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Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) as seen from Storm Mountain on Wednesday evening...

Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) as seen from Storm Mountain on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, October 12th - Comet SWAN Visible In Evening Sky...

Newly discovered Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) is now visible in the northwestern sky just after sunset. This is the fourth visible comet of 2006.

Although still too faint for naked eye viewing, Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) is an easy target for binoculars and small backyard telescopes. SWAN also shows up well in longer exposure photographs of 30 seconds or more.

The comet is expected to stay in our northwestern skies throughout the month of October, getting higher in the sky each evening and possibly becoming a naked-eye object under dark skies away from the glow of city lights..

Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) was discovered in July of 2006. The comet was found on images obtained using the SWAN camera, hence its name, aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft during the period of June 20 to July 5.

To see Comet SWAN, look to the northwest just after sunset. SWAN is currently located just below and to the left of the end star in the handle of the Big Dipper, rising slightly higher in the sky each evening. A finder map for the month of October is provided below. 

"Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) Finder Map"

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Snow possible tonight in northern mountains and foothills...

Snow possible tonight in northern
mountains and foothills

Monday, October 9th - Snow Possible Tonight...

A series of cold fronts and upper level disturbances are expected to bring measurable snow to the mountains and foothills during the first half of the week, beginning on Monday evening.

Along with measurable snowfall, the area will also experience some of the coldest temperatures of the season, with an Arctic blast sending nighttime lows into the low 20's by mid-week.

Area residents are advised to be prepared for possible winter driving conditions, particularly in rural areas of the mountains and foothills. Gardeners are advised to harvest or bring indoors any remaining crops and/or flowers, as a killing freeze is expected.

The National Weather Service in Denver has issued a "Snow Advisory" in effect from noon Monday through 6:00AM MDT on Tuesday for the majority of the mountains and foothills. Current predictions are for 4-8 inches of snow in our area. The complete text of the official advisory can be found via the link provided below.

"Snow Advisory"

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Beautiful Fall Colors along Devil's Backbone on Friday...

Beautiful Fall colors along the Devil's
Backbone on Friday

Sunday, October 8th - Photo Of The Week...

As Fall colors fade away in the higher elevations, the mid to lower elevations are at their peak of color this weekend. The colors along the Devil's Backbone are featured in this week's photo of the week.

The Devil's Backbone, a narrow formation of rock running north-south along the front range of Colorado, is one of the most impressive and visible geologic landmarks in Larimer County, as well as an important cultural feature with a rich and colorful history. The Devil's Backbone is also is the main attraction in the 2,198 acre, Devil's Backbone Open Space in Larimer County.

The Devil's Backbone Open Space protects wildlife habitat, a rare plant community and provides for expanded recreational activities. Its focal point, a unique rock formation featuring The Keyhole, is easily spotted from many locales. 

View of the "Keyhole" through changing cottonwoods.The Devil's Backbone is located off Hidden Valley Drive, approximately 2 miles west of the intersection of Wilson and Eisenhower in Loveland. It is a very popular spot, so if you should arrive and find the parking lot full you will know that the trails are at maximum capacity.

While hiking the trails be sure to stay alert for rattlesnakes and other hazards present in the area. Informative brochures at the trailhead provide  information on the area including safety precautions around these hazards.

The Devil's Backbone area provides a wealth of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding on the 7-mile trail system. The trailhead at Devil's Backbone features restroom facilities, drinking water, horse-trailer parking and a picnic area. 

The vast majority of the trees in this area are currently at their peak of Fall color making this a prime time to visit one of our local, Larimer County treasures.

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County Commissioners Oppose Amendment 38...

Larimer County Commissioners Oppose
Amendment 38

Tuesday, October 3rd - County Commissioners Oppose Amendment 38...

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today agreed to consider a formal resolution next week, Tuesday, October 10, at their Administrative Matters meeting, in opposition to Amendment 38, a statewide issue on the November general election ballot. The Board agreed today that all three were opposed to the amendment.

The amendment asks voters to approve changes to Colorado’s initiative and referendum law by extending the initiative process to all levels of Colorado government including counties, cities and special districts.

To show their opposition to Amendment 38, the Board will consider a formal resolution October 10th during the weekly Administrative Matters. The Board of Larimer County Commissioners had the following comments today concerning their opposition:

Chair, Glenn Gibson said, “I oppose Amendment 38 because it does not support representative government. We are elected to make decisions and amendment 38 takes that action out of our hands. Since we are a democratic republic, citizens review our decisions when we come up for re-election.”

Commissioner Kathay Rennels said, “I oppose Amendment 38 because it truly creates less representative government and further confuses an already complicated system.”

Commissioner Karen Wagner said, “Amendment 38 overly complicates the initiative and referendum process for all levels of government within Colorado. Of particular importance is the fact that the objective analysis of ballot issues and their projected costs (contained in the state’s Blue Book) would be replaced by the required publication of unedited arguments mailed at taxpayer expense.”

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