Chaco as ceremonial center

This theory isn’t new, that Chaco wasn’t permanently occupied. However, the study attempting to prove that is recent. I’m not qualified to dispute this, but I wonder how they can prove the conditions weren’t more suited to agriculture 1000 years ago. Less than 200 years areas near Chaco were lush grasslands. Also, why does it make more sense that large numbers of visitors could carry all the food they needed to Chaco for their visit. (If so, why not make them bring more than they needed, so as to feed locals?)

Study: Chaco was largely ceremonial – Albuquerque Journal

New research from a team headed by a University of Colorado scientist casts doubt on Chaco Canyon’s status as a significant year round population center during the Anasazi era. Larry Benson, an adjunct curator at the CU Museum of Natural History, as well as a hydrologist and geochemist, led a team of researchers that published its findings about the settlement’s food sources in the November 2019 edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science, a monthly, peer-reviewed academic journal.

Protecting Chaco and its outliers

Why Protect a 10-Mile Zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park? – Archaeology Southwest

Paul F. Reed, Preservation Archaeologist (December 17, 2019)—Recently, there has been some debate about the value of protecting a 10-mile zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park (henceforth Chaco or Chaco Park) and two of its outlying communities. Some have suggested that a smaller zone of protection, perhaps 5 miles in radius, would provide sufficient protection for the ancient Chacoan-Puebloan communities that lie outside the Park’s boundary. This idea is mistaken. In this post, I will make the case for protecting the significant and fragile ancient communities that lie within 10 miles of Chaco’s boundary.

Three wildlife corridors preserve land and wildlife

Eastern Wildway News – Wildlands Network

News about Eastern Wildway The Eastern Wildway is home to a broad diversity of wildlife, including red wolves, Canada lynx, cougars, martens, and other native carnivores. Many resident plants, birds, fish, salamanders, and butterflies are found nowhere else on Earth. Stretching from eastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, the wildlife corridor traverses a wide array of eco-regions and climates, and contains some of North America’s most beloved national parks, preserves, and scenic rivers.

Western Wildway News – Wildlands Network

The Western Wildway is Wildlands Network’s vision of the world’s most extensive network of protected, connected lands. The 6,000-mile Western Wildway will provide wide-ranging wildlife like wolves, cougars, and other animals with room to roam, while also sustaining important ecological processes like pollination and carbon storage, and safeguarding our natural heritage for future generations.

Pacific Wildway News – Wildlands Network

The Pacific Wildway will reconnect, restore, and rewild the Pacific region of North America, from British Columbia to Baja California. It will provide protections for countless wildlife native to the Pacific region, including gray wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears, northern spotted owls, orcas, and salmon.

Earliest sunsets through 12/12 (also the Full Moon)

The Sky This Week, 2019 December 3 – 10 — Naval Oceanography Portal

This week we begin to see the phenomena associated with the winter solstice.  The solstice “season” begins with the year’s earliest sunsets, which occur all of this week.  Here in Washington the Sun disappears below the horizon at 4:46 pm EST.  He will gradually start to set later starting on December 13th.  Although this gives the illusion of the days getting longer, we won’t see our latest sunrise until early January.  In between the solstice occurs on the 21st, which will be the year’s shortest day.  This seemingly odd behavior is due to the way we now keep time.

December’s Full Moon is variously known as the Long Night Moon, Old Moon, or the Moon Before Yule.  Since this Full Moon occurs closest to the winter solstice is will be the most northerly one of the year, beaming down on the frosty landscape below. 

Saving a wildlife corridor in North America

Western Wildway – Wildlands Network

In western North America, Wildlands Network envisions the world’s most extensive network of protected, connected lands: the 6,000-mile Western Wildway, also know as the Spine of the Continent.

Caja del Rio

As part of the Western Wildway Priority Wildlife Corridor, Caja plays a critical role in connecting a vital wildlife corridor that runs along the Upper Rio Grande Watershed from the state of Colorado through New Mexico. The plateau and canyons are vital habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals. Beyond the large, iconic predators and prey, the Caja is home to gray fox, badger, burrowing owls, mountain plover, long-billed curlew, and spotted bat. A threatened songbird, the gray vireo, can be spotted among the junipers and piñons on the plateau. The Caja is one of the last great opportunities to protect the West as it has existed for thousands of years.

The inhumanity of science concerns me

The Bedside Book of Birds : NPR

On May 28, 1854, William David Thoreau, who earned some of his keep by collecting specimens for science, wrote in his diary: “The inhumanity of science concerns me, as when I am tempted to kill a rare snake that I may ascertain its species. I feel that this is not the means of acquiring true knowledge.”

I feel this way about banding, as well. I understand the defense of the practice but wonder if we can’t move on to less intrusive observations. 

Mountain lions have a diverse diet

Southern Rockies Nature Blog: What Would a Mountain Lion Eat for Thanksgiving?

Deer, you say? That might be a good answer, insofar as a common formula is that an adult must eat a deer-size animal every week to ten days. But down on the Rio Grande north of Albuquerque, researchers at the Pueblo of Santa Ana Department of Natural Resources collared and tracked one male who specialized in badgers.

I wonder if the same people who hate coyotes also hate cougars.

Sea Wolves

Meet The Rare Sea Wolves Who Live Off The Ocean And Can Swim For Hours – Healthy Food House

McAllister explains: “We know from exhaustive DNA studies that these wolves are genetically distinct from their continental kin. They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct — they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts.”  Paquet maintains that these types of coastal wolves aren’t an anomaly, but a remnant:  “There’s little doubt these wolves once lived along Washington State’s coast too. Humans wiped them out. They still live on islands in southeast Alaska, but they’re heavily persecuted there.”

Remarkable photos at the link.

Chaco Canyon is focus of UNM professor’s work » Albuquerque Journal

Cacao came from a region 1,200 miles south of Chaco, so its presence at Chaco a millennium ago, as well as the discovery there of thousand-year-old parrot feathers and skeletons, indicates that the early Pueblo people who lived at Chaco were exchanging goods with their southern neighbors before the Spanish arrived around 1500.

Clipped from: https://www.abqjournal.com/1369016/chaco-canyon-is-focus-of-unm-professors-work.html

 

Cold Moon is full 12/13/16

The Sky This Week, 2016 December 6 – 13

The Moon brightens the evening sky this week, waxing toward the Full phase as she courses through the late autumn and early winter constellations. Full Moon occurs on the 13th at 7:06 pm Eastern Standard Time. December’s Full Moon is known as the Moon Before Yule in the skylore of European Christianity. Other names, such as the Cold Moon, Big Moon, and Long Night Moon, reflect the influence of Celtic and Native American lore. December’s Full Moon occurs near Luna’s most northerly declination for the year, flooding the winter landscape with her pale light. This year she appears a bit brighter than usual thanks to the Full phase occurring near the Moon’s close perigee, which falls on the 12th. On the evening of the 12th you’ll find the nearly-full Moon pass through the heart of the Hyades star cluster which forms the “face” of Tauris, the Bull. Watch Luna creep closer to the bright star Aldebaran as the evening passes. At 11:07 pm EST the star will wink out as the Moon’s limb covers it. You can see it re-appear at 12:21 am.

The Full Moon washes out the annual Geminid meteor shower, which peaks on the night of the 13th. This is normally one of the year’s most reliable showers, and under dark skies it usually produces one or two “shooting stars” per minute. The meteors are generally slower than the August Perseids, and the radiant, in the constellation of Gemini, is well-placed after around 10:00 pm. Bright moonlight will hamper the number of meteors that the average observer will see this year, but a patient observer may be able to spot 20 or so per hour, even from urban locations.

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. — John Muir 1838-1914