Reviews and Blog Posts: Colorado

Discovering the First Coloradans

Folsom point among Bison bones. © Denver Museum of Nature and Science

In January 1926, a banker and a blacksmith from Raton, New Mexico walked into the Colorado Museum of Natural History (now the Denver Museum of Nature and Science) carrying a sack of very large bones. The bones once belonged to an extinct bison called Bison antiquus, and the museum's director, Jesse Figgins, was very excited to see them. It wasn't just that he might acquire a new Bison antiquus specimen for the museum. The bigger opportunity Figgins saw was the possibility of excavated the site where the bones were found, and finding human artifacts among them.

Just like us [the true story of four Mexican girls coming of age in America]

by Helen Thorpe

Reviewer Rating:
3

The book can be a little hard to get through because there are some very strong political views expressed, not by the writer, but by both sides of the debate. You wish that things had been different for these girls, especially since it can be seen as if there fate...

Plaza Voices: The Boulder County Latino History Project

Cover of "La Gente," available at DPL

According to the Pew Research Center, Colorado is home to 1,071,000 Latinos, including immigrants and their descendants as well as Colorado natives, whose families were here before Colorado was part of the United States.

Colorado's Ghost Glaciers

Landscape from RMNP with and without ice age glaciers. From NPS.

This weekend I hiked up to Arapahoe Glacier in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. It's the largest glacier in Colorado, and definitely an impressive sight--a field of ice covering nearly 40 acres, nestled among towering crags at 12,700 feet. But by glacial standards, Arapahoe Glacier is a pipsqueak. It's tiny compared to great valley glaciers like the one in the second photo, which is in Alaska.

Take a Hike: Books, Maps and Websites for Picking the Perfect Trail

Trails Illustrated Map of Rocky Mountain National Park

If you're into hiking, it's hard to beat living in Denver. Some of the best trails in the nation are within an hour's drive of the city. Whether you like casual strolls or scaling fourteeners, Denver Public Library can connect you with great resources to help you find the perfect trail.

Books

Listening for the Tommyknockers

Tommyknockers in a Mine. Joseph Blight, 1873

'Ave you 'eard of the Tommy Knockers
In the deep dark mines of the west
Which Cornish miners 'ear?
And 'tis no laughin' jest,
For I'm a Cornish miner,
An' I'll tell you of it today,
Of the "knock-knock-knock" of a tiny pick,
As we work in the rock and clay.

- Old miner's ballad

Getting to Know Colorado Wildflowers

Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes

The weather outside right now isn't exactly inviting--first it rains, then it snows, then it rains again. It's a good day to be inside. But snow or no snow, we all know winter is finished, and all this moisture means the hillsides are about to be covered with wildflowers. Most Coloradans recognize famous one like the Rocky Mountain Columbine, but what about the lesser-known wildflowers? Have you met the Blue Toadflax? How about the Curvepod Fumewort? Little Pink Elephants? I haven't, I'm afraid, but I've decided this is the year I will.

Denver's Famous Dinosaurs

Reconstruction of Stegosaurus by O.C. Marsh

Have you ever heard of Triceratops? How about Stegosaurus? "Brontosaurus"? Of course you have--they're some of the superstars of prehistory; depicted in countless picture books, cartoons, and roadside statues. Many eight-year-olds could give you a scholarly lecture about them. But what many Denverites don't know--even some of the eight-year-olds--is that all three of these dinosaur celebrities were first discovered right in our back yard. They're actually local celebrities, and their discoveries make for some pretty interesting reading.

Forget Mercury Retrograde. Solar Storms are the Real Deal

Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun (NASA image)

Did you know Mercury is in retrograde right now? I didn't, until I saw people posting about it on social media sites. When I looked it up, I discovered that the planet Mercury sometimes appears to move backwards across the sky. People who believe in astrology think that when this happens, communications of all kinds--technological, interpersonal, you name it--go haywire (Mercury was the Roman god of messengers, after all, and he was a bit of a trickster).

Wraith

by Joe Hill

Reviewer Rating:
3

Did you like NOS4A2? Like horror comics? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, give Wraith a shot. Joe Hill moves between the worlds of traditional books and graphic novels quite a lot, and here he connects them. Wraith tells the story of Charlie Manx, the ominous...

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