Blogs by Karen Denison

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.

Topic: At Home Outdoors

I've been a professional outdoor guide in the Santa Fe area since the 1990's after leaving a fifteen-year career as a laboratory biologist.  It was a return, since I've been fascinated with the natural world from earliest childhood.  In addition to leading hikes, I teach outdoor skills workshops through the Santa Fe Community College, various outdoor shops, and through my own company Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing.  My husband and I hike, ski, camp, canoe, backpack, snowshoe and fly fish.  Our circle of friends includes climbers, mountain bikers, hunters, trail riders and rafters.

"At Home Outdoors" will be short posts on outdoor things to do, where to go, and the stuff that you might see along the way.  Comments or suggestions are welcome!

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July 8, 2014 at 10:04 AM

The Smell of Summer

The air is heavy with the smells of ozone, wet earth, and the overwhelming pungency of sagebrush being pummeled with life-sustaining rain.

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May 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM

‘What’s in a Name?’

'In our area, lots of plants and animals echo the names of early naturalists: Douglas firs, Townsend's solitaires, Gambel oak and quail.'

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March 31, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Spring Awakens at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument

'Summer hours have begun, so get yourself out there early'

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February 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Rift Valley Drama

"Along the length of the Rift (and particularly the western boundary) there have been extensive volcanic episodes."

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January 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM

January Ravens

'In flight, they circle each other, fly in close formation, flip and turn and dive together.'

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December 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Late Fall in Bandelier

'Only a week ago I was wearing flip-flops and today that seems unbelievable.'

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November 1, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Hunting Season

'But here's the truth: It's fall, there are hunters in the woods, and they have as much right to be there as anyone.'

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September 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

For Better or Worse, Recent Downpours Shape Our Land

"...these abrupt, but relatively low volume storms have given us the fantastic shapes of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, the canyons around Bandelier Monument, and even the shapes of the Sangre de Cristos."

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August 3, 2013 at 12:05 PM


'Most of the ruins consist of the tumbled mounds of long, collapsed room blocks, but a few timbers and standing stone walls attest to the once-sturdy construction.'

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May 28, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Little Drummer Bird

"That male rat-a-tat-tat is the equivalent of saying 'hey, baby'"

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May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Wild, Feral or Native Horses?

"The western U.S. is riddled with fossils of prehistoric "horse-like" species..."

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April 5, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Becoming an Outdoor Woman

"...a weekend program chock-full of half-day classes to introduce a variety of outdoor skills to women who may not have had other opportunities to experience them"

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March 13, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Comet pan-STARRS Within View

In Santa Fe it is possible to see stars and other night sky features that the average American may never have seen

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February 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Get Up and Go!

"...having your gear organized makes one less hindrance to getting out in a timely fashion and taking advantage of a day's opportunities"

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January 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Winter Resolutions: Gearing Up to Enjoy the Snow

"Santa Fe has beautiful winter days. With the right gear, you can really get outside and enjoy them"

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December 3, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Where’s the Sun?

"For hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders, it means that trails that might be in sunshine during summer are shaded instead, so it's colder and ice or snow lingers to threaten your footing"

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November 5, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Nothing’s Perfect (Especially Off the Rack)

"...the percentage of truly serious gear designed to fit women is still pretty small"

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October 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Mountain Bikers Help Trails

"So thank you, mountain bikers, for pitching in to maintain, restore and improve our trails!"

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October 2, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Aspen Snacks

"...why would something as large as an elk be interested in something as barren-looking as aspen trunks?"

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September 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Santa Fe Gold

"Birds, bees and other creatures are constant visitors to these plants"

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