iSeeChange Almanac

Dr. Michael Benard

Spring has officially started, but on the Western Slope of Colorado, people have been noticing signs of warm weather for a while. has seen a lot of postings about early arrivals in the natural world.  Andrea Lecos, for example, noticed a spring time sound in the beginning of February.

Photograph and Western Chorus Frog sound courtesy of Dr. Michael Benard.

Ali Lightfoot/KVNF

Another Halloween has come and gone, and this year for a very special iSeeChange report, KVNF's Ali Lightfoot spoke with trick or treaters about how the holiday has changed over the years.

Julia Kumari-Drapkin/KVNF

Dallas and June Harding are regulars on the Almanac, but most of their daily weather observations you'll see there date back to the late 1980s.

That's because those entires were transcribed from the journals June started keeping in 1985, when she and Dallas moved to their current home at the Harding Ranch near the base of Coal Mountain. I recently paid the Hardings a visit to talk about how they got involved with the iSeeChange project, and how journaling has played a role in their lives and the lives of previous generations.


  • Colorado Wind Industry Expected to Grow
  • Baca County Farmer Harvests First Hemp Crop in 56 Years
  • Government Shutdown Not Affecting Mines Yet
  • Thompson Divide Drilling Talks Suggest Deal is in the Works
  • iSeeChange - Journaling with the Hardings
Travis Bubenik/KVNF

For this week's iSeeChange report, we looked into the recent flurry of rain and some snow, and what, if anything, it might tell us about the coming winter.


  • Former Colorado Governor John Vanderhoof Dies at 91
  • Passengers Unharmed after Missed Landing at Mack Mesa Airport
  • Delta County Announces 2 New West Nile Cases
  • Three New Oil Spills Reported in Weld County
  • Montrose County Commissioners Continue public Hearings on Sage Grouse Regulations
  • iSeechange - Rain and Snow - Signs of a Wet Winter?
JGColorado via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

In the wake of the historic Front Range Floods, many climate experts and researchers admit that while they’ve known of the potential for dangerous flooding in the Boulder area for some time now, hardly anybody could’ve predicted such a large-scale disaster.

We decided to look into what the floods might tell us about the future of massive storms, and whether the events of last week might change our definitions of "rare" weather events.


  • Hickenlooper Says Oil and Gas Safety is a Top Priority after Flooding
  • Lyons One of Hardest-Hit Areas in Floods
  • iSeeChange - Signs of Floods to Come?
  • Floods Hurt One Grand Junction-area Business
  • Garfield County Gas Emissions Study Moves Forward 
Tee Poole via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

In late July, a massive dust storm in the Saharan Desert of Africa moved across the Atlantic, making for an interesting start to the hurricane season, or you could say a boring one.

  • Coloradans Will Now Vote on Tax Increases for School Funding
  • Voters Guide to Heading to Printer
  • Colorado Lawmakers Offer Opinions on Syrian Conflict 
  • City of Delta Utility Rates on the Rise
  • iSeeChange - The West is Getting Dustier
Sadie Miller/KVNF

Last week the Almanac saw a lot of talk about mushrooms – Steve Smith said they seem to be popping up in larger numbers than usual – Marilyn Stone wondered what factors affect mushroom numbers – and Amber Kleinman asked whether it’s possible to grow puffballs in a yard. 

  • President of Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce Steps Down to Fight Cancer
  • Mesa County DA's Office Denies "Prejudice" Claims by Accused Palisade Mother's Defense Attorneys
  • Prosecutors in Aurora Theater Shootings Try to Block Testimony on Colorado's Death Penalty
  • Public Hearings on Marijuana Laws Begin at State Capitol
  • Hotchkiss Bans All Commercial Marijuana Activity
  • Delta County Landfill Happy to See 125 Tons of Tires
  • iSeeChange - Local "Guru" Ryan Warwick on Mushrooms
  • KVNF Competes in First Annual 24-Hour
Flowercat via Flickr (CC-NC-SA)

The height of the fruit season is approaching here in western Colorado, so for this week’s iSeeChange report, we decided to zoom out a bit and look at how Colorado’s biggest fruit crop fits into the national scene.  


  • Six Garfield County Fisheries May See Instream Flow Protections
  • Study Finds Colorado Solar Installations are Cheapest in Nation
  • Colorado's First Biomass Power Palnt Nearly Complete
  • Committee Debates Feasibility of New Renewables Standard for Rural Providers
  • More Cases of West Nile Virus Confirmed in Delta County
  • iSeeChange - Apple Economics of Western Colorado
Patty Kaech-Feder

Though we’re barely a week into August, some signs of fall have started to appear in western Colorado.


  • Hallmark Channel TV Series Won’t Be Filmed in Telluride After All
  • Doug Lamborn Aims to Lift Regulations on Coal Mining Near Streams
  • iSeeChange Report – Drought and the Future of Western Forests
  • Supporters of School Funding Increase Gather Double the Required Signatures for November Vote
  • Delta County Conservation Budget Looks Good in Audit
Eli Nixon (CC BY-NC-SA)

Afternoon clouds and occasional rains have dotted the Western Slope in the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still worried about their water.

Last week Matthew Harris posted on the Almanac that the water he gets from German Creek was called on by a senior rights holder for the first time in the eight years he’s lived in Paonia. His creek’s just one of many that snake across the North Fork Valley, but if it’s been that long since that senior rights holder felt like they needed more water, should other residents and farmers be concerned? 

Marty Durlin, KVNF

On the Almanac last week, P Kaech reported seeing snow on the top of Mt. Baldy near Crested Butte, and Andrea Lecos noticed that monsoon rains have brought up mosquitoes and other insects. Humans may hate the bugs, but birds are feasting on them. 

Travis Bubenik, KVNF

If you've followed the weather for even the past few days, daily whether predications have been pretty, well, predictable: sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, a chance of rain as the day wears on and the sun starts to drop.

The Monsoon season has arrived in Colorado, the annual time when hot, high pressure in the atmosphere moves east across the Continental Divide and cool, moist air comes trailing in behind it. It's a reliable weather pattern, but exactly how reliable? 

"P Kaech" via

Last week, users on the Almanac reported seeing the summer's first sunflowers. One user was surprised to see the flowers were blooming already. 

University of Maryland Biology Professor David Inouye says the early blooming season probably has to do with the warmer weather as of late. Inouye spends his summers studying flowers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte. His current project involves looking at how the timing of flowering and abundance of flowering at changing. 

iSeeChange: The Rising Threat of Wildfires

Jun 24, 2013
USDA Forest Service

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May 2013 was the third-warmest May on record for the planet, and the earth's temperature has been above its 20th century average for 339 straight months - more than 28 years. 

Hugh Carson has been fighting fires for more than 40 years, and although he’s retired now, he was in the thick of things last year when he coordinated aircraft to battle the High Park Fire near Fort Collins. Over the years, he’s seen some changes.

Marty Durlin

Nearly 500 species of birds make their way through Colorado or live here year-around – and chances are local birder and author Evelyn Horn knows them. In the second report of a two-part series, KVNF’s Marty Durlin talked to Horn about the general decline of birds in a world where human population and activity is on the rise.



I asked her what she could say about the state of birds, whether climate change is impacting them, and certainly human activity as Evy has talked about. How would she characterize their condition?


  • Conservation groups urge BLM to end secrecy
  • Montrose Library reduces hours, will begin Saturday closures in July
  • BLM approves plan for new multi-use trail system near Ridgeway
  • Sheriffs in 54 of 64 state counties join protest against new gun control laws
  • Montrose resident comments on treatment of circus animals
  • North Fork prep track teams earn many honors at state meet
  • ISeeChange report on bird populations at Hart's Basin

Marty Durlin

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.


Rock slide closes McClure Pass at Paonia Reservoir

News from the Legislature as the session winds down:

  • Elections bill passes, heads to Governor Hickenlooper
  • Medicaid Expansion passes both Houses  
  • Gray water bill passes

Other News:

  • Local farmer Jere Lowe on how marijuana should be regulated
  • ISeeChange: Carrots, tulips, cherries, kestrals, the First Red Flag Warning and other signs of spring
Amber Kleinman

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 and comparing them to current weather and conditions, Kleinman – a small-acreage farmer who keeps a journal herself -- has gained a new perspective.


  • Loveland Pass Avalance Victims Were Back Country Experts
  • Hostetler hen-laying operation on Powell Mesa heads to another hearing
  • New marijuana players in a new environment
  • The Forest Service gets into the Aspen real estate market
  • Archaeological Conservancy buys Shavano Valley Rock Art Site
  • iSeeChange: Amber Kleinman and the journals of William Beezley


  • Loveland Pass Avalance Victims Were Back Country Experts
  • Hostetler hen-laying operation on Powell Mesa heads to another hearing
  • New marijuana players in a new environment
  • The Forest Service gets into the Aspen real estate market
  • Archaeological Conservancy buys Shavano Valley Rock Art Site
  • iSeeChange: Amber Kleinman and the journals of William Beezley


  • Democrats introduce bill to change voting procedures
  • Workshop at Blue Sage on Tuesday will discuss sensitive topic
  • Environmental damage from  Parachute spill continues to escalate
  • iSeeChange looks at the odd absence of leopard frogs

Don Foster

About a month ago on, Don posted a photo of a fellow with a big semi-load of bales – but they weren’t hay, they were cornstalks. The use of forage other than the traditional alfalfa and other grasses is becoming a necessity for some ranchers. 

Drought has made it more common now, but Judd Rodman has been harvesting cornstalks for cattle feed as far back as 1990. Based south of Paonia, he employs five people who help him harvest, bale and deliver cornstalk all over the Western Slope.