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Roaring Fork Valley Phenology | July 29, 2013

What a difference some rain makes! After a July of almost no rain, the Aspen area hit the jackpot Saturday night and Sunday. The first photo photo was taken Friday afternoon and the second on Sunday afternoon from the Rio Grande trail looking up Hunter Creek. Hunter Creek has been well below average flow for the second year in a row. See the graph here


Roaring Fork Valley Phenology | July 22, 2013

You may know how to identify the “flat, friendly, fragrant” fir, but have you seen their cones? Pictured here are maturing subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) cones taken July 18 on Aspen Mountain. Fir cones are rarely seen because after they mature, the scales and seeds fall apart while high on the tree. This is unlike typical spruce and pine cones that fall off the tree intact. The only time we see fir cones on the ground is when they have been snipped off the tree by squirrels who stash them for winter.


A Wildflower Walk with Janis Huggins

After three years at ACES, I finally had the great pleasure of participating in a Naturalist Field School Wildflower Walk with the incomparable Janis Huggins. Janis is the author of Wild at Heart, the definitive, user-friendly natural history guide for Snowmass, Aspen, and the Maroon Bells Wilderness.


Roaring Fork Valley Phenology | July 8, 2013

Strawberries are just beginning to ripen above 9,000 feet. Judging from the abundant flowers early in June, this could be an amazing berry season. Have you seen the ripening fruits on the serviceberry and chokecherry lately? Fledgling birds and fawns are out, and so are butterflies: mating and laying eggs. 


A Successful Raptor Fair!

Posted in Bulletin Board
raptor fair, flight demonstration, aspen activities

On Friday July 5th, ACES hosted its first ever Raptor Fair. The event featured charismatic birds of prey including our resident Golden Eagle and Great Horned Owl, as well as visiting Screech Owl, Gyrfalcon, Harris Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and Barbary Falcon. The visiting birds came with the raptor education organization, Nature’s Educators.


Roaring Fork Valley Phenology | July 1, 2013

Columbine Time:

For the best blue columbine show in years  head over to the Government Trail ASAP.  There is an unequalled patch of Colorado’s state flower on West Buttermilk, and another just before entering Snowmass Ski area. The aspen groves in between are full of wild rose (stop and smell them), lupine,  indian paintbrush, and many, many more incredible wildflowers. The blue columbine, Anquilegia coerulea is in the Buttercup family. “Anquilegia” may come from the Latin Aquila (eagle) based on the the plant’s long spurs which resemble an eagle’s talons.