A menagerie of summer delights...

June is the time to celebrate all things bright and beautiful – the sun, our gardens, summer concerts – as well as all creatures great and small.

I live with two indoor house cats and I suspect that I live with many outdoor creatures, too. My yard is home to multiple garter snakes, all called “Rupert,” and my feeder attracts chickadees, goldfinches, doves, junkos and my favorite, the jaunty-topped Steller’s Jay. I see deer tracks, and my neighbors have alerted me to bears in the yard at night. I’m still wondering what critter dug up my flower bulbs this spring – not once, not twice, but eight times!

Perhaps Ken Krehbiel, whose motion-activated camera has captured hundreds of four-footed nocturnal visitors, could tell me. You can learn about Ken and his cameras in our Around Town department.

This issue of Roaring Fork Lifestyle brings together a full menagerie: Garden expert Lynn Dwyer writes about how to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to our gardens. Readers will get an inside look at WindWalkers, where Anne Merz offered me a chance to tag along during her weekly riding lesson. (This month’s editor’s photo was taken during that ride.) Readers will meet our Missouri Heights neighbor Susan Proctor and her llamas, and they will learn about the work of Martha Cochran and the Aspen Valley Land Trust. AVLT saves open spaces and habitat that supports creatures ranging from moose, lynx and bighorn sheep to toads, otters and wild turkeys.

The start of summer features festivals aplenty: The Glenwood Springs Art Guild updates readers on its All Members’ Show, which opens June 6, and the cancellation of a decades-long tradition, the Fall Art Show. Readers can enjoy images of the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo and check out the history of Strawberry Days. (I’m hoping that that eagles, owls and hawks that have been shown at Strawberry Days by the rescue organization HawkQuest will be back again this year.)

People here often tell me, “I came here for the winter skiing, but I stayed for the summer.” With art shows, concerts, festivals, races, running, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and biking just minutes away, it’s easy to understand why. Get out there and go hog wild!