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Full Egg Moon on Wednedsay evening

Full "Egg" Moon on Wednesday evening 

Thursday, April 13th - Full "Egg" Moon...

One of the many names of April's full Moon, which officially occurs at 10:40AM MDT today, is the Egg Moon, an appropriate name this year with Easter this Sunday.

April's full Moon was also sometimes referred to as the "Pink Moon" This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

The above photo of this years full Egg Moon was taken Wednesday evening on Storm Mountain, and is also being featured today on Spaceweather.com.



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Gas prices approaching $3.00/gallon mark

Gas prices approaching $3.00/gallon mark 

Wednesday, April 12th - Oil Companies Begin Summer Rape...
By Darrell E. Spangler

Oil companies are beginning to raise prices in their annual summer rape of consumers geared to again provide them with record profits of historic proportion.

These inflated prices have no basis in reality but rather are manipulated by oil companies. There is no oil shortage. They simply want more money. With oil barons currently running our country, we can be assured of steady increases for the next three years. It is hope of a Nation, that a new administration will address capping oil company profits and regulating consumer prices at the pump in 2009. Until then bend over and take out your wallets as the oil companies again stick it to America.

Local fuel prices have increased over $0.30/gallon in the past month with a gallon of regular currently $0.40 higher than this time last year. Prices for a gallon of regular grade unleaded range from $2.40 at one Loveland station to $2.69 in Estes Park. These prices are expected to increase to a staggering $3.00 to $4.00 a gallon by Memorial Day.

It should also be noted that these projected $3 to $4 a gallon prices are based on perfect conditions. America's disasters have become the oil companies' blessings, allowing them to profit immensely as the rest of our Nation sacrifices, struggles and suffers. Should the wind start to blow in the Gulf of Mexico or from President Bush's arrogant mouth in regards to another illegal war with Iran, the oil companies will speculate that they can again capitalize on the situation, like they did during our last National crisis Hurricane Katrina, and make even more profits, sending fuel prices at the pump as high as $5, $6 or higher.

One way consumers can express their anger over these exorbitant fuel prices is to change their usual vacation plans to eliminate long distance travel. Simply staying home and spending time with your family will hit the oil companies in their heart, also known as their pocketbooks, and save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process. These oil mongers are literally banking that Americans are weak and will never sacrifice or ever do anything like this. We can show them different. 

Family barbeques, fishing with the kids at a local pond or hiking in a local park or forest are all ways to have a fun vacation without feeding the oil companies' bank accounts. Each year New Yorkers travel to California and Californians to New York. Instead, this year explore your local area and you may discover wonderful treasures that do not require hundreds of miles of travel to reach. And the huge message we send to the oil companies in the process would be priceless!

If the majority of Americans did this, oil company profits would be devastated and prices at the pump would quickly start to fall. Drastic measures like this are needed if a reduction in fuel prices is to ever occur. The oil companies will continue to rape consumers of their hard earned dollars for as long as we let them. As the government is under the control of the oil companies, "We The People" must protect our own futures by taking appropriate action against these greedy, un-American corporations. Avoiding long distance vacations this year would be one very effective way of doing precisely that.



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Download Fire Safety Tips

Fire safety tips at FireWise.org 

Monday, April 10th - Fire Concerns Grow As Conditions Worsen...

With hopes of soaking Spring rains diminishing each passing day, area residents are growing more concerned about deteriorating conditions and the increasing fire danger.

The front range foothills have received very little in the way of meaningful precipitation for months, leading to extremely dry conditions across the area. Unseasonably warm, dry weather during January, February and March has compounded the problem, with no substantial relief in the forecast.

Another concern of residents are the numerous youths who will soon be coming to camp and party in the National Forest. These camping parties are known to often include alcohol and drug use. Intoxicated youths burning fires in an extremely dry forest is a sure recipe for disaster. One careless moment could lead to disaster for the entire community.

In addition to their careless use of fire, these partiers throw trash on the roadways and drive recklessly up the access road leading to many complaints from angry residents. Fears of auto accidents are very real as these young drivers are usually less experienced in mountain driving and more aggressive towards other motorists.

The fact is that we must share the area with the public. While FDR 128, the designated access road for the National Forest, runs through our subdivisions, it is at the same time designated as LCR 41H, a county road open to the public.

With minimal law enforcement in the area, residents are advised to keep a vigil watch for fires and other activities throughout the Spring and Summer, and to immediately report any problems or concerns to the Larimer County Sheriff's Department. A strong neighborhood watch of sorts is our best defense against potential wildfires caused by visitors to our area in what could be one of our worst fire seasons in recent memory.

We also cannot stress enough the importance of individual preparedness. Maintaining a fire-safe home and having a clear plan of action should a fire threaten your home are essential in assuring your maximum safety and protection. Below are some steps you can take to better prepare for a wildfire emergency:

  1. Keep financial documents, medical information and insurance papers together in a convenient spot for quick and easy access.

  2. Prepare a kit with all required daily medications and medical supplies.

  3. Develop and rehearse a wildfire action plan with your family members.

  4. Clear and remove all flammable materials within thirty feet of your home.

  5. Assure easy access to your property by emergency equipment by trimming branches and removing obstacles in driveways.

  6. Make sure your property address is easily and clearly visible from the road.

  7. Keep a list or emergency numbers, including your neighbors' phone numbers, near your telephone at all times.

  8. Plan in advance how pets and livestock will be protected and/or evacuated.

Taking steps now can save valuable time should a wildfire situation arise. These fires often occur unexpectedly and can grow very rapidly. Time is of the essence in actions taken at these times. Minutes or even seconds may be all one has to make very critical decisions. Advance preparation is crucial in these types of situations.

For more steps you can take to help assure your home and family is as safe as possible this fire season, we recommend visiting the Fire-Wise website via the link provided below.

FireWise.org



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Northern Lights onSunday Morning..

Northern Lights on Sunday Morning 

Sunday, April 9th - Northern Lights Make Unexpected Appearance... 

In the early morning hours before dawn on Sunday the Aurora Borealis, also know as the Northern Lights, could be seen producing an eerie bluish glow behind clouds in the northern sky.

This display of the Aurora Borealis was somewhat unexpected as it was not the result of increased solar activity, but rather a crack that opened in the Earth's magnetic shield allowing the solar wind to pour in unabated.

The Earth is currently in a direct stream of solar wind increasing the possibility of more auroral displays in the northern skies tonight and tomorrow morning. The current probability of another display in our area within the next 24 hours stands at 25%, steadily increasing in likelihood as you travel northward. 

While this morning's display was quite weak in our area, skywatchers in locations further north saw a much stronger display. Pictures of last night's Aurora Borealis, including the one above taken at 5AM MDT on Storm Mountain, can be seen in Spaceweather.com's, "April Aurora Gallery" via the link provided below.

April Aurora Gallery

 


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Bighorn Sheep along Highway 34

Bighorn Sheep along Highway 34 

Photo Of The Week... 

The warmer temperatures and longer days of Spring are leading to increased wildlife activity like the family of Bighorn Sheep pictured here walking along Highway 34 on Wednesday afternoon.

Along with the increased wildlife activity, Spring weather brings human activity also. Many tourists from other parts of Colorado visit our area at this time of year, enjoying the relative quiet before the tourist season officially begins on Memorial Day.

Residents and visitors alike should be alert for wildlife in the roadway at all times of the day, but particularly in the hours just before sunrise and just after sunset. Many area animals come to the rivers for water at these times and in so doing must often cross area roads. A courtesy of flashing headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of wildlife in the road is a common practice and has helped prevent many accidents.

Bighorn at intersection of Highway 24 and CR 43If you are planning a trip to our area please respect all speed limit signs and stay alert for animal and/or people in the roadways. An accident with a Bighorn Sheep or other larger animal not only is most often fatal for the animal, very substantial damage to vehicles can occur with the possibility of injuries to the occupants. 

So slow down some and enjoy the beautiful scenery our area has to offer. If you do stop to view our area wildlife, always pull completely off of the road and never stand in the paved section. Also avoid approaching any wildlife as they may easily be spooked into running into traffic, meeting a tragic and unnecessary fate.


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2006 Storm Mountain News