Archive for the ‘science’ Tag

Poe’s, Sonnet — To Science   Leave a comment

Photo-Artistry by kenne

Sonnet – To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

— Edgar Allen Poe

Freeing Our Hands To Pick The Mushrooms   2 comments

Mushroom August 21, 2015-8556 Grunge Art blogImage by kenne

If you are a follower of this blog, if not now, please set aside the time to listen to Amanda Palmer’s reading of Neil Gaiman’s ode to humanity’s unheralded originators of the scientific method. It is very, very powerful. Listen to the poets, poetry will save us from ourselves!  https://vimeo.com/214686538

THE MUSHROOM HUNTERS

Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.

In the old times, they say, the men came already fitted with brains
designed to follow flesh-beasts at a run,
to hurdle blindly into the unknown,
and then to find their way back home when lost
with a slain antelope to carry between them.
Or, on bad hunting days, nothing.

The women, who did not need to run down prey,
had brains that spotted landmarks and made paths between them
left at the thorn bush and across the scree
and look down in the bole of the half-fallen tree,
because sometimes there are mushrooms.

Before the flint club, or flint butcher’s tools,
The first tool of all was a sling for the baby
to keep our hands free
and something to put the berries and the mushrooms in,
the roots and the good leaves, the seeds and the crawlers.
Then a flint pestle to smash, to crush, to grind or break.

And sometimes men chased the beasts
into the deep woods,
and never came back.

Some mushrooms will kill you,
while some will show you gods
and some will feed the hunger in our bellies. Identify.
Others will kill us if we eat them raw,
and kill us again if we cook them once,
but if we boil them up in spring water, and pour the water away,
and then boil them once more, and pour the water away,
only then can we eat them safely. Observe.

Observe childbirth, measure the swell of bellies and the shape of breasts,
and through experience discover how to bring babies safely into the world.

Observe everything.

And the mushroom hunters walk the ways they walk
and watch the world, and see what they observe.
And some of them would thrive and lick their lips,
While others clutched their stomachs and expired.
So laws are made and handed down on what is safe. Formulate.

The tools we make to build our lives:
our clothes, our food, our path home…
all these things we base on observation,
on experiment, on measurement, on truth.

And science, you remember, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe,
based on observation, experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe these facts.

The race continues. An early scientist
drew beasts upon the walls of caves
to show her children, now all fat on mushrooms
and on berries, what would be safe to hunt.

The men go running on after beasts.

The scientists walk more slowly, over to the brow of the hill
and down to the water’s edge and past the place where the red clay runs.
They are carrying their babies in the slings they made,
freeing their hands to pick the mushrooms.

— Neil Gaiman

imagesIllustration by Beatrix Potter

Solar Rock — Computer Art   Leave a comment

Tosh Lawrence Nature WalkSolar Rock (First Posted January 2013) — Computer Art by kenne 

I like to believe that science is becoming mainstream. It should have never been something that sort of geeky people do and no one else thinks about. Whether or not, it will always be what geeky people do. It should, as a minimum, be what everybody thinks about because science is all around us.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tucson’s Sweetwater Wetlands   Leave a comment

 

Sweetwater Wetlands Park — Images by kenne

Tucson’s Sweetwater Wetlands is an artificial wetlands near the usually dry Santa Cruz river. The area is a part of a waste-water reclamation project developed in 1996. The park provides an urban wildlife habitat and outdoor classroom — a wildlife photographer’s paradise.

kenne 

“Water, water, water….There is no shortage of water
in the desert but exactly the right amount ,
a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand,
insuring that wide free open,
generous spacing among plants and animals,
homes and towns and cities,
which makes the arid West so different
from any other part of the nation.
There is no lack of water here unless you try to
establish a city where no city should be.” 

― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

“The Fire Debt Is Finally Coming Due”   5 comments

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David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star

“Much of the West is now a giant tinderbox, literally ready to combust. Yet thanks to fire suppression, the consequences have been postponed for decades.

“When you look at the long record, you see fire and climate moving together over decades, over centuries, over thousands of years,” said pyrogeographer Jennifer Marlon of Yale University, who earlier this year co-authored a study of long-term fire patterns in the American West.

“Then, when you look at the last century, you see the climate getting warmer and drier, but until the last couple decades the amount of fire was really low. We’ve pushed fire in the opposite direction you’d expect from climate,” Marlon said.

The fire debt is finally coming due.”

— Jennifer Marlon — Source: New York Times 

Understanding Global Warming   2 comments

dubai-aerial-anthropocene-615National Geographic “Age of Man” March 2011

Insolation Controls in the Age of Anthropocene
(Understanding Global Warming)

Anthropocene
newly coined term
a human condition
questioned by
the extreme right
argued as
alignment of
insolations
maxima and minima
questioning the new
condition
of our condition

kenne

Water in the Anthropocene from WelcomeAnthropocene on Vimeo.

Capturing The Moment — The Full Wolf Moon   2 comments

Misc 01-27-13Image by kenne

Having been born in the month of January, and given my independent nature, I feel a relationship to what some Native Americans called the Wolf Moon since it appeared when hunger wolves howled outside their villages. Technically the Wolf Moon occurred a little before midnight on the 26th. I seem to have more success in photographing the moon just before sunrise, so this Wolf Moon image was taken as it was about to set over the Tucson mountains.

On cold winter nights

Hunger wolves howl at the moon

A midnight high point.

kenne

Full Moon Rising Over The Black Mountains   4 comments

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012Full Moon Rising Over The Black Mountains — Images by kenne

Solar Rock   Leave a comment

Tosh Lawrence Nature WalkSolar Rock — Image by kenne

Posted January 2, 2013 by kenneturner in Art

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Capturing The Moment — Holiday’s Full Moon   2 comments

Christmas 2012

Full Moon Along The Colorado River At Laughlin, Nevada — Image by kenne

Ecocide Arizona Style — The Cow That Ate The West   11 comments

Peloncillo MountainsCattle Corral in the San Simon Valley — Images by kenne

Note: This article came about as a result of a scheduled duck hunting trip that went a bust. For several years Tom and some of his hunting buddies have gone hunting in the San Simon Valley. The valley contains several small ponds, little known to most duck hunters. Again this year, they were planning to hunt the riparian area of the valley. Tom asked me if I would like to go duck hunting. I told him I hunt only with a camera — the hunt was on.

Two days before the scheduled hunt we got word that there were no ducks in the valley — there was no water. Tom and I discussed the situation and decided to make it a photo expedition.

This posting is about the disappearing water in the San Simon Valley, which serves as a “poster child” of the west. Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued “a call to action”  a three-year study of the Colorado River and its ability to meet the future needs of city-dwellers, Native Americans, businesses, ranchers and farmers in the western states. 

“There is no one solution that is going to meet the needs of this challenge,” Salazar said. “We need to reduce our demand through conservation. We also need to augment supply with practical measures.” — Arizona Daily Star. December 13, 2012

Peloncillo Mountains

ECOCIDE ARIZONA STYLE

Tom Markey and Kenne G. Turner (November 2012)

PrintDuring its four years of operation (1857-1861), the Butterfield Overland Mail gave its passengers views of the some of the West’s most luxurious grasslands when its stagecoaches emerged from the Peloncillo Mountains, now a 19,440-acre wilderness area designated by Congress in 1990 along the Arizona – New Mexico border, and those stagecoaches descended through West Doubtful Canyon into the San Simon Valley in what became Cochise County, Arizona.

However, the graves of scalpees, such as that of John James Giddings (1821-1861), who was heading back east, attest to the pass’s prolonged perils at the hands of Apaches led by Cochise and Geronimo.

But a far worse peril than the Apaches could ever have imagined was soon to be visited upon the region.

In the fall of 1882, Will C. Barnes, former Medal of Honor awardee in the battle at Fort ApacheArizona Territory, wrote in “Herds In San Simon Valley – What Happen To The Promise Land of Arizona’s Oldtime Cattlemen?” of his personal experience in seeking a suitable location for raising a few cattle. He was advised by an old Army officer, having chased Apaches throughout the area, that the San Simon Valley might be a suitable location.

After spending ten days riding over the valley, Barnes decided he had found his “promised land.” The river, although an “intermittent affair,” provided for a riparian area as it quietly flowed through the lush grassland.

By 1885 or so those once lush grasslands (around Chaney Place … as one bearing point) in the San Simon Valley were already seriously overgrazed by an estimated 55,000 cattle and in danger of disastrous erosion and eventual desertification: an Arizona-style ecocide as the cow that ate the West and exhausted its fragile water sources was well on its way; see Lynn Jacobs’ classic, Waste of the West: Public Lands Ranching (1991).

Dry Riparian Area In The San Simon Valley

Dry Riparian Area In The San Simon Valley

The stunning classic account of this disaster is Marc Reisner‘s 1986 Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. A four-part television documentary based on a revised version of the book was produced by KTEH-TV, the PBS affiliate in San José, California, in 1996. The parts are entitled Mulholland’s Dream, An American Nile, The Mercy of Nature, and The Last Oasis.  

Ecocide is, by the way, a term used to refer to any large-scale destruction of a natural environment by over-consumption of critical non-renewable resources. The word’s fatal significance is repeatedly illustrated by Jared Diamond in his vastly successful Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005, with a revised edition from 2011), which chronicles a series of major ecological disasters such as Easter Island.

The San Simon Subbasin, some 1,930 square miles north and south of Interstate 10 in southeastern Arizona that extends into New Mexico is well on its way to becoming another ecocide success, and this is particularly true of the closed drainage basin of San Simon Valley that is north of Interstate 10 between Orange Butte (5,250 feet) on its eastern edge and Javelina Peak (5,592 feet) to the northwest. The surrounding area is an ancient volcanic eruptive hot spot primarily composed of basaltic to rhyolitic rocks from some 16 to 30 million years ago. Its tectonic underpinnings are still unstable; the San Simon Basin regularly experiences earthquakes of significant magnitude about every 50 years or so. And surface water comes and goes with the rhythms of this geological instability. The earthquake of May 4th, 1887, had an estimated Richter magnitude of 7.2.

Peloncillo Mountains

Cattle Watering Pond

The water resources of the region have always been marginal. In 1934 Will C. Barnes wrote after revisiting the valley: “Many of the old valuable grasses and forage plants were gone. The green meadows were replaced by wide expanses of drifting sand. Of running water, except during the summer rains when floods occurred, there was almost none.”

Today, the San Simon and Whitlock Cienega are both dry, as is nearby Parks Lake. Only a few artesian wells in the area are still flowing, and artesian pressure has been steadily decreasing: windmills had long had to assist the water to reach the surface, and even these have failed recently, and dry tanks are increasingly abandoned.

Any significant groundwater resources are limited to a network of aquifers, and in-depth investigations of the economic aspects of aquifer water quality are, remarkably, a relatively young field. Increases in salinity from irrigation re-charge and undesirable mineral content in irrigation water from ambient groundwater and aquifers have, however, already been indicated in the San Simon Valley. According to an Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ 2002) Baseline Study from 2004, groundwater in the lower or artesian aquifer rarely met health-based standards because of frequently elevated fluoride or arsenic concentrations. Then, too, groundwater in the upper aquifer often also did not meet health-based standards because of elevated fluoride or nitrate concentrations.

Peloncillo Mountains

Dry Water Detention Area

The Bowie pistachio plantation contact is Jim Cook of the Pistachio Corporation of Arizona, Bowie (520-847-2554).

Sky Island Alliance (SIA) is currently conducting a statewide “Spring’s Inventory” and reports that fifty springs will have been inventoried by the end of 2013. SIA should be encouraged to conduct a follow-up of the ADEQ 2002 Baseline Study of the San Simon Basin and note the changes during the past decade.

The now dry detention dam lakes no matter how shallow they were (1-2 feet), in the San Simon Basin north of Bowie and San Simon were convenient stop-overs for numerous species of migratory ducks, but no more: no ducks were sighted in the area again this season, and one by one the ponds in the area have been going dry at a rapid rate over the past four years.

Dry Detention Dam Lake

Dry Detention Dam Lake

To make the ecological situation of this threatened area even worse, in the Sierra Club’s Rincon Group Newsletter (July – September 2012), Russell Lowes reports that Southwestern Power Group (SWPG) wants to build a large natural gas plant (SunZia) north of the Chiricahua Mountains near Bowie, and this would certainly be a significant source of pollution, even as far west as Tucson. The start-up is now planned for 2015 after the local Board of Supervisors granted the developers a construction permit extension in November of 2009.

The agency that is controlling the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the projected Bowie natural gas plant is, as you might suspect, the perennial rancher’s friend who continues to support a no longer economically viable way of cowboy life at taxpayer expense across the West, namely the federal Bureau of Land Management.

According to some environmentalists (Cascabel Working Group, July 17th, 2011), SWPG has “intentionally hidden its intended use of SunZia (Southwest Transmission Project) for the Bowie plant and appears to have misrepresented the project as delivering primarily renewable energy to gain the support of governmental, environmental and public interests to expedite the project’s construction.” 

Hydrographic declines (subsidence) in the Bowie area have been recorded since the 1980s as part of surveys of pre-consolidation stress on aquifer systems, but there do not seem to be more recent post-plantation reports from the area; see Water Resources Research for June 1981 which cites a local decline of more than 278 feet since 1952 in a well five miles east of Bowie.

There seems to be a lack of up to date water demand estimate studies for the area, and, if this is the case, it is probably masking a serious case of Arizona-style ecocide.

The promised land that Will C. Barnes wrote about years ago was in the making for centuries and cannot be restored in just a few years: “The present emergency offers a vast field for true conservation. But remember this, it will not be accomplished in a year or a dozen years. And most of all, to succeed, it will require conscientious cooperation by every stockman using these lands. In no other way will it be brought about,” wrote Barnes. He concluded that the valley was not an isolated or unusual area. “All over the West, similar areas are now going through the same destructive process of erosion.”

Peloncillo MountainsImages by kenne

Click here to see a slideshow of Kenne Turner’s San Simon Valley images. 

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Lordsburg Playa   Leave a comment

Doubtful Canyon Weekend Dec 2012

Looking east from the Peloncillo Mountains over the Lordsburg Playa. — Image by kenne

The Lordsburg Playa is a large alkaline lake that contains deposits of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate and chloride. It is considered a good example of a mineral soil flat wetland, which are barren, generally dry, flat, and undrained. The Sky Island Alliance classifies the area unworthy of any conservation effort except that an important aquatic arthropod assemblage survives there and flourishes when the playa holds water.

Surrounding the  flats is a zone of vegetation in strongly alkaline soil that is not diverse but contains some rare plant species worthy of conservation efforts. The greatest threat to this community is grazing, since the vegetation that grows there can tap water resources throughout the year.

kenne

Peloncillo Mountains

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