Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Twelve Nature Lectures

This year Kevin Cook presented Magnificent Connections. We reported on his Pine Beetle in the past:
Today was "Special Case of Special Cases"

Number 12 in this year's nature lectures, here is Kevin explaining the differences between commensalism and mutualism and a bunch of other 'isms' in the natural world.

We all liked the Crab-spider!

Crab-spiders are from the order Araneae, the air-breathing eight-legged chelicerate arthropods with the modified fangs for injecting venom. They're all over Colorado!

A Bullock's Oriole trap

Here the poor bird made a nest out of fishing line and got caught up in the line and could not escape.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Spiders 'n a Basement

Don't we all have a spider or two in the basement?
Here's one I photographed when I was visiting Chung Quig, China.
Each leg on this guy was about 6 inches long!

If you want to see large spiders like that in a basement, please go to the BSPM at CSU!

That is, the basement insect zoo at the Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management Building on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins! Go ahead! Do it today! Tell 'em Bugman sent ya!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not our favorite Bug

There are so many in the order Coleoptera, some better than others...
on the Frontrange, the Mountain Pine Beetle we could do without!

Here is Kevin Cook again to tell us the good news and the bad news...
The bad news: Pretty soon there will not be any mature lodge-pole pine trees alive !
The good news: They will grow back!

There was an overflow crowd at today's lecture. Many are concerned at the conditions seen in RMNP especially west of the divide where millions of trees are dead or dying. It's only a matter of time when the little buggers come over to the east side!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Steppe Squirrel

Per Kevin J. Cook:
The name 'prairie dog' is egregious on two points: the animals are not dogs and they do not inhabit prairie. They are, in fact, squirrels that inhabit the steppe, hence the name.
A Steppe Squirrel near Shields St. and Trilby Rd.

Since 1952, Johnson's Corner has been serving up old-fashioned, home-style cooking and hospitality.
I biked out to this place with the FoCo Bike club. Quite memorable indeed! The cinnamon rolls are to die for (i.e., they'll probably kill you!)


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heart of a Giant

On this day I hiked up to the top of the Horsetooth!
Here's the view looking east

The Native Americans legend is that an evil giant roamed this area. The giant was killed by a warrior who cut out the giant's heart and then slashed it. The remaining rocks are parts of the giant's heart. Of course the white folks thought it looked more like horseteeth so they named it horestooth rock. It is now the symbol of Fort Collins.

See the teeth marks on the left of the Fort Collins logo?

Some kind of rodent lives near the gums!

Between the teeth, looking down and westward. On a clear day, you should see Pikes Peak. Not today!

There was some snow in the shaded areas. The altitude here was about 7,200 feet.

These deer saw me before I saw them!

Happy to say, I made it back home safe!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shrooms with Kevin

Kevin Cook was back again to tell us that there are these eukaryotic organisms living all over Colorado!
...and that they are heterotrophic organisms possessing a chitinous cell wall, the majority of which grow multicellular filaments called hyphae forming a mycelium!
In short order, the amount of information from this lecture began to mushroom! a full house of Fort Collins residents.

LOL! Here's one of my favorite basidiomycots!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

False Alarm!

Saw this big cat strolling by our window!
Well, it could have been a bobcat! From a distance it was hard to tell!

OK, here's a bunny. We see them a lot around here! Bobcat food?


Saturday, October 4, 2008


How cute! A little fox was taking a nap outside our kitchen door!
Rats! The camera is focusing on the screen door, so I can't get a clear picture!
Zoom in a little! Not much better.


Let's try it in movie mode and try to open the door. Oops! He heard us!

We expect we will see more visitors as food gets harder to find. Our HOA president claimed he has seen bears and cougars in his back yard in the three years that he has lived here! So far we have seen in our yard:



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And more wildlife, Phylum: Mollusca

Colorado Bivalves
Wildlife biologist Kevin Cook was on hand today to talk about all he knows about glochidia!
Of the 30K known bivalves, there are about 42 species of glochidia in Colorado! Some of them are Republicans.

Then of course, there's the Giant Floater! 
<> "Sweet!" < /Cartman >

plus more stuff than you would want to know about the inside of a clam.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

More wildlife!

Forget about Bobcat Ridge! We saw this guy just three blocks from our home!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bobcat, Scat!

This morning we went on a naturalists' walk at a place called Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.
There is a picture of a bobcat we didn't see this morning.
Here is Susan, our Master Naturalist volunteer, telling us that there are so many volunteers on this walk this morning we will probably scare off any wildlife that would normally be seen! ...but we could look at animal scat and figure out what animals recently tip-toed through this area.
"What's the biggest piece you ever saw?"
Oh, look! I found some! It's bobcat!
"I'm giving it an f/5 at EV-1 !"
Bobcat Scat!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Poudre Canyon

North-West of town is Poudre River Canyon. We had to check it out for future kayak adventures.
You could walk across some areas. Maybe in the Spring it's higher!
We saw some people floating down the river on tubes! Hey, we have tubes! And we are only 20 minutes away!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oh! Deer!

Bohemian Nights 2008
This weekend there are free concerts in downtown Fort Collins! Tonight we saw Bongo Love and the Taj Mahal Trio. I had my camera, but I forgot to put the memory card back in, so Duh! No film!! Tomorrow should be better!

In other news:
The other night I went to the Horsetooth Mountain Drum Circle via the VW Cabrio. It was up in the foothills (where we looked at houses in March), so it was good to see how well I could drive on those narrow gravel roads at night. Actually, it has not been too much of a problem so far, but I can imagine what it's like when there is ice and snow.
This was the second time I drove to the drum circle, but on the main highway past the horsetooth park, I came into contact with a deer crossing the road! I grazed it on the passenger side of the VW. The deer kept on running into the brush, so I am sure I didn't kill it, but I heard some car parts drop off of my vehicle.
Here is a picture of the front of the VW when I stopped for gas in Naperville, ILL last month.
This is the VW today. It looks like the parking light panel is now history!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

We got some rain !

We usually have seen maybe 5 minutes of rain per week around here. Well, today it rained ALL DAY LONG!!! It was good to see rain!
I was traveling toward Ft. Collins about 40 miles east of town and going straight for this weather event. It was sunny and clear on three sides of this thing and for some reason I decided to drive right on into it.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Peaceful Surroundings

We have to drive 35 miles into Bellingham to get a cell phone signal and/or internet access. That’s OK, because we are visiting Bellingham anyway. I will not be able to update what I do this afternoon until tomorrow, so this is all I have to report.
Here is the view from our window:


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Buffalo and banjo

110 27 39 W 44 56 52 N

It was snowing! I saw this solitary buffalo (see arrow) .
The North entrance to Yellowstone National Park is in Gardiner, Montana. In the winter, most of the park is closed. The buffalo and elk must miss all the tourists, because they start to roam off the park property. When we returned from the park in the afternoon, there were several buffalo walking down main street.

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