Every year, Pinewood Springs has one or more foxes roaming around the neighborhood. Julie Goon said, “It was in my yard on the side of the house nearest to Deer Street, on the dark (east) side.”
Adult foxes do not stay in their dens to keep warm; instead they curl up in a ball in a safe spot. They will often dig burrows in the snow which keeps them warm. They can use their tail to keep warm, and their paws have thick fur. It is interesting to note that red foxes have small body parts (their legs, necks, and ears) compared to the rest of the fox family. Therefore, less body surface is exposed. They will keep this thick warm fur coat that aids in heat insulation until spring.
It is “all the rage” in Pinewood Springs — spotting this cute black fox. There are almost daily postings on the Pinewood Springs Facebook page. Some noted that he seemed to have an injured leg, but it seems to be improving. Although this may be a first black fox in the area in recent times, in America, one in five foxes is black. It is a melanistic variant of the red fox. (melanism refers to black pigment)
“(We had) an orphan bear, and his one year older brother that our dogs treed. The little guy was too scared to come out of the tree overnight and slept there,” said Claire Jordan. She took the photo in Allenspark, where she currently lives. She grew up on Blue Mountain Road in Lyons. “I grew up in Lyons, went to UW Seattle for school (graphic and industrial design, and biology) then moved my family back here to raise my kiddos.”
Living here in Lyons means having black bears as neighbors. Almost everyone has had encounters with black bears, and most are enjoyable. At a safe distance we can coexist with these wonderful wild animals. In 2019, Lyons showed an increase in bear activity, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Most of these are food related, such as people leaving garbage out. Anecdotally, we can safely say the same for 2020. For more information, see our article on bears.
February Elk surprise! Robyn Sloan captures the wildlife around her property on webcams, and is well aware of what is happening in the area. But, she said that she was surprised when she came home from running errands, and she found 40 elk in their meadow. “We never get them this time of year. I wonder if the cold weather moved them off their winter feeding grounds. I hope they stick around long enough to lose an antler or two!”
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there are over 280,000 of the animals. Colorado’s elk population is the largest in the world. It peaked in 2001 at 305,000 animals. Currently there is a drop in calf population. In the early 1900s, only 40,000 elk remained in all of North America. Through a few different efforts, elk were brought to Colorado in the early 1900s, including Estes Park where they had been hunted down in an unregulated game resort market. Rocky Mountain elk are now one of the greatest conservation success stories in Colorado.
“There are four Tom’s and at least three other younger ones not puffed up,” said Cindy Tully LeMaire. She lives on Hopi Court in Pinewood Springs. “We get between 20-40 in groups daily; coming around 7a.m. every day; then throughout the day. I do have high bird feeders they come get what falls, But I don’t feed them.”
“I’ve trained my dog not to chase the turkeys and deer,” continued Cindy. “They don’t seem to be bothered by each other. At least they run when I come out. (Chasing) the squirrels is harder to break; and I definitely don’t let him chase the beautiful albert squirrels.”
Hunters call them “gobblers,” but most people call them “Tom Turkey.” February and March are breeding season in Colorado. Wild Turkeys nest on the ground in dead leaves at the bases of trees, under brush piles or thick shrubbery, or in Pinewood that would more likely be under Ponderosa pine needles.
Local Carol Groves has an enchanted garden in her downtown Lyons backyard. She enjoys feeding the birds all year long. Can you name the ones in the photograph?
Many birds migrate south for the winter, but some don’t. So, how do birds survive frigid temperatures? Explore the many ways they do this in our article. Some are behavioral reasons, some are physiological.
Lyons Readers: Send in your photos of the LYONS AREA wildlife, year-round, to LyonsRecorder.Editor@gmail.com Share your joy with fellow residents! Photographs should be of wildlife found in the “Greater Lyons Area,” which could include Allenspark, Pinewood Springs, Spring Gulch, Apple Valley, Rocky Mt. National Park… and preferably taken by a resident of the Lyons area. The Lyons Recorder reserves the right to not publish photographs submitted.