Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project

Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project examines several attempts at establishing communities at site over the centuries

By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter
Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 12:05am

From a settlement of about 100 rooms begun around the year 1300, the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo turned into a boom town of some 1,000 rooms and 10 plazas by 1330. But then, by 1345, it was abandoned.

People returned around 1370, building a more modest settlement of about 250 rooms on the remains of the earlier town, Schwartz said, but then disappeared again around 1425.

The boom and bust was not unusual for area settlements then….

Unlike many pueblo ruins found in the Santa Fe area, those at Arroyo Hondo haven’t been claimed as ancestral dwellings of any of the current Pueblo peoples, Schwartz said.

Learn more
Go to the new website arroyohondo.org for a treasure trove of information about the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo near Santa Fe, its excavation work and scientific findings.

http://www.abqjournal.com/718879/news/arroyo-hondo-pueblo-project-examines-several-attempts-at-establishing-communities-at-site-over-the-centuries.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed

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Video shows only known U.S. jaguar roaming Arizona mountains threatened by open pit mine

By Astrid Galvan / Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 1:35pm
Updated: Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 12:10am

TUCSON — The only known wild jaguar in the United States is seen roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range in southern Arizona in the first publicly released video of the giant cat.

“El Jefe” — Spanish for “the boss” — has been living in the Santa Rita Mountains about 25 miles south of downtown Tucson for over three years, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

El Jefe is about 7 years old and is one of only four or five jaguars that have been spotted in the U.S. in the last 20 years. He’s the only documented wild jaguar in the country.

“A lot of people have no idea that we have jaguars in the United States or that they belong here,” said Randy Serraglio of the Tucson-based environmental group. “In bringing this video, we hope to inspire people to care about these animals and support protection for their homes.”

Conservationists say El Jefe’s habitat is threatened by a proposed open-pit copper mine in the mountains. The proposed Rosemont Mine has been in the works for several years but is tied up in the permitting phase.

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10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite National Park, 1899.

Yosemite Research Library

Black History Month is a time to remember and honor the many groups and individuals who contributed to the success and achievements of this country as well as to advancement for African Americans as a people.

These historical spots host incredible evidence of the achievements, struggles and lives of African Americans during the history of the continent. The monuments also testify to the role of our National Park Service and other land agencies in preserving important pieces of our nation’s story and cultural heritage.

10 parks and monuments for Black History Month | Wilderness.org

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Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

SANTA FE, N.M. — Public access to New Mexico’s 16,000-acre Sabinoso Wilderness – entirely “landlocked” by private land – moved closer to reality today on news the nonprofit Wilderness Land Trust bought adjacent property that could soon allow hikers, hunters, backpackers and others access to it.

The purchase of the 4,176-acre Rimrock Rose property, made possible by a $3.1 million contribution from the Wyss Foundation, could allow public access to the Sabinoso by summer.

“We’ve been working on creating access to the Sabinoso Wilderness since it was proposed for designation,” said Reid Haughey, president of The Wilderness Land Trust. “To the best of our knowledge, Sabinoso is the only wilderness area among the 762 wilderness areas within the National Wilderness Preservation System that does not have public access.”

The Sabinoso Wilderness, created by Congress in 2009, is a rugged back-country area east of Las Vegas, N.M., that is home to mule deer, bobcats, gray foxes and a wide range of plant and animal species that are home to the high plains. The headwaters of the Canadian River runs through the Rimrock Rose property and Canyon Largo.

“We are proud to be able to help local leaders and The Wilderness Land Trust as they expand access for fishing, hunting, hiking, and recreation in New Mexico’s prized backcountry,” said Molly McUsic, President of the Wyss Foundation.

Public access to NM’s Sabinoso Wilderness almost there – ABQJournal Online

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A rancher defends the BLM (read it)

Penni Ericson – Here’s my original post: Just wanted to say thanks…

January 25 at 11:21pm ·

Here’s my original post:

Just wanted to say thanks for keeping me up on the Malheur travesty. As a BLM grazing lease holder for nearly 40 years here’s what I’ve experienced with the “tyrannical” agency.

1. BLM grazing is CHEAP. $1.69 an AUM for a month of grazing vs. over $20 for private grazing land. That’s for a cow and calf. For a month.

2. Just like any other lease there is a date on and a date off. Determined by the BLM based on factors like drought/wild horse use/pasture quality etc.

3. In drought years we are offered a “non-use” option and pay no fees at all. In this way we work together to ensure there will be grass left to grow when the rains do come.

4. Our local BLM has a small budget and has an unbelievably large area to oversee. Faced with a growing wild horse problem, we tackled fencing them out of our property on our own. Faced with a threatening allotment holder to our private property, again, no money for fence.

5. When we did fence, they were ecstatic. They offered us all the technical information they could. We once watched a range tech literally dance at the sight of healthy, vibrant Idaho fescue.

6. They protect the land from those who would destroy it, for fun or profit. When we sought to stop destructive driving across our land to get to the BLM for 4 wheeling, they cooperated and supported us, and gave the 4 wheelers another way to access the BLM.

Here at the Diamond E Ranch we feel it’s a privilege to live and work near a large piece of publicly owned land. A treasure we’ve been entrusted with by our fellow Americans. All of them. Our grazing lease allows us to participate in the care of that treasure, not for gain, but for the joy of our new grandchildren who will grow up roaming it like our children did. For the life of me I can’t see anything but profit in Ammon Bundy’s eyes.

Penni Ericson – Here’s my original post: Just wanted to say thanks…

[hat tip to Judy Liddell]

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How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle – The New York Times

Five planets paraded across the dawn sky early Wednesday in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month.

Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It is the first time in more than a decade that the fab five are simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.

Admission to the daily show is free, though stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere should plan to get up about 45 minutes before sunrise to catch it.

How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle – The New York Times

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Howl at the Wolf Moon 1/23/16

The Sky This Week, 2016 January 19 – 26 — Naval Oceanography Portal

The Moon brightens the chilly overnight hours this week. Full Moon occurs on the 23rd at 8:46 pm Eastern Standard Time. … January’s Full Moon is popularly known as the Moon after Yule, the Old Moon, or the Wolf Moon.

The Sky This Week, 2016 January 19 – 26 — Naval Oceanography Portal

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For the first time in a decade, you can see 5 planets aligned without a telescope

For the first time in a decade, you can see 5 planets aligned without a telescope

For the first time in more than a decade, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter — the five planets bright enough to be seen with an unaided eye — will all be visible at once in the sky.

You’ll have to wake up early to catch it. Starting January 20, it will be possible to see all five planets in a row, about 45 minutes before sunrise, Sky and Telescope reports. The planets should be visible in this arrangement until February 20.

(Sky and Telescope notes it might get harder to see Mercury after the first week of February, because of its low position near the horizon).

For the first time in a decade, you can see 5 planets aligned without a telescope

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The folly of “taking back” the West — Western states agreed to disclaim lands in order to become states

The folly of “taking back” the West — High Country News Ted Williams Opinion Jan. 20, 2016 Web Exclusive

Do 700 million acres of national parks, national monuments, national forests, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management units belong to you and your fellow Americans? No, according to the increasingly popular notion in the West that it’s time for states to “take back” federal land.

“Taking back” property that belongs to Alaskans and Floridians and everyone in between is even a plank in the GOP platform. A resolution, entitled “In Support of Western States Taking Back Public Lands” reads: “The Republican National Committee calls upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the imminent transfer of public lands to all willing Western states.”

Taking back something that never belonged to you presents multiple problems, not the least of which is semantics. But this has never discouraged proponents whose first order of business is to ignore constitutional law.

Here’s a fact they don’t want you to know: As a condition for entering the union, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Nevada disclaimed all legal right and title to unappropriated public lands.

The folly of “taking back” the West — High Country News

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The Rio Grande Trail

A trail running near the entire length of the Rio Grande is a wonderful idea. It’s great to see it moving forward. Now, let’s add train service, beginning with Bernardo and Bosque del Apache.

Could Mt. Cristo Rey start new Rio Grande Trail? – ABQJournal Online

The Rio Grande Trail proposal is still in its infancy. Legislation took effect July 1 of last year, calling for the trail’s establishment. The trail commission’s early January meeting in Las Cruces was its third session.

Could Mt. Cristo Rey start new Rio Grande Trail? – ABQJournal Online

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Cock of the Rock, the national bird of Peru

The first photo I took of a Cock of the Rock male in Manu, Peru
First photo of male Cock of the Rock (above)

I first heard of the Cock of the Rock years ago, after Merri led an impromptu expedition in Ecuador in search of the bird described as both showy and shy.

Last November, we were riding in a van for hours along miles of dirt road that skirt an edge of the Manu jungle region of Peru. Much of that day consisted of riding, stopping, getting out, standing by the road to look for birds while other vehicles roared pass. As we slowed for a turn before crossing a beautiful wide stream, the first Cock of the Rock male I’d ever seen landed on a branch, perhaps not 6 feet from my window (photo above). Snap! Be ready for your opportunities.

(The first female Cock of the Rock I saw was barely visible on a nest in shadow under an overhang above the Urubamba river in Aguas Caliente, near Machu Picchu. Dave Mehlman and I were wandering when a bus driver asked, “have you seen the Cock of the Rock on the nest?” Well, no actually.)

To me, the Cock of the Rock is simultaneously beautiful and ugly. The shape of the head defies logic. Look closely for the beak barely protruding from the feathers. The stark eyes are fish-like, or like the eyes pasted on stuffed animals. Yet the power of the intense red contrasting with the dapper grey and black is undeniable.

The next day, our group drove to a roadside viewing area adjacent to a lek, the competitive breeding grounds for Cocks of the Rock. Plastic tarps formed a wall to minimize dust and noise from passing vehicles. A local guardian kept the key to a locked gate that blocked the steep steps down to a narrow uneven path a dozen paces to a viewing stand, not a blind, but a rickety porch without other attachment, directly behind the plastic tarps. This viewing area looked down a hill that was dense jungle.

At the worst time, more than a dozen people jostled quietly on this platform for a chance to see and photograph one of the half a dozen or so Cocks of the Rock, mostly showy males. Viewing was very challenging through the tangle, though it’s easy to scan green for brilliant red. The loud sore-throat croak of the males also helps you find them.

Photographs required manual focus. There were just too many points to distract autofocus, but automatic exposure settings worked fine. Though the jungle was dim, these birds don’t move very fast.

Eventually, the flock of birders moved on, leaving just 3 of us to watch longer. During this time, the birds moved closer, still not as close as that first bird. It was a delightful moment.

Cock of the Rock males in Manu, PeruCock of the Rock males in Manu, PeruCock of the Rock males in Manu, PeruCock of the Rock males in Manu, PeruCock of the Rock males in Manu, Peru

More photos from Peru (about 170)

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Earth Notes: Chaco Canyon’s Ancient, Exotic Birds | KNAU

Earth Notes: Chaco Canyon’s Ancient, Exotic Birds | KNAU Arizona Public Radio#stream/0

Researchers recently worked out carbon-14 dates on scarlet macaw skeletons, most from the great house of Pueblo Bonito. They found that macaws were present at least a century before archaeologists thought—some as early as A.D. 900 to 975. The results from this direct dating method are considered more accurate than previous, relative dates.

Chaco was a central ceremonial place in the early Puebloan world, with a complex society and upper-crust elites. To archaeologists, the dates suggest that the elites, who controlled access to the highly prized macaws, were in power earlier than had previously been thought.

Earth Notes: Chaco Canyon’s Ancient, Exotic Birds | KNAU Arizona Public Radio#stream/0

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Our Trip to Peru, November 2015

We went to Peru in November, 2015. We traveled with a small group of friends, under arrangements made by Dave Mehlman, birdman extraordinaire. In the course of 2 full weeks, from Lima, to Cusco, to Machu Picchu, to the jungle of Manu, I took too many photos. In the 2 months since, I have taken too long to pull out these. I hope you enjoy them.

Each photo is a link to the album of 179 photos. Be sure to look at the 263 photos by Merri Rudd, as well.

(User’s guide: Follow the link to a page of photos. Select any photo for a large version with caption. You can step through photos or use the Slide Show option at the top of any one photo.)

Mockingbird (lucky timing)IMG_2559IMG_2745IMG_2895IMG_3214IMG_3328IMG_3676IMG_3813IMG_3990WP_20151111_09_17_55_ProIMG_4361IMG_5338\WP_20151114_11_25_09_ProIMG_6487IMG_7974IMG_7988IMG_8175

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Latest sunrise of the year on 1/5/16

The Sky This Week, 2015 December 29 – 2016 January 5 — Naval Oceanography Portal

The latest sunrise of the year occurs on January 5th, when Old Sol crests the horizon at 7:27 am EST here in Washington, DC. On that same evening sunset occurs at 5:00 pm, 14 minutes later than its earliest sunset back on December 7th. The total length of daylight on New Year’s Day will be 9 hours 30 minutes, four minutes longer than it was on the day of the solstice, and the days will steadily increase in length until the summer solstice, which will fall on June 20.

The Sky This Week, 2015 December 29 – 2016 January 5 — Naval Oceanography Portal

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