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2012 Christmas Bird Count - Wrap Up

Christmas Bird Count birdwatching in Aspen

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world, drawing some 60,000 participants throughout North, Central and South America.  Running since 1900, the count data provide a picture of how bird populations have changed in time and space over the last 113 years. This information helps conservation biologists and interested individuals study long-term health and status of bird populations, revealing such factors as habitat fragmentation and environmental threats like groundwater pollution, misuse of pesticides, and impacts of climate change


Travel Notes from Costa Rica

Posted in Bulletin Board
Crocodile travel blog

I couldn’t draw an accurate map of Central America to save my life, but at least now I know which one is Costa Rica (it’s the one just above Panama), thanks to a whirlwind tour that took us from the capital, San Jose, to the Caribbean Coast to the Pacific Coast (and many points in between) over the course of eight days in early December.


ACES Premieres Animated Short and Introduces Forest Health Index

Posted in Bulletin Board

Press Release: Aspen, Colorado, January 7, 2013 — After the record-breaking 2012 fire season and drought in Colorado, there has never been a more critical moment to assess the health of our forests and watersheds. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), through it’s For the Forest Program, has launched an educational forest health initiative aimed at engaging the public with its Forest Health Index and animated short film, What’s Happening in Our Forest?


Winter Songbird Flocks

Like a famous musician thronged by fans, or the popular kids at school who students gather around, chickadees often form the nucleus of mixed flocks of birds in winter. Among people the advantages are usually obvious: social stature by association, access to the latest gossip, and insulation from shunning or bullying. Popularity brings a wealth of advantages for people, yet what could it do for the little chickadee?


Winter Solstice

Winter ice and snow in Aspen

Today is Winter Solstice!  Traditionally different cultures throughout the northern world honored the sun and celebrated the return of the light on this, the shortest day of the year.  It marked the end of the fall harvest season and the beginning of winter, a time for turning inward and of telling stories.  Often rituals, involving fire, song, dance, and gift giving were performed, followed by feasting, to insure that the sun would indeed return.  “Solstice” is derived from the Latin “sol” for sun and “stitium” meaning stopped.


Building Bridges - Literally and Figuratively

Posted in Bulletin Board
Aspen Ski Butlers and ACES volunteering at Ashcroft Ghost Town

"Power of Team" was the theme for Ski Butler's Annual Meetings this year, and in no place was this more evident than our time spent volunteering with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies crew to install the winter bridges at Ashcroft.
 


Winter Star Gazing at Rock Bottom Ranch

Posted in Bulletin Board
Winter stars at Toklat

“To know the dark, go dark.  Go without sight and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings, and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” Wendell Berry


Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding

A couple of weeks ago I was able to experience a saw-whet owl banding project near Rifle, Colorado with Kim Potter, a wildlife technician with the US Forest Service and a licensed owl bander. Kim has been banding owls near Rifle for many years, and over a couple of nights throughout the fall Kim invites the public to come watch the banding.


Why I Bought my Chevy Volt

Posted in Bulletin Board

It's time to get off foreign oil while creating American jobs!

For 13 years I've driven a Toyota hybrid-electric Prius. The Prius saved some gas and helped reduce smog. But with the Chevy Volt, the technology finally exists to go carbon (and oil) free in personal transportation.


Putting the Garden to Bed

Posted in Ranch Report

Putting my garden to bed is almost as exciting as prepping my garden for spring planting.  It’s also my favorite time of year in the Roaring Fork Valley; colors ablaze on every horizon, the air crisp and the sunshine sharp, there is nothing more rewarding then harvesting the last of the season’s bounty and laying to rest that special piece of earth.