A Paean to Pets 
& Wildlife

Not long ago, I overheard a neighbor saying on the phone, "Where I live, the word 'nightlife' usually refers to the critters that knock over the trash can around three in the morning." While that probably sells our local entertainment options a bit short, it's true that we're long on things that go bump in the night. In the summer,…

Man’s Most Loyal Friend

I have had two incredibly faithful dogs: Parker, a huge 100-pound golden retriever, and Buster, a 110-pound yellow lab. Parker was with me for 12 years, Buster for 10 years. In time, they both fell ill and had to take the horrible one-way trip. Sad as that thought is, the memories are wonderful. As I write this, I’m smiling. When…

The Joy of Mountain Fair

During the last weekend in July, more than 20,000 happy fair-goers gathered for the 45th annual Mountain Fair, sponsored by Carbondale Arts. Three days of music, artisans and performers, ranging from fire dancers and aerial silks performers to salsa and belly dancers, kept everyone enthralled. Photos by Renee Ramge.

Around Town

The Aspen Community Foundation recently released a report on its Cradle to Career Initiative (CCI), a collaborative intervention that helps improve the educational outcomes for 20,000 children who live between Aspen and Parachute. In 2011, when CCI began, severe achievement gaps existed between local low-income children and their more affluent peers. That’s not surprising; nationally, family income correlates closely with…

Local Nonprofit Documents New Species in Mozambique

Alliance Earth, a nonprofit environmental and scientific reporting initiative based in Basalt, is determined not only to document the wonders of Mount Mabu’s biodiversity, it’s also eager to involve young people in learning about them.

Where the Wild Things Are — 
Getting a Second Chance

t’s a sunny Saturday morning as I pull into the driveway of a ranch home on County Road 346 in Silt. The house is a beautiful old sandstone affair, shaded handsomely by tall trees and hidden almost entirely from view. If I hadn’t known what I was looking for, I might have driven past without a second thought.

Driving Mule Teams in the Roaring Fork Valley

Pulling up to a trailhead, it’s interesting to see the mix of recreational lifestyles: mountain bikers, dirt bikers, hikers, trail runners…and pack mules. Mules?! Seeing a string of pack mules heading into the backcountry triggers visions of old-timey camp trips, hunting, fishing and adventure. Who’s lucky enough to cash in on this?

A Colorado Retirement for Rock Stars of the Racetrack

If it’s true that horses leave hoof prints on your heart, then Carbondale real estate broker Lynn Kirchner has star-powered prints engraved into hers. For years, she owned a son of Triple-Crown winner Secretariat, the thoroughbred that set records in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Fishing for New Stories

A friend, knee-deep in a masters program for rangeland ecology, lamented once that ignorance was indeed bliss, telling me that knowing too much had trashed her crush on the West.

Picking Heirloom Apples at Orchard Creek Ranch

“Our orchard gives children a chance to see where apples really come from—and that’s not just a store shelf,” says Orchard Creek Ranch owner Kirstie Steiner-Groccia. During apple picking season at this 75-year-old-orchard, kids can use an apple plucker—Steiner describes it as a “basket on a stick”—while their parents and grandparents take a trip down memory lane.

Landscapes that Marry Ecology with Psychology

“Fifteen minutes of relaxation can change the course of your day. My work creates those opportunities,” muses landscape designer Genevieve Joelle Villamizar. “More so than ever, landscape design is the creation of spaces inviting us to ‘be’, to live in joy and connect.”

Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather

As the person who receives homeowners’ winter distress calls at Ajax Mechanical Services, Janice Sebald is keenly aware of what can go wrong—and how to avoid it. Ajax Mechanical serves hundreds of customers in Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle Counties, caring for home and commercial HVAC, plumbing and water treatment systems, as well as humidification and snow-melt equipment. Among Ajax’s customer…

The Evolution of Automotive Design at Berthod Motors

Over the past summer, Berthod Motors, a venerable Roaring Fork Valley business, has been offering a new generation of automotive designs that set a contemporary standard of design and excellence.

Scotty Trailer Gets a Makeover

John Watkins, an architect/builder who volunteers at CAREJohn Watkins, an architect/builder who volunteers at CARE building kennels and cat condos, has a sideline restoring old trailers. The most recent one is an aptly-named Scotty trailer. Watkins describes it as “a cute little camper with a canned-ham body style that people fall in love with." He says, "She’s basically a brand-new…

Of Relationships and Herding Cats

Many parents get pets for their kids to teach them about the care that goes into building a relationship. That's probably why, when I was two, my mother got me a black puppy that I named “Bow Wow.” All her life, my mom laughed about the neighbors’ reactions when she would lean out the back door and call, "Bow Wow!…