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.
The iSeeChange project and its website, thealmanac.org, are now featured in a beautiful new metasite produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. Our very own Julia Kumari Drapkin (we'll always call her "ours") will be presenting the iSeeChange project she developed in the North Fork Valley to various media interest groups across the country in the weeks to come.
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.
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.
Thealmanac.org is bursting with news about new baby animals – spring brings calves, lambs and kids. KVNF's Marty Durlin reported on one of the almanac.org stories about Emily Hartnett, who lives on Garvin Mesa with her chickens, goats and cats. It’s a rustic life that begins by dawn and ends late in the day. On Friday one of her six adult goats, Alba, gave birth to two male kids. Instead of the soft, protected place Emily had prepared for her, Alba chose to deliver next to an old tractor embedded in the dirt in the middle of the goat yard.
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.
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.
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.