May 11 was Colorado’s Migratory Bird Day, celebrating the nearly 500 species that live in the state or pass through it. Local naturalist, birder and author Evelyn Horn has spent the past twenty years or so focused on birds. In 1989 she and her husband Al moved from Las Vegas to Eckert and settled near Hart’s Basin, or Fruitgrowers Reservoir, which is controlled by the Orchard City Irrigation District (OCID). People had just been banned from the reservoir because of e-coli, and the absence of human activity made it more attractive to birds.
Paonia resident Amber Kleinman has been reading through the daily journals of William Beezley, an orchardist and farmer who lived up Steven’s Gulch in the first half of the 20th century. Recording selected entries for thealmanac.org and comparing them to current weather and conditions, Kleinman – a small-acreage farmer who keeps a journal herself -- has gained a new perspective.
On thealmanac.org last week, Marilyn Stone noted that she hasn’t heard the chorus of leopard frogs she usually hears by this time of year, and wondered about the effect of a nearby wetlands that dried up last fall. KVNF’s Marty Durlin has some answers from a scientist who studies leopard frogs.
For the past 20 years, Brent Helleckson and his family have been building a wine business on Garvin Mesa. They’ve constructed a home, a wine cellar a tasting room, and added to the vineyard. In those two decades, they also became a part of the North Fork community. When the Bureau of Land Management proposed 30,000 acres of leases for gas development in the North Fork Valley, Helleckson felt the threat to his winery as well as all agriculture and tourism-based industries.
Here in the North Fork Valley, healthy bee colonies continue to swarm and thrive. But there are threats. Back on March 6th, fourth-grader Noah McDaniel reported to iSeeChange that he’d seen his first bee of the season during recess at Paonia Elementary. Now, a few weeks later at Caren von Gontard’s farm on Lamborn Mesa, the bees are – well, busy.
2012 was a bad year for West Nile Virus in Western Colorado. Mesa, Montrose and Delta Counties accounted for nearly half the confirmed cases in the state. In Delta County, the 22 cases included the death of an 82-year-old man from Orchard City.
Andrea Robinsong, who took these these photos at the Escalante State Wildlife Area west of Delta, has been reporting on the Sandhill Cranes in the area since they began arriving in early March. Both Andrea and Evelyn Horn have been counting birds at Fruitgrowers Reservoir in Eckert and the Escalante area where they rest and feed before flying north.
Evelyn has been keeping track of the numbers of cranes at the reservoir, and here is what she reports:
Smyth Boone rides his bike regularly in the BLM land that’s adjacent to Paonia – the area popularly known as Jumbo, a network of dirt trails and loops on juniper-covered mesas. By taking photographs and using a meter on his bike, he’s got a record of the weather and conditions over about six years now. He posts regularly on iseechange at thealmanac.org. Here he talks about a special event that occurred last year, as well as the dry conditions that are only increasing.
So, what happens, when a family of ranchers and coal miners sit down for breakfast with a climate scientist from NASA, to talk about global warming and drought? For iSeeChange and KVNF, Julia Kumari Drapkin found out.
The term Light Pollution refers to excessive and glaring artificial lighting, especially light that is scattered above the horizon. This is a very serious problem for astronomers, because it can prevent them from seeing objects in space.
The Conservation Center held an annual meeting yesterday, and chose a new name: Western Slope Conservation Center. The nonprofit was created by the marriage of two deep-rooted local organizations, the North Fork River Improvement Association, known as NFRIA, and the Western Slope Environmental Resource Council, known as WSERC.
On Saturday night, January 26th, a full moon will rise in the east just after sunset. Look at the full moon when it’s still near the horizon. Does it appear especially large to you? Then, look at the moon later this same night, when it’s higher in the sky. Does it appear smaller? For most people, the moon looks much larger when on the horizon. This is the "Moon Illusion."
The Almanac is ready!! Produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin, the online almanac is the culmination of the iSeeChange project at KVNF, part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR designed to accelerate transformation and extend public service media to all Americans.
Organic Farmer, Greg Cranson, wants to know how microbes in the soil of plants helps improve plant life, especially during these uncertain times for irrigation water. iSeeChange takes a look at the big powers of tiny microbes to negotiate water with plants--they may even play a role in the weather.
Farmer, Greg Cranson asks scientists about his soil
Do you know when the Earth is nearest the sun? It’s January 4th, during what is typically the coldest part of our winter. Seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis, not by our distance from the sun.
When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun in late December and January we experience deep winter, while the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and experiencing summer.
iSeeChange is a participatory environmental reporting project led by Julia Kumari Drapkin at KVNF. It generates story topics from users' weather observations, and then taps scientists to explain the whys and hows. This bottom-up crowd-sourcing has foreshadowed some of the nation's biggest recent weather stories—weeks and sometimes even months in advance. Stories sourced from the KVNF community have been reported throughout 2012.
Bark beetles flourish with dry warm weather, which makes 2012 the perfect year for them to take advantage of weakened pine trees. But this year's record setting warm dry weather made for a surprise bumper crop among fruit tree farmers in the North Fork Valley. For iSeeChange and KVNF, Julia Kumari Drapkin takes a look at what changes in this year's growing season boosted the bumper.
Produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin, the iSeeChange project at KVNF is part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR designed to accelerate transformation and extend public service media to all Americans. KVNF was selected as one of only 10 Localore stations across the country—learn more at airmediaworks.org. Localore is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Interactive storytelling partner Zeega co-produced TheAlmanac.org with iSeeChange.
This month marks an anniversary for Western Slope Skies. Our first broadcast was in November of 2011 and Jupiter was the topic. Once again this year, Jupiter will be the brightest object in the night sky. It rises in the east during evening twilight in late November.