Strong winds and less volunteers than expected did not stop MPEC and the great Denver-based organization VOC (Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado) from making a significant upgrade to the Devil's Canyon Trail this past weekend. Improved creek crossings, a 900 foot new trail re-route that brings the trail out of the rough, rocky and sometimes water-filled drainage into a lovely sun-dappled forest above the drainage, and closing off the old section of trail made for a busy weekend in Pueblo Mountain Park. The outcome is a wonderful improvement to the park's system of trails. While the adults were putting their sweat and muscle into the trails project, MPEC educators facilitated a "Young Stewards" camp for the youngsters. (Photos: VOC volunteer Glenn Ward instructing volunteers; moving a large rock into the creek bed; a happy volunteer digging new trail tread; where that large rock wound up as part of a new creek crossing.)
In the morning I begin my Colorado Trail fund-raising hike for Nature Education...learn more about it at www.rangerdavehikes.blogspot.com.
MPEC Board Member Mary Twinem, who lives across the Beulah Valley, emailed this morning that she was listening to the song of the black-headed grosbeak in the soft morning light. The black-headed grosbeak is an attractive migrant that has apparently just returned from its winter grounds south of the border. Its song is one of my favorites, long, sweet and very melodious. The last few May mornings have been magical - plants are greening, trees are beginning to bring forth their leaves, and birds are busy with breeding behaviours: pairing up, claiming or guarding territories through song, nest building, and bringing the sounds of spring to the days. Wildflowers coming into bloom include Nelson larkspur, creeping holly grape (mahonia), and I've been seeing lots of mountain candytuft. May is a lovely month in Pueblo Mountain Park and a great time to pay the park a visit.