Vail Curious Nature column: Summer is quickly waning; make the most of it – Colorado News

Vail Curious Nature column: Summer is quickly waning; make the most of it – Colorado News

I’m sorry. I hate to be the one to say it, but it’s almost here: the end of summer. I know because I saw football on TV last night. So I was going to write today to tell you about grebes (which are very interesting, by the way), but instead, I felt the need to warn you about the impending end of summertime so that you can all make the most out of it.

So my plea is for you to drink every last drop of summer. Go camping and wake up to the first rays of sunlight filtering through the treetops. Float the lazy stretches of the Colorado River and dip your feet or more into its cool waters, quickly, before they turn icy cold and the birds fly south and the snow flies and the wind bites your face.

But clearly I’m getting ahead of myself; summer is not over yet, and there’s still so much to do. There are only a few days until school starts — what haven’t you done yet?

The last of summer’s joys are some of the best. While the wildflower fireworks have toned down, there are some special late-season blooms that you may be less familiar with. Consider the gentians; the tall, green gentian has probably finished flowering in most places, but its shyer and lesser-known cousins are lighting up the mountain meadows right now with their deep-purple hues.

There’s mountain gentian, fringed gentian, star gentian and a few others; look for their various shades of purple once the morning chill burns off. Some of these flowers are photo sensitive and will close up during the night, conserving the precious solar radiation from the dwindling days.

And of course, there are the local farmers markets and fruit stands with their fresh Colorado produce. My hat is off to these hearty…

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