Information Provided by Colorado Division of wildlife http://wildlife.state.co.us
Description: Black bears are familiar to everyone, and with the demise of the grizzly bear they are the largest of Colorado's carnivores. Although called black bears, they can be honey-colored, blond, brown, cinnamon or black. They may have a tan muzzle or white spot on the chest. Although brown or cinnamon-colored bears are sometimes mistaken for grizzly bears, there are no known grizzlies living in Colorado.
Adult females are called sows, adult males are called boars, and youngsters are called cubs.
Adult males weigh from 275 pounds. Females weight about 175 pounds. Depending on the season, food supply and gender, black bears may weigh anywhere from 100 to 450 pounds. Black bears measure about 3 feet high when on all four feet. They can be 5 feet tall when standing on back legs.
Cubs stay with the mother bear for their first year, denning with the mother and littermates over the winter. By the time of their second spring, they will be self-reliant and will separate from their mother by the second autumn.
Range: In Colorado, the largest populations of black bears live in areas where there is Gambel’s oak and aspen, near open areas of chokecherry and serviceberry bushes. A black bear may have a range from 10 to 250 square miles.
Diet: Black bears learn to eat natural foods, such as berries, nuts and insects, as they are taught to forage by mother bears. People who live or camp in bear country need to be sure they don’t teach bears to become “garbage” bears by careless handling of food, scraps and garbage. Bears who find human food, even once, can change their habits to seek food from human residences and trash cans. Most bears seen in residential areas near or within bear habitat do not cause any damage. If a bear doesn’t find abundant food, it will move on.
Reproduction: Male bears are capable of breeding when they are 3 years old. Some female bears breed as early as 3 or 4 years of age, but 5 years is more common. After a 2-3 months of gestation, 1 to 3 tiny cubs are born mid-winter, typically while the mother is still in the den. Newborn cubs – weighing less than a pound at birth -- are blind, toothless and covered with very fine hair. When they emerge from the den in early or mid-May, they will weigh 10 to 15 pounds.
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Description: The marten (often called the pine marten or American marten) is a weasel that lives in trees. Males are about two feet long, with an eight inch tail, and they weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. Females are 10 to 20 percent smaller than the males and weigh only half as much as males. Martens are brown, right to the tip of the tail, and a pale yellowish brown beneath. Martens are mostly nocturnal, but when they are hungry they are active day or night. As other weasels, martens are active year round. In the coldest weather they may den in a tree hole or chickaree nest.
Martens are tolerant of humans and easily accommodate to feeding areas. In the old days, a marten was the resident mouser in many a miner's cabin.
Range: Martens are mammals of coniferous forests in northern and western North America.
Habitat: In Colorado, favored habitats are old-growth subalpine forests of spruce, fir or lodgepole pine.
Diet: In these forests is where they pursue their preferred food, the chickaree or pine squirrel; as well as nesting birds. On the ground they also capture red-backed voles.
Reproduction: Mating occurs in the summer, but embryos don't implant until early spring. One to five young are born in April after about a month of gestation. Typical of weasels, the young are blind and nearly naked, but develop rapidly and are weaned at about two months of age. No species habitually preys on martens; trapping and habitat destruction from clear-cutting trees probably are the most important sources of mortality.
Information provide by http://montana.plant-life.org
General: perennial from widespread rhizome-like roots that
form new shoots freely. Stems usually simple, 1-3 m tall,
hairless except for fine hairs in the flower cluster and,
especially, on the ovaries. Often in large colonies.
Leaves: alternate, narrowly lanceolate, almost stalkless,
5-20 cm long and 0.5-3.5 cm wide, slightly paler and veiny
beneath, numerous on stem.
Flowers: rose to purple, rarely white, with 4 petals 8-20
mm long. Numerous flowers in terminal, greatly elongate
clusters, lower flowers blooming first. Sepals 8-12 mm long.
Style 1-2 cm long, longer than the 8 stamens, softly long-
hairy on the lower portion, stigma 4-cleft.
Flowering time: June-September.
Fruits: erect, linear pods, 4-8 cm long, green to reddish,
splitting lengthwise to release 100's of seeds, each tipped
with a fluffy, dirty-whitish hair tuft.
Common well up into the mountains, especially along
highways and railroads and on old burns, in all parts of MT
except the extreme se. parts. Also in the rest of the U.S.
Edible and Medicinal plant: see below.
(click on image for full size)
English Names Index
Scientific Names Index
Leaves and young shoot tips of fireweed are edible, raw or cooked. Early season shoots are considered to be delicacy by some, and are harvested late spring or early in the summer. Shoots and young stems are peeled and can be eaten raw or steamed as a substitute for asparagus. When properly prepared soon after picking they are a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Yupik eskimos preserved the stems in seal oil in order to have them year-round, and their name for Fireweed, Pahmeyuktuk, referred to its edibility. The peelings of the stems were not wasted as they were dried and used to weave strong twine for fishing nets.
Very young leaves are also edible in salads or in soups or steeped for use as a tonic tea for upset stomach. The leaves should only be used when they are young, and with moderation. Infusions of leaves have been known to cause nausea. Mature leaves become tough and bitter, but by then the unopened flowerbuds are tasty for salads or in stir-fries. A syrup was traditionally extracted from the stems and flowers, having a high mucilage content that made it useful among native peoples in preparing berry-cakes that dry solidly. Today the flowers are harvested to make Fireweed Jelly, available from small cottage-industry canning companies. Pioneer Alaskans used the sweet pith in the manufacture of ales and vinegars. The root can be eaten raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder. Used in spring, it has a sweet taste.
Although sometimes considered a weed, it has a long history of use as a medicinal plant. The herb is antispasmodic, hypnotic, laxative and tonic, and has agents that cause tissue to contract, and that soften and soothe the skin when applied locally. Historically, medicinal use includes oral use of the plant extracts, often in the form of an infusion or tea, as a treatment for prostate and urinary problems including benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate, and for various gastrointestinal disorders such as dysentery or diarrhea. Topically the plant has been used traditionally as a soothing, cleansing and healing agent to treat minor burns, skin rashes, ulcers, and numerous other skin irritations and afflictions.
Chemically, the plant contains an abundance of phenolic compounds, tannins and flavonoids, many of which appear to have biological activity. Fireweed is also a medicine of the Upper Inlet Denalina, who treat pus-filled boils or cuts by placing a piece of the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the pus out of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with pus in it from healing over too quickly. The Blackfoot Indians used the powdered inner cortex rubbed on the hands and face to protect them from the cold during the winter. They also made a tea of roots and inner cortex given to babies as an enema for constipation.
A fiber obtained from the outer stems can be used to make cordage. The 'cottony' seed hairs has been used as a stuffing material or as tinder.
Information Provided by
Spore Print: White
Coniferous Forest typically near pines and other confiers.
Red with White Spots. White Gills on Bottom. Some say this is Colorados Magic Mushroom which is quite different than a Psilocybin mushroom. Some eat this mushroom for the intoxicating effects which is not recommended and is a dangerous practice. People who have eaten it say its best to dry the caps first. It is said that people who try this mushroom for its intoxicating effects often regret it. Other mushrooms in the amanita genus have caused fatalities. This is one of the only known hallucinogenic mushrooms in colorado. It grows in abundance during summer months and can be found at most elevations in the woods. It is called the "Fly Agaric" because is was once used as a fly poison. It was also said to be used by the vikings for intoxication. Famous for its association with the Lewis Carroll book 'Alice in Wonderland'. There is a long history of associations with religions, fairys, gnomes and is surrounded by mysticism. It is also considered a good luck charm in the same way as a four leafed clover.
Information Provided by
Spore Print: Olive to Brown
Color: Red to Brown
High Elevation above 10,000 ft. Typically under Spruce or Fir Trees.
The Boletus Edulis or King Bolete is a very large mushroom that is very easy to identify. This is one of the most common hunted mushrooms in colorado. Season from June through August typically. Once you see one you will never forget. Lookalikes include some Leccinum species which can be ruled out by black scales on the stem, along with staining blackish grey, reddish or other colors when they are cut in half after several minutes. Leccinum species are usually found in Aspen groves. The King Boleta Mushroom will stay white when cut in half and is usually found under conifers.
The caps are great sauted in butter, brushed with olive oil and grilled, or caps filled with cheese and broiled. They can be cut into 1/4 strips and sun dried for preservation for use in soups, gravies, or used as flavorings.
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Spore Print: Brown
Sarcodon imbricatus grows at higher elevations in coniferous woods. S. imbricatus very common in Colorado.
Also known as Hydnum imbricatum. This is a good mushroom for beginners as nothing looks quite like it and its easy to distingish. There are no known poisonous look alikes. Edibility is best in younger specimens. Tastes very mushroomy with a slight bitterness. They tend to get infested with bugs rather quickly after fruiting.
A close relative Sarcodon Scabrosus has been found to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.
This on-going citizen science project aims to catalogue the biodiveristy of the Eagle Valley, specifically the area on and around Vail.
This is an interactive opportunity to catalogue the natural world using technology and provide data to a local, state and global database, making your nature observations more meaningful while connecting with other wildlife enthusiasts