Alan English Durango Silverton

Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

My family lived in western Colorado for many years, and one of us lived in Cortez in the southwest corner of the state. This is within an hour's drive of Durango and not much farther from Silverton. I love the area. Just about any location on Colorado's western slopes evoke nostalgia and childhood memories. It's easy … Continue reading Animas River: A History of Mining Contaminations

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Angalifu

The Morbid Countdown of the Last Northern White Rhinoceroses

I grew up reading Zoobooks, and one of the earlier editions I received I immediately loved more than most. Sure, the dolphin one taught me the word ‘ecology,’ and if I was a zoologist I’d probably study bats or some kind of ungulate, but there is one odd-toed ungulate issue that stood out: the rhinoceros. … Continue reading The Morbid Countdown of the Last Northern White Rhinoceroses

Black River of the Appalachians

A Mention of Arbor Day

So often at this time of the year I hear about Earth Day. Hippie holiday or educational outreach opportunity, Earth Day is a product of the 1970s and a challenge against poor modern environmental husbandry. Shortly following Earth Day many countries also observe Arbor Day.  It is less popular, celebrated by fewer nations and is … Continue reading A Mention of Arbor Day

No till

Book Reflection: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery (Part II)

Book Review Part I here. Conveniently for me, I had finished Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery, a professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, shortly before The New York Times published a relevant article, "Farmers Put Down the Plow for More Productive Soil". This article on modern no-till farming … Continue reading Book Reflection: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery (Part II)

Dirt

Book Reflection: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery (Part I)

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery of the University of Washington was simply a book on a library shelf among four other soil tomes. That was all the library had to offer for my self-education effort for the UN’s International Year of Soils. Fine. The “erosion of civilizations” part suggested something epic. The … Continue reading Book Reflection: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery (Part I)

Earthworm Allolobophora chlorotica

Charles Darwin’s Affair with Earth Worms

(Featured image courtesy of Gilles San Martin, Flickr user.) We always attribute On the Origin of Species as Charles Darwin’s profound accomplishment and stride in advancing scientific thought—to include biology in the context of evolution, specifically.  However, the guy kept busy after his most controversial book. He watched dirt form. I began to read a … Continue reading Charles Darwin’s Affair with Earth Worms

PotatoFarm

The Value of the Earth

My backyard is a jungle. A Vinca minor and Vinca major jungle. All these periwinkles create a pedestrian hazard where if you shuffle your feet just slightly you will likely lodge your toe under the grounded vines and potentially fall on a prickly rose vine, because I have those too—though “vine” may be a misnomer … Continue reading The Value of the Earth

Black Oak Quarry Farm

Programs for New Farmers

I have a huge respect for farmers. As individuals they have better work ethic than most, a good sense of humor, and a sense of realism that few others have. When I reflect on the friends I’ve had over the years, the easiest ones to get along with and develop respect for are the farmer’s … Continue reading Programs for New Farmers

Manuel Barn

A Farmer’s Life for Me

According to Mother Nature Network: “Modern Farmer beat out Vanity Fair, GQ and New York Magazine to win a National Magazine Award.” A lot of someones must be subscribing to Modern Farmer to turn it into a prestigious publication! Those someones are likely young adults in their 20s and 30s. This makes sense to me … Continue reading A Farmer’s Life for Me

food battle

How I Do and Do Not Waste Food, and How Others Do

Why do people waste food? Maybe it is because I am part of a frugal family and throwing out food was throwing out money, but I rarely toss the edibles. I go to a restaurant, eat what I can, and take the rest as leftovers. Sometimes the remains feed me for multiple home meals. When … Continue reading How I Do and Do Not Waste Food, and How Others Do