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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

‘Our Natural World’ Archives

In honor of Carl Sagan

In honor of Carl Sagan

The late Carl Sagan brought the science of the universe to millions of people. He described our existence as being on the shore of the cosmic ocean, where we are  just beginning to learn what lies beyond our present knowledge. In honor of Sagan’s birthday on November 9, it would have been his 76th, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute invited the public to submit essays inspired by Sagan’s imagery. Several essays are available on the SETI website and the ... Full Story

Moose near Johnson’s Corner on the Summer Solstice

Moose near Johnson’s Corner on the Summer Solstice

By Tyler Kennedy On my drive down I-25 to work this morning, I saw something you don’t regularly see on the plains, a bull and cow moose galloping alongside the interstate. Today is the summer solstice (the apex of sunlight during the year), and I knew something was special as I prepared iced tea and a game of Bocce Ball for our solstice party at the company where I work – Solstice Arts. As I was pulling off at the Johnstown exit near Johnson’s Corner, I noticed two ... Full Story

Cooking with insects

Cooking with insects

Insect Chef David George Gordon Appearing Live at the Butterfly Pavilion Denver, CO – Curious as to how Tempura Battered Mealworms or Scorpion Scaloppine taste? Find out on Saturday, April 10, when the “Martha Stewart” of insect cuisine, Chef David George Gordon, appears live for three very buggy cooking demonstrations at the Butterfly Pavilion. The special event is part of the Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders opening day festivities. Dr. Entomo’s is the Pavilion’s ... Full Story

What was Johnny Appleseed up to?

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder Autumn is apple time across America — crisp fruit and sweet cider. The season may bring to mind that American folk hero Johnny Appleseed. You probably know him from the 1958 Disney film “American Legends,” which portrayed him as a young man traveling on the western frontier in the early 1800s, unselfishly planting apple trees for settlers to enjoy. But the true story of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, is somewhat ... Full Story

Those autumn leaves

Those autumn leaves

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder “Those falling leaves drift by your window, those autumn leaves of red and gold....” So goes the old song. Here in Colorado, those autumn leaves are mostly gold: aspens and cottonwoods. For red, maples are the best but there are none of those in our native flora. Nonetheless, few sights equal groves of golden aspens against crisp blue skies in our mountains. In any event, why the beautiful colors as autumn arrives? And, why are those leaves ... Full Story

The Amazing Fossils of Florissant

The Amazing Fossils of Florissant

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder The previous “Our Natural World” column covered the origin of the 34-million-year-old lake deposits at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and the legislative struggle to have the site preserved for the public as part of the National Park system. This column provides some details about the fossils present in this unique area. Most prominent are enormous petrified trunks of prehistoric sequoia trees, relatives of the giant redwoods of ... Full Story

Preserving a Paleontologic Treasure Chest

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder Aug. 20, 2009, was the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, a site maintained by the National Park Service for the preservation of spectacular plant and insect fossils, including huge petrified trunks of fossil sequoias, ancient relatives of the giant redwoods of California. The site is located west of Colorado Springs, just south of the town of Florissant, Colo. The efforts to save the site and its ... Full Story

Dinosaurs and Other Colorado Fossils

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder As dinosaur lovers of all ages in our state know, the Colorado State Fossil is the stegosaur (Stegosaurus stenops). This familiar herbivorous dinosaur with rows of plates along its back was officially adopted by executive order of Gov. Richard Lamm in 1982, following a two-year campaign by schoolchildren. Stegosaurs roamed Colorado during the late Jurassic period of geological time, about 145-150 million years ago. They were large animals, weighing an ... Full Story

Colorado’s Oldest Living Residents

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder Have you met one of Colorado’s oldest living residents? No, it is not that cranky, old guy down the street; it is the bristlecone pine. They are among the oldest living organisms anywhere in the world. There are some bristlecone pines in Berthoud, but they are just youngsters. The really old ones — some more than 1,500 years old — live in the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata) is sometimes known by the common name ... Full Story

Colorado’s Natural Fireworks—Volcanoes

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder Recently, fireworks have been heard around town, but they were nothing compared with Colorado’s natural fireworks -- volcanoes. Volcanoes in Colorado? Yes! Well, not recently, but definitely in the geological past. The most recent volcanic eruption in Colorado took place about 4,200 years ago near the present day town of Dotsero, by the confluence of the Colorado and Eagle Rivers, in the north-central part of the state. Interstate 70 cuts across the ... Full Story

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