American Beavers

WE DO NOT DESERVE BEAVERS. Well, OK. American beavers can be complicated neighbors. They sometimes interfere with our plans, tunneling into canal banks, flooding farmers’ fields and blocking and rerouting waterways. They can destroy infrastructure and take down power lines. They harvest landscape plantings. But oh, the beneficial things they do for us while they …

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Ragpicker Magic

MAGIC? AT A USED BOOKSTORE? You’d expect to find it at the tarot reader’s place, the Buddhist  temples, or among the breathtaking 14,000-foot peaks towering over the small community of Crestone. But at the used bookstore? That’s right, if you intend to explore the esoteric wonders of the little town nestled among the Sangre de …

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Whimsy, Welding and Nostalgia

UPDATED Editors note: John passed away Dec. 8 after sustaining multiple injuries in a car accident on Nov. 12. Please give here if you are able. Thank you. COOPER THE WHOOPER, a pile of welded and painted farm tools and spare parts, stands on U.S. 160 in the center of Monte Vista. Cooper was my …

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The Art and Business of Recycling

I’M A PRETTY GOOD RECYCLER. I don’t mind separating the materials and making periodic treks to the public recycle center, where I put recyclables in separate containers for collection. It makes me feel good. And it’s free. Or was free. Effective April 2021, Chaffee County no longer has public drop-off sites for recycling. Our only …

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Pickleball Passion

IT WAS A BLUEBIRD-SKY SUNDAY MORNING in Buena Vista as I squinted against the intense sun, following the outstretched arm of Stephanie McDonald, the USA Pickleball district ambassador for southern Colorado. Her gesture encompassed the center of the newly poured pickleball courts, as she described where eventually there will be bleachers for fans to observe …

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Lincoln Park Legacy

THE GENTLE ROLLING HILLS JUST SOUTH OF Cañon City are covered with the green that a semi-desert landscape can produce: low grasses, cactus, shrub-like pine and juniper trees. Ground and surface waters drain northeast from the Wet Mountains immediately adjacent, though surface waters flowing through the area, like Sand Creek, tend to appear only following …

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