April showers bring May flowers. A saying we all learn as children, repeated to each other when spring rains keep us indoors. A phrase so benign and simple that it rolls off our tongue without commanding a second thought. In reality these five words reflect an incredibly complex and important lesson in ecological systems thinking.
A red-tailed hawk soared above us, it’s screech echoing across the valley and off the mesa before us. As we tilled the field with mattock, rake and hoe, I couldn’t help but feel the energy of this ancient land in the air. I woke up this morning damp in a soggy down sleeping bag. It
I step onto the grass and feel the moist soil between my bare toes. My pace picks up into a sprint, freed from the confines of the indoors. I stop abruptly and watch a squirrel in the distance burying an acorn under a giant oak tree. Waiting until it leaves, I scurry over to where
Along Leupp Road lies an unusual sight. Thin silver poles rise above the juniper trees and shrubs, their blades whirling in the breeze. As we turn our trusty van off the main road a slanted blue roof comes into view and we see dark reflective rectangles lining the landscape’s backdrop. This first sight of the
Leadville was nearly named Colorado’s capital. In 1880, the two-mile-high city was one of the world’s largest silver camps and boasted a population of 40,000. Today, the population rests at 2,602 and the economy has seen a drastic decline since the closing of Climax Mine in 1980. Green River, Utah was once a notable spot
We sat with the stream, and talked about what we saw. In the expansive desert of the Colorado Plateau, the pockets of water are the islands. What organisms live here, and what do they do when these seasonal streams dry up? How do the plants survive the drought and the flood? We observe the
I stand on a ridge of the Snowcrest Mountains in Southwestern Montana. From here I can see nearly a dozen other mountain ranges, including the snowy peaks of the Tetons in the distance. I look down at my feet and find myself just as amazed as I am by the vast vistas. The subalpine hills
I recall as a child anxiously awaiting each new issue of National Geographic as it was sent to my school library. I would find myself living vicariously through the explorers, reports and ethnographers, whether it was the Masaai tribe in Tanzania and their rituals signifying entrance to adulthood or bucolic villages in the Carpathians seemingly