Driving the seam of the North American continent

One of my treasured memories of college thirty-plus years ago is the mornings spent in Bob Carson’s geology classes learning the physiographic provinces of the North American continent. It was a beautiful slide show combined with a deeply meaningful (to me) new set of organizing principles for looking at the landscape around me. I wasn’t …

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“Mummy Lake” – we always want it to be about water

Lissa and I stopped this morning at Mesa Verde’s “Mummy Lake”, more recently renamed “Far View Reservoir,” on account of apparently there was never any mummy. Now we learn, thanks to science, that there was probably never a reservoir or lake, either: The structure at Mesa Verde National Park known historically as Mummy Lake and …

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Stuff I helped create elsewhere: “Is fire good? Is fire bad”?

Big package in the Sunday newspaper and on line triggered by a visit to the Jemez Mountains by Journal multimedia guy Pat Vasquez-Cunningham and myself to spend time with Tom Swetnam: The son of the National Forest Service‚Äôs Jemez district ranger, Swetnam grew up with a hand-cranked phone in the front bedroom, hardwired to the …

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the global shit trade

Supplying European farmers with guano would involve transporting large quantities of excrement across the Atlantic, a project that understandably failed to enthuse shipping companies. Charles Mann, in his fascinating 1491, on the slow uptake in Europe of the South American innovation of mining for fertilizer from Peru’s 147 guano islands. Poop jokes notwithstanding, the 19th …

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