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All About Owls

Winter in the Roaring Fork Valley is truly a special time for nature lovers of all ages. Observing  wildlife thrive, even in the chilliest of weather, reminds us to appreciate all of the incredible adaptations that make winter survival possible. This month at ACES at Hallam Lake, we invite locals and visitors to learn about masters of adaptations, and some of nature’s stealthiest hunters, owls!


Wild Words in ACES Ed

Posted in Kids' Corner

“Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.” 
Shel Silverstein


RBR News | December 22, 2015

Posted in Ranch Report

Monday, December 21st was the winter solstice, marking the longest night of the year. From this point forward, until the summer solstice in June, the days begin to get longer. This time of year an old farmer friend of mine always notes, “summer is just around the corner.”  


Whooo Would have Thought?

On December 9th, 2015, ACES trail cameras captured footage of a Great Horned Owl with a trout in its talons. Current ACES staff have never witnessed this behavior before. Owls typically feed on small rodents, hunting them at night.


Seasonal Changes at Basalt Elementary School

In ACES Ed class at Basalt Elementary School, students have the opportunity to observe and experience the amazing transformations that plants undergo throughout the school year. The school garden, trees, bushes and the nearby Frying Pan River are our backdrops for gauging what is happening in the natural world every day.


Morning Birding Species List | December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 8AM - 11AM
Weather: mostly clear
Location: Hallam Lake and Rio Grande Trail

Species Identified
      

Canada Goose
Mallard
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Steller's Jay


Antler Velvet - Caught in the Act

Male deer, elk, and moose have antlers, which they shed every spring, only to re-grow them again over the summer. ACES staff was lucky to catch a critical part of this annual cycle on our trail cameras recently at Hallam Lake.

Deer and elk typically shed their antlers around March and April, when the animals’ testosterone levels are at their lowest. The decreased amount of testosterone causes the bone connecting the antler to the skull to deteriorate, enabling the antler to fall off.  


Morning Birding Species List | November 3, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 8AM - 11AM
Weather: sunny, breezy
Location: Hallam Lake, North Star Nature Preserve

Species Identified      

White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-Capped Chickadee
Black-billed Magpie
Stellar’s Jay
Canadian Goose

 

Mallard Duck
Belted Kingfisher (pictured above)
American Crow
American Dipper


Excitement about Energy Efficiency at Rock Bottom Ranch

Posted in Ranch Report

The word “energy” has been buzzworthy around ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch lately. This is due in part to significant clean energy upgrades underway at the Ranch, as well as the fourth grade Energy Unit that ACES Educators are currently teaching in the ACES Ed classrooms at Basalt and Crystal River Elementary schools.


Innovative New Online Tool Illustrates Future Forest Change

Posted in Bulletin Board

Aspen, Colorado, October 27, 2015 — Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), a Colorado-based science education nonprofit, has developed an interactive online tool Forest Forecasts, which illustrates future forest change under best- and worst-case climate change scenarios. The tool utilizes innovative technologies to display detailed views of current forests that utilize cutting-edge climate models to generate high-resolution portrayals of what Western forests are likely to look like in the future.