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equipped to eat human-provid-
ed food.
And just like deer, animals
can bunch up, draw in preda-
tors and create unnecessary
Wild animals are unpredict-
able and can be dangerous to
people who decide to get close
to them.
They can be particularly ag-
gressive or defensive around
food sources, during breeding
seasons and when they have
dependent young nearby.
¡°Winter in Colorado is often a
great time to watch big game
animals. They are more visible
when they congregate on low-
elevation, more open winter
ranges,¡± explained Wenum,
¡°Please, observe them from a
Nature & Wildlife
2018 December/January
Pg 11- The Sunshine Express
* December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor
Shower, the king of the meteor showers,
produces up to 120 multicolored meteors/
hr at peak, runs annually Dec 7-17, peaks
night of the 13th & morning of the 14th, 1st
qtr moon sets shortly after midnight leav-
ing dark skies for an excellent early morning
show, Meteors radiate from constellation
Gemini but can appear anywhere in the sky.
* December 21 - December Solstice,
occurs at 22:23 UTC, This is the 1st day
of winter (winter solstice) in the Northern
Hemisphere and the 1st day of summer
(summer solstice) in the Southern Hemi-
* December 22 - Full Moon, occurs at
17:49 UTC, known by early Native American
tribes as the Full Cold Moon because it¡¯s the
time of year when cold winter air settles
in & nights become long & dark, also been
known as Full Long Nights Moon and Moon
Before Yule.
* December 21, 22 - Ursids Meteor
Shower, produces about 5-10 meteors/hr,
runs annually Dec 17-25, peaks night of the
21st & morning of the 22nd, the full moon
will hide all but the brightest meteors, Mete-
ors radiate from constellation Ursa Minor but
can appear anywhere in the sky.
* January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor
Shower, above average shower, up to 40
meteors/hr at peak, runs annually Jan 1-5,
peaks night of the 3rd & morning of the 4th,
moon will be thin crescent and should not
interfere with a good show, Meteors radiate
from constellation Bootes but can appear
anywhere in the sky.
* January 6 - Partial Solar Eclipse, can
only be safely observed with a special solar
filter or by looking at the Sun¡¯s reflec-
tion, visible in parts of eastern Asia and
the northern Pacific Ocean, best seen from
northeastern Russia with 62% coverage.
Visible Planets
[ Dec ][ Jan ]
Mercury -
[ dawn ][ --
[ morn ][ morn ]
[ eve
][ eve ]
[ dawn ][ morn ]
[ dusk ][
-- ]
¡°Every tomorrow has two
handles. We can take hold of it
with the handle of anxiety or
the handle of faith.¡±
- Henry Ward Beecher
Night Time Delights
The Moon Dance
visit us online at:
¡°Don¡¯t Be Tempted¡±
Feeding wildlife during winter
does more harm than good
DURANGO: As Colorado enters the depths of the
winter season, Colorado Parks and Wildlife re-
minds citizens that feeding big game in Colorado
is not only illegal but can also harm them.
¡°Native species are well adapted to survive the
winter months on natural food sources,¡± said J
Wenum, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks
and Wildlife in Gunnison, ¡°Feeding big game,
especially deer, whether it¡¯s hay, corn, dog food
or other livestock-type food, can kill them. Their
digestive systems aren¡¯t designed to handle these
types of rich foods.¡±
Unfortunately, every year, people see deer in their
yards or near their property and some people
decide to feed them; and every year deer die as a
¡°People want to help. But the reality of it is that
feeding generally doesn¡¯t help wildlife, it harms
them,¡± Wenum said, ¡°Winter is a tough time of
year, and it has always been how nature elimi-
nates the sick, the weak and less-fit animals from
the population. It¡¯s ironic, but the toughest time
of the year is what makes wildlife populations
In some areas of Colorado bighorn sheep get close
to residential areas during the winter. Bighorns,
also, should not be fed.
Feeding animals can cause other problems.
Deer crowding around a food source can transfer
diseases or parasites from animal to animal.
When animals bunch up they also become easy
targets for predators, including mountain lions.
While deer and mountain lions have evolved natu-
rally together, having large predators in residential
areas is not natural and is never a good idea.
Feeding big game can draw them away from their
natural habitats and disturb migration patterns.
In some areas, deer that have been fed during
the winter haven¡¯t moved on as they should when
spring arrives.
Feeding is not just a concern with big game. CPW
also advises people to refrain from feeding small
animals such as coyotes, foxes, squirrels, rabbits,
chipmunks or turkeys. These animals also aren¡¯t
distance, keep your dog on a
leash and don¡¯t be tempted to offer any food,¡±
For more information about wildlife in Colorado
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily
on license sales, state parks fees and registra-
tion fees to support its operations, including:
41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife
areas covering approximately 900,000 acres,
management of fishing and hunting, wildlife
watching, camping, motorized and non-motor-
ized trails, boating and outdoor education.
CPW¡¯s work contributes approximately $6
billion in total economic impact annually
throughout Colorado.
Copyright 2018 Colorado Parks and Wildlife,
All rights reserved.
* January 21 - Full Moon, Supermoon, occurs
at 05:16 UTC, known by early Native American
tribes as Full Wolf Moon because this was time
of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside
their camps, also known as Old Moon and Moon
After Yule, 1st of 3 supermoons in 2019, may
look slightly larger & brighter than usual.
* January 22 - Conjunction of Venus & Jupi-
ter, The two bright planets will be visible within
2.4 degrees of each other in the early morning
sky in the east just before sunrise.
* January 21 - Total Lunar Eclipse, the Moon
will gradually get darker then take on a rusty or
blood red color, visible throughout most of North
America, South America, the eastern Pacific
Ocean, western Atlantic Ocean, extreme western
Europe & extreme western Africa.