snowed the day before, so the snow was gleaming and untouched. As we walked up a nice hill tracks crossed our paths, I hadn’t seen anything like them before.


You Never Know...

Saturday, January 22nd seemed like a typical Snowmass day, snow was falling and I was prepared for two nice treks through the woods. About 3/4 of the way through my first tour, my group kept hearing the call of Ruby Crowned Kinglets. We stopped to try to locate the birds in the dense spruce trees surrounding us, but they eluded our attempts at spotting them. Just when we were about to give up hope and move on, a birder extraordinaire sighted an owl perfectly camouflaged against the aged bark of an Englemann Spruce.


A Mountain Lion Reality

There is nothing like waking up early and driving 12 miles out of Aspen on a windy road. Actually, there is nothing like waking up early on a snowy Sunday in January and driving up this road before any other vehicle in four inches of new snow. Driving no more than 15mph I was able to make out some tracks on the snow covered road in front of me. Immediately reminded of the book I am currently reading, The Tiger by John Valliant, I stopped my car to investigate.


Best Job Ever?

Many people assume that I (well, we) have the best job ever. And that is definitely true, almost all of the time. Today, however, it was time to clean the eagle cage. For those of you who haven't been to Hallam Lake, our resident eagle spends most of her days outside, on a grassy mound. At night she moves to a large enclosure, with a smaller wooden box inside of it that is open on one side. She spends much of her time inside of this protected space, and so it gets quite filthy. She definitely does not follow the rule of not pooping where you eat!


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