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Showing posts from October, 2013

Musings: Are we encouraging the wrong attitude toward nature?

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There have been a few events in the news and media lately that have been making waves in the environmental community – and not in a good way. There are two examples in particular that seem to be sending the wrong message about our relationships with, and attitudes toward, the environment.What is even more disturbing is that both of these examples are either directed toward children or involve people who work directly with children, who will be the next generation of humanity responsible for continuing critical conservation efforts that so much of our society is fighting for right now.Are we sending them the right message?Are we teaching them to develop the respect and sense of wonder that will cause them to care about preserving the environment that sustains us? Judging by these examples… definitely not.

I’m sure by now that everyone has seen the video of the boy scout leaders toppling an ancient rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.In the video, a boy scout leader is s…

Lessons from Nature: Enjoying the Moment

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Browsing through some photos recently, I came across the image below, taken on a hike last year.  This picture is a reminder of the unfortunate wreckage that often results when rare and awesome moments in our lives collide with the need to photograph and document every experience.  It is a reminder that oftentimes, it is better to simply enjoy the moment while you're in it, rather than missing it in a frantic scramble to locate your camera and snap a hasty, low-quality photo that in no way represents what the experience was actually like. I daresay that the image in your mind will be more beautiful and enduring than a fuzzy photograph.


The photo above was taken on a hike in English Camp on San Juan Island.  My husband and I came around a bend in the trail and found ourselves face-to-face with a large doe.  Now, most of us don't have close encounters with deer-- or any other wildlife for that matter-- on a regular basis, so these are the moments when you gasp in delight and sta…

In the News: Timeline for a Changing Climate

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Are you convinced that climate change won't happen in your lifetime? A new study published this week in the journal Nature might make you rethink your stance. Using historical data and a compilation of 39 different climate models, the authors of the study have put a timeline on when we can expect our climate to "depart from historical variability," and their conclusions might surprise you.

What does it mean to "depart from historical variability"?  The authors explain that climate change will cause average annual temperatures to increase to the point where the average temperature of the coolest year in the future will exceed the average temperature of the hottest year for the historical period of 1860-2005. Simply, this means that a "hot year" from 1860-2005 would be considered a "cool year" in the future, once the climate crosses that temperature threshold. We would be facing a brand new climate completely unlike what we're used to.

The…

Musings: In Search of Old Growth

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Everyone has a favorite posession that has been in their lives so long that it feels like a beloved old friend, carrying with it numerous memories of years past.  Being somewhat of a sentimental person, I have a few posessions like this, but the only ones that currently receive much use are my old comfy-as-a-couch Doc Marten boots, which have been my faithful hiking partners for years.  Sturdy and slightly misshapen, these boots have my footprints permanently embedded in them, and carry with them traces of the places we've been together over a period of time that spans half my life.  In their younger (and better-looking!) days, these boots accompanied me through the hallways at school, marched through muddy fields at horse shows, traversed the Las Vegas strip, got lost in a few corn mazes, and in recent years, have hiked in the Redmond Watershed Preserve, San Juan Island, the Oregon coast, Eastern Washington, Saint Edward State Park, and completed several hikes to the Big Four Ice…