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Chocolate through the ages followed a circuitous path

By Jeff Mitton           On a bleak, wintry day I went to the CU greenhouse to photograph tropical flowers in bloom. The greenhouse, managed by Thomas Lemieux with assistance from Janice Forbis, has a rich collection of species from tropical environments. In a hallway a tree with large seed pods caught […]

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Looking West

By Steven R. Leigh CU-Boulder’s relatively recent participation in the Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12) has yielded significant opportunities for engagement with alumni and supporters all along the West Coast, coupled with remarkable academic opportunities. We have always enjoyed significant support from Pac-12 states, with thousands of alumni in these areas. Importantly, being a part of […]

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Antlers and horns are armament and signals

By Jeff Mitton Antlers or horns adorn many of the species emblematic of the West: bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, elk, moose and pronghorn. In general, antlers and horns serve similar functions: defense against predators, defense of mating territories or harems and to signal information about health to potential mates. But beyond these similarities […]

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Painted milkvetch's curious seedpod

By Jeff Mitton The view is fantastic from the top of the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park. From the east to the north, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains loom over the San Luis Valley. San Juan Mountains form the horizon in the southwest. Intricately sculptured, wind-carved dunes roll in all directions. But after […]

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Bumblebees hug shooting stars

If pressed about the most beautiful of our native flowers, I could not name a single species, but I could come up with a short list and it would certainly include shooting star, Dodecatheon pulchellum.

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