January 10, 2017
Sandia Peak on a frosty evening, from Mark Boslough
Living with a mountain provides myriad moments that cannot quite be captured on film, but must be filed away in memory to produce a smile at some future moment.
But, sometimes a camera can come close.
That last bit of sunlight at the top of the mountain, on a cold day, giving hope, or assurance, before it is snuffed out for a time by the rotation of the Earth.
The mountain will be there tomorrow. The Sun will return. The moment won’t be the same.
November 18, 2016
Is this a pipevine swallowtail? This one is tapping the bat-faced cuphea; the pipevine under the holly is undisturbed.
A parade of butterflies this year! A lot of monarchs, in contrast to the past three years; we’ve had some Gulf fritillaries, and various sulfurs. The penta seems to be a major stopping point for hairstreaks and other small butterflies.
We’ve had a few tiger swallowtails.
And this one pictured above. it seems to have the spots of a pipevine swallowtail, but there are no swallowtails!
Did they wear off in migrating?
Are we misidentifying it?
Pipevine swallowtail (?) from the underside, still on the cuphea. Can we erase the question mark? Sunlight emphasizes the blue on the underwing. Photos copyright by Ed Darrell, Creative Commons. Please use, with attribution.
October 20, 2016
Cousin Amanda Holland sends snapshots from her science work.
“Evening drive along Kolob Reservoir Road, west end of Zion NP.” Photo by Amanda Holland; used with some permission, all rights reserved
Scientists in the field find beauty denied the casual visitor or even serious tourist — which is one of the great attractions of a science job, in the field.
Another view of why we love the American West, why we love the mountains, why we love the deserts.
August 26, 2015
Photo from the poet and muse of the National Parks and wild places, Terry Tempest Williams (at least, she posted it on Instagram).
Don’t you love the way the Tetons just peak over the fence?
U.S. National Park System just celebrated 99 years. Williams works on a book for the centennial in 2016.
Wouldn’t it be fun to do 100 parks in the 100th year? Anybody up for funding me to join them?
June 23, 2015
You really should be following Maria Popova’s Tweets, and Brainpicker.
There you’ll learn of this marvelous book:
Look at some of the photos. Wow.
Pollet’s view of the lowly ocotillo:
“Ocotillo tree, a shrub-like plant found in the Southeast United States”
Does one need to have a background in botany to think tree bark is interesting, and even beautiful?
Ms. Popova said Cedric Pollet traveled the world to find these great subjects to photograph. One could do well trying to duplicate his tour.
What trees in your yard have outstanding bark? Where are your photographs?
“Mindanoan gum (or rainbow eucalyptus) found in the Philippines, where the bark is used as a traditional remedy against fatigue”
How often do we see the forest, but miss the details of the trees?
June 14, 2015
From the Facebook site of the U.S. Department of Interior: Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado and see some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock and craggiest spires in North America. Pictured here is a stunning shot of the #MilkyWay rising above the Black Canyon. Photo courtesy of Greg Owens — at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Looking at that river, it’s difficult to understand that it’s just half the flow. Ranchers and farmers bored a tunnel to channel half the water of the river to the Uncompahgre Valley through the 5 mile-long Gunnison Tunnel, completed in 1909. Many of the overlooks into the incredibly steep canyon reveal only snippets of the ribbon of water that runs the whole length of the canyon.
I like how this photograph captures reflected light off the water, and makes the river appear easier to see than it usually is, especially at night.
Stunning geology, great hikes — you should go.
Especially you should go if you think about the geology that contradicts creationism. The canyon is loaded with volcanic inserts that deny flood geology and every other geological distortion offered by creationists, maybe better than the Grand Canyon in that regard.
May 23, 2015
Nice reminder, featuring an Eastern Box Tortoise (I think). Image from Conscious Companion.
A poster from 2013. Still accurate for World Turtle Day 2015.
We’re off in the rain to look for turtles and tortoises and other adventures. Saw a lot of turtles last week at the flooded White Rock Lake. This week?
Have a great World Turtle Day! Go do something nice for your neighborhood turtles and tortoises.
From there, it’s turtles all the way down!
Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience, stamina, repetition, and love for turtles.