Categories

Roaring Fork Valley Phenology | October 21, 2013

We have been caught in a dilemma the past couple of weeks at Hallam Lake. Five separate snow events have covered the fallen leaves from our numerous cottonwoods. Usually a little snow on the leaves is not a problem for raking. If we wait a few days for the high pressure and sunny skies to show up, the snow disappears leaving light dry leaves that can be easily raked up off of the trails, driveways, and decks. But with the pattern we have seen lately the leaves on the ground have stayed wet and heavy, which are not efficient to move. We are waiting for a long enough break in the weather to get the job done. If we don’t get the chance to rake, the leaves will add to next spring’s mud. The comparison photos of last year and this year illustrate the fall we have had. What do you notice? 

Highland Bowl - October 18, 2012 & October 20, 2013

 

 Aspen Mountain - October 18, 2012 & October 20, 2013

We are now in the darkest third of the year. Most of the hibernators (ground squirrels, snakes, marmots, etc) are tucked into their dens. Bears are still packing on the fat for a few more weeks. I saw a Yellow Warbler last week at Hallam Lake, but most of the migrating birds have made their journey south. Elk, which are more affected by snow depth than cold or darkness, are poised to move less-snowy winter slopes. This should happen in the next two weeks. Are you ready? Snow boots out? Freezer full? Stovepipe clean? Boiler checked? Weather sealing reinforced? Woodpile stacked? I have some work to do...

~ Jim Kravitz, Director Of Naturalist Programs