Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So What Does Earth Day Really Mean?

Let's get this out right from the start: we're an outdoor recreation company. We love to be outside. Nothing is more relaxing, more exhilarating or more life-affirming for us than to take part in the activities that the great outdoors make possible. So, yeah, we have something at stake when it comes to the state of our planet.

Today, April 22nd, 2010, we recognize Earth Day and we will participate in a number of events this weekend to show our support. We'll be at the Farmer's Market in Kirkwood, on Saturday, April 24 and we'll be in Forest Park on Sunday, April 25 for St. Louis's city-wide celebration. If you're out and about, we hope you'll join us.

But what is Earth Day really about? The first true Earth Day in 1970 was organized by groups fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, loss of wilderness and extinction of wildlife. Unfortunately, the whole concept of "Earth Day" has turned in many places from a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment into a political landmine. Environment issues have become conservative and liberal issues.

Loving political landmines like we do, let me just put it this way – No matter what you've heard about our environment today, research your own facts. Find out whether or not the "truths" you believe in are really the facts. This goes for global warming, water quality, air quality, and much more. So much of the vitriol that is thrown from both sides over the internet is simply half truths at best. We all have our beliefs - and our reasons for them. There's nothing wrong with that. So maybe, if we can all understand why each side believes what they do, then, maybe we can all sit down rationally and find a way to move forward.

And no matter which side of the argument you land on, hopefully we can all agree that this is the only planet we've got.

Hopefully, we can agree to make this the best place for our kids, and our kids' kids, and so on, and so on, to grow.

Hopefully, we can agree to make sure we all appreciate what we've got.

And hopefully, we can agree - for one day - to celebrate this magnificent place we call home.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Wildflowers are near their peak!

But a lot of showy ones are starting to fade. There were a lot of great ones the week-end before last such as Bellworts, Virginia Bluebells, and Dutchman's breeches, but now we are moving into some of my other favorite such as Jack-in-the-pulpits, and Columbines (which I haven't seen any of yet).

Due to our huge swap event this past week-end, I didn't get to get beyond the confines of my backyard, but luckily I have a pretty cool backyard!

Here just a few of the flowers I saw yesterday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alpine Shop Ozark Trail Mega Event 4/9-4/11

The Courtois Gap in the wonderfully scenic Ozark Trail is now history thanks to the hard work of over 200 volunteers who devoted their time and energy in this great cause! The weather was beautiful as were the campsites at Bass River Resort and it was a great opportunity to see spring budding out all over this part of the Ozarks.

Here are some scenes from the event week-end.

Thanks again to everyone who came and helped!

from Rich Orr, Angie Bono, Justin Scott, and the rest of the Alpine Shop staff and friends.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Get out on the Ozark Rivers, April 10th -- NOW !!!

Late afternoon (April 10th) and evening pictures of the Current River and it's valley near Cedargrove, MO. The river was running full; about 1-2 feet above normal stage, the redbud was in full bloom; dogwood coming out, temperature 75F, clear skies, light wind. The next 7 days looks to have a nice forecast and the water is perfect. Go take advantage for at least one day !! Stop by Alpine Shop for gear and updates on floats. Love to see you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Watch for Wood Warblers and Vireos this next 30 days

Wood warblers begin to arrive in Missouri for courtship and nesting, and some may be just passing through Missouri to the northern states and Canada for nesting. A few older birds begin their trek from South America, the Caribbean, and Central America in early March. The courtship and nesting begins in early April in Missouri and continues through June.

Warblers are small birds usually colored grey, black, bluish, yellow or orange. They spend much time in the top of trees and along creeks and rivers. Vireos are much the same but often have a buff or greenish tint.

Their songs are buzzy, of low volume, and pretty; so they are not as prominent as the larger ground and bush dwelling bird common here year round.

To view warblers in Missouri, wear rain gear, a good pair of hiking boots, carry a wood warblers guide and a pair of binoculars in a fanny pack. It your plan to photograph them, it take patience and a very good lens of at leans 300mm due to their small size, and high activity. Find a trail along a creek or river; such as Castlewood State Park or the Rockwoods Conservation Area.

I have included a few pictures of some warbler photographed by me in March; a Yellow Warbler, Yellow Throated Warbler, a Common Yellowthroat (raccoon like face) a Northern Water Thrush (warbler), and a White eyed Vireo.

Follow this link to a check-list of Missouri's 428 species of birds from the Audubon Society: