Daily Discovery: Women Who Changed the Music Industry

Post written by  Goose Seifert, Music & Sound Lab Assistant.

Daily Discovery: Women Who Changed the Music Industry

Historically, women and their contributions to music have been very overlooked in the music industry. Let’s take a look at a few women who molded various genres and eras with their music!

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown is a singer, songwriter, and actress born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1928. Ruth started singing in nightclubs and performing with Lucky Millinder’s orchestra in 1945, taking a different path than her church choir director father, who did not want his daughter listening to “the devil’s music.” After a disc jockey saw Ruth play with Duke Ellington, he told the higher ups at Atlantic Records what talent he had seen. Not long after, Ruth suffered from a car crash and signed to Atlantic Records while in bed at the hospital! After recovering, she released her first song, “So Long” which reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. Following that in 1950, Ruth peaked the charts as #1 with the new release “Teardrops from my Eyes.” After this, Ruth was acknowledged as the queen of R&B, as well as “Miss Rhythm.” Her releases afterwards continued to top the R&B charts, and they stayed up there for a while. Because of Ruth’s great success, she became a household name and was responsible for Atlantic being the foremost label of the genre.

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline was a country singer born in Winchester, Virginia in 1932. Patsy began performing on the local radio station at age 15, and in a local band occasionally appearing on country television channels. After performing “Walkin’ After Midnight” on CBS’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, she had her first hit on country and pop charts, gaining national recognition. She began to work under Decca Records in 1960, which led to her first country billboard chart #1- “I Fall to Pieces” released in 1961. Next, she released “Crazy,” which also became a huge hit. Patsy also performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry country radio broadcasts in Nashville. As her success was rising, the country music industry competed with the rock and roll industry, adopting more pop elements to appeal to more mainstream audiences. Patsy, who favored traditional country, continued to dress in western clothing and include yodeling in her music, bridging traditional country music with modern pop successfully. Patsy’s life ended suddenly in a plane crash in 1963, while she was 30 years old, however her legacy lives on, as she was the first woman inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, documentaries about her life have been produced, and her childhood home was turned into a museum.

Diana Ross

Diana Ross is a singer, actress, and record producer born in Detroit, Michigan in 1944. Her success emerged as lead vocalist of the Supremes, a vocal trio signed to Motown that quickly became the first U.S. group to have five songs in a row reach #1. The group went on to have 12 total chart toppers, the most billboard #1’s that an American group had in history! Around 1969, Diana left The Supremes to start a solo career, and continued her success by reaching #1 with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Following that, she had three other tracks reach #1 in the 70’s as she was also branching out and acting. In 1976, Billboard Magazine titled her as “Female Entertainer of the Century.” Diana continued to release pop records in the 80’s with a few more chart toppers, and returned to Motown for a couple records producing singles that gained international success. She sang lead on a top 75 hit for 33 consecutive years in the U.K. from 1964 to 1996. In 1993, she was declared the most successful female musician in history by the Guiness Book of World Records for her total of 70 hit singles in the Supremes and as a solo artist!

Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro is a musician and actress born into a musical family in Detroit, Michigan in 1950. Suzi was raised studying classical piano and percussion, and started a band with her older sister at age 14, fronting the band with vocals and bass. This band toured and released singles over a few years, until Suzi accepted a solo contract from producer Mickie Most. From there, Suzi worked with songwriters Chinn and Chapman to produce “Can the Can,” which reached #1 in 1973 and sold 2.5 million copies. She continued to release hits and was featured in the British Charts for 101 weeks between 1973 and 1980. Suzi then expanded her career into acting where she played roles in TV series and then hosted her own talk show. Throughout the 90’s, Suzi continued to release records, and began a radio career with BBC in 1999 that still continues today. In 2006, Suzi was nominated for broadcaster of the year at the Sony awards. While Suzi is successful in multiple areas of her career, she is widely recognized as the first female frontwoman to also play bass in rock and roll, paving the way for more female rock pioneers such as the Runaways and Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads.

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Bohemian.

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Daily Discovery: Coffee Painting

Post written by Kathy Bush, Discovery Agent.

Daily Discovery: Coffee Painting

Use your rockin’ creative skills and make your very own work of art using coffee as your medium!

Supplies:

  • Coffee grounds &/or instant coffee – 1 spoonful
  • Water color paint brushes
  • Paper towel
  • Clean water
  • Water color paper
  • Bottle caps

Instructions:

  1. Tape your paper down if you fear it will buckle while working on it. Use the bottle caps to mix your coffee with fresh water, being careful to use only a little water at a time until you have a good shade. Test until you like what you have. Be aware that your painting will smell of coffee!
  2. Draw two squares for an exercise when first learning to use this medium. Decide which one will be for a layering with coffee and which one will be for water layering.
  3. Paint on the full space with coffee and let dry. The one square that is layered with coffee will be darker with each layer added while the square with water will become lighter. The sun is great for speeding up the drying time!
  4. The paintings from the ground coffee will have a textured look as the grounds will be picked up by the brush. This texture will be delicate as it is easy to brush off, which can take some color off. Ground coffee needs to be fresh when painting. You can reuse coffee grounds for painting but each use will result in a weaker color that is more diluted. Paintings with coffee grounds will be more free form and can lose some definition and/or color as it dries.
    – Instant coffee paintings will be smoother and easy to work with. Instant coffee paintings will acquire a shiny look the more layers you do. It is more durable than ground coffee as it behaves.
  5. Once you’re finished with your painting, it’s time to clean up! Thoroughly clean brushes, especially the ones with the coffee grounds in them as it gets caught in the tips. Have a dirty water cup for cleaning and a clean water cup for re-wetting the brushes. The paper towel is for cleaning the brush and picking coffee up from the painting if desired.

 

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Fort Fund.

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Daily Discovery: Storytime in the Home – A Moon of My Own Paper Craft

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Storytime in the Home – A Moon of My Own Paper Craft

Follow along with FCMoD’s live stream Storytime in the Home: A Moon of My Own. Then gather your supplies to make a beautiful nighttime scene!

Supplies:

  • Black, Blue, and White Construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Black Crayon
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Place all your supplies on a clear surface with plenty of room to work.
  2. Use your black crayon to draw a moon shape. What phase is your moon in? Is it a full moon, half moon, or crescent moon? Can you draw some craters?
  3. Glue your moon onto your blue construction paper.
  4. Cut out a nighttime scene with the black construction paper! Can you think of a time you played outside at night? What did you see? Buildings, trees, mountains? What will your nighttime scene be?
  5. Share your creations with us on social media using  #dailydiscovery or tagging us! We can’t wait to see the moon you made!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Buell Foundation. Their support helps make access to early childhood education at FCMoD possible for everyone in our community.

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Daily Discovery: Local Women’s History Coloring Pages

Post written by Lesley Struc, Curator of the Archive.

Daily Discovery: Local Women’s History Coloring Pages

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of women’s suffrage in the United States, explore the stories and legacies of several local women, and add some color while you’re at it! Then, test your knowledge with the quiz below!

Supplies:

  • Coloring book pages, and the end of this document
  • Crayons, paints, whatever you want to use to add some color!

Instructions:

  1. Print out the coloring pages from this document.
  2. Learn about the history of some notable Fort Collins women as you color!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Fort Fund.

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Daily Discovery: Baking with History – Mrs. Budrow’s Cream Puffs/ Descubrimiento en casa: Recetas con historia – Bocaditos de nata por la Señora Budrow

Post written by Charlotte Conway, Public Programs Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Baking with History – Mrs. Budrow’s Cream Puffs

Mrs. Budrow’s Boston Cream Puffs recipe comes from a cookbook  called Our Best Receipts. The women of the First Baptist Church of Fort Collins, Colorado published the book in 1896. Filled with recipes developed by locals, advertisements for markets, medicines, and “toilet goods,” as well as information about the state agricultural college – what we now call Colorado State University!

Read about Caroline Budrow and grab a parent to try out her recipe!

Mrs. Budrow’s Boston Cream Puffs Recipe

Caroline (Carrie) Gamble married James Theodore Budrow in 1882 and they lived in Fort Collins for many years, where James was a county clerk and in the real estate business. They had three children, and eventually moved to Hollywood, California where they managed an “apartment hotel.” Caroline died in 1940 in California, and James died in 1943 in Pennsylvania. Carrie was involved in the Columbian Club and other civic affairs in Fort Collins. She’s often mentioned in the society pages from the old Fort Collins newspapers, entertaining guests or attending luncheons.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Image credit: foodonthefood.com

 

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: Recetas con historia – Bocaditos de nata por la Señora Budrow

La receta para bocaditos de nata, de crema, o “boston cream puffs” de la Sra. Budrow, se descubrieron en un libro de cocina titulado Our Best Receipts (Nuestros mejores recibos). Las mujeres de la primera iglesia baptista de Fort Collins, Colorado, publicaron este libro en el año de 1896, y está compuesto de recetas desarrolladas por la población local, y también de anuncios para mercados, medicinas, y artículos de tocador. También contiene información sobre el Colegio Universitario de Agricultura de Fort Collins –mejor conocido hoy en día como Colorado State University, o CSU.

Lee sobre Caroline Budrow y, con la ayuda de un adulto, ¡prueba su receta!

La historia de la Sra. Budrow y su receta de los bocaditos de nata

Caroline (Carrie) Gamble se casó con James Theodore Budrow en 1882 y vivieron en Fort Collins por muchos años. Durante este tiempo, James fue un empleado del condado y también trabajó en el negocio inmobiliario. Tuvieron tres hijos y eventualmente se mudaron a Hollywood, California, donde fueron los administradores de un complejo de apartamentos. Caroline falleció en el año de 1940 en California, y James en 1943 en Pennsylvania. Carrie estuvo muy involucrada en el Columbian Club (un club para mujeres) y en otros asuntos cívicos en Fort Collins. Era a menudo mencionada entre las páginas de sociales en periódicos antiguos locales; usualmente estaba entreteniendo invitados o asistiendo a banquetes.

Receta original para hacer bocaditos de nata por la Sra. Budrow:

Para hacer la masa:
Pon a calentar 1 taza de agua junto con 2/3 tazas de mantequilla. Cuando estén hirviendo, agrégale 1 ½ tazas de harina de trigo y mezcla. Continúa mezclando hasta que se convierta en una masa uniforme y no se pegue a los lados de la olla. Retírala de la estufa y déjala enfriar. Agrégale 5 huevos batidos y mezcla hasta que estén completamente incorporados en la masa. Haz unas bolitas y colócalas sobre una bandeja bien engrasada. Hornea por unos 15 minutos a 190ºC (375ºF). *

Para hacer la nata:
La nata o crema requiere 2 tazas de leche. Pon a calentar la mitad de la leche, y reserva 2 cucharadas de esta para agregárselas a los huevos. Obtén una taza pequeña de harina, y viértela sobre la leche caliente, revolviendo hasta que la mezcla esté más densa que una crema. Aparte, bate 2 cucharadas de leche con 2 huevos, 1 taza de azúcar, una cucharadita de mantequilla, y una cucharadita de vainilla. Agrega gradualmente a la crema y continúa mezclando hasta que vuelvas a conseguir una textura cremosa. Cuando enfríe, rellena el pan horneado con nata, ¡y disfruta!

*En esos tiempos, muy pocas estufas eran completamente eléctricas, y por lo tanto no tenían indicadores de temperatura. Estas estufas quemaban madera, y solo panaderos  experimentados podrían adivinar la temperatura correcta para hornear. La temperatura de un horno “rápido” o quick oven, como se les solía llamar, se encuentra entre los 190ºC (375ºF) y los 230ºC (450ºF).

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

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Daily Discovery: Fort Collins Find & Seek!

Post written by Morgan Wilson, Museum Assistant for Collections.

Daily Discovery: Fort Collins Find & Seek!

It’s time to play Find and Seek with historical photographs from the Archive at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Try to find all of the items in the photographs using the links to the Fort Collins History Connect Database!

First photograph: Polio Drive on College and Mountain

This photograph (H08098) is from January 28th, 1956 and shows the Fort Collins Lions Club raising money for a polio drive. The photograph was taken on College and Mountain Avenue. See if you can find the following items in the photograph!

  • “Chamber of Commerce” sign.
  • 6 people who are not in cars.
  • “Mountain Ave.” sign.
  • 2 instances of the word “Hotel”.
  • 3 instances of the word “Café”.
  • How many utility poles can you count in the center of the road?

Second photograph: 100 Block of South College Avenue

This photograph (H11442) shows the west side of the 100 Block of South College Avenue in 1986. See if you can find the following.

  • “Owl Cigar” advertisement.
  • 13 cars.
  • “Pets and Things” sign.
  • The “China Palace” restaurant.
  • “Robert Trimble Block”.
  • A person with red shirt sleeves.

Third photograph: College Avenue and Fort Collins Business District

The caption on this circa 1960s postcard (H21582) reads “College Avenue and Fort Collins Business District”. Try to find the following items.

  • 5 red cars.
  • 3 yellow cars.
  • The “Northern Hotel” sign.
  • “Conoco” sign.
  • “The Shoe Box” sign.
  • “Whites” sign.
  • 4 people standing on the sidewalk.
  • A traffic light on green.
  • A traffic light on red.
  • How many streetlights are there along the main road?

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Fort Fund.

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Daily Discovery: Nature Among Us – Recreators/ Descubrimiento en casa: La naturaleza entre nosotros – personas que practican diferentes actividades de recreo

Post written by Bella Harris, Discovery Agent.

Daily Discovery: Nature Among Us – Recreators

Use your scientific skills to research recreators around Fort Collins! All you need is a camera, a pen or pencil, and a love for exploration to be a recreation researcher. Below is a table to check off different recreator sightings around Fort Collins. Try to find as many as you can! You can print this table or simply use it as an online guide. When you finish, share a picture of your table and pictures from your natural place adventures on our social media pages listed below!

Here are some recommendations for natural places to look for recreators:
● Lee Martinez Park
● Fort Collins City Park
● Spring Park
● Lory State Park
● Coyote Ridge Natural Area
● Check out here for more natural places to explore!

Instructions:

  1. Put a check by every plant you find! Or fill out your own recreator discovery at the bottom of the table. You can also document your discoveries on a piece of paper.

Please take about a week to fill out this worksheet. When you have completed as much of the table as possible, please take a photo of it! Be sure to photograph your exploration throughout natural places in Fort Collins, too!

You can upload your photos and share your adventures on the museum’s Facebook page. When creating your Nature Among Us post, please include a photo of your plants chart/list, photos of the natural places you visited, and a short description of where you went, what you saw, and how many times you explored. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #NatureAmongUs! You can also email your research results to Bella Harris.

Each week, we’ll highlight the work you have done! Looking for more adventure? Explore wildlife, plants, and pollinators with past Daily Discovery: Nature Among Us activities, available on the museum’s website at fcmod.org/blog.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Learn more about local recreators!

Image Creidt: mtbproject.com

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: La naturaleza entre nosotros – personas que practican diferentes actividades de recreo

¡Usa tus habilidades científicas para investigar y observar a las personas que practican diferentes actividades de ocio en tu área o en los alrededores de Fort Collins! Solo necesitas una cámara, algo para escribir, y el entusiasmo para explorar y convertirte en un/a investigador/a del recreo. Debajo encontrarás una tabla para marcar avistamientos de personas haciendo diferentes actividades a tus alrededores. ¡Intenta encontrar tantas como puedas! Imprime esta actividad o simplemente úsala como una guía. Cuando termines, ¡comparte fotos de tus aventuras en nuestras redes sociales!

Les recomendamos estos espacios naturales en Fort Collins:
●Parque Lee Martinez (Lee Martinez Park)
● Parque de la ciudad de Fort Collins (Fort Collins City Park)
● Parque de la primavera (Spring Park)
● Parque Estatal de Lory (Lory State Park)
● Área Natural de la cresta del coyote (Coyote Ridge Natural Area)
● Haz clic en el enlace ¡y encuentra más espacios naturales para explorar!

Antes de completar esta actividad, te invitamos a llenar una breve encuesta en tu propio idioma. Con tus respuestas, aprenderemos más sobre tus intereses y sobre las diversas formas en las que podríamos adaptar nuestros programas y actividades en el futuro. ¡Muchas gracias!

Instrucciones:

  1. Marca cada persona que veas practicando alguna de estas actividades. Si te topas con alguna otra que no se encuentra en esta lista, puedes nombrarla en los espacios de “nuevo descubrimiento” al final de la tabla, o también puedes documentar estas aventuras en cualquier hoja de papel o cuaderno.

Podrías completar esta actividad durante el curso de varios días. Cuando hayas terminado la mayor parte de la tabla, tómale una foto. También asegúrate de fotografiar tus exploraciones en los varios espacios naturales que visitaste en Fort Collins.

Puedes subir tus fotos y compartir tus aventuras en nuestra página de Facebook. Cuando estés escribiendo tu publicación, por favor incluye los resultados de la tabla más arriba, una pequeña descripción sobre los lugares a los que fuiste, lo que observaste, y el número de veces que visitaste un espacio natural. Podrías utilizar la etiqueta #NatureAmongUs.

Si quieres, también puedes mandar tus investigaciones por correo electrónico a Bella Harris. Durante cada semana, estaremos  resentando estos trabajos ¡incluyendo el tuyo! a través de las redes sociales.

¿Buscas más aventuras? Explora la vida silvestre, plantas, y polinizadores en las actividades anteriores de “La naturaleza entre nosotros,” disponible en nuestro sitio web: fcmod.org/blog.

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

Para encontrar actividades, ideas y mucho más descubrimiento en casa, ¡síguenos!

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Daily Discovery: Nature Among Us – Pollinators/ Descubrimiento en casa: La naturaleza entre nosotros – los polinizadores

Post written by Bella Harris, Discovery Agent.

Daily Discovery: Nature Among Us – Pollinators

Use your scientific skills to research pollinators around Fort Collins! All you need is a camera, a pen or pencil, and a love for exploration to be a pollinator researcher. Below is a table to check off different pollinator sightings around Fort Collins. Try to find as many as you can! You can print this table or simply use it as an online guide. When you finish, share a picture of your table and pictures from your natural place adventures on our social media pages listed below!

Here are some recommendations for natural places to look for pollinators:
● Butterfly Woods Natural Areas
● Soapstone Prairie
● Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Areas
● Gardens on Spring Creek
● North Shields Ponds Natural Area
● Check out here for more natural places to explore!

Instructions:

  1. Put a check by every pollinator you find! Or fill out your own pollinator discovery at the bottom of the table. You can also document your discoveries on a piece of paper.

Please take about a week to fill out this worksheet. When you have completed as much of the table as possible, please take a photo of it! Be sure to photograph your exploration throughout natural places in Fort Collins, too!

You can upload your photos and share your adventures on the museum’s Facebook page. When creating your Nature Among Us post, please include a photo of your pollinator chart/list, photos of the natural places you visited, and a short description of where you went, what you saw, and how many times you explored. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #NatureAmongUs! You can also email your research results to Bella Harris.

Each week, we’ll highlight the work you have done! Stay tuned for next week’s Daily Discovery, where we will explore ourselves in Nature Among Us: Recreators.

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: La naturaleza entre nosotros – los polinizadores

¡Usa tus habilidades científicas para investigar los polinizadores que viven en tu área o en los alrededores de Fort Collins! Solo necesitas una cámara, algo para escribir, y el entusiasmo para explorar y convertirte en un/a investigador/a de estos insectos especiales. Debajo encontrarás una tabla para marcar avistamientos de polinizadores a tus alrededores. ¡Intenta encontrar tantos como puedas! Imprime esta actividad o simplemente úsala como una guía. Cuando termines, ¡comparte fotos de tus aventuras
en nuestras redes sociales!

Les recomendamos estos espacios naturales en Fort Collins para buscar polinizadores:
● Área natural de los bosques de mariposas (Butterfly Woods Natural Area)
● Pradera de piedra de jabón (Soapstone Prairie Natural Area)
● Área natural de la pradera de Cathy Fromme (Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area)
● Los jardines de Spring Creek (Gardens on Spring Creek)
● Área natural de los estanques de North Shields (North Shields Ponds Natural Area)
● Haz clic en el enlace ¡y encuentra más espacios naturales para explorar!

Antes de completar esta actividad, te invitamos a llenar una breve encuesta en tu propio idioma. Con tus respuestas, aprenderemos más sobre tus intereses y sobre las diversas formas en las que podríamos adaptar nuestros programas y actividades en el futuro. ¡Muchas gracias!

Instrucciones:

  1. Marca cada polinizador que veas. Si te topas con algún otro que no se encuentre en esta lista, puedes nombrarlo en los espacios de “nuevo descubrimiento” al final de la tabla, o también puedes documentar estas aventuras en cualquier hoja de papel o cuaderno.

Podrías completar esta actividad durante el curso de varios días. Cuando hayas terminado la mayor parte de la tabla, tómale una foto. También asegúrate de fotografiar tus exploraciones en los varios espacios naturales que visitaste en Fort Collins.

Puedes subir tus fotos y compartir tus aventuras en nuestra página de Facebook. Cuando estés escribiendo tu publicación, por favor incluye los resultados de la tabla más arriba, una pequeña descripción sobre los lugares a los que fuiste, lo que observaste, y el número de veces que visitaste un espacio natural. Podrías utilizar la etiqueta #NatureAmongUs.

Si quieres, también puedes mandar tus investigaciones por correo electrónico a Bella Harris. Durante cada semana, estaremos  resentando estos trabajos ¡incluyendo el tuyo! a través de las redes sociales.

Mantente sintonizado con nuestro próximo Descubrimiento en casa, titulado “La naturaleza entre nosotros: los recreadores.”

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

Para encontrar actividades, ideas y mucho más descubrimiento en casa, ¡síguenos!

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It’s National Pollinator Week! ?

Post written by Alexa Leinaweaver, Live Animal Husbandry Coordinator.

?It’s National Pollinator Week!

June 22-28, 2020, is the 13th annual National Pollinator Week!

What Are Pollinators?

Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another flower of the same species in the first step toward the plant reproducing. While pollinators are primarily insects (bees, beetles, flies, moths, butterflies), there are also some birds and small mammals that pollinate plants too.

More than 70% — and possibly as much as 90%! — of flowering plants are dependent on pollination for creating seeds and fruit. It is estimated that one out of every three bites of food you eat was made possible by animal pollinators!

Many of the animals that pollinate are in decline. Pollinator habitats are shrinking or getting destroyed so they have no space to live or feed. In addition, overuse of pesticides, environmental pollution, and climate change are all adding risks to these animals.

Pollinators in Colorado

In Colorado, we have a wide range of habitats and extreme changes in altitude – different bees will thrive in each area. Because of that variety of habitat, Colorado is home to more than 900 species of bees! There are more than 200 bees in Larimer County alone. The smallest bee in Colorado is the Miner Bee (Perdita salacis) at 3.5mm/0.1in; the largest is the Nevada Bumblebee (Bombus nevadensis) at 26.5mm/1in. Colorado bees are colorful, too! Different species may be the usual yellow and black, or range to red, orange, green, blue, or brown.

Most bees in Colorado (and the rest of the world too) are solitary bees that don’t live in a colony like the familiar honeybee. Most of these solitary bees are ground nesters, digging burrows in the soil or using abandoned rodent burrows. Some of the bees here are cavity nesters, finding holes or cavities in twigs or logs.

In Colorado, bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the crops in our state.

In addition to bees, other pollinators in Colorado include approximately 250 species of butterfly and more than 1,000 species of moth. There are also 11 species of hummingbird that migrate through the state from April through September.

How can you help pollinators?

Learn more about the pollinators in the space where you live. Spend some time outside and observe the animals that are visiting your garden. What kinds of animals do you see? What colors are they? How do they behave as they visit flowers?

Create good habitats for pollinators around your home. Whether you have acres of land or just a window box, you can help pollinators by offering them food and shelter. Plant a variety of flowering plants (preferably native – CSU has a great example list of native plants for pollinators) that offer food and nesting space. Provide several different kinds of blooming plants near each other, and use plants that have different bloom times, so that flowers are available to pollinators from early spring through late fall. Plant in sunny locations that are protected from the wind.

Don’t “clean up” your yard in the fall. Leave all the dormant or dead plants alone rather than trimming them back for the winter season — cavity nesting bees and other pollinating insects will use them as a safe home during the cold weather. Leave some leaf litter around for butterflies and moths to use as insulation over the winter, rather than raking it all up and dumping it in the landfill. If you can include materials in your yard such as logs or wood nesting blocks, you provide space for species that nest in wood to survive the snow. Leave some of the ground uncovered (i.e. don’t put mulch everywhere) for the native bees that nest in the bare dirt for the winter.

Reduce use of chemicals for controlling weeds and pests, as these can hurt or kill beneficial pollinators as well.

Protect natural habitat.

 Share what you know. Talk to your friends and family about what you have learned about pollinators and how and why you are helping them. Talk to your local and state government about how important it is to protect pollinators.

 

 

 

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Daily Discovery: Explore your State – Spelunking!

Post written by Hannah Curtis, Education Assistant.

Daily Discovery: Explore your State – Spelunking!

The recreational past-time hobby of cave exploration! It’s not every day you get to explore around in a dark, musky, million-year-old, nature made cavern, but when you do, you may be surprised what you see inside! Let’s explore together the history of caves in Colorado, and learn how they were formed!

History of Caves!

Spelunking, or caving, has been a hobby of enthusiasts as early as 1895 and became a part of important scientific explorations and research. Through caving, we know more about geological process and ecosystem science. Cave environments are fragile and animals that live in them can be easily disturbed. Cave formations can be damaged by the lightest touch and even one’s breath. Cave dwelling species such as cave shrimp and bats thrive in the constant temperature and humidity of caves and bats will use caves to hibernate during the winter season. Too much human contact inside caves with these species can be damaging to the cave environment and these vulnerable species.

You can visit a variety of caves throughout Colorado, but Cave of the Winds and the Glenwood Caverns are historically fascinating and beautiful. Cave of the Winds was founded in 1881 by two brothers, George and John Pickett, but the cave systems are millions of years old! After it’s discovery and continued excavation, tours of the cave began to the public and even electricity was installed in 1907. These caves are one of Colorado’s oldest and famous attractions!

Inside Iron Mountain, Glenwood Caverns is more than 16,000 feet long, and was opened to visitors in 1895 by Charles W. Darrow and his family, who homesteaded at the top of the mountain near the cave entrance.

Cave Formation!

The formation of caves is called speleogenesis, and it can happen under a variety of geological processes. They can be formed through chemical or water erosion, by tectonic forces, microorganisms, or pressure and atmospheric changes. The types of caves most often formed and many of the ones found in Colorado are called Karst Caves. These caves are made from limestone, which dissolves in acidic solutions such as groundwater that hold organic acids. Over time, this acidic ground water seeps through cracks, faults or joints in the ground dissolving the limestone and eventually enlarges into a cave.

This process continues inside the cave forming mineral deposits called speleothems. There are many different types of speleothems, some you may be familiar with. Stalactites are mineral deposit that form on the roof of caves when dissolved calcium bicarbonate (dissolved limestone) drips and crystalizes back into limestone, similar to how an icicle is formed in the winter. A stalagmite may form underneath a stalactite when the drippings fall to the cave floor and deposits the limestone into a cone shaped mound. You can usually find stalactites and stalagmites together, and they may even grow so large that they may combine into one big column. Other speleothems are flowstones, helictites, or soda straws, which all form in unique way based on how the calcium carbonate flows through down cave walls and ceiling.

Grow your own Stalactite and Cave Diorama!

Supplies:

Stalactite Formation

  • 2 plastic cups
  • String or yarn
  • Epsom salt, sugar or baking soda
  • Water
  • Paper

Cave Diorama

  • Cardboard box
  • Modeling clay
  • Colored paper
  • Natural elements (rocks, stones, grass, dirt)
  • Markers
  • Recycled materials (egg cartons, bottle caps, etc).
  • Glue or tape

Instructions:

  1. To begin forming your stalactite, heat up a quart of water on a stove. Make sure to have guardian supervision for this step.
  2. Once hot, pour your choice of Epsom salt, sugar or baking soda to the pot, stirring to dissolve. Continue adding gradually until you have dissolved 3 cups of your solvent. (Note: you can dissolve without hot water, this speeds up the process and allows you to dissolve more into your solution).
  3. Pour equal parts into the two cups.
  4. Cut a piece of string around 1 foot.
  5. On top of a piece of paper or paper plate, drape each end of the yarn into the cups so that each end is completely submerged. You can weigh your string down using a paper clip.
  6. Between the cups allow the string to slack in the middle creating a dip, this is where your stalactite will form forming.
  7. Over the course of a few hours to a few days the water will move from the cups to the string and begin dripping and crystalizing.
  8. If you wish, begin constructing your cave using materials you have handy in your home. If you wish to put your newly forming stalactite into your cave, use the flaps of a cardboard box to hide the cups and only your stalactite showing.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Image Credit: uncovercolorado.com

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Fort Fund.

 

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