Maybe the rabbits tell it best. In the grazing lands and hayfields of the Big Valley, a mile east of the Main Ranch, the Big Thompson becomes a lazy, prairie stream and the well-developed riparian vegetation shelters eastern cottontails. The native and tame pastures on the Main Ranch support desert cottontails. The west end of the Ranch, on Palisade Mountain, is habitat for mountain cottontails. Our three species of cottontails demonstrate that Sylvan Dale is a microcosm, a "cross-roads" for species that, combined, range nearly from coast-to-coast—from Washington DC to Washington State, and from Alberta to Costa Rica.
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, west of Loveland, Colorado, encompasses about 3200 acres, 5 square miles of foothills beauty, a naturalist’s paradise.
This is "up-and-down country." Elevations range from 5140 ft. along the Big Thompson River in the Big Valley to 7340 ft. on the north slope of Palisade Mountain above Cedar Park. That is some 2200 feet of elevational range, a greater range than in 15 of the 50 states!
If you live in Colorado, you know we had a rather dry winter… but then along came April.
Average precipitation for Northern Colorado in April is about two inches, but this past April brought more than four inches of water to the region.
Last night brought a steady rain that continued into early afternoon. The result of all this spring, Colorado precipitation is a delightfully green, and wet, landscape.
I hope you enjoy these fresh photos taken around the ranch this afternoon—no need to get green with envy—we’re happy to share the views! If you think you know where some of the ‘less obvious’ shots were taken, post your answers below.
- 3-day snowstorm drops 22 inches…
- Snowpack close to 100% in N. Colorado
- Unusually cool, wet April helps Colorado
- Fort Collins lifts watering restrictions
And, speaking of “green,” do you know about Sylvan Dale’s green practices? Since 1946, “green” practices have been integral to the Ranch.
Our Sustainability Mission:
“To apply practices in our daily work routine that support a sustainable operation in harmony with the natural environment through the principles of ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’.”
Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter…for today anyway!
Colorado is known for its unique "summer today, winter tomorrow" weather. Yesterday was a comfortable light-shirt day — today, no so much.
While locals were enjoying the temperate weather in the 70s just days ago, beginning last night, the region received its first "official" snow of the season.
I waited too late to capture the white frosting fully covering the grounds early this morning but here’s a few samples of what still lingered on the leaves, and lawn and beyond. By the time you see these, the snow will have all but vanished!
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s team returned this year for another group event and once again Jesse returned to the river, fishing the cool waters to find the best candidates to upright, building another ephemeral testament to the beauty of simplicity. View the photos from this year and 2010 below.
Jesse King, a guest at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch during Bonfils Stanton Foundation’s company retreat, took a break from the activities to create a wonderful display of balance. More than a dozen actually. Despite the rising waters from the rains the stones remain steadfast.
It’s not Stonehenge but still impressive to see; slender stones peacefully projecting skyward from the rushing waters of the Big Thompson River. One might say it’s symbolic of what happens during a stay at Sylvan Dale. Finding balance in the oftentimes riotous current of life.
Shall we call it Sylvanhenge? Hmmm.