Earth Notes

Earth Notes
5:37 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Earth Notes: The Lovable Little Fellow of Clear Streams

The American Dipper
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Southwest may be dry, but it’s interwoven with rushing streams. Where they run cool and clear, they are often enlivened by what the naturalist John Muir described as a “singularly joyous and lovable little fellow.”

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Earth Notes: The Crown Fire - Carbon Connection

Credit BigDogGraphics

Forests constitute an important part of the “Carbon World Bank.” The organic matter in their leaves, wood, roots and soil stores a great deal of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Earth Notes: Arizona’s Elk

Arizona Elk
Ron Nichols, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Early on fall mornings, a piercing screech echoes across meadows in northern Arizona. It’s the frenzied bugle of a big bull elk in rut, trying to lure a harem of cows to breed and continue his line.

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Earth Notes
8:07 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Earth Notes: Colorado Pike Minnows

Colorado Pike Minnow
Credit U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The muddy San Juan River was once home to giant specimens of America’s largest minnow—a fish that could grow as long as a man is tall, and to a weight of a hundred pounds.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Earth Notes: Wilderness Inholdings

El Malpais National Monument.
University of New Mexico

Wilderness areas represent the highest degree of protection the federal government grants to public lands. They’re managed for values of solitude, scenery, and natural habitat.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Earth Notes: Arizona’s Water Sentinels

Sentinels sampling water

People have been pitching in to help out some of Arizona’s endangered rivers—and they’re starting to make waves.

The Water Sentinels program got its start in 2006 as part of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter.

Members say they grew tired of seeing local streams degraded by pollution, or “reduced to bone-dry washes” because of dams, diversions, and pumping.

Now more than 100 regular volunteers work on two main rivers—the Verde and the Salt.

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Earth Notes
11:19 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Earth Notes: Milkweeds for Monarchs

Monarch Butterfly
John Anderson Hedgerow Farms

If you’re out searching for one of North America’s most famed butterflies, the beautiful orange and black monarch butterfly, try looking in a patch of milkweed.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Earth Notes: In Santa Fe, Creative Conservation Begins at School

In the future today’s young people are going to be making important decisions about a host of environmental challenges faced by the southwestern states, from climate change and wildfires to habitat loss and pollution.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Earth Notes: Summer’s Pugnacious Hummingbird

Small can be beautiful, but for some of nature’s most spectacular birds small can mean really tough, too. Witness the rufous hummingbird, which visits wildflower meadows and hummingbird feeders across the Colorado Plateau in late summer.

For a bird less than four inches in length, the rufous hummingbird pulls off an impressive migration each year. From their wintering grounds in southern Mexico, they fly north each spring to breeding territories in the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and even as far north as Alaska.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Earth Notes: Textile Recycling

Reusing old clothes isn’t a new habit. Americans have long donated out-of-fashion or too-small clothing to charities or resale boutiques. Creative quilters, weavers, and seamstresses cut up old dresses and restitch them into something new. Some creative, eco-conscious artists even remodel threadbare garb into couture garments and bags.

But it’s estimated that much of the nearly twelve million tons of clothing, shoes, and textiles that Americans discard each year does end up in landfills.

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