Category Archives for // weather
April 13, 2017

Chasing the Green

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

May 9, 2016


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


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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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


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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