|Click to embiggen.|
Then I see that it duplicates the outline of Magdalena Peak on the southern horizon.
And I think of a pleasant piece of psychedelic pop from years ago.
|Click to embiggen.|
|Steppe bison were the ones painted at|
Altamira Cave in Spain (Wikipedia).
"The scientists compared the mitochondrial DNA from the fossil found at Ch’ijee’s Bluff [Yukon] to that taken from 45 other bison remains, including one of the oldest and most interesting specimens, the fossil of a giant, long-horned bison — belonging to the species Bison latifrons — found in Snowmass, Colorado.• All the kool kidz will be using these on their desert campouts soon. The Burners will have to have them.
“Bison latifrons is an interesting beast,” said Dr. Duane Froese, a geologist with the University of Alberta, in a separate statement.
“Its horns measured more than two meters across at the tips, and it was perhaps 25 percent larger than modern bison.”
|Trail signs, Colorado National Monument.|
|America's best recreational value.|
But if you get a lifetime pass before the change is implemented, it will cost only $10. Passes can be purchased online for an additional service fee of $10 or at any of the parks without an extra charge.It's one good deal. Just show that pass to the ranger at the gate, and a whole carload of people get in. Some groups have been known to rearrange themselves so that the pass holder is driving, but I don't know if that is really necessary.
National Park Service officials are unsure how long it will take to implement the change, but it’s expected before the end of 2017. Meantime, they are spreading the word informally.
|Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve|
photographed from the International Space Station (NASA photo).
Many visitors wonder: Why is there so much sand only here, but not at other locations along the mountains?That is the San Luis Valley on the lower left and the Wet Mountain Valley to the upper right, so the top of the photo is roughly northeast.
In this view from space, part of the answer becomes clear. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are curved here, and at the same location are low passes to funnel wind and sand from the valley floor into this pocket.
Then why doesn't sand accumulate, for instance, at the base of La Veta Pass to the south? The mountains also curve there below a low pass.. The answer is that this northeast part of the San Luis Valley is a closed basin. Streams carrying sand into this basin don't exit, so all the sand they carry is deposited here. In the past, these streams fed into huge lakes; when these lakes disappeared through natural climate change, vast quantities of sand blew and accumulated here below Mosca, Medano, and Music Passes. In other parts of the valley, and in most places in the Rocky Mountains, sands are continually washed away and carried downstream into larger and larger rivers.
In this interview with a Florida NPR station, he says, "“I wanted the artistic form of this narrative nonfiction work to resemble the endless interconnection of nature itself. Instead of saying to my reader, ‘Okay, now watch this. I’m gonna try to really make this complex web of relationships right in front of you,’ I just did it.”
"While a tempest of people, places and ideas rage within the pages of Engineering Eden the author is a calm voice in the storm, letting the reader take it all in and form an opinion of their own."
|Women carrying cassava root (?) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.|
During the Society's early years, no member personified the organization's eccentricities or audacious mission more than Sir Francis Galton. A cousin of Charles Darwin's, he had been a child prodigy who, by the age of four, could read and recite Latin. He went on to concoct myriad inventions. They included a ventilating top hat; a machine called a Gumption-Reviver, which periodically wet his head to keep him awake during endless study; underwater goggles; and a rotating-vane steam engine. Suffering from periodic nervous breakdowns––"sprained brain," as he called it––he had a compulsion to measure and count virtually everything. He quantified the sensitivity of animal hearing, using a walking stick that could make an inconspicuous whistle; the efficacy of prayer; the average age of death in each profession (lawyers: 66.51; doctors: 67.04); the exact amount of rope needed to break a criminal's neck while avoiding decapitation; and levels of boredom (at meetings of the Royal Geographical Society he would count the rate of fidgets among each member of the audience).Galton attempted to quantify everything about exploration, from daily dietary needs to the maximum feasible load for a donkey, mule, horse, or camel on different types of terrain.
As the [Chipawyan?] chief said . . . "When all the men are heavy laden, they can neither hunt nor travel to any considerable distance; and if they meet with any success in hunting, who is to carry the produce of the labour?" . . . "Women," said he, "were made for labour: one of them can carry or haul as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and in fact there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country [northern Canada] without their assistance."
"Women," said he again, "though they do everything are maintained at a trifling expense: for, as they always cook, the very licking of their fingers, in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence."That was Galton quoting Hearne, I believe, but the original speaker may have been a man named Matonabbee, who has his own Wikipedia entry. In his own voice, Mr Galton comments further, videlicet:
I believe there are few greater popular errors than the idea we have mainly derived from chivalrous times, that woman is a weakly creature . . . . It always seems to me that a hard-worked woman is better and happier for her work. It is in the nature of women to be fond of carrying weights; you may see them in omnibuses and carriages, always preferring to hold their baskets or their babies on their knees, to setting them down on the seats by their sides.So, gentlemen, if you go afield backpacking with a member of the female sex, let her carry the tent.
|How to lay sandbags: the right way, the wrong way, and the Army Corps of Engineers way.|
|Abert's squirrel in ponderosa pine.|
|This degenerate squirrel has abandoned its healthy wild lifestyle|
to eat sunflower seeds under the bird feeder.
|James William Abert|
|What he or she saw: lions and prey at Chauvet|
The human prints are of a barefooted child aged eight to ten years old and standing about 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) tall. The child was walking, not running, although at one point it appears that he or she slipped a little in the soft clay. Researchers know that the child carried a torch because there is evidence of him/her stopping at one point to clean the torch, leaving behind a stain of charcoal.OTHER NEWS:
It is amazing to think of a Paleolithic kid exploring this ancient cave, examining the paintings and bear skulls that were placed reverently at the back of the cave. Even more amazing is that accompanying (not stalking) the child’s footprints are the paw prints of a wolf (or possibly a large dog). This timeless image of a child and dog shatters the notion that dogs were only domesticated 15,000 years ago. More importantly, the new time period radically alters the answer to how dogs became man’s best friend.
When I interviewed Western writer David Petersen for a magazine article several years ago, I really only had one question to ask him: Could hunting be morally defended in the 21st century?More about his hunting-ethics documentary here.
At a time when few people seem concerned about that question — either they’re already convinced that hunting is barbaric, or just the opposite, that it’s a right that ought to be exercised with as few restrictions and as easily as possible — Petersen has spent much of his life examining what it means to kill in order to eat.
Currently, archaeologists have to rely on relatively sparse evidence for dating the history of Western civilisation before 763 BCE, with Chinese history also only widely agreed from 841 BCE. For example, they depend on ancient records of rare astronomical phenomena, such as the solar eclipse during the ninth year of Ashur Dan III of Assyria, to determine the age of historical events. In the absence of such records, standard radiocarbon measurements provide the best estimates, but these are still often only accurate to within 200 to 300 calendar years. If the radiocarbon spikes in the tree-ring data were also found in archaeological items attributable to specific historical periods, the information could be used to anchor exactly when events occurred, says the paper.
|Pine beetle-killed lodgepole pine in Colorado (University of Colorado).|
Infestations of mountain pine beetles and spruce beetles are the main cause of the die-off, [State Forester Mike] Lester said. Beetles are native to the state but have caused far more damage than normal over the past 20 years, attacking more than 7,900 square miles of forest, or more than 20 percent of total forested land.Standing dead trees made fighting last summer's 38,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire more difficult, fire commanders said. Earlier studies about dead trees' effects on fire were more ambiguous, so I wonder if the pendulum will swing.
At this point, there’s nothing stopping the spruce beetle. We’re observing it. We’re going to let nature run its course,” said state entomologist Dan West, who helped run aerial surveys with the U.S. Forest Service involving 40 flights over forests.Some people are saying that the highly visible, highly visited forest along the Front Range will "never look the same."
Limited conifer regeneration following wildfires in dry ponderosa pine forests of the Colorado Front Range, by Fire Ecologist Monica Rother and CU-Boulder Professor of Geography Thomas Veblen, surveyed conifer regeneration at six low-elevation Front Range sites that burned eight to 15 years before. Released in December and published in the journal Ecosphere, it found that "current patterns of post-fire seedling establishment suggest that vegetation composition and structure may differ notably from historic patterns and that lower density stands and even non-forested communities may persist in some areas of these burns long after the fire[.]"That prospect does not bother me on one level. I find the "start-up phase" of forests to be interesting. The big-game hunting is better too. Now if your house in the woods burned to the ground, you may not feel that way. And if you look at trees just as unharvested timber, you may not agree with me.
|At 145cm, Altai's Hok backcountry ski|
is about the same length as my old Army
surplus trail shoes — but they glide, some.
|Contemporary Altai Range skiers. OK, I do see some ski poles there. (Photo: Alta Skis)|
|Fawn on furs (Wet Mountain Wildlife).|
To celebrate a new year and a new you, donate fur to Coats for Cubs! From January 2 to April 22 (Earth Day), Buffalo Exchange locations across the country will be collecting real furs in any condition. We then ship them off to wildlife rehabilitators, who use them to create a nurturing environment for injured and orphaned animals.Our friends at the center here got a deluge of coats this summer. They have always put stuffed toy animals in with some of their orphans, such as foxes. But the furs were better.
In fact, Sanders was amazed how well the animals took to the furs, noting a bond that was formed between the baby mammals and donated items.“I just couldn’t believe the response from the animals,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything bond with anything like that before. They really love them.”
|Owl tangled in a barbed wire fence.|
Not today's owl, but similar.
(Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
|Bald eagles at Pueblo Reservoir (Ron Drummond/CPW)|
At the center of this whirl stands Raptor Center director Diana Miller, and the Colorado Springs Gaztte has an article about her: "Raptor center gives southern Colorado raptors a second chance at survival."
The ICU sees roughly 250 birds a year - about half of which are released back into the wild after a few months in captivity, said Diana Miller, director of the center.Miller and some volunteers will be center-stage again next weekend during Pueblo Eagle Days on the 3rd through 5th.
"They get hit by cars, they get electrocuted on power lines, they get hung up on barbed wire," Miller said. "There's a million things that can go wrong. It's not an easy life when you're out and about."
|Mule deer does in recently burned area — good habitat for them!|
The lawsuit contends mule deer numbers in Colorado are rising at a pace that by 2020 could result in the population reaching CPW’s goal of 501,000 to 557,000 deer. It also says the agency’s population goals fail to account for loss or degradation of historical habitat due to development.
|Christo and his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, in 2009|
with a sketch of how "Over the River" would look (Keystone/Dominic Favre).
The controversial project that was first conceived in 1992 by Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, has been mired in legal battles as opponents feared the environmental impacts of the 14-day installation above the river between Salida and Cañon City that would take 2½ years to build.
|Opponents' bumper sticks are often seen.|
Colorado river activist Gary Wockner was equally excited, although more snarky. “This may be the first good thing Trump has done for Colorado’s environment,” he wrote in an e-mail.The New York Times called the Colorado opposition the world's largest art protest, quoting Christo as blaming President Trump for his decision. In other words, from their point of view, it is not about Coloradans protesting Christo's decision to hang plastic over the river, it is about his protest of Trump's election.
The signs of change are surely in the air. Groups that cater to gun-toting bleeding hearts — such as the aptly named Liberal Gun Club — say they’ve seen a surge in paid membership since the election. Candid talk of disaster preparedness among progressives is showing up on social media. Even companies that outfit luxury “safe rooms” — which protect their wealthy owners from bombs, bullets, and chemical attacks — attribute recent boosts in business to the incoming administration.Terrified by the so-called "Trumpapocalypse," this (presumably) Hillary voter is stocking up on guns and canned food — example: Colin Waugh of Independence, Mo., an "unapologetic liberal . . . no fan of firearms."
|Portuguese Maronsa, part of the gene stock (CNN).|
The animals get closer with each generation, and the team have the advantage of being able to test the offspring's DNA against the complete genome of an auroch, which was successfully sequenced at University College Dublin.¶ "Eat Peppers, Live Longer?" Well, yes, sort of, says the New York Times. Duh.
|A "great kiva," restored but roofless, at Chaco Canyon|
If you have an area in mind to hunt, see if your kid would be willing to scout it for you via Google Earth. Turn it into a biology lesson. Elk need food, water, shelter, and space—lots of space. Have them pick out likely elk spots away from roads, mark them on the map, and then find a way in. You might just spark enough interest so they'll want to go with you to see if it pays off.He also suggests geocaching, among other things, as a way to let the screen-obsessed do stuff outdoors. All good.
What happened to the Chretiens is so common in some places that it has a name. The park rangers at Death Valley National Park in California call it “death by GPS.” It describes what happens when your GPS fails you, not by being wrong, exactly, but often by being too right. It does such a good job of computing the most direct route from Point A to Point B that it takes you down roads which barely exist, or were used at one time and abandoned, or are not suitable for your car, or which require all kinds of local knowledge that would make you aware that making that turn is bad news.And J. R. Sullivan wonders at Outside, "Our Reliance on Technology Makes the Backcountry More Dangerous."
“One of the worst trends we’ve seen in the past 20 years is the proliferation of cell phones and technology in the backcountry,” says Tim Smith, a registered Master Maine Guide and the founder of the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School, which instructs students in brush living, guide skills, and long-term winter survival. “It gives people a false sense of security. It's the idea of, Who cares how bad of a jam I get myself into? Because if there’s cell coverage I’ll call and someone will come get me. But if you had no outside line, no way of contacting other people, you’re way less likely to take risks.”And a neurologist suggests that using GPS instead of building mental maps affects the structure of the physical brain:
An integral component of brain organization is that it changes with experience. So yes, our modern lifestyle alters our brains. The important question, however, is not whether technology changes the brain, but whether our technology driven life damages our brain.And did you remember to charge your phone?
To conduct this study, researchers compared the reported rumination of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment. They found those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and they also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness. Those who walked through the urban environment, however, did not report decreased rumination.So there it is: 2017: The Year of Decreased Rumination
|Via The Mint (India). Photo by Arnab Mukherjee|
In 2009, the image of a “jumping wolf” by photographer José Luis Rodriguez won for him the prestigious wildlife photographer of the year award conferred by the British Natural History Museum. It was later discovered that the wolf was trained for the shoot. Rodriguez was disqualified.. . . and there is is ego-driven and money-driven fakery:
Insensitive photographers collude with greedy safari drivers and irresponsible forest guides to agitate and provoke animals for “action photography” for an award-winning shot. Conservationists opine that over time, such malpractices have altered the behaviour of large mammals, making them aggressive and stressful. This aggression is witnessed when the mammals migrate from one forest patch to the other through human-dominated landscapes.