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.