Spring has officially started, but on the Western Slope of Colorado, people have been noticing signs of warm weather for a while. iSeeChange.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
About a month ago on thealmanac.org, 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.