Go Play Outside

SpruceGrove_Tarryall_20090627_LAH_4725Are you feeling stressed? Anxious, sad, or helpless? Are you suffering from high blood pressure, an elevated pulse, or tensed muscles? Most of us have today off. This is the perfect time to go play outside!

A number of studies in the past few years have proven something most of us have intuitively known all along—nature is good for us. It’s why we go to the park, take a nature walk, or climb a mountain. We may get physically tired, but the overall effect is rejuvenating. Continue reading “Go Play Outside”

Rocky Mountain Nature-ing

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Where do you go birding in the middle of the summer? With highs at home well into the 90s, Pete, our friend Debbie, and I headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park for four days of cooler temperatures in a spectacular setting.

Continue reading “Rocky Mountain Nature-ing”

A Memorable Owling Trip

I went camping last weekend.

Why would anyone even partly sane choose to go camping in February? This was no trip for sissies. We set up camp at 9,500 ft., on top of a mountain in Colorado. It was definitely cold. One weather website claimed a low of 8º F, much lower than the predicted 16º. While I am a die-hard camper, this was pushing even my limits. So why did I do it? One word: owls.

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As I’m sure you know, owls are active at night. Therefore, if you want to see one, you must become a night-owl too. And, if you’re going to be up that late, you might as well spend the night. At least, that was the theory.

Why this time of year? Owls are early nesters. They are currently flirting with one another, pairing up (sometimes with last year’s mate), claiming territories, and in general, going about the business of making baby owls. (Ornithologists explain that the predilection for winter nests produces hatchlings just when most rodents are having their litters, ensuring plenty of small, newborn prey for the owlets.)

A birding friend is doing a survey (part of Colorado’s Breeding Bird Atlas II project) to determine which bird species are breeding on her assigned quadrant at, you guessed it, 9,500 ft. elevation in the Pike National Forest of Colorado. She needed to go count owls. Well, we couldn’t let her go all by herself, could we? So we packed our hot cocoa and hand warmers and set off. Continue reading “A Memorable Owling Trip”