2016 NCIPA Northern Colorado Intertribal Pow Wow Association



On April 16th and 17th The Northern Colorado Intertribal Pow Wow Association or NCIPA held their annual pow wow in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It was a large event filling three basketball courts and was attended by participants and visitors alike. There was dancing and competitions with the participants dressed in many styles of regalia as each participant made their style their own..

The two-day event brought out the best in the dancers, singers and drummers and everyone was moved by the various ceremonies that were performed. In the next few weeks we will be bringing you a selection of photos that showcase this wonderful event.

This participant was gracious enough to be photographed and he displays the quality of the dress and accessories that were a large part of this years celebration. This gathering was held indoors as there was a large snowstorm that kept everybody inside. That didn’t stop the festivities however and the dancing and singing went on deep into the evening. If you get a chance to attend a pow wow in your area don’t miss it. You’ll be amazed by the amount of history and culture on display. Stayed tuned for more images from the Northern Colorado Intertribal Pow Wow Association’s event from Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Harbinger of Spring

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Harbinger. “a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another”.

“Yellow-headed Blackbirds are the harbingers of spring”.
    If that ‘s so then we’re getting harbingered all over the place. Yellow-headed Blackbirds, their cousins the Red-winged Blackbirds, even Brewer’s Blackbirds are coming in dragging Spring behind them. There have been other signs of Spring too. Bluebirds have been seen everywhere, flitting shamelessly about, grabbing your attention with their deep shining American bluebird blueness. Even everyone’s favorite Buzzard the buteo buteo has arrived to eat the dead things you’ve been tripping over all winter that have been lying around all over the place. Spring is pretty darn great.

    We could wax poetically all day about the Yellow-headed Blackbird but when you get right down to it, they’re basically just a black bird with a yellow head, plus a little white on it’s wings. Lot of people who aren’t birders or just don’t give a flying fig about Nature would say “Yeah, So, What’s the big deal?”  But they miss the point. That’s the cool part of Nature. They’re the only bird that looks like that. And they do that harbinger thing too. So all you Nattering Nabobs of Negativity can just go pound sand. We’re glad that there are Yellow-headed Blackbirds harbingering Spring and you should be too. Remember just a few minutes ago we were up to our keesters in snow and cold, and short, ugly grey days and you were whining about Spring, how you wish it would get here and everything. Well it’s here and Yellow-headed Blackbirds are partly responsible so show a little respect.

   We have posted this image of a Yellow-headed Blackbird doing its thing. If you look very closely you can even see a few vestiges of Spring swirling and trailing behind it as it flies toward the Blackbird Country Club located over in the reeds next to the lake. It’s singles night tonight and there will be plenty of female Yellow-heads there just waiting to get hit on. Spring, it’s all good.

Buffalo Jokes



“Whadja think of the joke Carl.”

“Oh man, I really lost it on this one. I think I made a mess in the wallow.”

“Yeah it has it moments but what about the negative social implications of anthropomorphizing a small feathered creature with some severely chronic disorders for the amusement of a few misguided readers.”

“Yeah, well screw that. I thought it was funny.”

“Maybe so but I still bet we’re going to take some heat on this one.”

Note: As you know *The Institute and The Director take a firm stand against ducks smoking or even walking into bars. But we really discourage ducks being made an object of ridicule, or duck shaming, as it were. Normally we would have rejected this joke out of hand, but Carl and Rodger the two buffalo that appear in Buffalo Jokes, said they’d walk if we pulled this one and as you know Buffalos Jokes requires buffalo so we had to let them have their way on this one. Besides Carl, the one on the right, thinks Susie the reader who sent this joke in is really hot, so it was going to be published whether we wanted it to be or not or we wouldn’t have had a Buffalo Jokes post today. They have editorial control of this segment of the blog so there you have it, A Duck Walks Into A Bar joke.

Remember duck shaming or any kind of shaming is morally and ethically wrong, even if it’s an alcoholic, COPD-bound duck suffering from SPD (sensory processing disorder). However we make exceptions for it sometimes, especially if it is really funny, not that this example was, but we’re just saying.

As always we invite our readers to send in their own twisted, semi-sadistic, warped sense of humor jokes and our Buffalo Jokes committee, composed of mainly Carl, Rodger and The Director, will consider publishing it.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.



A Glimpse Of The Past

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Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the eagles is. They is right there in Yellowstone in the Eagle tree off of Madison Junction road. Well at least they were until a big wind storm blew the nest down taking the tree with it. These eagle nests can get extraordinarily heavy. There was a nest down in Florida that was recorded at nearly 3 tons, that’s slightly more than a Cadillac Escalade balanced up there on those spindly little branches.

When the wind came through it caused the entire tree with it’s top-heavy nest to fall over and that was that for close up bald eagle viewing on a nest. The nest had been there in that tree in continual use, for the entire 12 years I had photographed in Yellowstone. It would often be my first stop as I entered the park from West Yellowstone, Montana in the morning, which is when I caught one of parents above shoving Gobbets of something freshly killed down juniors throat.

The eagles are still there in Yellowstone, they’re still building nests and filling them with eaglets, they’re just not doing it along side the road where you could stop and watch every aspect of their lives anymore. There were folks that would camp out at the 100 yard perimeter that the park naturalists put in place to protect the eagle viewing area from people approaching to close to the tree and disturbing the birds. They’d be there from early morning to the last light of sunset for days at a time to observe and learn bald eagle behavior.

This is nature at work, the tree was blown down, the eagles had to move on and build another nest somewhere else, and that part of the eagles exposure to bird lovers was done. Nobody’s fault. I’m just thankful I got to take as many photos as I did over the years. I still miss the nest not being there though.

A Little Glimpse Of Gold


When you walk through lower Antelope canyon you pass through various ranges of color. Sometimes you’re in a darker area where the purples are predominant, other times you come into a bright area where every shade of orange and red and yellow are on display.

This is one of those areas. The canyon floor is a little wider here than other places and the sun was cooperating so the result is an open airy feeling, that is until a cloud passes in front of the sun, then it gets real dark down here in a hurry. When you’re 100′ or more under ground you want the sun to illuminate the passages. There are no lights down here other than the sun and your enthusiasm.

Sometimes the colors seem to try to outdo each other and when that happens, magic happens. Be quick when you see this type of color arrangement present itself as this is not the norm down here. However if you wait a moment you’ll get something just as spectacular because that’s the canyon’s job. Show the colors and plenty of them.

Spring Housekeeping


It’s Spring and time for Spring housekeeping. After a long winter with the nest exposed to the elements there are plenty of things that need looking after. For us it means throwing out all the empty Heineken bottles and those pizza boxes from behind the couch that have accumulated over the Winter. For Golden Eagles it’s time to inspect the nest, perform a D & C (dusting and cleaning) and bring in new sticks to make the nest even snazzier than it was.

Here the male is bringing in a fresh stick that will just fit over the lintel and that will allow him to cross that little item off his To Do list. There’s lots more to be done and both of the pair work together to get things spic and span before the chicks arrive.

Speaking of chicks, it’s close to that egg laying time and the eagles have been taking the  time necessary to make sure that happens. That doesn’t just occur on its own. You’ve all had the birds and bees talk and it takes plenty of one on one time to ensure there are lots of eggs in the nest. You need a bunch of eggs because eagle raising is hazardous to the young eagles health. To get a couple of eaglets all the way to fledging is dicey, you need to start with several more than you need. Dark things happen in the nest and fowl play can often occur . Those are stories best left to another time.

Lets move on to cheerier subjects. From now on these Golden eagle parents will be spending their time decimating the rabbit population to feed those growing eaglets and handling the daily chores that arise. Cleaning the nest, removing carcasses, bringing in fresh sage and soft grasses to line the nest, all the usual eagle raising stuff. Young eagles have it pretty easy at this time of their lives, not speaking to the occasional fratricide that occurs. Their job is staying more towards the top of the nest, not to be in the bottom of the pile, growing feathers, trying their new sharp beak out on their brother, watching for the parents bring in rabbits, tussling to see who is most likely to be pushed from the nest, etc. It’s Spring time in the Rockies. We’re ready, are you.