Your Town, Aug. 11, 2013
A story in last Wednesday’s paper focused on the annoying weed explosion, caused by the monsoonal rains.
Allen and I encountered some of those mammoth “Kochia Scoparia” weeds during an evening walk in an adjacent neighborhood. Towering over us at close to 7 feet in height, I dread the day when these SUV-sized growths eventually transform into tumbleweeds and are propelled into motion on a blustery day.
The area toad population is also enjoying the wetter weather. We came across a few of those on our recent walks — small ones, happily hopping on the sidewalk and one that was practically the size of my fist, in no hurry to go anywhere.
Me and toads get along quite nicely. I have a thing for frogs and toads that began when I was a second-grader at Needham Elementary School in Durango. During recess on a rainy afternoon, I spotted a little toad hopping around near the entrance to our classroom. I pointed it out to several of the boys who all hesitated to pick it up.
Whoever said little boys were made of slugs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails never met this tomboy. Because none of the boys were brave enough to touch it, I reached down and scooped it into my hands and took it into the teacher. She set it up in an aquarium for us to observe for several days and then returned it to freedom.
I was hooked.
Years later, toads were quite populous on the cul-de-sac where we lived. I’d drive carefully to avoid running over the little critters who had yet to learn the “look both ways before hopping” lesson. My sister presented me with an appropriate bumper sticker — Kermit the Frog smiling next to the words “I brake for frogs.”
From then on it was frog this and frog that. I affectionately recall how they induced me into labor with my firstborn. Nine-months pregnant and enjoying a day at the lake, I saw a large swarm of tadpoles swimming near shore. In my haste to get a closer look, I slipped in the mud along the edge and landed hard on my bottom. Thud.
Labor started shortly after that. (No, I didn’t name him Frog).
Speaking of tadpoles, school starts Monday and swarms of little ones will be heading off to the bus, walking or riding their bikes, and in their excitement for the new year, might not be looking both ways before hopping, I mean crossing. Keep an eye out for the little ones, and the big ones too.
And don’t park in the bus zone. You might get toad.
Orchard Mesa Lions Club will host “Books in the Park,” a free book giveaway for children, from 6–8 p.m. Aug. 21 at Eagle Rim Park, near Orchard Mesa Middle School.
Lions Club members will offer book reading also. Free popcorn and lemonade will be available, and children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite book character.
The seventh annual Mary’s Loop Kokopelli Classic trail runs, sponsored by Mesa Monument Striders to benefit the Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team, is set for 7 a.m. Aug. 24 on the Kokopelli Trail, at Interstate 70, Exit 15, Loma.
The course follows part of Mary’s Loop, Mack Ridge, Lions Loop and Steve’s Loop.
Runners can choose the 8-mile ($30) or 16-mile ($50) race. Cost is $5 more on race day. Entry includes a T-shirt, swag bag and food, with awards for first, second and third place men’s and women’s overall, age group awards and drawings. Register at http://www.active.com or call 270-6147 for information.
Proceeds will go to the Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team, which is all volunteer.
According to the organization’s link at sheriff.mesacounty.us, the Mesa County Search and Rescue Control is a nonprofit organization with several individual clubs or groups. Volunteers may be on foot, horseback, four-wheel drive, ATV, boat, or snowmobile as conditions need. A variety of specialized team members serve on the board. Each team trains in its specialty on its own time providing its own equipment.
The Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its first Western Colorado Hispanic Advancement Award, to be presented Sept. 16 at the kickoff event for Hispanic Heritage Month.
The award will be given to a person who has advanced the Hispanic culture through volunteering, promoting employment opportunities, increasing cultural awareness, cultivating education opportunities and/or promoting economic development for the Hispanic community on the Western Slope.
Nominations are open to all persons ages 18 and older, living in the Western Slope region.
Send nomination letters by Sept. 1 to Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 733, Fruita 81521. Include a detailed description of how the nominee has positively affected the area Hispanic community as well as contact information for the nominee.
The League of Women Voters of Montrose County is seeking nominations for its Making Democracy Work Award.
Nominations are open to any Montrose or Delta county resident who is or has recently taken a leadership role and mobilized others to make his/her community a stronger, more vibrant and more fair place to live.
Nomination forms are at montrose.co.lwvnet.org. Deadline for submissions is Aug. 19 for Montrose County and Aug. 27 for Delta County.