Hummingbirds Begin to Migrate

This picture was taken and submitted by Jane hummingbird 08-20-2014 Johnson.

We are seeing fewer and fewer hummingbirds with the seasonal decreasing sunlight which triggers their migration.  Most will be gone within a few weeks.  We can continue to feed them so that they may gain weight to survive their long journey south.  To read more, go to the Animal Facts page under the Photo Gallery menu option above and scroll down to the section on hummingbirds, AND see the article posted last year,  August 15, 2013, and again this year, May 26, 2014.

Slash Collection Reminder

Platte Canyon

Fire Protection District

Slash Collection

August 30, 31 & September 6, 7

Saturday & Sunday

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

&

September 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Top of Crow Hill near the Loaf & Jug

(Co Rd 43A – Follow the signs)

Small pickup load – $5.00

Large pickup load – $8.00

Dump truck – $20.00

Trailer (single axle) – $10.00

Double Axle – $15.00

NO stumps, NO construction materials, NO tree branches bigger than 8-inches in diameter.  Pine needles acceptable.

Thank you for participating in the slash program,

which helps our community with fire mitigation.

For additional information call: 303-838-5853

Submitted by Ken Perdew

Supermoon Last Sunday Night

supermoonDid you happen to see how big and bright the moon was Sunday night? I peaked outside around midnight and saw what looked like a spot light on my driveway. I then looked up and was amazed at how the supermoon lit up the night sky!

A supermoon is when the moon is full and is at its closest distance from the earth during its monthly orbit. The scientific name for this is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, or a “perigee moon.” According to NASA, when the moon is a supermoon, it appears to be about 14% larger and 30% brighter than other full moons. Full moons occur about every 29 days, and there are between 4 to 6 supermoons every year. Due to the moon’s elliptical orbit around the Earth, the distance between the two will vary each month from 222,000 to 252,000 miles. Therefore, a supermoon is about 30,000 miles closer to the Earth.

This summer there will be a total of 3 supermoons. If you happened to miss the first 2, July 12th and August 10th, don’t worry you will have one more chance to see it this year on September 9th. Be sure to mark your calendars!

For more information and pictures, go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/spectacular-photos-supermoon/story?id=24926198

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/10/supermoon-2014-photos-tweets-live-updates_n_5657744.html

Our Rain Cup Over Floweth

Bailey Monthly Precipitation TotalsIf you thought we received more rain during last month than we normally do, you were right!  Paul Ellis found some great Monthly Precipitation charts from the National Weather Service website that I thought you would also find interesting.  The data collected for this website shows that Bailey received 5.74 inches (less than our own local Elk Creek Highlands rain gauge measured!) of rain in July, 2014, slightly more than last September when we had 5.22 inches, and more than any other month during the past 5 years!  These charts also show that Bailey normally receives more precipitation than Denver, Fairplay and Fort Collins, but less than Lakewood, Boulder, Estes Park, Evergreen, and Georgetown.  To find out more and to make your own comparisons go to: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=cooppcpn.

Biting Stable Flies

We bought our cabin August of 2011 and thisStableFly is the first summer we have discovered biting flies!  The back of my legs are covered with little red, itchy, bumps and they are not from mosquitoes!  So, I have been doing a little research on these annoying pests!

My first thought was that these flies look very similar to a housefly, only smaller; however, research shows that the common houseflies do not bite.  Looking through pictures of biting flies, I found that these biting flies are not what some people are calling Black Flies, but are actually called Stable Flies.  So, I am not surprised we find so many near our corral.

In Colorado, Stable Flies usually feed on livestock; however, I have definitely witnessed them on our neighborhood dogs and humans.  These flies are blood feeders; their bites are painful and produce swelling and itching as the result of injecting their saliva.  Stable Flies feed during sunny, warm days and are most active during mid-morning and right before dusk.  Biting seems to be worse right before a rain storm.  Scientists say the biting will end when the night time temperatures begin to drop and kill the adult flies and larvae, which will be about the middle of October.

The life cycle of a Stable Fly is about 3-4 weeks from egg to a mature adult.  Adults live about 2 weeks.  Females may lay several hundred eggs, there may be 2 to 4 generations per year, both adding up to a fast growing population.

The breeding habitat for Stable Flies is moist straw, hay, or grasses mixed with old horse (not cow!) manure.  When the mixture dries out, the larvae die.  Organic, decaying, moist, materials on our properties are also breeding habitats.  So, I am not surprised that we have more Stable Flies than normal this summer because of all the rain we have received.

I have used Mosquito repellents to try and prevent Stable Flies from biting, but have found NONE that work!  Mike Felix told me about tiny parasitic wasps that will lay their eggs in the manure mixture and their larvae will then feed on and kill the Stable Fly larvae.  Even though these wasps are normally found in our environment, there are not enough of them to control the Stable Flies.  Wasp eggs hatch quicker than the Stable Fly eggs; however, a female fly can lay 3 times as many eggs as a female wasp.  These wasps can actually be purchased on the internet and can help reduce fly larvae by about 90% if breeding sites are cleaned up regularly and wasps are released about every 30 days throughout the summer.  Wasps do not sting or bite humans or animals.

For more information about Stable Flies go to the following websites:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05582.html

http://www.denverpost.com/perspective/ci_6744809

http://www.cattletoday.com/archive/2010/April/CT2217.php

If you know of other Stable Fly bite prevention methods, please share it with us by making a comment below.  Also mentioned in the documents I read during my research was a botanical solution such as marigold extract or an environment friendly fly trap.  Some neighbors have also mentioned drier sheets.  I have successfully used them by my pillow at night for mosquitoes!  So, the next time you see me walking near the pond; do not laugh at me for the drier sheets stuffed in my socks!

Money Donations Needed!

hammer and nailsThere has been much discussion about the condition of the Association Building over the past few months.  It was decided that the number one concern for our building is the deterioration of the roof.  No one really knows for sure exactly how old (really old) the current roof is, but we have been told by the experts that they are surprised it hasn’t already started leaking!

Felix Beall has obtained 3 bid estimates for a new roof, with the cost ranging from $5,000 to $7,000.  During our monthly Association meeting on August 6th, it was discussed and voted on to start the work as soon as possible so that it may be completed before the winter weather begins!

This is a huge expense, but a necessary investment for our community.  Money donations (ANY amount) are now being accepted to help pay for the cost of a new roof.  Please send your checks to ECHPOA, 86 Elk Creek Drive, Bailey, CO  80421, or bring it to our next monthly Association Meeting on Wednesday, September 3rd, at 7 pm!

Not all members have email addresses or internet access, so please help spread the word to your neighbors.  Many THANKS in advance; your help is very much appreciated!

If you have any questions, you may contact Ken Perdew, Sec./Treasurer, 303-838-7768.