Rose Houk

Land Lines

The West’s pioneer spirit characterizes not only many of the region’s people, but also some of its plants. And a trio of pioneer species collectively called fire mosses, known on every continent, may prove an excellent tool for repairing burned-over lands on the Colorado Plateau.


The “yuk factor” is definitely there: owls regurgitate little packets of undigested bones, fur, and feathers left over from animals they ate a few hours earlier.


Have cellphone, will travel: that’s the mantra in today’s device-driven world. Now, with a smartphone camera and a special app, a new project is providing virtual tours of archaeological sites in northern Arizona.


Insects and the plants they pollinate have evolved to fit like a key and a lock. 


To avoid the first frost, Navajo herders move their livestock to lower ground when aspen trees drop their leaves. Others watch the stars and the moon to gauge the timing of seasonal movements. But with changing climate in the Southwest, nature’s signs have become less reliable.


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