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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.


The Eagle Comes to ACES

An August 1982 Jeep adventure to Picnic Point on Richmond Ridge of Aspen Mountain turned into a rescue operation for Jim Hamilton. He discovered a grounded golden eagle, unable even to walk. The eagle’s fierce gaze and sharp, menacing talons gave Jim pause, so he motored to Hallam Lake and reported his discovery. Years of experience with less than exact directions to wild animals in distress compelled me to insist he accompany me back up the mountain. With welder’s gloves for protection I immobilized the broken bird in a heavy blanket and returned to Hallam Lake.


2013 Annual Membership Dinner

Posted in Bulletin Board

Thank you to our wonderful community of members who attended our Annual Membership Dinner: Picnic on the Preserve. A special thanks goes out to our sponsors: Obermeyer Asset Management and Stirling Peak Properties. Thank you for making the event possible!


Serviceberry in Spring

It’s that magical time of year where new bursts of life color the landscape seemingly overnight, and my early evening wanders around the Woody Creek ranch I call home have become a daily occurrence. My eyes are peeled for subtle changes in plant phenology—periodic life cycle events such as budburst, first leaf and first flower—that I’m tracking as part of ACES’ Community Field Lab citizen science initiative.


The Solution to Climate Change

Posted in Bulletin Board

Orinigally published on April 18, 2013, in the Aspen Daily News "Green Issue" of Time Out.


American Pasqueflower & ACES Community Field Lab phenology projects

A couple of times a week I walk a loop from Hallam Lake down the Rio Grande trail and up through the Meadows and through the West End. In the past year I have been recording the changing of the seasons by photographing and taking notes about the snow on the mountains, water in the creeks, changes to plants (phenology), and presence of animals.


Birding in Monte Vista

sandhill cranes, birding, colorado

Alamosa isn’t the first place you think of when you’re planning an early-spring weekend getaway. Known mostly for being Gunnison’s rival as the coldest spot in the state, Alamosa is 250 miles away from Aspen, a five-hour drive this time of year (via Glenwood Springs, Minturn and Leadville).


The White-faced Ibis and the Power of Citizen Science

We’ve had a lot of fun with all of our Rock Bottom Ranch (RBR) visitors this spring, but two in particular have stood out. This week we’ve been graced by a pair of White-faced Ibis, who have been spotted multiple times flying around the Ranch and feeding in the pastures! This highly nomadic bird strikes a dramatic figure next to the Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks that are our usual avian visitors. Its plumage appears black under some conditions, but when hit by sunlight it reveals itself to be an iridescent blue-green.


Rabbit: a Healthy, Nutritious, Sustainable (and Underappreciated) Food

Posted in Ranch Report
Spring at Rock Bottom Ranch

Article originally published in Edible Aspen's Spring 2013 Issue.

Raising animals for food in your backyard is a great way to fundamentally change the way you look at our food system, and your land. Yet if you have limited space, your options for livestock can be limited. A cow in a suburban backyard is likely to depress your neighborhood’s home values, and too many meat chickens might warrant a visit from the health inspector.