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Medium 9780870819629

Introduction: An Introduction to Death Valley National Park and Vicinity

Betty Tucker-Bryan University Press of Colorado ePub

In 1957, famous naturalist Dr. Edmund C. Jaeger wrote: “The complete natural history of Death Valley will never be written. . . . [It] is a subject too vast.” That might well be true, for Death Valley National Park encompasses an immense area that is unique in its diversity.

• The park is nearly 150 miles long from north to south, about 60 miles wide from east to west, and covers 3,372,402 acres (or 5,269 square miles). In addition, considerable portions of the adjacent mountains and valleys are culturally and biologically part of Death Valley.

• The park’s elevations range from desiccated salt flats 282 feet below sea level near Badwater, where the average rainfall is less than two inches per year, to pine-clad peaks higher than 11,000 feet above sea level in the Panamint Range, where heavy snow falls in the winter.

• Death Valley’s life zones follow the changes in elevation, ranging from the Lower Sonoran life zone, through the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones, to the Canadian life zone; the very highest peaks qualify for the Arctic (or Boreal) life zone.

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Medium 9781574410624

25 • Miles and Priscilla

Lynn Marie Cuny University of North Texas Press PDF

120 • Through Animals' Eyes

where he had last seen the emancipated turkeys. There, in a grassy pasture, he spotted a group of four birds. 1\vo were pecking curiously in the deep grass. The other two were nestled quietly in a thick patch of weeds. He later described them as looking as though "they were waiting for the end to come."

As he approached the big white birds, two turkeys ran away into the fields that would now be their new home. The two more reluctant birds sat very still and frightened. Little did they know that the individual who would usher them into their new life was standing before them.

When the turkey couple arrived at the Sanctuary, it was easy to see that they were inseparable. As the pair emerged from their giant cardboard box, they didn't run or try to find the nearest bush to hide under. Instead, they took quick, deliberate steps out of their past, where they had faced certain and imminent death, into the security of their new home.

Immediately, they were surrounded by peacocks, ducks, geese and chickens. There were huge bowls full to the brim with fresh corn and millet. There were wading pools overflowing with clean, cool water. There were giant oak trees filled with chirping, perching birds, free to fly about as they wished.

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Medium 9780253007896

1908 The South Shore Railroad

Kenneth J. Schoon Quarry Books ePub

The South Shore got its start in life in 1903 as an East Chicago streetcar line. In 1906–1908, the company constructed a well-engineered interurban electric rail line from Chicago through the dunes to South Bend and built a (pre-NIPSCO) generating station in Michigan City to provide its electricity.

By then called the Chicago, Lake Shore, and South Bend Railway, the line made much of the dunes easily accessible. Residents of Chicago and northwest Indiana could now easily take a morning train to Tremont in the dunes and be back home in time for dinner. Although it has carried both freight and passengers, it is passenger service that has made this railroad, known for years as just the South Shore, the defining railroad of the Calumet Area.

In the 1920s, there were sixteen thousand miles of interurban railroad in the United States and the Lake Shore electric line was one of the fastest. Nevertheless, it soon lost passengers as automobiles became more common. Samuel Insull, president of Chicago Edison Company, purchased the railroad in 1925 at a foreclosure sale and renamed it the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad. Besides improving service, he created an innovative marketing program that included newsletters and the now well-known poster series. Twenty-five new cars with plush seats, bathrooms, separate smoking compartments, and windows that let in fresh air were purchased in 1926 from the Pullman Company. Ridership increased so fast that the next year Insull ordered twenty more cars.

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Medium 9781603445887

1. An Introduction to Gulf Coast Severe Storms and Hurricanes

Philip B. Bedient Texas A&M University Press ePub
Medium 9780870818820


David M. Armstrong University Press of Colorado ePub

Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. “Flying” squirrels and the “flying lemurs” of Southeast Asia are highly efficient gliders, but they cannot actually fly (and furthermore, flying lemurs are not even lemurs!) As fliers, bats are members of an elite group: only four groups of animals have successfully evolved aerial niches. Many kinds of insects can fly, of course, and once there were flying reptiles (including the well-known pterosaurs). Birds evolved flight independently of other flying reptiles. And bats represent the fourth independent line of flying animals, having evolved from shrew-like mammals. Like pterosaurs—and unlike the birds—bats have wings formed by a membrane stretched between greatly elongated finger bones. The principal flight surface of a bird, by contrast, is formed by feathers attached to the arm.

The earliest fossils of bats have been collected from shales of Eocene age (some 50 million years old) in southwestern Wyoming. The earliest known bats were already perfectly good fliers and in many respects resemble groups now living. Intermediate stages between ground-dwelling insectivores and flying bats are unknown. There are about 1,100 living species of bats arrayed in 18 families, making this the second most diverse order of mammals.

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Medium 9781771870825

The River Within Us

Virgo, Seán Thistledown Press ePub


Trevor Herriot

FOR FIVE YEARS NOW I have not seen fish eggs in the marsh and flood zone that still somehow manages to breathe life into the river just downstream of Lake Katepwe. I have seen: a gathering of 872 pelicans on the lake just above the marsh; a harlequin duck lost and alone on the weir; gangs of bald eagles lurking in the poplars; mink, several times, bounding over beaver lodges; fireflies winking their soft lights above the bullrushes at dark; all manner of fisher-birds working the shallows, from herons to osprey to kingfishers to cormorants to terns; and LeConte’s sparrows, tiny with burnt orange on their cheeks, heads cocked back to sing the marsh alive from the top of signs that say “Fill Dirt Wanted”.

The Qu’Appelle, like most of our prairie rivers, is a troubled waterway, worrisome to anyone who gives it time or thought. A narrow stream, naturally brown and turbid from clay and loam on its uplands, it meanders across south-eastern Saskatchewan mixing the ecologies of the Northern Great Plains with those of the Aspen parkland to the north. The piece of the Qu’Appelle that I have come to know best is a three-mile stretch from Lake Katepwe downstream to a double-arched concrete bridge that marks where the old highway crossed in a respectful circumnavigation of the marshes and fish-spawning grounds. The new highway slashes across the belly of the wetland where the river channel resumes at the end of the lake, thereby shaving at least three or four minutes off cottagers’ car trips to their cabins and resorts. Right next to the arched bridge is the old Katepwe schoolhouse, a brick box anchored to the south-west riverbank where the children of white and Metis families were once schooled in reading, writing, ’rithmetic and river. The people who own the schoolhouse now have no little ones, and so the syllabus of a riparian education on this piece of the Qu’Appelle has fallen to my four children and one mature student tolerated for his ability to rescue mud-hole victims, fillet fish, hoist canoes, and drive cars.

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Medium 9781623491376

10. Public Policy Debates in the Recent Past

Porter, Charles R. Texas A&M University Press ePub


Difficult public policy issues relating to water have faced Texans for many generations. The challenging choices have not necessarily been between right and wrong; typically, the positions and arguments of all the parties involved in water disputes could be considered reasonable.


The resolutions to those disputes have most often involved questions about who owns the water, who can use the water, and who is liable when one party uses up the water available to another party. Some of the legislative decisions and court rulings in the past seem to make common sense and create good public policy, while other decisions and rulings seem to defy all logic.

Tale #1: The Case of the Biggest Pump

Who could have known that an obscure lawsuit over rights to underground water in a small town in north Texas at the start of the twentieth century would begin a cascade of events that is still unfolding today in the courts, in state government, and in people’s daily lives?1 The ultimate ruling in this lawsuit, a lawsuit that did not merit even a single word in the local newspaper,2 is infamously known as the “rule of capture,” or “he who has the biggest pump gets the most or all of the water.” The rule of capture is one of the most confusing, and for some the most reviled, concepts in Texas water law today.

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Medium 9781770907041

3 | Vegetative Reproduction

Jesse Vernon Trail ECW Press ePub

Though seeds are the main means that flowering plants use to reproduce, there are several other ways, depending on the plant species. These other methods are often referred to as vegetative reproduction and include runners, suckers, stolons, rhizomes, offsets, bulbs, corms and tubers. Some plants also have the remarkable ability to spread prolifically simply by way of detached pieces of stem, leaf or root. We will begin with their stories.

A common weed in many lawns around the world, the slender speedwell, Veronica filiformis, is a hairy spring-blooming perennial. These plants creep through the grass by means of rhizomes and many slender stems, rooting at the nodes, forming dense mats here and there. The saucer-shaped flowers are a light blue to lavender blue. This particular species of Veronica is especially remarkable since it almost never produces seeds, yet it still spreads rapidly when broken pieces split or detach easily from the parent plant or by its creeping rhizomes and rooting stems. This species can easily become invasive if conditions are to its liking. For example, whenever we cut the grass with our lawn mowers, this weed is chopped into little pieces, each of which will readily root and start a new plant. Millions of individuals can come from one single plant, much to the chagrin of the homeowner.

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Medium 9780870819247

CHAPTER TEN Third (or “Lone Star”) Geyser Basin

T. Scott Bryan University Press of Colorado ePub

The Third Geyser Basin (Map 10.1, Table 10.1, numbers 1 through 10) lies along Firehole River, about 5 miles upstream from Old Faithful. Nearly everybody refers to it as the “Lone Star Geyser Basin,” but that name has never had official status. The name “Third Geyser Basin” was first used in 1872 and was formally adopted by the geological survey of 1878. In terms of the number of geysers (only ten), this is Yellowstone’s smallest geyser basin. Its most prominent feature is Lone Star Geyser, named because of its isolated location with respect to the Old Faithful area.

The Lone Star Basin naturally divides into five parts, each of which contains at least one geyser. These groups, with their informal names, are shown on Map 10.1.

The Lone Star Basin is reached via a wide trail beginning from the main highway near the Kepler Cascades of Firehole River. An old road open to traffic until 1971, it is mostly paved and is recommended as a bike trail. The distance from the highway to Lone Star Geyser is about 2 miles. Partway along this trail, not far beyond the bridge over the river, is a small cluster of hot springs. The largest feature here, playing from a sinter crater on the hillside, is Halfway Spring. Usually active as a variable perpetual spouter, it has been known to act as a geyser with intervals and durations of a few seconds. Its height is up to 3 feet.

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Medium 9780253011824

8 Taking Off: The Late Cambrian

John Foster Indiana University Press ePub

8.1. Outcrops of the Upper Cambrian Weeks Formation in the House Range of Utah. (A) Quarry slope in North Canyon covered with silty limestone slabs. (B) Close-up of rock slabs and layering.

WE HAVE MOVED FORWARD THROUGH TIME NOW TO THE LATE Cambrian, the last 11 million years of the Cambrian period. Rocks of Late Cambrian age occur throughout much of North America, in part because by this time the ocean had risen high enough to flood even the low-lying parts of central Laurentia. No longer were the edges of the continent beachfront property; now there were shallow marine deposits and the life that lived in and around them as far inland as what would one day become Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Once again, after all this travel, we now find ourselves back in the House Range of Utah. We had visited here in our exploration of the late Middle Cambrian and the Wheeler and Marjum formations, but now we are back to see what rocks and fossils we can find from the very beginning of the Late Cambrian way out west, much farther offshore from the rocks of similar age in the Rockies and Black Hills. The rock unit we are interested in here lies just above the Marjum and is known as the Weeks Formation (fig. 7.1). It is exposed over the ridge from some Marjum Formation sites in a place called North Canyon (fig. 8.1a), where you can split open gigantic slabs of limestone with many brachiopods and a few trilobites on them.

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Medium 9781771870801


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
While picking chokecherries from a bush growing over an infant’s grave in “The Bush on the Grave”, Lloyd Ratzlaff reflects on the interconnectedness of everything, invoking a God he had left behind with his fundamentalist childhood.
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Medium 9780253006820

2. The Midwestern United States: Socioeconomic Context and Physical Climate

Sara C Pryor Indiana University Press ePub


The terms “midwestern United States” and “Midwest” have been applied to a range of sub-regions of the contiguous United States. The Census Bureau defines the Midwest region as comprising 12 states (listed from northwest to southeast): North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The U.S. Global Change Research program excludes the four most westerly states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas). The Midwestern Governors Association is an alliance of 10 states; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Thus there is no universally accepted definition of the region. In this chapter we provide data for the most inclusive definition of the Midwest—the thirteen states listed in Table 2.1 and shown in Figure 2.1. Using this domain definition, the Midwest has a combined population of about 71 million people, around 23 percent of the U.S. total population, and a total land area of approximately 505 million acres, which is about 22 percent of the U.S. total. Agriculture continues to be a key economic sector in the region. Accordingly, the percentage of the population defined as “urban” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture ranges from 46 percent in South Dakota to 87 percent in Illinois, the latter being the only state in the region that has a higher fraction of the population that is urban than the national average (Table 2.1). However, the Midwest is also home to a number of major metropolitan areas (including Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; and St Louis, Missouri).

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Medium 9781780646947

6: Observations on Some Ethnomedicinal Plants of Jharkhand

Ansari, A. CABI PDF


Observations on Some

Ethnomedicinal Plants of Jharkhand

Sanjeev Kumar*

Chief Conservator of Forests, Working Plans Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India


This chapter describes the indigenous knowledge associated with medicinal plants used by the tribal people of Jharkhand.

During an ethnobotanical survey, 100 plants were recorded. Such information can be utilized to improve the economy of the tribes by organizing the systematic collection of medicinal plants and their parts, and establishing cottage industries based on them. Conservation of biodiversity is always linked with tradition, hence such a study helps in developing strategy in this direction.

6.1  Introduction

People living in and around forests have been dependent upon them for most of human history.

In fact, the genesis of ethnobotany goes back to early humans, who started using plants for various purposes, including food, medicine, bark (as cloth), weapons to hunt animals, and other uses. Traditional knowledge evolved by trial and error. But ethnobotany in the modern era started only a century ago.

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Medium 9781605094649

4 Green Mosques

Abdul-Matin, Ibrahim Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The mosque is the center of religious and community life for Muslims. Around the globe, the mosque is primarily where people go to pray, but mosques also serve other functions as well. They are used as community centers where Muslims get married, gather after the sun sets in the holy month of Ramadan to end the daily fasting with a communal meal, and hold classes for youth—what some might call “Sunday school.” Given the centrality of the mosque in Muslim life, it is the perfect place to start promoting a Green Deen.

Remember, living a Green Deen means opening your heart to the possibility of understanding the Oneness of God and His creation (tawhid); seeing the signs of God (ayat) everywhere; being a steward of the Earth (khalifah); honoring the trust we have from God to be a protector of the planet (amana); moving toward justice (adl); and living in balance with nature (mizan).

A Green Deen starts with the greening of your local mosque. Mosques are buildings, and buildings are where we use the most energy and emit the most greenhouse gases. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39 percent of the energy and 74 percent of the electricity consumed each year in the United States.1 In New York City alone, buildings are responsible for nearly 80 percent of the city’s “carbon footprint,” or its total amount of greenhouse gas emissions.2

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Medium 9780892727834

Appendix D: Atlantic Puffins and Pelagic Birding

Duchesne, Bob Down East Books ePub

There are five Atlantic Puffin colonies off the Maine coast: Eastern Egg Rock, Matinicus Rock, Seal Island, Petit Manan, and Machias Seal Island. Adult puffins come ashore to breed in late April, and begin returning to the sea in August. Some linger into September, but the fruitful season for visitation is only about a dozen weeks long. Once they leave their islands, puffins disperse across the ocean and are seldom seen, even from boats. Puffins are not often seen from the mainland.

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