Wildlife emerges with spring

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Springtime in the Rockies continued a bit more subdued this weather week.

Having been up in the seventies four times during the past month and down in the 50s only once, we were due for a slight correction. Our coldest day and night were within our first 24 hours with 56.5 on Wednesday followed by 21.5 early Thursday morning. Then three days followed in the lower 60s. Sunday back into the 50s with a touch of graupel and snow flurries for good measure.

Same upper-50s range on Tuesday with our warmest day this weather week. All nights were below freezing with water levels in the Animas and its tributaries lower than the previous week resulting. This is all likely subject to change when we warm up again considerably.

Which is what my National Weather Service forecaster friends assure me will be happening likely for the week ahead of us.

Lots of wildlife out and about in the back country as well as here in town. A mama moose gave birth to a new calf on Monday.

Bears have been turning over large rocks in search of whatever may crawl out along some of our favorite trails. Wildflowers often challenge our knowledge of botanical species.

Here is a list of this week’s positive identifier on the trail rather than in alphabetical order, wild strawberries. Solomon’s Seal. White pussy-toes, Fleabane, Prairie Smoke, Ferry Slipper and red Columbine. Ferry Slippers are the only local orchards we have seen this season.

Warm days and drying wind have made for a very different hiking experience for us than in most years. This week’s only butterfly addition were several Tiger Swallowtails — which we have never seen this early. Enjoy the warmth and wonder of the natural world.

The wilds beckon and we just can’t stay away.