ALASKA Land of the Midnight Sun
March 2016 An illustration by designer Cassi Gloe shows a trucker driving under an Alaskan sky.
REA benefits from education, C experience of valued board directors
S pectacular spud recipes will stimulate your taste buds P lan now to plant once Colorado's quirky weather settles down
6 Calendar 7
variety of backyard wildlife brings A country life close to city limits
12 News Clips 14 Hydropower Makes its Mark on Electric Co-op Colorado electric co-ops adds small
25 Energy Tips
hydro projects to its system
16 Land of the Midnight Sun
This month’s online extras ➤D ISCOVER more events in the website calendar ➤ WATCH video of cooperatives electrifying Africa
29 Funny Stories
➤ FIND great potato recipes under the Recipes tab
➤ READ read outdoor columns from 2015 ➤ USE video links that will showcase home improvement discoveries
Alaska ice truck driving draws Colorado trucker north
The Denver Gold Columbine’s maximum height in Plant Hardiness Zones 3 through 8.
The approximate year the first published story about an egg-laying rabbit came about. Hence, the Easter Bunny.
The Ouray hydropower plant began generating electricity.
The official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association || Volume 47, Number 03 COMMUNICATIONS STAFF: Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor@303-455-4111; email@example.com Cassi Gloe, Designer; firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Kris Wendtland@303-902-7276, email@example.com; NCM@800-626-1181 SUBSCRIPTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL: Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 • Email: email@example.com • Website: coloradocountrylife.coop • Facebook: facebook.com/COCountryLife • Twitter: @COCountryLife Colorado Country Life (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly for $9/$15 per year by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual.
Expertise Leads the Way
CREA benefits from the education and experience of its valued board members
BY KENT SINGER || CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR || KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG
The Colorado Rural Electric Association is just one of several The board also includes three co-op organizations that exists to serve Colorado’s electric co-ops. general managers who provide their CREA is a trade association located in Denver and provides operational expertise. four primary services: education classes for co-op directors At our January CREA board meetand employees; safety training for co-op line crews and office ing, the board elected new officers. staff; communications outreach including the publication of Effective the first of March, the new this magazine; and government relations work that includes CREA board president is Jack Schneilobbying at the Colorado capitol. der of Poudre Valley Rural Electric Each of Colorado’s 22 electric co-ops is an independent Association. Jack has been on the organization with its own board of directors elected from its CREA board for seven years and the Kent Singer membership. CREA is a separate organization from your home PVREA board for 14 years. Jim Lueck electric co-op. CREA's job is to provide services to your home of Highline Electric Association is the new CREA vice presico-op and to all of Colorado’s electric co-ops in a way that will dent. Jim has been on the CREA board for eight years and reduce costs for all. the Highline board since 1994. Moving up to secretary from Every electric co-op in Colorado, including all 22 distributreasurer is Jeff Hauck of Mountain Parks Electric in Granby. tion co-ops and Tri-State Generation and Jeff is relatively new to the CREA board, Transmission Association, has a reprecoming on board in 2014. He has served sentative on the CREA Board of Direcon his home co-op board for seven years. The CREA board includes tors. The CREA board meets nine times Our newest officer and member of the ranchers and farmers, each year and directs the activities of the executive committee is Ginny Buczek, a energy efficiency experts, CREA staff in accordance with a set of director from United Power. Ginny has resolutions that is approved each year by been on the United Power board since a computer consultant, the CREA membership. These resolu2008, and she has been on the CREA a real estate developer, tions establish broad policy guidelines board since 2013. on topics ranging from environmental All of the members of CREA’s board a banker, an attorney and regulations to safe workplace practices. offer their time, energy and experience several small-business owners. to support Colorado’s electric co-op proThe CREA board elects new officers every year to lead the association in its gram. They do this in order to maintain efforts to protect the interests of Colothe vitality of their communities and rado’s electric co-ops and support their day-to-day operations. ensure the availability of affordable and reliable power in The CREA board elects a new president, vice president, secrerural Colorado. This often means time away from home and tary and treasurer, who all work together with the immediate additional late hours spent catching up on work in the fields past president to constitute the CREA executive committee. or office. CREA would cease to function without the commitThe CREA executive committee provides guidance to the ment of these selfless folks who give of themselves to support CREA staff and is the sounding board for issues that come up the common good of their communities. between board meetings. As a last note, I want to thank Bill Midcap, our outgoing Although new officers are elected annually, officers tradiCREA board president from Morgan County Rural Electric tionally serve a two-year term and move up through the ranks Association. Bill spent 11 years on our board and 25 years on from treasurer to president. This means that in most cases the the Morgan County board. Bill decided to hang up his hat at CREA board president will have served a minimum of six years the end of his current term on the Morgan County board. He on the CREA board before becoming president. While the elec- has been a tireless advocate of this program and CREA and tions are open and anyone on the board may be nominated for a respected member of the co-op family. We will miss Bill an officer position, the continuity provided by this tradition and we wish him all the best in his next endeavors. Hit 'em has served the board and the association well over the years. straight, friend! The directors on the CREA board are a diverse group in terms of age, gender, experience, background and point of view. They come from all four corners of the state and are employed in many different lines of work. Ranchers and farmers, Kent Singer, Executive Director energy efficiency experts, a computer consultant, a real estate developer, a banker and an attorney make up the CREA board.
Chukar Sighting We enjoy Colorado Country Life—so much good reading. The story on the lone chukar (Outdoors, January ’16) caught my husband’s attention. January 3 he sighted a lone chukar on County Road 72 in Adams County. Our daughter raised chukars for a 4-H project many years ago. Pam Whelden, Deer Trail
Love the Magazine I enjoy the stories in Colorado Country Life. “Horse Crazy” (January ’16) was good. I also like the books you have reviewed. I wonder if the local library has some of the books you list in Colorado Country Life. Keep the stories coming; I enjoy them.
WHO RESCUED WHOM? amazing rescue pet stories
Peggy Jones, Limon
Advertising or Editorial? I read the article on survival food (January ’16) and was quite disappointed. The article read like and felt like an advertisement. However, it was presented as an actual article. This is not good journalism. While this action was disappointing, what was even more disappointing was the article itself. There was innuendo that we face some great danger and we must all prepare for terrorism. The article used scare tactics to push the reader to request the “free” kit. This would likely lead to the reader being placed on an advertising-spam list. Ann Donoghue, Fort Collins
Editor’s Note Our apologies. This was an advertisement and should have been labeled as such. CORRECTION: In February’s Outdoors article (page 24), we ran a photo of a sunfish with the article on big bluegills. It was not the photo submitted by Outdoors writer Dennis Smith. He knows the difference between a sunfish and a bluegill. We did not. (We do now.) The photo here is of a bluegill. Our apologies.
Do you have a fascinating story about how your pet became a member of your family?
TELL US ABOUT IT! Enter today:
Go to COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.COOP to download an entry form Selected stories will be published in the October 2016 magazine and winners will receive a $25 gift card.
GOT A COMMENT? Send your letter to the editor by mail to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. coloradocountrylife.coop
March Through March 26 Golden “The Engaged Object” Exhibition Foothills Art Center 303-279-3922 foothillsartcenter.org March 10-12 Conifer “Disney’s Aladdin Kids” Theater Performance StageDoor Theatre 7 pm • 303-838-0809 March 10 Durango “Is This Quilt Worth Saving?” Meeting First United Methodist Church 5:30 pm • 970-247-9704 March 10 Telluride “Amazing Authors” Steph Davis Appearance Wilkinson Public Library 6 pm • 970-728-4519 March 11 Denver Gardens Architecture and Design Tour Denver Botanic Gardens 2:30 pm • botanicgardens.org March 11-12 Las Animas Antique and Collectible Show JW Rawlings Heritage Center & Museum 10 am-4 pm • 719-456-6066 March 12 Colorado Springs Family Exploration Day – Science! Western Museum of Mining & Industry 10 am-3 pm • 719-488-0880 March 14 Pueblo O Sole Trio Music Performance Sangre de Cristo Center Stage 7:30 pm • 719-295-7200 March 18-19 Grand Junction Landscapes West and Outdoor Living Garden Show Two Rivers Convention Center gjlandscapeswest.com
FOUR STATES AG EXPO March 17-19 Montezuma County Fairgrounds, Cortez Bring the whole family to this three-day event featuring live entertainment, clinics, a beef show, live demos, FFH and 4-H livestock judging, vendors, prizes and more. Admission is $5 per day; free for kids under 16. For more information, call 970-529-3486 or visit fourstatesagexpo.com.
March 18-20 Pueblo “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Theater Performance Damon Runyon Theater 7:30 pm • runyontheater.org March 19-20 Durango Children’s Consignment Sale La Plata County Fairgrounds munchkinkidzmart.com March 19-20 Fort Collins “The Margaret Brown Collection” Exhibit Avery House 1-4 pm • 970-221-0533 March 19 Fort Collins Time Travelers Ball Museum of Discovery 7-11 pm • 970-221-0533 March 19 Grand Lake Tours and Treats Kauffman House Museum 1-4 pm • 970-627-8324 March 19 Howard Western Fremont Historical Society Annual Meeting Howard Hall 2-4 pm • 719-942-3679 March 20 Estes Park Estes Park Music Festival Stanley Hotel 2 pm • visitestespark.com March 21-24 Golden Spring Break Days Colorado Railroad Museum 10 am-3 pm coloradorailroadmuseum.org March 21 Greeley “Out of Bounds” Theater Performance Union Colony Civic Center 6:30 pm • 970-356-5000 March 26 Durango Peanuts™ The Easter Beagle Express Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad 888-872-4607 durangotrain.com
March 26 Firestone Carbon Valley Egg Hunt Hart Park 1-2:30 pm • 303-833-3291
April 2 Winter Park Winter Park Wipe Out Hideaway Park 2-5 pm • 877-328-2783
March 26 Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market Opera Galleria 9 am-1 pm nocofoodcluster.com
April 7 Durango Soup for the Soul Fundraiser La Plata County Fairgrounds 5:30-8:30 pm • 970-764-2800
March 26 Fruita Square Dance Fundraiser Fruita Community Center 6:30-8:30 pm • 303-548-5789 March 26 Golden Bunny Express Train Colorado Railroad Museum 10 am-4 pm • 303-279-4591 March 26 Monticello, Utah Easter Egg Hunt Veterans Memorial Park 11 am • 435-459-9700 March 30 Pagosa Springs Local Appreciation Day Wolf Creek Ski Area 970-264-5639 wolfcreekski.com
April April 1-2 Golden “You Can’t Take it With You” Theater Performance Miner’s Alley Playhouse 7:30 pm • minersalley.com
April 8-9 Palisade Honey Bee Festival Downtown Plaza palisadecoc.com April 9 Limon Bingo Hub City Senior Center 2-5 pm email@example.com April 9 Monarch Kayaks on Snow Monarch Ski Area 9 am-4 pm buenavistacolorado.org
SEND CALENDAR ITEMS TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE TO: CALENDAR Colorado Country Life 5400 N. Washington St. Denver, CO 80216 Fax to 303-455-2807 or email calendar@ coloradocountrylife.org. Items will be printed on a space available basis. For more information on these and other events, visit coloradocountrylife.coop.
K.C. ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
[Country News] K.C. Electric Rate Restructure Plan BY DAVID CHURCHWELL || GENERAL MANAGER
K.C.’s restructured rate On the next page you will will be similar to our existing see the new rates passed by design for town residential, the K.C. Electric Associarural residential, nondomestic tion Board of Directors at its and small commercial. These January 2016 board meetclasses will still be billed a ing. These rates represent a monthly facility charge and revenue neutral rate restrucan energy charge. Results ture as we adjust to the rate David Churchwell from the cost-of-service study design change implemented indicated that the rural residential facilby our power supplier. Our power supity charge needed to be increased slightly plier, Tri-State Generation and Transto cover the fixed cost to serve these mission, notified us late last year that it consumers. Overall, these four classes of would be changing its rate design from customers will see a rate decrease. an all-energy rate to a demand-energy The biggest change with our restrucrate. K.C. Electric’s rate restructure took tured rate will be for the large commereffect on March 1, 2016. cial, oil well pumping, large power, irBefore setting the rates for the indirigation and wind classes. Consumers in vidual rate classes, your K.C. Electric these rate classes will need to pay special Board of Directors conducted a costattention to their monthly peak demand. of-service study to determine if our In any given month, if a consumer sets a members were being charged proportionately. The cost-of-service study was high peak but doesn’t use many kilowatthours, the bill may seem high. With a utilized to determine whether or not demand-energy rate design, a low-load each rate class was paying its fair share factor consumer may see an overall rate and whether or not our members’ rates increase and a high-load factor conreflected what it costs K.C. Electric to sumer may see an overall rate decrease. provide reliable electric service. K.C. Electric currently has 10 rate classes and Large commercial, oil well pumping and large commercial consumers will now the cost-of-service study helped us dehave a monthly facility charge, monthly termine if one or more rate classes were subsidizing other rate classes. Although demand charge and energy charge. Overall, these rate classes will experience a cost-of-service study determines if a slight rate decrease. one class is subsidizing another class, it Irrigation consumers will have an doesn’t take into account subsidies that annual horsepower charge that will be may occur within a rate class.
on their April 1 bill. The horsepower charge will be calculated by taking the highest demand during the previous year and converting it to horsepower. For an irrigation service that hasn’t run in the past year, the horsepower charge will be determined by the most recent peak demand. Irrigation consumers will have a monthly demand charge along with an energy charge. Our cost-of-service study indicated that our irrigation consumers needed a rate increase to ensure they cover what it costs to serve them. Overall, the irrigation rate class will see a 2.5 percent rate increase, but this will vary depending on individual usage patterns. K.C. Electric’s wind class will also see a rate restructure that will include a monthly facility charge, along with a monthly demand charge and energy charge. Our cost-of-service study indicated a rate increase was needed for the wind class to ensure that those using that rate pay enough to cover what it costs to serve them. Streetlight consumers will continue to be charged a monthly fee, but the cost-of-service study indicated that a slight increase was necessary to cover the expense of what it costs to serve them. If you have any questions about the rate restructure, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 800-700-3123. (Duane Charles 1122540000)
[Country News] Rates Effective March 1, 2016 Town Residential - 1 Facilities Charge - per month All kWh - per kWh
Rural Residential - 2 Facilities Charge - per month First 800 kWh - per kWh All kWh over 800 - per kWh
$30.00 $0.1142 $0.0967
Nondomestic - 3 Facilities Charge - per month All kWh - per kWh
Small Commercial - 4 Facilities Charge - per month All kWh - per kWh
Large Commercial - 5 Facilities Charge - per month Demand Charge - per metered kW All kWh - per kWh
$141.00 $9.01 $0.0601
Oil Well Pumping - 6 Facilities Charge - per month Demand Charge - per metered kW All kWh - per kWh
$102.00 $12.03 $0.0632
Large Power - 7 Facilities Charge - per month Demand Charge - per metered kW All kWh - per kWh
$3,765.00 $15.24 $0.0450
Street Lighting - 9 50 Watt LED 175 Watt Mercury Vapor/Halide per light 250 Watt Mercury Vapor/Halide per light 400 Watt Mercury Vapor/Halide per light 250 Watt High-Pressure Sodium per light 400 Watt High-Pressure Sodium per light
$10.45 $10.45 $13.91 $19.16 $14.70 $19.16
Wind - 10 Facilities Charge - per month Demand Charge - per metered kW All kWh - per kWh
$24.70 $17.21 $0.0428
Irrigation - 14 Annual Facility Charge per Metered Horsepower Demand Charge - per metered kW All kWh - per kWh
$16.37 (billed in March) $7.50 $0.06706
Renewable Resource Power Service - R Rate Per Month - Market Based Surcharge Determined by Wholesale Power Supplier Block = 100 kWh of Renewable Resource Power Service under this rate schedule is in addition to and subject to the terms, tariffs and conditions of the association. (William Kernan 1118610000)
STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION K.C. Electric Association is the recipient of federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, veteran status and any other status protected by law, reprisal or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). This association is an equal opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a civil rights complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/ complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office or call 866-632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax to 202690-7442 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Any carbon monoxide alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately. (Judith Mago 1103910002) Source: ESFI.org coloradocountrylife.coop
2016 Scholarships Awarded
K.C. Electric is pleased to announce five scholarship winners from its service territory. K.C. Electric awards two $1,000 scholarships and is the administrator for scholarships awarded by related electric utility organizations. The following scholarships were awarded: Basin Electric Power ($1,000) Elizabeth Grimes, Arriba-Flagler High School Tri-State G & T Association ($500) Jansen Penny, Burlington High School Tri-State G & T Association ($500) Kaeli Humphrey, Genoa-Hugo High School K.C. Electric Association ($1,000) Torri Thompson, Stratton High School K.C. Electric Association ($1,000) Justin McCaffrey, Arickaree High School K.C. Electric employee finalist Jacs Fox, Stratton High School (This individual was submitted to compete at Basin Electric Power for its $1,000 scholarship. Winners of the Basin employee scholarship will be announced at a later date.) Presentation of the scholarships will be made at the K.C Electric Association Annual Meeting held at the Stratton High School in Stratton, Colorado, on June 2, 2016. Winners were selected by the scholarship committee of the K.C. Electric Board of Directors. (Phil Stolz 1101390000)
[Country News] THE COUNTRY KITCHEN BAKED VANILLA DONUTS 2 eggs 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoons vanilla 2/3 cup sugar 2 cups flour 1 /2 teaspoons salt 1-1 /2 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup milk Frosting or powdered sugar, optional Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 6-cup donut pans with nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl, beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer. Pour mixture into donut pans. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Glaze or frost with powdered sugar. Makes 1 dozen.
Ida Mae Davis, Kit Carson
BANANA CHIP MUFFINS 1-1 /2 cups flour 2/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1-1/3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas) 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 12 cup semisweet chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg, banana, melted butter and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture, and stir until moistened. Fold in chips. Fill lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 17-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm. Makes 1 dozen. Ethel Ferris, Haswell 10
Fire Escape Planning
Working smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a home fire, but there is more you need to do to ensure your family is prepared to safely escape from a fire emergency. Once the smoke alarm sounds, you may have only a few minutes to get out. Prepare a fire escape plan for your family before an emergency happens. The following tips will help you develop a safe and effective family fire escape plan: • Everyone in your family, including children, should be involved in creating your fire escape plan. • Make sure everyone in your home knows what the fire alarm sounds like and what it means. • Walk through your home and note any possible exits, including windows. Draw a floor plan of your house and mark two ways to escape from each room. Make sure that doors and windows leading to the outside can be opened easily by everyone in the family. • Establish a meeting place a safe distance outside your home where your family will gather after escaping. The meeting place should be something permanent and easy to identify, such as a tree, light pole or mailbox, and should be a place where firefighters will easily see you. • Teach everyone in the family to call 911 from a neighbor’s home or cellular phone once they are safely outside. • Practice your escape plan by having at least two fire drills every year. One of your drills should occur during the night when your family members are sleeping. (WIN Carl Randel 718330001) Source: ESFI.org
CLAIM YOUR CREDIT ON YOUR BILL Each month, K.C. Electric offers consumers a chance to earn a $10 credit on their next electric bill. If you recognize your 10-digit account number in this magazine, call 719-743-2431 and ask for your credit. It couldn’t be easier. In January, Van Richie of Seibert and John Mauch of Burlington called to claim their credit. Get acquainted with your account number, read your Colorado Country Life magazine and pick up the phone. That’s all the energy you’ll need to claim your energy bucks. You must claim your credit during the month in which your name appears in the magazine (check the date on the front cover).
CREA Board Elects Officers
A new president was elected to lead the board of the Colorado Rural Electric Association, the statewide trade association for Colorado’s electric cooperatives. Jack Schneider was elected to the position Friday, January 29 during the board meeting. He took office March 1, following the CREA Annual Meeting in downtown Denver. Jack represents Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, which serves Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties. Previously serving as vice president, Jack first was elected an officer in 2012. He has served on the CREA board since 2009 and on the PVREA board since 2002. He earned his Credentialed Cooperative Director certification and the Board Leadership certificate and served on the board for the statewide electric co-op political action committee. Other officers elected for the coming year include Vice President Jim Lueck of Highline Electric Association serving northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska; Secretary Jeff Hauck of Mountain Parks Electric, which serves Grand, Jackson, Summit, Routt and Larimer counties; and Treasurer Ginny Buczek of United Power, which serves Adams, Broomfield, Weld, Jefferson, Boulder and Gilpin counties. Outgoing CREA Board President Bill Midcap of Morgan County Rural Electric Association in Fort Morgan served two years in that position. Organized in 1945, CREA is composed of the state’s 22 electric distribution cooperatives and one generation and transmission cooperative. The governing board includes one representative from each of its member cooperatives and the officers of the CREA managers association.
Fort Collins Co-op Adds New Solar
High Court Blocks Clean Power Plan Jack Schneider
Tuesday, February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan announced by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August 2015. In what has been called a “surprising move,” the high court voted 5-4 along conservativeliberal lines to temporarily halt enforcement until legal challenges to the plan are reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A coalition of 27 states, including Colorado, and industry opponents claim the plan goes beyond the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act. The case will be heard on an expedited basis with appellate arguments set to begin June 2.
Poudre Valley Rural Electric Cooperative announced that its newest solar projects went live in January and are generating renewable energy for PVREA members in northern Colorado. The Skylark and Valley View solar facilities, both in Weld County, sit on nearly 150 acres of land (equivalent to the size of 48 football fields) and house nearly 100,000 solar panels. The 8-megawatt solar facilities alone are 12 times larger than the cooperative’s Community Solar Farm that went live just a year ago. “This project is a milestone for Poudre Valley REA. Although we have completed renewable energy projects prior, such as our Community Solar Farm and the Carter Lake Hydropower Project, the Skylark and Valley View solar facilities are significantly larger and add another local, renewable energy source,” PVREA CEO Jeff Wadsworth said. PVREA earlier this year signed a purchase power agreement with Silicon Ranch Corporation to develop the Skylark and Valley View solar facilities. In just three months, the sites went from dirt to hundreds of rows of solar panels generating enough energy to power 1,300 homes annually. The solar generation facilities are directly tied into the cooperative’s distribution system and used as a local energy source,
contributing to the local power mix for all PVREA members in Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties. Silicon Ranch worked with PVREA to locate the facilities that form the project at two strategic sites, one near Greeley and the other near Severance, to maximize benefits to the co-op members and to match to PVREA’s load requirements. “We’re pleased to be providing renewable energy to our members that maintains reliability, makes economic sense and conserves natural resources, and we will continue to research additional energy resources that prove advantageous for our members,” Wadsworth said. coloradocountrylife.coop
Sage-Grouse Benefit as Coal Mine Expands
More than 4,500 acres of land is being donated to Colorado Parks and Wildlife as part of a proposed expansion of the Colowyo Mine in northwestern Colorado between Craig and Meeker. The mine, owned by electric co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, is proposing the Collom project, which will expand where coal is mined by 2,700 acres. As part of that expansion, Colowyo Mining Co. is proposing the land donation of acreage within the mine boundary that hasn’t been previously mined and reclaimed. The mine would also donate $150,000 to the parks and wildlife department to study how the greater sage-grouse responds to the new mining operations. The greater sage-grouse was proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2015. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that, due to intensive conservation efforts in Western states, the protection was not needed. This new donation of land and money will become part of that effort to protect the sage-grouse. Coal from the proposed mine expansion would be used at Tri-State’s Craig Station power plant near Craig.
Lights Out? Could be the Squirrels!
Did you know that there were about 137 squirrel-caused power outages nationwide in 2015? That is the number according to Cyber Squirrel 1, a website at www.cybersquirrel1.com that lists all “unclassified Cyber Squirrel Operations that have been released to the public.” The slightly tongue-in-cheek report notes that there are probably many more squirrel attacks that “remain classified.” And while the website is a fun way to look at outages, it is also a reminder of how difficult it is to keep your lights on. No matter how many times the local electric co-op patrols its lines and updates equipment, there are a variety of forces working against it, including wildlife. Besides the 137 reported outages caused by squirrels, there were 214 caused by birds, 53 by raccoons, one by a Mylar balloon and a handful caused by snakes, slugs and other creatures.
Electric Co-ops Celebrate Electrify Africa Act
There was strong praise from the nation’s electric cooperatives when President Barack Obama signed the Electrify Africa Act in early February. Three years after the bill was first introduced, this law will now bring electricity to 50 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, and lift rural communities from impoverished conditions to improved economic activity and a higher quality of life. The presidential signature came after passage of the Act in the U.S. House of Representatives the first week of February. This followed the U.S. Senate’s unanimous passing of the legislation in December. “We are celebrating this achievement with all our members, because our domestic and international work has always focused on power distribution, and making it possible for people to have direct access to electricity,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor. “This new law makes it possible to have a significant impact on the lives of millions, and we are proud to be part of this worthwhile effort to bring power to Sub-Saharan Africa. We applaud and thank the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” NRECA’s international affiliate NRECA International has worked in developing countries since 1962. Its global commitment has provided electricity to more than 110 million people in 43 countries. The Colorado Rural Electric Association and several Colorado electric co-ops help support the work of NRECA International.
With the signing of the Electrify Africa Act, electric co-ops will be able to expand their efforts at bringing electricity to those who now live day-to-day without the benefits of electricity.
Learn how electric co-ops are already making a difference in Africa at http://tinyurl.com/co-opsinafrica. coloradocountrylife.coop
HYDROPOWER MAKES ITS MARK ON ELECTRIC CO-OP BY KEVON STORIE
Water spills from the Ridgway hydropower plant.
The beauty and the challenge of renewable energy is that there is no silver-bullet resource, no one-size-fits-all portfolio, and a utility’s territory may hold more than one overlooked opportunity to add new kilowatts of clean, locally-generated power. Being alert to such opportunities is how San Miguel Power Association built a
Silverton micro hydropower building. 14
power portfolio that includes 2.3 percent locally-generated hydropower.
making it one of the oldest in the nation. Private developer HydroWest, Inc. bought and renovated the inactive plant in 1992, Right place, right time and today it generates about 4 million Small hydropower development is highly kilowatt-hours annually for San Miguel. dependent on location, and SMPA is lucky The 11-kilowatt Mayflower Mill Hydro that its southwestern Colorado service in Silverton is another history-making territory is rich in the resource. “Blessed” facility, the first small hydropower project is the word marketing and in Colorado to be permitted under the Hyenergy services manager Brad dropower Regulatory Efficiency Act. ConZaporski used, who added that gress passed the law in 2013 to streamline there is more to the utility’s the permitting process for hydropower success than water. “We have units smaller than 5 megawatts. existing infrastructure from the historic mining industry, Comes in all sizes so the facilities can be develIn many cases, however, the cooperative oped with minimal environsimply makes its own feasibility. At 8 mental impact,” he said. MW, the Ridgway Reservoir hydropower In fact, commercial hydroplant doesn’t quite qualify under the power plants were generating streamlined hydropower act, but it is the electricity in the area long single largest renewable energy project in before the U.S. Department of San Miguel’s service territory. It generEnergy was created and earlier ates about 24,000 megawatt-hours in an than when President Franklin average water year — enough electricity Roosevelt signed the Rural to power 2,500 homes annually — and far Electrification Act. The Ouray more than the co-op is able to purchase on hydropower plant began its own. operating December 6, 1885, SMPA worked out an agreement with coloradocountrylife.coop
[industry] its wholesale power provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and plant owner Tri-County Water. TriState buys the energy the plant produces between June and September, and SMPA consumes the power. The city of Aspen buys the facility’s output during the other eight months of the year. Though considerably smaller at 320 kW, the generating station at the Pandora Water Treatment Facility in Telluride scores big points for maximum use. Four high lakes above the town send water through the Bridal Veil hydropower plant above town, producing about 2 million kWh annually. The next stop is the Pandora hydropower unit at the treatment facility, and from there to the homes and businesses of Telluride for consumption. The water ends its journey through the city at the Telluride wastewater plant where a large solar array produces 10 percent of the plant’s electricity needs. “And all of these things happen in just 3 miles, largely through the use of existing infrastructure from the mining era,” said Zaporski. San Miguel also has several micro hydropower units — those that generate less than 100 kW — in its portfolio. The 90-kW Coal Creek hydropower plant just south of Ridgway was the co-op’s first
micro hydropower purchase in 2009, and the 22-kW Ouray Hot Springs hydropower plant is one of three net-metered hydropower facilities on SMPA’s system. Raising green for green power Focusing on small and micro hydropower development isn’t the only creative thing about San Miguel’s approach to renewable energy, either. “We do it all on a zero-subsidy basis,” Zaporski stated proudly. The co-op offers its members two programs that allow them to fund hydropower and other renewable projects outside of rates. Through the Green Block program, members purchase renewable energy credits from SMPA’s existing renewable genA 22-kW micro hydro project at Ouray’s hot springs powers the erators to offset their energy conpool and out buildings at the city-owned facilities. sumption. These Green Blocks, as the RECs are called, represent The Green Cents program is another 100 kWh of renewable energy and cost $1 simple and easy way for members to per block, per month. All SMPA members support community renewable energy may purchase as many blocks as they wish projects. Members may choose to round and the cost is added to the monthly bill. up their monthly bill to the nearest dolLocal municipalities looking to offset their lar, with the extra pennies funding new energy use also purchase the RECs. projects. Participation costs members on average around $7 annually, and they may cancel at any time. Opportunity keeps knocking In a news release about the Ridgway Dam project, Colorado Small Hydro Association President Kurt Johnson of Ophir said, “Only about 3 percent of the nation’s dams currently include hydropower. There is an enormous untapped opportunity to generate new clean energy using existing infrastructure.” Zaporski agreed, noting that San Miguel has two more small hydropower projects in the works. “Partnership is really what makes these projects happen,” he declared. Originally printed in Western Area Power Administration’s Energy Services Bulletin.
The Ouray hydropower plant, which was established in 1886, is believed to be the oldest operating power plant in the United States. coloradocountrylife.coop
THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN
BY GAYLE GRESHAM
Clayton Phythian of Hugo is a man on the go. When he’s in Colorado, you might find him at the Hitching Post RV Park or at the Washboard Laundromat, the businesses he owns and operates with his wife, Stacey, in Hugo. A week later, however, you will have to go a little farther up the road to find him working his other job — driving the ice roads of Alaska as a trucker. Clayton drives trucks for CH2M Hill, a contractor for British Petroleum at Prudhoe Bay, 240 miles north of the Arctic Circle. He works in oil rig support, primarily hauling drilling fluids to the rigs and taking away used fluids from the rigs. It’s a year-round job in Alaska, 21 days on and 21 days off. His commute takes 24 hours with him flying to Anchorage and then taking another flight to Deadhorse. “There aren’t any permanent residents in Deadhorse,” Clayton explains. “Everybody works on shifts, even the employees at the NAPA store. People from all over the world come up here, do their two to three weeks, go home and somebody else comes in and takes their place.” He stays at the Arctic Oilfield Hotel, one of the oldest oil field camps in the region, owned and operated by British Petroleum. The camp houses 800 people, two people to a room. “People always ask about the living conditions,” Clayton says, “and the living conditions are phenomenal. Although it’s called a camp, it’s more like a college dormitory. With full dining halls and housekeeping, we really do nothing ourselves — except laundry. We do our own laundry. We are actually getting a new camp soon.” DRIVING THE ICE ROADS
Clayton works nights. He found that works better for him than having to deal with darkness during the daytime in the winter. He drives to the oil well rigs on Prudhoe Bay, making the 20- to 25-mile runs several times a shift. In the summer months, production is limited to areas accessible by roads. The tundra is full of lakes, rivers and marshes, so there are few roads passable in the warmer season. In the winter months, however, roads are built by pumping water into places and allowing it to freeze. They build bridges and roads this way, scraping off the ice to smooth it. The edges of the road are marked with white markers on the right side and orange on the left side every 15 to 20 feet. The access provided by the ice roads in the winter allows the oil company to conduct exploratory drilling. That means Clayton may be driving to an oil rig on the tundra or to an island in the ocean. That driving can also mean a chance to see a different type of wildlife than he sees in Colorado. There are Arctic fox, musk ox and caribou. The oil companies [continued on page 18] coloradocountrylife.coop
Clayton Phythian (lower left) leaves the wild open spaces of Colorado’s eastern plains every 21 days for Alaska’s open spaces along the Beaufort Sea. There he drives trucks for a contractor for an oil company.
[continued from page 17]
work closely with the native peoples there and adhere to the rules they are given. The truckers and other company personnel are not to harass the animals. That includes not getting out of the trucks to shoo an animal off the road. The drivers must wait until the animal moves on its own. Other times Clayton waits in his truck simply for visibility. Trucking stops only when the weather is listed as Phase Three. Phase One is normal weather. Phase Two requires that vehicles travel in convoys of at least two vehicles. Clayton recalls a time when he had to sit until he could see the next marker along the road. He would drive the 15 or so feet and then stop and wait until he could see the next marker. One time he sat for three hours waiting for visibility. It was 41 below zero with a wind chill factor of 71 below. Yet, he’s ready for more. “I am hoping to do more driving on the ocean this year,” Clayton says. “They are doing some fracking out on an island where there have been existing wells. There will be a lot of support out there. It’s always fun driving out there. You actually drive across a frozen ocean, it’s the Beaufort Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, but it’s the inland part of it. “The last time I was on the ocean, the wind was blowing really bad and I was just trying to stay between the markers. The ice does shift out there. You can see it as you are driving. But they move million-pound rigs out there to these islands and I’m only a couple of hundred thousand pounds, so I’m not too worried about falling through if they don’t fall through.” 18
Clayton Phythian hopes to get an assignment down the Dalton Highway to Fairbanks.
Two years ago, a springtime thaw provided an interesting experience for Clayton. “There was some drilling on the other side of a river and they moved some of our equipment over there for us. We were driving back and forth across because they didn’t want to set up another camp. But they mistimed it because the ice broke and we couldn’t drive across the bridge. So, they helicoptered about 12 of us over and I spent about 12 days working on the other side of the river. That was fun. I got to take a helicopter ride.” BEAR ALERT
Most people do their jobs without worrying about bears being in the area. It’s a different story in Alaska. “There are (warning) signs all over the place,” Clayton says. “When there are bears around, you look before you go outside.” Polar bears are the most dangerous. “We are definitely not at the top of the food chain because the polar bears will hunt man,” Clayton says. “BP actually hires security people who track the bears.” Clayton tells the story of a pad operator who was going through a line of well buildings reading the gauges. The man would enter through one door and leave coloradocountrylife.coop
through the door on the opposite side and then go onto the next well. All of a sudden a truck pulled up beside him as he left one of the little buildings and the driver shouted to him to get in. He jumped in the truck just as a polar bear rounded the corner. The pad operator had no idea the bear had been stalking him the entire time. Grizzly bears are numerous in Deadhorse. When one is in the area, signs will be posted: Watch for Bear. Clayton got off work one morning and walked across the parking lot from the camp to the base office to turn in his time card. He noticed the signs warning of a bear, but he didn’t see anything. He walked up the steps to the office and turned in his time card. A few minutes later, someone else walked in and asked, “Did you see the bear?” “Well, where was the bear?” Clayton asked. “Underneath the steps,” he answered. Clayton had walked right over the top of a grizzly without even knowing it. Another time, Clayton was moving trucks from a large heated tent at 3 a.m. He sent the seventh truck out and got ready to get into the eighth truck. As he
started walking to the truck, he heard one of the guys start yelling on the radio that there was a bear coming up. “Well, I was kind of in the middle of no place and thought I’d just shut the door. So, I get over there and start shutting the door. The bear comes by looking at me and I’m looking at him. He kept on going, but I was only 30 feet away from this big grizzly bear. He must not have been hungry. I was sure glad he kept on moving.” A NORMAL JOB
Clayton started working in Alaska in August of 2012. Before that he drove a truck for Parker Ag for six years. A mechanic named Wade Bailey started working in Alaska and kept telling Clayton he needed to apply for a job. Clayton finally applied online and did a phone interview. The following day, while hauling a load over the mountains, he got the call and received the job offer. Three weeks later he was sitting in a truck at Prudhoe Bay looking out at the vast expanse. He called his wife asking, “How the heck did I end up here?” Three-and-a-half years later, some of the wide-eyed awe wore off. “Now it’s just a normal job,” he says. He particularly enjoys the views, the wildlife and the northern lights. “A lot of guys who have worked up here since they started in the ’60s or ’70s just find it an ugly place,” Clayton says. “But to me, it’s got a beauty of its own. It’s a big, flat nothing, but it’s neat.” One thing he hasn’t had a chance to do yet is make a haul down the 414-mile Dalton Highway to Fairbanks. “I’ve been down 62 miles south to pump station 2. The pipeline starts in Prudhoe Bay and that is Pump Station #1. But I haven’t driven to Coldfoot or over Atigun Pass. I’d really like to drive the whole haul road. Trucks are going on that road 24 hours a day. There’s so much traffic on it all day, it’s just like Interstate 70.” Clayton is seeing changes with the current state of the oil industry. “My particular job is stable because they are continuing drilling. I am considered essential personnel, so we are holding on fairly decent right now. But there have been a lot of layoffs up there, especially contractors who have lost their contracts for the little side jobs that aren’t directly related to drilling.” Clayton and Stacey live in Hugo and have been K.C. Electric Association members for the past 10 years. “We seem to be putting down pretty deep roots here with all of the businesses we are doing,” he says. “I probably never would have done anything like this had my kids still been home. We have three daughters, all grown, living in the Denver metro area. It would have been hard having kids at home and commuting to Alaska. That would be a tough thing. But there are a lot of guys that do it.” When the time comes that Clayton no longer works as an ice road trucker, he has no doubt what memories will stay with him. “If I take nothing (else) away from this when I decide to leave there, it’s the northern lights. They’ve been worth every bit of it. When I can see the sky, I’m looking at the lights because they are just always there.”
The oil companies work closely with the native peoples in Alaska and follow their rules so the wildlife in the area of the field camp and the pipelines are not harassed. coloradocountrylife.coop
Gayle Gresham is a freelance writer who lives in Elbert with her husband, John, who works for Mountain View Electric Association. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people with interesting life stories. MARCH 2016
Spectacular Spuds Stimulate Taste Buds
The United States Potato Board offers recipes that will make you salivate BY AMY HIGGINS || AHIGGINS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG Spuds on Wheels When you’re in the Denver area, keep your eyes peeled for a Spud Nation food truck, one of the United States Potato Board’s most recent ventures. It will be a worthwhile place to grab some lunch.
To Freeze or Not to Freeze? Wondering what to do with your potato leftovers? Either finish them up or share them right away. Cooked potatoes will stay good for a couple days in the refrigerator, but they become mushy when reheated out of the freezer.
Photo by the United States Potato Board
Filling, flavorful and versatile, potatoes make perfect meals. They come in various colors, textures and sizes and taste great in your favorite recipes or just baked and topped with a few simple ingredients. In addition, they are rich in fiber, vitamin C, iron and potassium, a Charlie Horse nemesis. The United States Potato Board, a nationwide company based in Denver, offers an abundance of mouth-watering recipes on its two websites: potatogoodness.com and spud-nation.com. We couldn’t resist sharing a handful with you.
Creamy Chorizo-Spiked Potato, Cheese Enchiladas 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled 1/2 cup safflower oil 1 tablespoon spicy taco seasoning 1 cup crumbled chorizo sausage 1 cup diced yellow onion 1/4 cup ricotta cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 2 3/4 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 5 cups finely grated Monterey jack cheese 4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 2 cups grated Blarney Castle cheese 4 tablespoons chili powder 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon garlic powder 4 cups whole milk 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce 2 teaspoons diced pickled jalapeño 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño brining juice 24 corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 small oval baking dishes and set aside. Slice 4 potatoes into small cubes. Place in a medium bowl filled with cold, salted water. Cut remaining 4 potatoes in half and place in a large pot of salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil; boil for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Drain and place in large mixing bowl. Coarsely mash cooked potatoes, cover and set aside. Drain cubed potatoes and pat dry. Pour safflower
oil into a pot and heat over high until oil is shimmering. Fry cubed potatoes for 2 minutes. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove cover and drain off oil. Return potatoes to pot and fry over medium-high heat until golden-brown and crisp. Remove from heat and drain on double-thick layer of paper towels. Once drained, toss with taco seasoning. Place chorizo and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and breaking up sausage, until chorizo is cooked through and onions are tender. Scoop mashed potatoes into skillet with chorizo mixture and cook, stirring for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and scoop potato mixture back into large bowl. Stir ricotta, sour cream, 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt, pepper, 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, cheddar and Blarney Castle cheese into potato mixture until combined. Add cubed potatoes and stir again. In a small bowl, whisk together chili powder, flour, thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and garlic powder. Pour a small amount of milk into bowl and whisk until mixture forms a thin paste. Continue adding milk and stirring until it forms thin enchilada sauce. Pour enchilada sauce and remaining milk into large saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup grated Monterey Jack, the tomato sauce, jalapeños and brine. To make enchiladas, fill each corn tortilla with 1/3 cup potato mixture. Roll and place in a baking dish; each dish holds 2 enchiladas. Pour creamy enchilada sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining Monterey jack cheese. Bake 18 to 25 minutes, until cooked through and cheese is bubbly. Remove from heat and serve.
Get more great potato recipes at coloradocountrylife.coop 20
Plan Now, Plant Later
Construct a good garden plan now, but look out for quirky Colorado weather BY VICKI SPENCER, MASTER GARDENER
Photos courtesy of Renee’s Garden.
“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is a proverb long associated with the month of March. I learned this proverb, and many others, from the same person who introduced me to gardening: my mother. My understanding was that if we had mild weather at the beginning of the month, then the reverse of the proverb would be true. March would go out with a fury. This is not the most desirable scenario for gardeners, but it’s highly possible when you live in Colorado. With the variability in springtime weather, how can we know when to plant our gardens? Scientists think about this question year-round. They experiment with creating new hybrids that will extend the growing season and be less vulnerable to variable weather. This is one of the reasons we are offered so many delightful new varieties of vegetables and flowers each year. Colorado’s climate presents the gardener with many pros and cons. For example, when I tried to explain to my friends who live elsewhere that Coloradans boast 300 days of sunshine, they could hardly believe it. “Isn’t all that sunshine a vegetable gardener’s dream?” they asked. Not necessarily. In the heat of summer, we might find leaves wilting or turning brown as our plants yearn for shade or rainfall from late afternoon thunderheads. But in the spring, the sunshine is a blessing. The earth tends to warm quickly and vegetable gardeners become anxious to begin planting. A word of caution here. Since nighttime temperatures can vary significantly and March is one of our snowiest months, it’s best to stick to cool season vegetables and locations that allow for a quick cover-up when snow is in the forecast. While you are waiting to plant the rest of the garden, you might consider experimenting with some of the unique vegetable varieties that were introduced in recent years such as multicolored vegetables with their vibrant hues. I’ve been hooked on them ever since my son brought purple carrots home from the farmers market and made me a beautiful garden salad. You can grow your own multicolored vegetables with two new seed varieties from Renee’s Garden. Harlequin Mix Rainbow carrots are Dutch Nantes carrots that come in purple, yellow, white and traditional orange. The difference in taste is subtle, but the colors are stunning. The same can be said of the gourmet Five Color Rainbow beets, which are deep purple, orange-yellow, candy striped and cerise and white. Both carrots and beets grow best in well-worked soil with consistent moisture. You can plant them early in the spring when the danger of frost is over and reseed again to extend your crop. If your seed beds dry out quickly, you should consider using a removable cover that will keep moisture in
New vegetable varieties this spring include (clockwise from lower left) Five Color Rainbow beets, Rothild organic carrots and Harlequin Mix Rainbow carrots.
during germination while protecting fragile plants from early spring snow. Other new varieties can be found online or you can ask the experts at your local garden center for ideas. You might find just what you need to successfully grow a garden in that pesky shady spot that never seems to retain moisture very well. If the crocuses poking through early March snow have you thinking more about flowers than vegetables, you can use this time to consider new flower varieties. While most of your planting will have to wait until May or June, you can plan now and time your catalog orders so the plants or seeds arrive on schedule. Some newer flower varieties I want to try are Coral Baby penstemon (Penstemon barbatus) and Denver Gold columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha). Coral Baby Penstemon boasts coralpink flowers that bloom from May through July. It would make a beautiful addition to dry borders or rock gardens and is a favorite of bees and butterflies. It grows 16 to 60 inches high and about a foot wide, and prefers sun and moderate to dry soil. Coloradans love columbines and the new Denver Gold Columbine will not disappoint. It has huge yellow flowers over 3 inches long. Although columbines may self-seed, you can remove wilted flowers in late June to encourage a longer blossoming period. The Denver Gold grows about 28 to 32 inches high in zones 3 through 8 and is versatile because it can thrive in sun, partial sun or shade. Although I was only able to mention a few new vegetable and plant varieties that are out this year, you can find many more on the Internet or at your garden center. As your garden becomes more established, you will find that it’s fun to experiment.
previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop/category/living-in-colorado/gardening. coloradocountrylife.coop
Close to Country Livin’
A variety of wildlife create backyard charm BY DENNIS SMITH
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My wife and I live on the northwestern edge of town in a subdivision real estate agents like to describe as “a quiet, older neighborhood with large trees and mature landscaping.” Strategic plantings of cedar and juniper create evergreen shields of privacy between the modest homes while patches of maple, ash and aspen trees lend an undeniably woodsy feeling to the area. The guy next door built a small archery range and another neighbor keeps a good-sized veggie garden and a small flock of laying hens. We’re just a few blocks shy of the official city limits, but it’s no trouble at all to imagine you’re smack in the middle of farm country if his rooster starts crowing while you’re sipping coffee on the back patio at sunup, or a flock of Canada geese goes honking overhead so low you could smack them with a broomstick. The real clincher, though, lies in the amazing variety of wildlife that lives in the neighborhood or passes through each season. We have our share of resident fox squirrels, rabbits, robins and songbirds just like everybody else, but we get some really interesting wildlife visitors, too. For the past several years foxes took up residency in the neighborhood. One frequently beds on top of our compost pile, sometimes for hours. I’ve seen him lie in wait on top of the neighbor’s tool shed on summer evenings, keeping a wary eye on the hen house. I don’t know if he had a chicken dinner yet, but I have photos of him dining on one of our cottontails. He seems to
regard humans with remarkable indifference. We watched him march right down the middle of our street, moving to the sidewalk only when traffic forced him to. Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks prey on the doves and finches at our bird feeders, and this winter a tiny owl hung out in the pine tree next to our back patio for a couple of weeks. I’m guessing it was either a northern saw-whet or pygmy owl, but all I know for sure is that it was extremely small and amazingly tame. We saw it only at night and always in the same tree. He didn’t seem to mind our presence at all. Last year, a flight of common snipe landed in our yard and returned several times to probe for worms and grubs with their long bills in the lawn where the snow melted. They were followed by a family of five raccoons that made nightly visits to our frog pond for the better part of two months before we got rid of them. The ’coons were cute, but terribly destructive; they destroyed our squirrel feeders a half-dozen times before we finally decided to stop refilling them. Eventually they took the hint and quit coming around. All of this wildlife action takes place within easy walking distance of an extremely busy convenience store, a gas station and a small industrial complex. Whenever I feel the need for a walk in the woods but time and circumstances prevent me, I just mosey out to the backyard and wait for the critters to show up. We might be on the city line, but it’s about as close to real country livin’ as you can get without giving up pizza delivery.
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[energy tips] The Handshake by James Kenshalo
EFFICIENT CONTRACTOR, EFFECTIVE WORK
BY PATRICK KEEGAN
Stockmen, family and friends, Tired neighbors, nervous strangers The Jefe. The Boss. The Captain. All look each other in the eye Bare-handed, firm and confident, Calloused palms, knobby-knuckles, Dusty, swollen, stiff and old Sometimes icy cold Sometimes smooth as silk with the breath of a rose Sometimes smooth as silk with a weak wrist, I suppose Some hands are frail and may tremor Some hands crackle and pop Some hands are like a wet mop A reach-around for a rag A quick wipe and rub A thumbs-up on a open right hand The open eyes meet with the press of the flesh. The handshake. The promise to be kept.
James Kenshalo of Collbran is a member of Grand Valley Power.
There are many contractors performing high-quality energy efficiency work, but it’s smart to first figure out what you can do to ensure your contractors deliver the kind of quality you’re paying for. The best quality assurance solution for most homeowners is to start with a home energy audit by a qualified and experienced energy auditor. Ask the auditor to specify the products and the quality standards for each recommended efficiency measure. The auditor can also help you by agreeing to inspect the finished work. The energy auditor can help you with questions to ask potential contractors, such as whether Photo Credit: Jack Amick. flickr.com they are licensed and insured in your state, who will be doing the actual work and what the current condition of your home is without Fiberglass batts perform the upgrades. better if measured and cut Make sure properly. to do plenty of research before fully engaging a contractor: • Don’t take the first offer: Try to get at least two bids. The lowest quote might not necessarily be the best. Sometimes it’s difficult to compare bids unless they are itemized correctly. If one quote is significantly lower than others, inquire closely about the reasons for the difference. • Check their work: Ask for and check references, read online reviews and ask your local experts about any experience they have with the contractor. Finally, if you have a good experience with a contractor, pass the information along to friends and neighbors, or write a helpful review. As you know, a good home contractor can be hard to find. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn more energy-saving tips. Look under the Energy tab for Energy Tips.
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CHANT OF A CHAMPION: Auctioneering DVD from World and International Champion Auctioneer John Korrey. Let John show you how to improve all aspects of your auctioneering chant. Order online at www.chantofachampion.com (210-04-16)
FREE BOOKS/DVDS. Soon the “Mark of the Beast” will be enforced as Church and State unite! Let the Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. firstname.lastname@example.org 888-211-1715. (814-04-16)
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES (These opportunities have not been investigated by Colorado Country Life.) HEALTH FOOD STORE & DELI: 2 turnkey businesses in one. Strong income/customer base. Colorado mountains (970-641-5175), leave name & number. (252-04-16)
FREE CHANCE to win $25 gift card. Email the number of ads on this page to classifieds@coloradocountrylife. org with WIN $25 as the subject. Deadline: March 15.
40 ACRES, 15 MILES WEST of Walsenburg, CO on CR520. All fenced, prime grazing. Small 2-Bedroom recently upgraded trailer on property with tenant. 8-10 gal./min. domestic well, registered. $81,500 OBO (price reduction). Owner may carry with at least 25% down. Ptapia. email@example.com or 719-251-1131; 719-989-0850. (207-04-16)
DEER/ELK HUNTERS – Timeshare, Avon, CO, between two National Forests. Covers any rifle season. Below market price. 970-224-4439. (287-04-16) DUPLEX plus eleven lots in Wiggins, Co. Great investment opportunity. $382,500 or best offer. Let’s talk. Frank, 303-503-9210 or fsmith070@ gmail.com. (275-04-16) OWN PROPERTY? NEED INCOME? We’ll rent exclusive hunting rights from you. Looking for antelope, goose, duck, coyote, & prairie dog habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules. 303-460-0273 (069-04-16) READY TO RETIRE? +-13 acres near Mancos, Co. Trout-stocked canyon lake, commercial greenhouse, gardens, lots of water, passive solar timber frame home. $525,000. Jim, 970-769-1391, for pictures. (282-04-16)
VACATION RENTAL BAYFIELD ATTIC INN – A vacation rental in downtown Bayfield, Colorado, near world-class fishing, casino, museum, ruins, & outdoor activities. bayfieldatticinn.com 970-759-6957, bayfieldatticinn@ gmail.com (263-07-16) COME STAY on SHADOW MOUNTAIN LAKE! Charming, cozy, all season cabin. VRBO.com #699584 (274-04-16) KAUAI VACATION RENTAL, 2bdr, full kitchen. Minutes from beaches. $600/wk. 808-2456500; firstname.lastname@example.org; kauaiweddings.com. (756-05-16)
D.R. FIELD or BRUSH mower. Either walk behind or tow behind. Tom, 970-531-1552 (273-03-16) NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ hotmail.com (817-06-16) OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1975. Call Wes 303-757-8553. (889-08-16) OLD COWBOY STUFF – hats, boots, spurs, chaps, Indian rugs, baskets, etc. ANYTHING OLD! Mining & railroad memorabilia, ore carts! We buy whole estates. We’ll come to you! Call 970-7593455 or 970-565-1256. (871-05-16) OLD GAS AND OIL items: Gas pumps, advertising signs, globes, etc. Pieces, parts, etc. considered. Also 1932-34 Ford cars and trucks, parts and pieces, too. Any condition. Brandon, 719-250-5721. (519-11-16) OLD POCKET WATCHES – working or non-working and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209. (870-12-16) WANT TO PURCHASE mineral and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-03-16) WANTED: JEEP CJ OR WRANGLER. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets. 888-735-5337 (099-04-16) WE PAY CASH for minerals and oil/gas interests, producing and nonproducing. 800-733-8122 (099-02-17)
FIND HIDDEN TREASURE IN THE CLASSIFIEDS Read through the ads and FIND the CCL classified explaining how to WIN a $25 gift card. It’s easy. You could WIN. The classified ads February winner was Michael K. Taylor from La Junta. There were 32 ads last month.
February Book Giveaway Winners Congratulations to Rose Woods of Franktown, winner of the Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook and Jan Baggs, of Colorado Springs, winner of Life-Size Birds.
I went to my grandson’s house for lunch on Grandparents Day. After lunch, while watching the Denver Broncos football game, their grandfather asked for some popcorn. When it was ready, my 3-year-old great-granddaughter, Landrey, brought me a bowl of popcorn. I told her thank you, but grandma can’t have popcorn. She must have felt a little sad for me because a little later she brought her bowl of popcorn over to me and whispered, “Do you just want to smell it?” Anna Jean (Great-Grandma Bobbie) Green, Fowler
FEBRUARY PHOTO CONTEST WINNER! Poudre Valley REA customers Mike and Ginny Schuster, Casey and Terri Meadows, Vicki and Mike Taylor on board the Aquaspace, a glass bottomed boat used once for research by Jacques Cousteau.
My 5-year-old granddaughter, Caitlin, affectionately calls her grandfather “Papa.” Sitting on his lap one day and gently stroking under his chin, she exclaimed, “Papa! You have a wattle!” “A wattle? What’s a wattle?” Papa asked. She replied, “You know, Papa. Turkeys have them!” Lutie Wakefield, Wray
Once, when I was 8, my mom asked me to feed the cows. I said OK and went to the barn. The big stack of hay bales was taller than me, so it took me 10 minutes to climb up. When I got to the top, I slipped and fell to the ground. By then, the cows were watching me with interest. When I finally got enough hay down, I was covered in hay. When I got back inside, I told my mom that I could practically hear the cows saying, “Oh, goody. Dinner and a show!” Rainah Schauermann (age 9 3/4), Snyder
Wiggins resident, Teresa Mendez, shovels outside of her home.
Jenna Berry sit tin at the g in the Kathy Jackson sn ow chair she mad ow Sn ge id e Breckenr petition. with her mother. Sculpture com
Take Your Photo with Your Magazine and Win! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo and your name and address to email@example.com. We’ll draw one photo to win a $25 gift card each month. The next deadline is Tuesday, March 15. This month’s winner is Terri Meadows, a Poudre Valley member from Red Feather Lakes. The group of six visited the Aquaspace glass bottomed boat while on their trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. coloradocountrylife.coop
One particularly nasty day, my 8-year-old great-grandson, Tonio, and 4-year-old great-granddaughter, Marissa, were having fun with some of their friends who came to visit. They decided to play hide-and-seek. When Tonio was finished counting, he yelled, “Ready or not! Here I come!” About the time he entered the living room, Marissa hollered out, “Tonio! Come find me first! I’m behind the sofa!” Kathy Bassett, Craig
We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your mailing address.
$15 MARCH 2016
A Twist of Great Scour, scrub and polish the grime away with TWIST cleaning accessories. The Boulder-based company’s sponges, cloths, loofahs and scouring pads are 100 percent biodegradable and free of dyes. Just scrub the dirt away, toss them in the dishwasher and reuse when you’re ready. TWIST cleaning products can be found at many local grocery stores and online. Prices range from $1.79 to $4.49. For more information, call 303-443-9953 or visit twistclean.com.
A Change of Scenery
Want to add some pizazz to a plain wall but don’t want to commit to regular wallpaper? Tempaper is a self-adhesive, removable wallpaper that comes in oodles of colors and patterns. What’s beneficial about Tempaper is it’s much simpler to remove than standard wallpaper, making it ideal for renters and for those who change their minds often. Tempaper prices range from $34.99 to $125 per roll. To check out the catalog and to buy, visit tempaperdesigns.com.
The Handy Camel Renegade Broom is a rake and broom, all in one. The contoured bristles are soft, but not too soft, and glide over uneven surfaces, such as brick, carpet, grass and stone. But the best part about the Renegade is its effectiveness; it collects more debris than a rake or broom alone and does it in less time. The Renegade comes in two sizes and costs $31 and $35. For more information, call 844-442-2635 or visit thehandycamel.com. See the Renegade Broom in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWkN7iR8wWY
See how it’s done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIyjtI-OQzc
Cover, Clean, Repeat Probably the most inconvenient component of an area rug is getting it clean; you can practically buy a new one for the same price as taking it to the cleaner. Ruggable unloads that burden. Ruggable is a two-piece rug system that allows you to remove the top portion to clean in your washing machine and then dry in the dryer. Once it’s clean, simply reattach it to the rug pad. Available in several sizes and designs. Pricing ranges from $79.99 to $199.99. For more information, call 877-784-4225 or visit ruggable.com.
Enter to Win a Rug or a Broom
Enter for your chance to win a 58-inch-by-88-inchRuggable rug or a Handy Camel Renegade Broom. To enter, send us your name, address and phone number to email@example.com. Put either Rug or Broom in the subject line. For more information and to view the giveaways, visit our contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop/march-contest
Colorado Country Life March 2016 KC