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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, September 21, 2014

‘Variety’ Archives

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

A Murder Most Enjoyable

By Shari Phiel Berthoud Recorder For more than 50 years, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has been bringing the comedies, tragedies and histories of the incomparable English bard to sold-out audiences in Boulder. The second-oldest Shakespeare festival -- and one of the top three according to Time magazine -- in the country, CSF kicked off its 2009 season on July 2 to a packed audience with Shakespeare’s longest play, “Hamlet.” Since joining CSF as producing artistic director in 2007, ... 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

Colorado’s Botanical Symbols

By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder The State of Colorado has three official botanical symbols: the State Flower, the State Tree, and the State Grass. Probably you can name the first two, but who knew we also have a State Grass? The State Flower is the white and lavender columbine, also called the Colorado columbine. Its scientific name is Aquilegia caerulea, and it belongs to the Ranunculaceae (buttercup family). Its distinguishing feature is a flower with a cluster of five ... Full Story

How Old Are Those Hills?

How Old Are Those Hills? By Doug Nichols Berthoud Recorder “As old as the hills” is what some folks say when they mean that something is very old. But, actually how old are those hills, specifically those lofty peaks of the Colorado Front Range, those mountains just to our west? That is an interesting question, and the answer is not simple. For one thing, the peaks of the Colorado Front Range, including Longs Peak to our west, Mount Evans to the south, and Pikes Peak near ... Full Story

Reporter-as-Detective at Heart of Political Thriller

By Sandy Barnes Berthoud Recorder Russell Crowe’s gusty portrayal of reporter Cal McAffrey brings life to the film “State of Play.” A thriller with more twists and turns than a high-tech ride at Six Flags, the movie centers around political corruption and the journalistic will to uncover it in Washington, D.C. An unlikely looking hero, Crowe’s pudgy appearance and messy lifestyle comprise a refreshing change from the spiffy Robert Redford character in the classic “All the ... Full Story

I Need a Drink!

By Doug Nichols  Berthoud Recorder That is what the trees and shrubs in your yard probably are saying right now. March was supposed to be our snowiest month, but despite the recent spring snowstorms, we are still behind in precipitation. Water has long been a topic of critical interest in Colorado, and the low amounts of snow or rain so far this year make it even more pressing for local homeowners and gardeners. Here in Berthoud, our municipal water supply comes from the Western Slope ... Full Story

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