Who's That Dipping Under My Bridge?

"He is the mountain streams' own darling, the hummingbird of blooming waters, loving rocky ripple-slopes and sheets of foam as a bee loves flowers, as a lark loves sunshine and meadows.  Among all the mountain birds, none has cheered me so much in my lonely wanderings, none so unfailingly." - John Muir, The Mountains of California 

Aspen's Perfect Storm

Rain Storm on Aspen Mountain

I've never been so happy to see a storm roll in.  This felt counterintuitive to me after spending a long winter on the grey, misty Oregon Coast.  All winter, I'd wake up to another day of rainy mist swirling in off the coast, and groan about how I had to be deficient in Vitamin D by now. 

RBR Explorers (age 5) enjoying the creek!

Posted in Ranch Report
Summer classes are in full swing at the Ranch, and we're doing our best to have fun in the heat.

Unprecedented RF Peak Flows

It may be too early to call but we could be in uncharted waters as far as Roaring Fork River peak flows go. Bad pun.

Possible Peak of Roaring Fork at Aspen, 128 cfs 4/27/12.

Previous lowest peak 202 cfs in 2002. (47 years of record keeping)

Last year peak was 816 cfs.

Historical Peak Stream flow complete record here: Roaring Fork at Aspen


What's Where When

It's never too late to start observing nature and keeping records. Phones, cameras, and social media make it easy to share. Collective observations by all of us (citizen science) can be a powerful tool for understanding the landscape. Citizen science and phenology are gaining attention. An ACES goal is to facilitate our community's observations and reporting of nature. Direct engagement with the natural world connects us to our environment, providing intellectual, spiritual, and physical sustenance.

Way down below the snow is an area called the subnivean zone

“February is pitiless, and it is boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those?” – Tom Just to the left of the snowshoe hare print are some tiny mice tracks!Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

The Fox

Fox in the snow

I have been told that a fox stands atop a roof along the morning commute. Fox on a roof: a strange image to conjure, like “swimming cat” or “skateboarding dog” – the juicy stuff of YouTube. The mind is tempted to fit everything into its “place”: foxes in the woods; people in the towns; white snow on the roofs. Break down those walls in our minds and the forest creeps in.

Pine Marten

Pine Marten

Winter is here in Aspen and our first big snow fell on January 7th. Of course I was out snowboarding on the mountain. Unfortunately a few wrong moves on my first run and I found myself in a tumble. To make a long story short, I fractured my arm. It was definitely a bummer… but this blog isn’t about me feeling bad about myself. Nature always seems to have a way of turning things around for me. Just a few days later I was waiting for guests to arrive so I could lead a snowshoe tour at Snowmass.

Why Do You Farm?

Posted in Ranch Report

I was just signing up to join a web community of young farmers and was asked on the survey, Why do you farm?  Those four little words really got me thinking, and here's what popped out!

Community Calls Speaker and Workshop Series

Posted in Bulletin Board
Bottom Ranch

Rock Bottom Ranch presents the Community Calls Speaker and Workshop Series!

Every Tuesday in February and March 2012
Community Calls Speaker Series invites Roaring Fork Valley food and wildlife experts to discuss issues of sustainable food production, wildlands preservation, and local economy through an evening lecture with time for questions.