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Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part I)

Part I Caution: "Folks, This Ain't Normal" is a thought-provoker. If you are not intellectually qualified to discern fact from ideology and integrate that information into your brain without barfing it out because it challenges conceptions made from incomplete knowledge or pre-existing ideological leanings, you will likely flounder in this book. This is a playful … Continue reading Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part I)

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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Future of Botany and Herbaria

While I've addressed how my undergraduate program has converted many potential non-plant biologists into plant biologists, often I hear about how many universities do not support botany programs. I've experienced this personally, though at the time I was interested in the wildlife biology program. Colorado State University's college of natural sciences posted above the botany … Continue reading Future of Botany and Herbaria


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


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

Virginia Sneezeweed

Imported from first blog: Peregrination Notebook. I came across an interesting journal article.  Southeastern Naturalist published a study by Rhonda L. Rimer and James W. (Bill) Summer called "Range and Ecology of Helenium virginicum in the Missouri Ozarks".  It seemed like it wouldn't have heavy statistics, so I gave it a shot. Helenium virginicum, also known … Continue reading Virginia Sneezeweed

Studying the American Woodcock

Imported from first blog: Peregrination Notebook. One of the classes I’m taking this semester is Wildlife Management Techniques.  The exciting part of it is that we get to conduct a term-long research project with fieldwork.  For the lab, we take a trip on the county roads and each group does vegetation sampling and American Woodcock … Continue reading Studying the American Woodcock