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Spring Snow Blankets Area...

Spring Snow Blankets Area

Thursday,  March 29th - Spring Snow Blankets Area...

A potent Spring weather system is currently dropping moderate to heavy snow across the front range foothills including the Drake, Glen Haven and Storm Mountain areas.

As of 5am, 3 to 6 inches of overnight accumulation and snowfall rates of 1/2 to 1 inch per hour were being reported. Area roads are currently reported as snow-packed and slushy.

Residents are advised to use extreme caution if traveling today and to allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination.

Snow is expected to continue through tomorrow with heavier amounts west of I-25. Snowfall may intensify this afternoon particularly in the higher elevations.

No official weather watches or warnings are currently in effect for our immediate area.

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Male Red Crossbill...

Male Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

Sunday,  March 25th - Photo Of The Week...

Taken on Thursday morning this week's photo features a male Red Crossbill perched in a young Aspen tree along Many Parks Curve in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is a Medium-sized finch with red-orange body, brighter red rump, and dark brown wings. Bill is dark and crossed at tip. Tail is notched. Female has yellow-orange crown and rump, olive-green body, and gray-brown wings and tail. Juvenile is streaked brown overall.

The Red Crossbill breeds from southern Alaska, Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland, south in the west to northern Nicaragua, and in eastern U.S. to Wisconsin and North Carolina (in mountains). They spend winters irregularly south to the Gulf coast; also in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests; visits ornamental evergreens in winter.

The crossed mandibles of the bill of these unusual birds are specialized for opening pine cones. Holding the cone with one foot, the bird inserts its closed bill between the cone and the scales, pries the scales apart by opening its bill, and extracts the seed with its flexible tongue. Because of its dependence on pine seeds, the Red Crossbill is an erratic and nomadic species appearing in large numbers, then not appearing for several years. When the cone supply fails, these birds gather in flocks and may wander far from their normal haunts.

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Chemicals being applied to LCR41H on September 12, 2007...

Chemicals being applied to LCR41H on
September 12, 2007

Thursday,  March 22nd - Road Crews Cited By State...

Roads crews from the Cedar Park and Cedar Springs subdivisions on Storm Mountain were recently cited by the State for violation of the Colorado Water Quality Act.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Water Control Division recently served the road crews who were responsible for the chemical application with a "Notice of Violation" and "Cease and Desist Order" for the negligent use of dust control chemicals on LCR41H, leading to contamination of State waters.

Residents have repeatedly complained about the applications of dust control chemicals running onto private lands and into the area streams since 2004. This runoff has reportedly killed many large, mature trees and various shrubs in its path. 

In 2005, an area dog was reported to have died from exposure to the road chemicals running through private property. Toxicology revealed the presence of arsenic in the deceased dog's liver and kidneys. Testing off the runoff in 2004 confirmed high amounts of arsenic, barium and chromium to be present in the sludge left on private land by the runoff from the road.

In addition to the roads crews, the chemical manufacturer, Enviortech, and trucking company which applied the chemicals were also cited for this violation.

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Earth's position on the Vernal Equinox...

Earth's position on the Vernal Equinox

Tuesday,  March 20th - Spring Begins Today...

This evening at 6:07PM MST The Vernal Equinox will occur signaling the the official start of the Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and Fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Vernal Equinox is the first day of Spring and on this day the sun is directly over the equator (0º latitude). The lengths of day and night are about equal (hence Equinox), and the sun rises due east and sets due west.

Since the winter solstice the sun has been traveling northward. The days should now become longer and warmer in the northern hemisphere.

It is just the opposite in the southern hemisphere where it will be the autumnal equinox "down under." It will be Fall there and they are moving towards Winter while we are moving towards Summer.

Many of the ancient cultures made buildings or had stone calendars using shadows or a beam of sunlight to mark this day. The Mayans in Southern Mexico built solar alignments into their buildings. On the vernal equinox at Chichen Itz, Mexico, a shadow, in the form of a serpent will appear on the main staircase of the great pyramid. Then it will move down the stairs as the sun moves across the sky.

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