A Rocky Mountain Interlude

We were gone this weekend for our 39th anniversary, so I didn’t get a chance to write a new post about birds and birding, my normal Monday topic. Instead, I want to share some photos from our trip.

We stayed in Kremmling, a very small town nestled between Steamboat Springs to the west and the continental divide to the east. After packing up on Sunday morning, we decided to head home to Colorado Springs via one of our favorite national parks, Rocky Mountain.

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Bulbs for a Colorado Spring

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It’s easy to be taken in by the catalog photos. Acres of daffodils, blooming cheerily in the sunshine. Vibrant crocuses popping up through the melting snow. Tulips—so many kinds, so many colors! Surely, if I would just order these bulbs, my spring garden will look just like the pictures.

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Chirp, chirp

Uinta Ground Squirrel_Ogden-UT_LAH_9626Chirp, chirp! Chirp, chirp, chirp! We had stopped to stretch our legs at a roadside rest near Ogden, Utah, so of course I pulled out my binoculars to look for birds. Walking the short path to a scenic overlook, I kept hearing this loud chirping, but I couldn’t find any birds I could ascribe it too. There were the usual American Robins, American Crows, and Black-billed Magpies—but none of those chirp.

There were also these adorable little ground squirrels. They would boldly emerge from their tunnels (reminiscent of prairie dog towns), obviously hoping for handouts, and… wait—were they chirping at me? They were! Guess I wasn’t going to find an exotic bird, but I did get some cute photos. Continue reading “Chirp, chirp”

Going Nature-ing

MtDiablo-CA_LAH_8608As birders, our goal when going birding is to see—birds! We may or may not have a target species we’re seeking, but a trip is generally rated as a success or a dud by the number of species we see. Rarities are a bonus.

But there’s another part of birding we might overlook. Just being out in the field means we have a shot at seeing other aspects of nature. Wildflowers and insects (especially butterflies and dragonflies) are garnering much attention these days, and for good reason. They’re just as interesting as birds, and more of a challenge. (Have you ever tried ID-ing a moth or beetle?)

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