Earth Notes

Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Earth Notes: Nature, Teaching Quietly

Nature makes people feel better. Studies have shown that hospital patients who can see a natural scene from their window—or even an image of nature—typically heal faster than those cut off from the outdoors.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Earth Notes: Blitzing Biotic Diversity

How do we know who lives where? Increasingly, land managers are turning to a fun and educational event to find out: the bioblitz.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Earth Notes: Returning Grass to the Grasslands

The back of its wings glinting rust-red in the sun, a ferruginous hawk scans the grasslands below for ground squirrels and jackrabbits, two choice meals. These hawks rely on broad vistas to catch prey. But shrubs and juniper trees have steadily invaded many of their hunting grounds in the Southwest.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Earth Notes: Roasting Agaves

It’s tough to miss a century plant in full bloom. The plant’s base of wide, pointed leaves sends up an enormously tall stalk that blooms brilliantly in spring. Also called agave or mescal, it’s a plant that’s common throughout the desert Southwest.

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Earth Notes
4:45 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Earth Notes: Criollo Cattle

When most of us hear the word “cattle” we think of an animal that came to the Southwest in the late 1800s. But one breed arrived here long before most other settlers.

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Earth Notes
12:34 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Earth Notes: Grand Canyon's Manmade Wonder

Trans-Canyon Pipeline in the Grand Canyon
Credit National Park Service

If asked what's impressive about the Grand Canyon, most visitors probably won't mention a water pipeline. But one of this national park's great engineering feats is the Trans-Canyon Pipeline, which carries half a million gallons of water every day from Roaring Springs down Bright Angel Canyon, past Phantom Ranch and across Silver Bridge.

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Earth Notes
4:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Earth Notes: Where There's Smoke, Plants Notice

Credit USDA Forest Service

Smoke is a complicated substance. Most people who live in or near western forests have a good feel for how it affects people. But what's less well known is that it affects plants, too.

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Earth Notes
12:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Earth Notes: Utah’s Bison

Above Moab’s Mill Canyon, a sandstone cliff holds an art gallery. Its images range from petroglyphs left by the ancient Fremont people to cowboy inscriptions. One stands out—a bull bison, complete with hump and horns. Nearby, painted Ute warriors carry shields, a form of body armor crafted from the animal’s skin.

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Earth Notes
11:56 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Earth Notes: Arizona's 'Water' Hawks

Arizona's "Water" Hawks
Credit Northern Arizona Audubon Society

Each spring, common black hawks soar into Arizona skies from their wintering grounds in Mexico. These large, coal-black raptors, with distinctive white-banded tails, spend the warmer six months of the year here breeding, nesting and raising young.

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Earth Notes
8:38 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Earth Notes: In New Mexico, Bighorns Are Back

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Managing wildlife sometimes means weighing the value of one species against another in order for the more threatened of the two to survive. This is the case in New Mexico, where state game managers were able to remove desert bighorn sheep from the state's endangered species list, in part, by reducing a robust mountain lion population.

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