And where are the dogs of yesteyear?
M. with Jack the Chesapeake Bay retriever and Shelby the collie-Lab mix, also known as the Bandit Queen. North Taylor Creek, Sangre de Cristo Range, early winter, 2002(?).
|Jeff Outhier talks to|
a volunteer trail crew.
The acquisition extends the Nation’s presence in the county by another 12,505 acres for an approximate total of 28,855 acres straddling both Huerfano and Custer counties. The land is significant for the Navajo, as it is near the sacred mountain Tsisnaasjini’, also known as Blanca Peak.
In announcing the purchase, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said , “It is a blessing for the Navajo Nation to once again have land in the state of Colorado. When land was being designated by the federal government they refused to include Colorado as part of Navajo. We now own more of our ancestral land with the purchase of Boyer Ranch. It is a beautiful place surrounded by mountain ranges in the shadows of Tsisnaasjini’.In other news, restaurant workers in Westcliffe, Silver Cliff, and Walsenburg are learning how to say "Yah-ta-hey" with the correct intonation.
He went on to speak about the economic opportunities the new addition brings to the Nation: “This is a place where we can develop the Navajo Beef program and eventually provide more opportunities for our ranchers. There is a good market for quality beef in restaurants and grocery stores and Navajo can meet that demand.”
The Nation’s portion of the Wolf Springs Ranch includes about 400 head of cattle, and over 900 head of bison.
The importance of the Boyer Ranch to the Nation goes beyond ranching however, as the ranch has early priority water rights, and the gravel pit there could be used to develop Nation infrastructure. Vice President Jonathan Nez also sees the potential to one day develop an athletic program that takes advantage of the high-altitude of the land.
“We have some remarkable athletes on the Navajo Nation,” he notes, “and this would be a great opportunity to train our youth and celebrate health and wellness. The land there is beautiful and it is not just for us but also for future generations.”
|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.
|Old cabins in the rain with broad-tailed hummingbird|
|Click to embiggen.|
|On the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Range.|
|Here endeth ye brooke.|
|Wildflowers placed in a desiccating medium.|
|An out-the-windshield shot of retreating bear cubs|
|Mule deer fawn with summer spots. Another grab shot through the dirty Jeep windshield.|