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    Zapata Tent Camps

    “We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

    And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

    This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

    by Duke Phillips

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May 9, 2016

Spring

Spring is here in the valley and there are signs of it everywhere. The cottonwoods are greening up, hearty wildflowers are bursting through the ground and wildlife and their young can be spotted all around. Pronghorn, bison, and elk calves pepper the valley and mule deer fawns, jackrabbits, and a variety of birds can be seen around the lodge. I’ve even seen gray foxes just down the road from the ranch, which was very exciting. Spring is truly a special

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March 29, 2016

Short-eared Owls

When I first talked with Duke about Mountain Plovers 10 years ago he said “they are up on the hill.”  A casual observer would see Chico as flat grasslands, a few ponds and some riparian areas, but no hills.  But, a careful observer sees the prairie as a multitude of microhabitats, each habitat supporting a unique flora and fauna.  Short-eared Owls sometimes winter on the Chico but since they roost on the ground, they need dense cover from predators and

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January 22, 2016

Office Coyote

I spend the majority of my day in the office, but that is not to say I don’t see a lot of incredible things from my window. Lately a lone coyote has been loitering around the lodge grounds, behind the office in particular. The dogs let me know with a low growl every time it’s around and we watch through the large office window until it leaves. Usually it’s just passing through, but today I watched it do a few

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October 12, 2015

Fall

The rabbit brush and prairie grasses began to glow under the early evening sun as we drove out to the southern part of Chico Basin Ranch. Duke had the truck bed brimming with all the afternoon necessities: cooler, chairs, fishing rods, snacks, and our dogs. Saturday was clear, so as the sun began its decent, the mountains popped against their glowing backdrop. Even in the center of Upper Twin Lake the bugs left us alone. The air was cool and quiet, except for the occasional splash from a fish and

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May Camp, 9.8.15, 7:09PM
September 26, 2015

Late Summer Blooms

A series of images showing the change in season from summer to fall.

April 2, 2015

Many Hands

The tumbleweeds had taken over. They stood several stories high. Thick enough to stop a tractor. The grove of trees where education and bird banding take place had been completely engulfed. It was easy for me to look at this giant mass and feel defeated. How do you return this impenetrable forest of tumbleweeds back into a beautiful area that everyone can enjoy once again? Many Hands.

That Saturday morning, community volunteers trickled in until we had a small army. I

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March 23, 2015

Community

This weekend on the Chico Basin Ranch, we hosted our tumble weed removal day near the bird banding area. It was incredible to see so many people show up and volunteer their time and efforts to help clear tumble weeds so that we would be ready to start our bird banding project. Many of the volunteers were birders, who were passionate about birding and wildlife. It was nice to see this community come together in efforts to make this area

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February 20, 2015

Bring on the Snow!

We’ve had an incredibly mild winter so far in the valley and the snow has come and gone a few times. This weekend we are due to have a huge snow storm so we are keeping our fingers crossed that our last weekend before seasonal staff and guests arrive is filled with sledding on the dunes ( highly recommended) and watching the flakes fall.

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October 2, 2014

Fall is Here

Yesterday, after the clouds cleared from the storm, Pikes Peak’s shoulders were covered with the first snow of the season. Mornings are now crisp, the middle of the days warm, the range gold, yellow and tan and full of grass from the wonderful rains this summer. Fall is in here in full force. The snow tells us what we already know: winter is on its way. We are all looking forward to the new season

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