The Hayden Creek fire in Western Fremont County, Colorado, looking southeast, taken at 8:30 p.m. on July 13. As of July 15, the fire had burned 15,754 acres, mostly in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area. Visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4849/ for updates on the fire. Photo by Mike Rosso.
Chaffee County’s roller derby team, the Ark Valley High Rollers, first formed in January 2010. Since then, they’ve recruited many new players (playfully referred to as “fresh meat”), and are now 18 strong and ranked 188 out of 284 by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). When they became a sanctioned WFTDA team, one of the team’s jobs was to mentor new teams. Last fall, they were invited to visit their mentees, the Bogotá Bone Breakers in Bogotá, Colombia, to play a mock sanctioned bout, the last step in the Bogota team’s journey to becoming a sanctioned WFTDA team. For ten days in June, nine girls from the High Rollers travelled to Colombia to play the Bone Breakers. The South American team’s newfound status as a sanctioned team now allows them to play internationally and they are eligible for ranking by the WFTDA. Read more
Glittering, feathered jewels of green, orange, dark purple and red charge and chase each other with long, thin, pointed daggers, sputtering like electric sparks. A scene from an animated science-fantasy movie? No, it’s July at Central Colorado’s hummingbird feeders and wildflowers.
When I start a species account, I often think “What’s interesting about this species?” With hummingbirds, though, what isn’t interesting? The smallest of all birds, hummingbirds weigh between 0.1 and 0.3 ounces – about the same as five to 15 M&M’s. Their eggs, usually laid as a pair, are the size of a jelly bean. Although they are known for nectar feeding, they also eat small insects and spiders. They even use spider webs and cocoon silk in building their thimble-sized nests, so that they expand as the nestlings grow. Read more
Down on the Ground with the Garden
By George Sibley
May and June are dominated here by the garden. Gardens, I should say; when we moved into our Gunnison home 20-some years ago, we were unimpressed with the expanse of bad lawn that came with it, and we resolved to annually convert 50 square feet of bad lawn to garden space. I lack my partner Maryo’s experience with plants, and undoubtedly some of her dedication – I mean, she grew tomatoes in a community garden in Chicago right by a bus stop, which involved defensive measures like painting the tomatoes with a flour mixture to make them look diseased to random hunter-gatherers. But I signed on as the project heavy-lifter, being no lover of monocultures, and now we have little gardens – some kind of growing together – all over the yard.
We have mostly made our average of 50 square feet a year, up until the past year. This has only reduced the original lawn by maybe a third, but after a big surge two years ago when we converted about 250 square feet of impossible grass out front to a graveled xeriscape garden, we realized that the growth of garden space was in growing tension with our aging backs and knees. We actually removed one small garden space this year that had been kind of in the way, filling it in with gravel for a drainage project (no net increase in lawn). Read more