Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Coffee Shops
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Duct Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Employment - Hiring Opportunity
     None  Equine Services
     None  Errand Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Gun Accessories
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Inspector
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Knitting and Sewing
     None  Landscaping
     None  Mortgage
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  RV Sales and Service
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizen's Services
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Welding
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
– John Locke  
About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 8 August 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos   None Did You Know?  
None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher   None Garage Sales  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Adoption Corner   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life  
None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
  Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild fall show

Donna Hartley, artist and Black Forest resident of 36 years, showed her artwork at the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild fall show the first of November.Wauneta Veeder of Colorado Springs and Charice Flory of Falcon said they enjoyed the arts and crafts guild show and made a few purchases as well.

Layla Lake-Geiser, age 9, of Falcon checks out some of the unique art shown at the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild fall show in November.

Sally Burr displayed her series of children's books, which she wrote and illustrated.Junesse Farley brought her delicious looking fudge caramel apples to the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild fall show at the Black Forest Community Center.Artist Junesse Farley makes jewelry using beautiful stones. Photos from the Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild Facebook page

Facebook print this page      

Bill Radford

  Faces of Black Forest
  Where art thou pigeon?
  By Bill Radford

   Growing up in the Philippines, Art Navalta raised pigeons, as did his friends.
   "It was like a neighborhood thing," he said. "All of us had birds."
   Navalta said he marveled when he would take his pigeons miles away –- perhaps as far as 50 miles –- and they would return home. Now, as a member of the Pikes Peak Homing Pigeon Club, his pigeons travel –- and race –- much greater distances.
   For almost 30 years, Navalta worked for the El Paso County Department of Human Services. Today, he and his wife, Mona, run their own business as polygraph examiners. They also have two sons and have lived in Black Forest for more than 20 years.
   Navalta joined the Pikes Peak Homing Pigeon Club in 2010; the club has been around since the early 1960s, said Dwight Baker, a longtime member who Navalta considers his mentor.
   "He taught me all about racing," Navalta said. "He's the man."
   And there is plenty to learn, from breeding to training to feeding. "It's fun, but it's a lot of work,” Navalta said.
   Baker has about 150 pigeons; Navalta has about 50. He received many of them from fellow club members, who got him started with a breeding pair.
   The local club is one of about 700 nationwide affiliated with the American Racing Pigeon Union. While pigeon racing is largely considered a hobby in the United States, it is a big-money sport in Europe and elsewhere.
   Although there are hundreds of types of pigeons, there is only one kind, the homing pigeon or racing homer, that has the unique homing capability. Baker said it is the same type of pigeon that was used to carry messages across enemy lines in World War I and II.
   Even with that innate ability to find home, the birds must be trained. "It's really behavior shaping," Navalta said. Once the birds have become used to their environment, he will do a first release of "just a mile down the road." He will continue to add to the distance — the races can be as long as an astonishing 500 miles.
   Control of feeding is key to training. "You control them by their stomach," Baker said.
   While some people may regard pigeons as disease-ridden "rats with wings," the racing pigeons "have a pedigree; they're kept in a loft safe from predators; they're given premium food, vitamins; they're even vaccinated," Navalta said. "You're talking about (treating them) like a thoroughbred horse."
   For a race, a driver will haul the birds to a designated spot and release them. Then, ideally, they all fly back to their respective homes. The time of that return is recorded through a computer chip on a leg band and an electronic reader in the loft, "much like a grocery store when scanning," Navalta noted.
   In the old days, an owner had to be home to record the time of the pigeon's return. Even with the electronic timing system, Baker said he likes to be there to welcome the pigeons back. "I think the enjoyment is being there to watch them come home," he said.
   Since the pigeons have different homes and thus fly somewhat different distances, the winner of the race is not determined by who gets back first, but by their calculated speed; the distance flown is determined through knowledge of the exact latitude and longitude of the start and end points. "Then I put it all into a program on the computer, and the computer does all the work for me as far as how fast each bird went," Navalta said.
   Depending on wind conditions, the pigeons can fly 60 miles an hour, "if not faster," he said. But it is well-known that the pigeons will take a break, at least to get a drink, particularly on the longer races. And they can face many potential hazards, from hail to hawks to power lines.
   "We do lose a few," Baker said. "Not that many." Smoke can distract the pigeons; strong winds can force them off course. Some pigeons might find a place with food and water and decide it is a nice-enough new home.
   Navalta had a pigeon show up over the summer with a numbered band that confirmed it was one he had bred — but it had been missing for four years. "Wherever he was hanging out for four years, he decided it wasn't really his home,” Navalta said.
   (To learn more about the Pikes Peak Homing Pigeon Club, search on Facebook or call Navalta at 719-203-8236.)
Art Navalta, shown here with his pigeon, said homing pigeons are treated like thoroughbred horses.
Homing pigeons have the ability to find their way home over extremely long distances; even as long as 500 miles. Photos by Bill Radford
When the pigeons return from their races, they come home to their individual lofts.
Facebook print this page      

  AARP Black Forest - Celebrating our veterans
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   The catered meal of turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and gravy, complemented by exceptional salads and many outstanding desserts, was enjoyed by 51 members and guests at the Nov. 14 meeting of AARP Chapter 1100 in Black Forest. The food was only the beginning, as the day went on to include a program of recognition and prizes for veterans and widows of veteran. Senior injury prevention information was also discussed, as well as filling Salvation Army stockings for needy children.
   The honored guest at the meeting, Jeremiah Mora, AARP Colorado associate director — communications outreach, participated in the board meeting earlier that morning.
   Shirley Karlstrum presented an impressive program honoring veterans on the 100th anniversary of the end of WW I. Shirley made sure a separate honorary table was set for the many MIAs of past conflicts. She donated two of her handmade quilted wall hangings that were given to a veteran and a widow of a veteran. The winners of the quilt masterpieces were drawn at random. Stanley Beckner won the veteran’s prize, and Lavonne Hidy won the widow’s prize. Shirley also prepared a bag of special items for the veterans who were present. Each bag commemorated the branch of service each veteran had served.
   Lori Morgan, trauma outreach and injury prevention specialist with UCHealth in Colorado Springs, presented an interesting and informative program on the prevention of falls that happen in and around the home.Lori said falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. As suspected, alcohol and medicine often result in falls, but other culprits can be vision problems, as well as incorrect use of walkers, canes, loose rugs and various tripping hazards. Lori suggested that older or impaired individuals should always keep their cell phone on their person, even at home, in case of falls. She demonstrated how best to get up after a fall, and discussed several ways to strengthen muscles with simple exercises to help prevent falls. Contact Lori at 719-365-2872 for more information or schedule attendance at one of the numerous fall prevention workshops.
   As a community service project, chapter members filled over a dozen holiday gift stockings for the Salvation Army. Each stocking was filled with special items for children of specific ages. The stockings will be distributed by the Salvation Army to needy children in the Colorado Springs area during the Christmas holidays.
   Membership in the Black Forest AARP Chapter is open to all. There are no age restrictions. The chapter prides itself in doing community service projects. Those interested in visiting or joining should contact Ray at 719-495-6767. Visit the chapter website at
Chapter members filled stockings at the Nov. 14 AARP Chapter 11 meeting. The Christmas stockings will go to the Salvation Army for needy children: stocking stuffers included (left to right) Herb Guild, Pat Guild, Rosemary O’Connell, Raji Verma, Ray Rozak, Chuck Karlstrum, Bev Schaab, Lori Belk, Sharon Fulton, Patricia Dix, Lavonne Hidy and Waldo Pendleton
Posing for a photo are (back row, left to right) veterans Jim Belk, Lou Schwarzman, Denny Wilson, Ray Rozak and Carol Billiard; (front row, left to right) Waldo Pendleton, Herb Guild, Chuck Karlstrum, Electa Beckner and Stan Beckner, who won one of two drawings for the quilted wall hanging, made by Shirley Karlstrum.
Widows of veterans who attended the AARP Chapter 11 November meeting were (back row, left to right) Rosemary O’Connell, Gwen Burk and Rita Fitzpatrick; (front row, left to right) Lavonne Hidy, winner in the drawing for the quilted wall hanging, Patricia Dix, Bev Schaab, Anna Skinner and Carol Billiard.
Facebook print this page      

  Alpaca Extravaganza
  By Leslie Sheley

   The Southeast Colorado Alpaca Breeders sponsored the annual holiday Alpaca Extravaganza, held at the Black Forest Community Center in November. This year, all 14 alpaca breeders were present to display and sell their wares and show off their alpacas.
   Patrons could peruse and purchase a variety of items made from alpaca yarn such as sweaters, coats, hats, mittens, scarves and socks, as well as the alpaca yarn, toys, home accessories, gifts and more. A few of the breeders were spinning wool, and one spinner said she likes to spin while watching football.
   Claudia Swenson from Buzz & Humm Farms in Monument, Colorado, said they have had up to 1,000 people a day come through the event in the past, depending on the weather.
   Swenson said, “Alpacas have only been in the United States for about 25 years and were considered a ‘rich man’s hobby’ because they originally cost on the average, $15,000 apiece; now they are around $3-to-$5,000,” she said. Alpacas are herd animals, so they do better when there is more than one of them. Swenson has nine alpacas; she said they are curious, smart and calming to work with — and they communicate by humming.
   Peter and Barbara Ziek own Wild Hair Alpacas LLC in the Black Forest area. “We started to think about what we were going to do when we retired to stay active and healthy, and we came across these animals at an exotic animal show in Denver,” Ziek said. They thought the alpacas were “cute and soft … we were hooked.”
   They started with two alpacas 19 years ago and now own 110. Ziek said they work with schools to show the alpacas and educate the students about them. “We have been asked to bring our alpacas to weddings, retirement and birthday parties,” he said. Three of his alpacas were at the extravaganza.
   Christiann Schade from C Squared Alpacas in Calhan said she and her husband started breeding alpacas in 2003 and now have 35. They were at a county state fair when they first came upon them, and they fell in love, Schade said.
   There are “pet quality” and “breeding quality” alpacas, she said. Pet alpacas are great as pets and might only cost $300 to $500 but don’t necessarily produce the quality of yarn breeding alpacas do.
   Schade said alpaca breeders are constantly trying to improve the quality of fiber and are conscientious about which alpacas are bred together. Not only is alpaca wool great for people with allergies because they don’t have dander, but they also do not have lanolin in the wool, unlike sheep wool.
   “Alpacas are awesome animals; they are intuitive, curious and great with children and people who are disabled or have special needs,” Schade said. “We have worked a lot with 4H groups, Scout troops, people who are disabled and have special needs because of that.”
   The Holiday Alpaca Extravaganza is held annually and is free and open to the public.
The Southwest Colorado Alpaca Breeders sponsored the annual Holiday Alpaca Extravaganza, held at the Black Forest Community Center in November. Leslie Sheley took both photos, without realizing that her watercolor filter was on. But the photos are rather artistic looking! Right?
Facebook print this page      

  Black Forest Women’s Club

   The Black Forest Women’s Club will not meet again until January. The Black Forest Women’s Club supports local charities and Wolfred School children at Christmas time. Visitors and guests are always welcome. Any questions, call 719-495-3846.   
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2019 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy