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34th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival

Monte Vista, Colorado: 34th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival

March 10-12, 2017

January 4, 2017 – Its nearing that time again when tens of thousands of sandhill cranes descend upon Colorado’s scenic San Luis Valley to feed and rest up for the journey further north to their nesting grounds. It’s a wildlife phenomenon akin to the celebrated march of the penguins in Antarctica. But instead of the penguin’s gakkering and growling, birdwatchers hear the trumpeting of five, six and ten thousand cranes, whose rattling call sounds something like a cross between a tiger’s purr and pigeon’s coo.


“When you have 5,000 cranes all making their rattling calls, it can be deafening,” says Scott Miller, wildlife biologist for the Monte Vista national Wildlife Refuge, where most of the 25,000 cranes congregate in early spring.


The silver-colored cranes stand 4-feet-tall and don a distinguishing red forehead and russet-flecked wings. They feed in the nearby fields by day and roost in the refuge’s wetlands by night. Sandhill cranes mate for life, Miller says, so visitors often see the bird’s ritual courting dance. “They jump up and down, flapping their wings and moving their necks,” he says. “They’re these big lanky birds yet their dance is so graceful.”

Folks who arrive early to the wetlands are often privy to another amazing spectacle when the cranes launch en masse at daybreak and head to their feeding grounds. “When they liftoff, it’s pretty incredible,” Miller says. “You can hear their wings and the sound of rushing wind.”

This year’s Monte Vista Crane Festival includes sunrise and sunset tours, photography workshops, raptor tours, fieldtrips to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Penitente Canyon and more. There’s a daily craft and nature fair with local artists, and Friday night’s movie is “Hoot”—about a group of young friends on a mission to save burrowing owls. The 2017 keynote speaker is avid birder and Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas illustrator, Radeaux (

For details and registration, visit Registration deadline is March 8, 2017. For more information, call the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce at 719-852-2731. For media requests, contact


Media Contact and Image Requests:


     Ruthanne Johnson


Please donate to a worthy cause. Marla’s family medical Fund.

Please consider donating to a good cause here: Marla’s family medical fund.


Marla is a mother, daughter and a grandmother who recently had a massive stroke and has just undergone surgery to stop the bleeding. This family needs a lot of help.

Marla will no longer be able to work and she has no health insurance. Her husband is only partly employed. Her daughter, Brittany, (pictured here with her son) is a single mom, who has taken on the responsibility of caring for her family which includes Marla’s son, age 10, in addition to her own son, age 4. Marla is still in ICU and her prognosis is unknown. Brittany has left Springfield where she had been living with her grandmother to be with her mom and nephew and she is no longer employed.

After the surgery, Marla will need months of physical therapy. Brittany is in need of funds for caring for the two boys and for a vehicle, license, insurance and fuel to travel back and forth to the hospital in Colorado Springs, and for taking the boys to and from school in Ellicott. In addition, Marla’s parents, who live a three hour drive away, need funds for traveling back and forth. This fund is for the entire family in this time of crisis and will be managed by Marla’s parents. We would be so grateful for your help. Thank you so much.

With GoFundMe, the goal does not have to be reached in order for your donation to be received by the family and used where it is most needed. It goes immediately to them.

Marla is my niece. Her mother is my sister, Karen. I created this gofund me account for the whole family as they have very little income coming in, even for basic living expenses and gas for travel back and forth from the Hospital in Colorado Springs to Ellicott, and from Springfield to Ellicott. Hopefully they will be able to apply for and get assistance in paying the enormous hospital and doctor bills, but in the meantime they lack enough to meet basic living expenses, like food, and travel. I truly appreciate everyone who has sent their regards and prayers for her recovery and I understand if you can’t afford to donate $50.00 or $25.00 dollars but donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Can you donate $5.00? Every donation counts and is greatly needed and appreciated. Thank you so much for caring. Marla is currently in Memorial hospital.

Message from Karen Savage, Marla’s mother:

“I need to let everyone know, that has not heard, that our middle daughter, Marla, has had a severe stroke. She is in intensive care in the Memorial hospital. She had cranial surgery to help relieve some pressure and hopefully stop the brain from swelling. We can use all the prayers we can get, and thank you everyone that has donated to the go fund me page that my sister set up for them.. I will try to keep everyone updated.”


Passion 4 Paint : Rock Art @ Lamar Public Library


Theme: Fall/Thanksgiving

We will supply all the materials for this rock painting event (rocks, paints, markers, brushes). You are welcome to bring any supplies you would rather use (rocks included). Make your designs as simple or elaborate as you like. Either way you’ll have a memento that you can display in the house or in the garden for years to come.

People have been painting on rock for centuries. Recently, this art activity has seen a resurgence in popularity.

Rock is an art base that is easily accessible to most people and affordable!

Rocks are like fingerprints–no two are exactly alike–which makes them a great art base!

It’s Free and Fun for the entire Family!

Rock Art

This is a rock not a cat!

Colorado East Bank changes to TBK Bank

Colorado East Bank and Trust merged with and into TBK Bank, SSB on August 1, 2016. At the close of business on Friday, November 4, 2016, the core system of Colorado East Bank and Trust will convert to TBK Banks, SSB’s core system. Accounts will automatically be converted to a TBK Bank, SSB account that most closely resembles your existing account. If, after reviewing your new account(s) you wish to change account type, they ask that you contact your TBK Bank, SSB banker after November 7, 2016 to finalize the process.


TBK Bank
1030 Main Street,
Springfield CO 81073 – 719-523-6900



Main Street Bistro Coffee House

The Main Street Bistro, owned by Brigitte Schaller,  is a coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch  located at 857 Main Street in Springfield.

They have a daily lunch special that is listed on their face-book page at:

Their phone number is 529-0999 and their hours are from 7:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Main Street Bistro, Springfield CO

Main Street Bistro

Main Street Bistro, Springfield, CO

Smothered Burrito special

Smothered Burrito special