Saturday, December 22, 2007

Drilling on a wildlife refuge???

I was quite irritated when I read an article by Erin Emery of the Denver Post, that they are considering allowing an energy company to drill inside the Baca National Wildlife Refuge....This refuge is part of the Sand Dunes National Monument, which I have posted about before. According to the article, there are places that you can't even hike on due to the fragility of the space...yet these people can freakin' drill on this land??? Go figure....Isn't there something we can do about this???

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Colorado Wildlife...

For my own amusement I thought I'd list all the animals I never saw (and some never even heard of...) until I moved to Colorado....and also some that I want to one day see....thanks for your indulgence...

A sample of unique wildlife species that I've seen since moving to Colorado:

1. Yellow-bellied marmot

(I see these cute little creatures every time I drive to the top of Trail Ridge Road...and other places above tree line, in the alpine tundra areas.)

2. Black-tailed prairie dog
3. White-tailed prairie dog

(I never heard of either one of these prairie dog species prior to being in Colorado. I was definitely intrigued when I would look out at an empty sand lot and see dozens of these creatures and all of their home's...i.e. holes).

4. Western spotted skunk

(I saw this little guy when I was camping near Buena Vista this past summer. I had to take a double-take, I am only used to seeing the typical black skunk with a single stripe down his back....this guy looked like a punk-rock version of the typical skunk, with his frayed out tail and spots everywhere).

5. Gray Fox
6. Elk
7. Coyote
8. Tarantula
9. Several species of chipmunks
10. Several species of birds (red-winged blackbird, magpie..)

***Several of the above species are endangered or are close to being endangered.

Animals I am hoping to see one day in Colorado (to name just a few):

1. Moose
2. Bear (from a good distance)
3. Snowy Owl
4. Pika
5. Ptarmigan
6. American Marten

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Better luck next time...

Well, I didn't see any moose...although its not for lack of trying! Several Grand Lake residents said that it is common to see moose walking through the middle of town every so often. I also talked with a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and she said that there are around 200 moose in north-central Colorado. And somewhere around 20-60 in the Kawuneeche Valley of RMNP, including the surrounding towns, such as Grand Lake. So, I guess I'll have to keep trying. Apparently the best times to spot them are dawn and dusk, although its possible to see them venturing out at anytime of day.

Anyway, all was not lost...I did manage to see a very cute and lonely coyote, which I've never seen in the wild before, along with the usual elk sightings (see pictures above).