Ear to the ground

“You can see it from space.”

– One local’s take on DMR’s new entrance sign on Highway 550

Aspen under attack

The leaf rollers have arrived in the Durango area, but don’t be expecting any high times. No, yet another scourge of biblical proportions is hitting the local area. This year, our aspen trees are being affected by two separate leaf lovers – the tent caterpillar and the leaf roller.

The two bugs attack hardwood trees like aspen and cottonwood as well as brushy vegetation and chokecherry. The work of the leaf rollers can be seen north of Durango near Purgatory, while the tent caterpillars are more concentrated in the area around Electra Lake.

Leaf rollers are small, green larvae with dark or black heads. They roll leaves by pulling a leaf into a tube and binding it up with silk. Their infestations are usually not fatal to trees. Tent caterpillars are larger, gray with white and red stripes, and covered with brown hairs. They spin a silky “tent” to hide and pupate in near the tops of trees or branches. Like their brothers the leaf rollers, the tent caterpillars usually do not kill trees.

If you have plans to do any tenting and leaf rolling of your own, remember that not much can be done to control the outbreaks. They are considered more of a threat to scenic viewing than a threat to the trees.

The big steel pan

The Excel Charter School Steel Drum Ensemble has done it again. Fresh on the heels of Front Range Jazz Festival glory, the local steel pan band has been invited to play one of the region’s largest stages.

The band has long earned recognition locally for its live performances and talented student musicians. Recently, the rest of the world started taking notice. The ensemble, conducted by Excel teacher Steve Dejka, took high honors in last May’s College Jazz Festival. In fact, sixth-grader Cameron Phillips’ performance at the event won the highest scholarship available.

Now the band is off to play the acclaimed Telluride Jazz Festival. The festival has earned national and international attention since its 1977 debut. And in a few weeks, The Excel Steel Drum Ensemble will join the likes of John Scofield and Dave Mason in performing for the Telluride crowd. The show takes place Aug. 5 at noon on the Telluride Elks Park stage.


In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale