Colorado Nature Quotes

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... there's a silent voice in the wilderness that we hear only when no one else is around. When you go far, far beyond, out across the netherlands of the Known, the din of human static slowly fades away, over and out.
Rob Schultheis (Fool's Gold: Lives, Loves, and Misadventures in the Four Corners Country)
The sky is a meadow of wildstar flowers.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
As dawn leaks into the sky it edits out the stars like excess punctuation marks, deleting asterisks and periods, commas, and semi-colons, leaving only unhinged thoughts rotating and pivoting, and unsecured words.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
The good-natured arguing that got your heart pumping, made you think, made you listen, made you feel just that bit more alive.
Kristen Ashley (Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain, #6))
I do not know, really, how we will survive without places like the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon to visit. Once in a lifetime, even, is enough. To feel the stripping down, an ebb of the press of conventional time, a radical change of proportion, an unspoken respect for others that elicits keen emotional pleasure, a quick intimate pounding of the heart. The living of life, any life, involves great and private pain, much of which we share with no one. In such places as the Inner Gorge the pain trails away from us. It is not so quiet there or so removed that you can hear yourself think, that you would even wish to; that comes later. You can hear your heart beat. That comes first.
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
Surely our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majesty all unmarred.
Theodore Roosevelt (Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter (Classics of American Sport))
I had come to the canyon with expectations. I wanted to see snowy egrets flying against the black schist at dusk; I saw blue-winged teal against the green waters at dawn. I had wanted to hear thunder rolling in the thousand-foot depths; I heard the guttural caw of four ravens…what any of us had come to see or do fell away. We found ourselves at each turn with what we had not imagined.
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
Still, some nights I grieved. I grieved as much at what I knew must be the fleeting nature of my present happiness as any loss, any past. We lived on some edge, if we ever lived on a rolling plain. Who knew what attack, what illness. That doubleness again. Like flying: the stillness and speed, serenity and danger.
Peter Heller (The Dog Stars)
This landscape is animate: it moves, transposes, builds, proceeds, shifts, always going on, never coming back, and one can only retain it in vignettes, impressions caught in a flash, flipped through in succession, leaving a richness of images imprinted on a sunburned retina.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
I pace the shallow sea, walking the time between, reflecting on the type of fossil I’d like to be. I guess I’d like my bones to be replaced by some vivid chert, a red ulna or radius, or maybe preserved as the track of some lug-soled creature locked in the sandstone- how did it walk, what did it eat, and did it love sunshine?
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
Emme and Deck talked as well as argued all the time about politics, current events, historical events, whatever. The good-natured arguing that got your heart pumping, made you think, made you listen, made you feel just that bit more alive. Elsbeth
Kristen Ashley (Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain, #6))
In 1998 Gordon Hempton, a sound recordist attempting to build a library of natural sounds, toured fifteen states west of the Mississippi and found only two areas--in the mountains of Colorado and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota--that were free of motors, aircraft, industrial clamor, or gunfire for more than fifteen minutes during daylight.
Robyn Griggs Lawrence (The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty)
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys. Yet the obvious fact that virtually all the rampage school shooters were middle-class white boys barely broke a ripple in the torrent of public discussion. This uniformity cut across all other differences among the shooters: some came from intact families, others from single-parent homes; some boys had acted violently in the past, and others were quiet and unassuming; some boys also expressed rage at their parents (two killed their parents the same morning), and others seemed to live in happy families.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
I sit watching until dusk, hypnotized. I think of the sea as continually sloshing back and forth, repetitive, but my psyche goes with the river- always loping downhill, purposeful, listening only to gravity.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
Light. Space. Light and space without time, I think, for this is a country with only the slightest traces of human history. In the doctrine of the geologists with their scheme of ages, eons and epochs all is flux, as Heraclitus taught, but from the mortally human point of view the landscape of the Colorado is like a section of eternity- timeless. In all my years in the canyon country I have yet see a rock fall, of its own volition, so to speak, aside from floods. To convince myself of the reality of change and therefore time I will sometimes push a stone over the edge of a cliff and watch it descend and wait- lighting my pipe- for the report of its impact and disintegration to return. Doing my bit to help, of course, aiding natural processes and verifying the hypotheses of geological morphology. But am not entirely convinced.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Putting on the collar is taking charge of unexpected situations. Keeping humans from taking control from me. To tell hunters that I'm not prey. Not a trophy by wearing the collar. I looked at the circlet again. Looking deeper, I see not subjugation, but a tool of power to control my fate in the world of man that symbolizes my ownership over both my nature spirit and wolf-self.
Jazz Feylynn (Colorado State of Mind (Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group Anthology, #3))
Looking deeper, I see not subjugation, but a tool of power to control my fate in the world of man that symbolizes my ownership over both my nature spirit and wolf-self.
Jazz Feylynn (Colorado State of Mind (Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group Anthology, #3))
A lot has happened. You have a lot to figure out. I can be a patient man, Colorado. A devastatingly handsome, roguishly scarred, heartbreakingly courageous, patient man.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals (The Naturals, #1))
The Big Dipper wheels on its bowl. In years hence it will have stopped looking like a saucepan and will resemble a sugar scoop as the earth continues to wobble and the dipper’s seven stars speed in different directions.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
Environmental influences also affect dopamine. From animal studies, we know that social stimulation is necessary for the growth of the nerve endings that release dopamine and for the growth of receptors that dopamine needs to bind to in order to do its work. In four-month-old monkeys, major alterations of dopamine and other neurotransmitter systems were found after only six days of separation from their mothers. “In these experiments,” writes Steven Dubovsky, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado, “loss of an important attachment appears to lead to less of an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Once these circuits stop functioning normally, it becomes more and more difficult to activate the mind.” A neuroscientific study published in 1998 showed that adult rats whose mothers had given them more licking, grooming and other physical-emotional contact during infancy had more efficient brain circuitry for reducing anxiety, as well as more receptors on nerve cells for the brain’s own natural tranquilizing chemicals. In other words, early interactions with the mother shaped the adult rat’s neurophysiological capacity to respond to stress. In another study, newborn animals reared in isolation had reduced dopamine activity in their prefrontal cortex — but not in other areas of the brain. That is, emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex, the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation. Given the relative complexity of human emotional interactions, the influence of the infant-parent relationship on human neurochemistry is bound to be even stronger. In the human infant, the growth of dopamine-rich nerve terminals and the development of dopamine receptors is stimulated by chemicals released in the brain during the experience of joy, the ecstatic joy that comes from the perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction. Happy interactions between mother and infant generate motivation and arousal by activating cells in the midbrain that release endorphins, thereby inducing in the infant a joyful, exhilarated state. They also trigger the release of dopamine. Both endorphins and dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex. Dopamine released from the midbrain also triggers the growth of nerve cells and blood vessels in the right prefrontal cortex and promotes the growth of dopamine receptors. A relative scarcity of such receptors and blood supply is thought to be one of the major physiological dimensions of ADD. The letters ADD may equally well stand for Attunement Deficit Disorder.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Off Spruce, there was a little known trail. A savage gulley wound through acreage of older residential homes that met up with Green Rock Drive. A natural bouquet gust of wind assaulted me. The domestic and native encroached on each other in a battle for dominance at the edges of the cramped path's undergrowth. The tangy scent of wild onion and sagebrush intermingled with the verdant odor of wild geranium, blue flax, columbine and creeping pussytoes. The wild weeds spiced up the encroaching grass turf and the tamed floral honeysuckle vines and lilac bushes.
Jazz Feylynn (Colorado State of Mind (Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group Anthology, #3))
there is method at work here, method of a fanatic order and perseverance: each groove in the rock leads to a natural channel of some kind, every channel to a ditch and gulch and ravine, each larger waterway to a canyon bottom or broad wash leading in turn to the Colorado River and the sea.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness)
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
Earth processes that seem trivially slow in human time can accomplish stunning work in geologic time. Let the Colorado River erode its bed by 1/100th of an inch each year (about the thickness of one of your fingernails.) Multiply it by six million years, and you’ve carved the Grand Canyon. Take the creeping pace of which the continents move (about two inches per year on average, or roughly as fast as your fingernails grow). Stretch that over thirty million years, and a continent will travel nearly 1,000 miles. Stretch that over a few billions years, and continents will have time to wander from the tropics to the poles and back, crunching together to assemble super-continents, break apart into new configurations- and do all of that again several times over. Deep time, it could be said, is Nature’s way of giving the Earth room for its history. The recognition of deep time might be geology’s paramount contribution to human knowledge.
Keith Meldahl (Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains)
Powell was first of all a scientist with a deep curiosity about nature, and this curiosity motivated his explorations. Because Powell viewed the landscape and waterscape as a scientist, he realized that the arid West couldn't fit into America's Manifest Destiny dreams, and thus he became a pioneering conservationist.
Don Lago (The Powell Expedition: New Discoveries about John Wesley Powell's 1869 River Journey)
There are also natural gifts of an on-the-road life. For instance, witnessing the northern lights in Colorado, or walking under a New Mexico moon bright enough to reveal the lines in my palm, or hearing the story of a solitary elephant in a Los Angelas zoo reunited with an elephant friend of many ears before, or finding myself snowed into Chicago with a fireplace, a friend and a reason to cancel everything. More reliably than anything else on earth, the road will force you to live in the present.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
There are other noteworthy characteristics of this rock art style: Anthropomorphs without headdresses instead sport horns, or antennae, or a series of concentric circles. Also prominent in many of the figures' hands are scepters--each one an expression of something significant in the natural world. Some look like lightning bolts, some like snakes; other burst from the fingers like stalks of ricegrass. Colorado Plateau rock-art expert Polly Schaafsma has interpreted these figures as otherworldly--drawn by shamans in isolated and special locations, seemingly as part of a ceremonial retreat. Schaafsma and others believe that the style reflects a spirituality common to all hunter-gatherer societies across the globe--a way of life that appreciates the natural world and employs the use of visions to gain understanding and appreciation of the human relationship to the earth. Typically, Schaafsma says, it is a spirituality that identifies strongly with animals and other aspects of nature--and one that does so with an interdependent rather than dominant perspective. To underscore the importance of art in such a culture, Schaafsma points to Aboriginal Australians, noting how, in a so-called primitive society, where forms of written and oral communication are considered (at least by our standards) to be limited, making art is "one means of defining the mystic tenets of one's faith.
Amy Irvine (Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land)
Unkar Delta at Mile 73 The layers of brick red sandstone, siltstone, and mudstone of the Dox formation deposited a billion years ago, erode easily, giving the landscape an open, rolling character very different that the narrow, limestone walled canyon upstream, both in lithology and color, fully fitting Van Dyke’s description of “raspberry-red color, tempered with a what-not of mauve, heliotrope, and violet.” Sediments flowing in from the west formed deltas, floodplains, and tidal flats, which indurated into these fine-grained sedimentary rocks thinly laid deposits of a restful sea, lined with shadows as precise as the staves of a musical score, ribboned layers, an elegant alteration of quiet siltings and delicious lappings, crinkled water compressed, solidified, lithified.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
Occasionally we glimpse the South Rim, four or five thousand feet above. From the rims the canyon seems oceanic; at the surface of the river the feeling is intimate. To someone up there with binoculars we seem utterly remote down here. It is this know dimension if distance and time and the perplexing question posed by the canyon itself- What is consequential? (in one’s life, in the life of human beings, in the life of a planet)- that reverberate constantly, and make the human inclination to judge (another person, another kind of thought) seem so eerie… Two kinds of time pass here: sitting at the edge of a sun-warmed pool watching blue dragonflies and black tadpoles. And the rapids: down the glassy-smooth tongue into a yawing trench, climb a ten-foot wall of standing water and fall into boiling, ferocious hydraulics…
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
The question haunted me, and the real answer came, as answers often do, not in the canyon but at an unlikely time and in an unexpected place, flying over the canyon at thirty thousand feet on my way to be a grandmother. My mind on other things, intending only to glance out, the exquisite smallness and delicacy of the river took me completely by surprise. In the hazy light of early morning, the canyon lay shrouded, the river flecked with glints of silver, reduced to a thin line of memory, blurred by a sudden realization that clouded my vision. The astonishing sense of connection with that river and canyon caught me completely unaware, and in a breath I understood the intense, protective loyalty so many people feel for the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It has to do with truth and beauty and love of this earth, the artifacts of a lifetime and the descant of a canyon wren at dawn.
Ann Zwinger (Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon)
From every direction, the place is under assault—and unlike in the past, the adversary is not concentrated in a single force, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, but takes the form of separate outfits conducting smaller attacks that are, in many ways, far more insidious. From directly above, the air-tour industry has succeeded in scuttling all efforts to dial it back, most recently through the intervention of Arizona’s senators, John Kyl and John McCain, and is continuing to destroy one of the canyon’s greatest treasures, which is its silence. From the east has come a dramatic increase in uranium-mining claims, while the once remote and untrammeled country of the North Rim now suffers from an ever-growing influx of recreational ATVs. On the South Rim, an Italian real estate company recently secured approval for a massive development whose water demands are all but guaranteed to compromise many of the canyon’s springs, along with the oases that they nourish. Worst of all, the Navajo tribe is currently planning to cooperate in constructing a monstrous tramway to the bottom of the canyon, complete with a restaurant and a resort, at the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado, the very spot where John Wesley Powell made his famous journal entry in the summer of 1869 about venturing “down the Great Unknown.” As vexing as all these things are, what Litton finds even more disheartening is the country’s failure to rally to the canyon’s defense—or for that matter, to the defense of its other imperiled natural wonders. The movement that he and David Brower helped build is not only in retreat but finds itself the target of bottomless contempt. On talk radio and cable TV, environmentalists are derided as “wackos” and “extremists.” The country has swung decisively toward something smaller and more selfish than what it once was, and in addition to ushering in a disdain for the notion that wilderness might have a value that extends beyond the metrics of economics or business, much of the nation ignorantly embraces the benefits of engineering and technology while simultaneously rejecting basic science.
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
Did dinosaurs sing? Was there a teeming, singing wilderness with all the species thumping around, tuning up for the next millennia? Of course, dinosaurs sang, I thought. They are the ancestors of the singing birds and cousins to the roaring crocodiles…turns out, no. Turns out the syrinx, the organ that produces birdsong and the larynx, the organ that produces operatic arias, didn’t evolve until after the dinosaur extinction event…Some dinosaurs blew air into their closed mouths and through nasal cavities into resonance chambers, which we see in fossils as bony crests. They made the forest echo with clear, ominous tones, eerily like a cello. I have heard it in recordings scientists made of the sound they produced when they blew air through crests constructed to mimic lambeosaurus’s. Some dinosaurs cooed to their mates like doves…turns out that even if dinosaurs didn’t sing, they danced. There is evidence in vigorous scrape marks found in 100-million year old Colorado sandstone. From the courting behavior of ostriches and grouse, scientists envision the dinosaur males coming together on courting grounds, bobbing and scratching, flaring their brilliant feathers and cooing. Imagine: huge animals, each weighing more than a dozen football teams, shaking the Earth for a chance at love. What the story of the dinosaurs tells me is that if the earth didn’t have music, it would waste no time inventing it. In birds, tantalizing evidence of birdsong is found in 67-million-year old fossils, marking the first know appearance of the syrinx. Now the whole Earth can chime, from deep in the sea to high in the atmosphere with the sounds of snapping shrimp, singing mice, roaring whales, moaning bears, clattering dragonflies, and a fish calling like a foghorn. Who could catalog the astonishing oeuvre of the Earth? And more songs are being created every year.
Kathleen Dean Moore (Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World)
Some years ago a leading media personality had a high-level conference in Aspen, Colorado, on the topic of evil. (Shouldn’t that meeting have been held elsewhere? South Los Angeles or Soweto?) The outcome was that one or two participants out of a large group thought that there was such a thing as evil. But most were either noncommittal on the point or certain that evil did not exist at all. When you heard their comments it was clear that they simply could not conceptualize the evil to be seen flourishing abundantly around them in the twentieth century. One of the most glaring evidences of the bankruptcy of contemporary ethical thinking is that it cannot deal with evil. A recent proposal to found a field of “Evil Studies” within academia will not be enthusiastically received.7 We should be very sure that the ruined soul is not one who has missed a few more or less important theological points and will flunk a theological examination at the end of life. Hell is not an “oops!” or a slip. One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort to avoid and escape God. “Outer darkness” is for one who, everything said, wants it, whose entire orientation has slowly and firmly set itself against God and therefore against how the universe actually is. It is for those who are disastrously in error about their own life and their place before God and man.8 The ruined soul must be willing to hear of and recognize its own ruin before it can find how to enter a different path, the path of eternal life that naturally leads into spiritual formation in Christlikeness.
Dallas Willard (Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ)
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I’m in a copse of ponderosa pine on the edge of an alpine meadow in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. A story emerges from the scrolling graph of the electronic sound probe. The tree is quiet through the morning, signaling an orderly and abundant flow of water from root to needle. If the previous afternoon brought rain, the quiet is prolonged. The tree itself makes this rainfall more likely. Resinous tree aromas drift to the sky, where each molecule of aroma serves as a focal point for the aggregation of water. Ponderosa, like balsam fir and ceibo, seeds clouds with its perfumes, making rain a little more likely. After a rainless day, the root’s morning beverage is brought by the soil community, a moistening without the help of rain. At night tree roots and soil fungi conspire to defy gravity and draw up water from the deeper layers of soil. By noon, the graph tracking ultrasound inflects upward. The soil has dried with the long day’s exposure to dry air and high-altitude sunshine. The species that survive, the gold resting in this alpine crucible, are those who can be miserly with water (with multiple adaptations like the ponderosa.
David George Haskell (The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors)
In Colorado’s snow country, we also hear two evergreens. One near to us, a ponderosa pine living in our own time. Another, the redwood, sings from the distant past. In the ecological dissonance between these two trees there is also an opening to a void, a path to emptiness. The petrified stump, a stony piece of flotsam carrying the memory of the past, reminds us of Earth’s unnegotiable law. What exists today will not exist tomorrow. Climate change is one expression this ephemerality. All the climate has ever done is change: cadences and glissandos of temperature and rainfall, sometimes bending slowly, sometimes screeching in jolts. This is the neverstill of rocks, air, life, water. Next to the petrified wood, the ponderosa cries in a igneous wind, prey to onslaughts of beetles or drought, caught in the change that humans have wrought.
David George Haskell (The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors)
Patterns of urban wildlife seem to lend credence to the antiurbanism of many environmentalists. Yet cities occupy just 3 percent of the world’s surface and house half of the human population. This intensification is efficient. The average citizen of New York releases less than one third of the US national average amount of carbon dioxide. Unlike those sprawling cities like Atlanta or Phoenix, New York’s carbon emissions from transportation have not risen in the last 30 years. Denver, despite its profligate lawns, water one quarter of Colorado’s population with 2 percent of the state’s water supply. Therefore, the high biodiversity of the countryside exists only because of the city. If all the world’s urban dwellers were to move to the country, native birds and plants would not fare well. Forests would fall, streams would become silted, and carbon dioxide concentrations would spike. This is no thought experiment. These outcomes are manifest in the cleared forests and such from suburban peripheries. Instead of lamenting a worldwide pattern of biological diminishment in urban areas, we might view statistics on bird and plant diversity as signs of augmented rural biological diversity, made possible by the compact city.
David George Haskell (The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors)
Bacteria simply divide themselves in two when the time seems right, as can many single-celled eukaryotes. Many plants and animals have the ability to reproduce themselves on their own quite comfortably. Even among the species that do reproduce sexually, many can switch over to cloning. If you walk through a stand of hundreds of quaking aspen trees on a Colorado mountainside, you may be walking through a forest of clones, produced not by seeds but by the roots of a single tree that come back up out of the ground to form new saplings. Hermaphrodites, such as sea slugs and earthworms, are equipped with male and female sex organs and can fertilize themselves or mate with another. Some species of lizards are all mothers: in a process called parthenogenesis, they somehow trigger their unfertilized eggs to start developing. Compared with these other ways to reproduce, sex is slow and costly. A hundred parthenogenetic female lizards can produce far more offspring than fifty males and fifty females. In only fifty generations, a single cloning lizard could swamp the descendants of a million sexual ones.
Carl Zimmer (Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures)
He then offered one of the most infamous pronouncements that has ever been made about the Grand Canyon: Ours has been the first, and will doubtless be the last, party of whites to visit this profitless locality. It seems intended by nature that the Colorado River, along the greater portion of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed. . . . Excepting when the melting snows send their annual torrents through the avenues to the Colorado, conveying with them sound and motion, these dismal abysses, and the arid table-lands that enclose them, are left as they have been for ages, in unbroken solitude and silence. That
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
And to say that the citizens of those rival domains did not always see eye to eye was a bit of an understatement, because each represented the antithesis of the other’s deepest values. To the engineers and the technicians who belonged to the world of the dam, Glen was no dead monolith but, rather, a living and breathing thing, a creature that pulsed with energy and dynamism. Perhaps even more important, the dam was also a triumphant capstone of human ingenuity, the culmination of a civil-engineering lineage that had seen its first florescence in the irrigation canals of ancient Mesopotamia and China, then shot like a bold arrow through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Industrial Revolution to reach its zenith here in the sun-scorched wastelands of the American Southwest. Glen embodied the glittering inspiration and the tenacious drive of the American century—a spirit that in other contexts had been responsible for harnessing the atom and putting men on the moon. As impressive as those other accomplishments may have been, nothing excelled the nobility of transforming one of the harshest deserts on earth into a vibrant garden. In the minds of its engineers and its managers, Glen affirmed everything that was right about America. To Kenton Grua and the river folk who inhabited the world of the canyon, however, the dam was an offense against nature. Thanks to Glen and a host of similar Reclamation projects along the Colorado, one of the greatest rivers in the West, had been reduced to little more than a giant plumbing system, a network of pipes and faucets and catchment tubs whose chief purpose lay in the dubious goal of bringing golf courses to Phoenix, swimming pools to Tucson, and air-conditioned shopping malls to Vegas. A magnificent waterway had been sacrificed on the altar of a technology that enabled people to prosper without limits, without balance, without any connection to the environment in which they lived—and in the process, fostered the delusion that the desert had been conquered. But in the eyes of the river folk, even that wasn’t the real cost. To
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
Of all my objections to Jonathan Crane—and it is a lengthy list—the one point I will concede is that sometimes Fear has a purpose. Sometimes, fear is nature’s way of saying: Whoa there, Sundance, you sure you want to be jumping off that cliff, what with the rocky bed of the Colorado River churning 300 feet below? Sometimes, Fear has a point.
Chris Dee (Cat-Tales Book 2)
Throughout the journey West, I had a raging fever. In a mere two days, we drove 1,925 miles from Connecticut to Colorado Springs, where we chose to break our journey. The further West we went, the sicker I seemed to become. As though the turmoil, rage, and grief within me were tightening their coiled grip, sensing that something was coming that would force it to relinquish their hold.
L.M. Browning (To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity)
A few years ago, I made a serious effort to get better about turning off the lights in my house, and my wife’s and my electricity consumption went down by a noticeable amount. But our overall energy consumption didn’t fall, because the money we saved on our electric bills helped to pay for a big anniversary trip that we took to Europe, and that means that the real impact of our reduction in household electricity use was merely to transform natural gas into jet fuel. As we get better at doing things, we do more things.
David Owen (Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River)
NT 1937 “The New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-dispersive Energy Through the Natural Medium.” In Elizabeth Raucher and Toby Grotz, eds. Tesla: 1984: Proceedings of the Tesla Centennial Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colo.: International Tesla Society, 1984, pp. 144-50.
Marc J. Seifer (Wizard: The Life And Times Of Nikola Tesla (Citadel Press Book))
We’re going to suggest what is for this culture a radical redefinition of what it means for an action to be “green” or “environmental,” which is that the action must tangibly benefit the natural world on the natural world’s own terms. Not that the action helps fuel the industrial economy. Not that the action makes your life easier. Not that the action seems like a success, such that it helps you not feel despair. The action must tangibly help tigers, or hammerhead sharks, or Coho salmon, or Pacific lampreys, or sea stars, or the oceans, or the Colorado River, or the Great Plains.
Derrick Jensen (Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It (Politics of the Living))
But this gargantuan dam in Glen Canyon, authorized in April 1956, and begun just five months later with appropriate presidential fanfare and a pig-tailed string of blasting sticks, wasn’t the first audacious impoundment of the Colorado. Twenty-five years before, in 1931, work had gotten under way in Black Canyon, 400 miles downstream, on an enormous dam that would ultimately be named for Herbert Hoover—the largest dam in the world at that time, and the first time engineers had been able to test their convictions that a high concave wedge of concrete could successfully stop a river. Often called Boulder Dam during the desperate Depression years of its construction, Hoover Dam claimed the lives of 110 men before a swarm of workers topped it out, but it also captured the wonder and pride of the nation at a time when there were few palpable symbols of America’s continuing might. It was a public work on the grandest scale imaginable, and its sweeping walls of concrete crowned by fluted, Deco-inspired intake towers attested to the fact that we as a nation knew we would be great again, signaled the certainty that our natural resources remained our secure and fundamental wealth.
Russell Martin (A Story that Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West)
The pons is active during meditation, as we breathe deeply and regularly. It’s associated with the production of delta and theta waves in the brain, which research shows turns on a host of healthy processes in your cells. These include increased stem-cell production and the repair of skin, bone, muscle, nerves, and cartilage. These brain waves also lengthen our telomeres, the most reliable marker of longevity. A remarkable ability of humans is that we are able to activate or deactivate all of these brain regions by consciousness alone. We can shift our thoughts deliberately with meditative practices or simply by focusing on different stimuli. The brain responds accordingly. We’ll see the extraordinary neural effects of this superpower of “selective attention” in Chapter 6, and the evolutionary implications in Chapter 8. Pons Activation Benefits Increases Decreases Quality REM sleep Insomnia Cell repair Longevity Energy Cell metabolism Melatonin Delta brain waves Theta brain waves Dream frequency and quality Lucid dreaming To the Brain, Imagination Is Reality For thousands of years, sages have assured us that our minds create our reality. In Proverbs 23:7, the poet tells us that, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Two thousand years ago the Buddha said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” Now neuroscience is showing us how true this is. An ingenious study measured how our brains respond to scenarios that exist only in our imaginations. A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder took 68 people and gave them a mild electric shock accompanied by a sound. They were then divided into three groups. The first group heard the sound repeatedly, though this time without the shock. The second group imagined the sound in their heads repeatedly. The third group imagined the pleasant natural music of rain and birds. The group imagining the sound showed the same brain activity as the one actually hearing the sound. Two brain regions, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens, lit up. As we’ve seen, the first regulates emotions like fear in the limbic system, while the second processes reward and aversion. Later, people in the “rain and birds” group were still afraid of the sound even when it was repeated many times without the shock. But those in the group that heard the real sound, as well as those imagining it, unlearned their fear. In neuroscience, this revision of reality is called “extinction learning.
Dawson Church (Bliss Brain: The Neuroscience of Remodeling Your Brain for Resilience, Creativity, and Joy)
Will nature rebel? Will the Colorado burst its dams? Will the cost of maintaining our enormous water and energy networks become prohibitive? Or will we ourselves rebel for spiritual and ascetic reason and put a brake on growth? No one really knows. But if we want to create a society in Arizona that is more than a series of booms and busts, we need to make the fit between nature and culture more like a membrane and less like a life-support system. There is too much at stake in this wild, dry land to do otherwise.
Thomas E. Sheridan (Arizona: A History)
Jenna Zulauf loves spending her free time both indoors working out and outdoors experiencing all that Colorado has to offer. Her favorite past time is hiking with her 3 German Shepherds. Jenna Zulauf has summited 14ers with her dogs right beside her, exploring nature's peace, calm and serenity in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Jenna Zulauf
Much more interesting was what lay further to the south. The next right off the two-lane after Mule Crossing came three miles later. It was a forest service track into a nature preserve labeled Roosevelt National something. It was right at the bottom of the map. Right on the state line. The third word would be on the first Colorado sheet. Forest, presumably. Teddy Roosevelt, Reacher supposed, not Franklin. The great naturalist, except for when he was shooting things like tigers and elephants. People were complicated.
Lee Child (The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22))
The Colorado Basin, then, is a few years away from permanent drought, and it will have to make do with whatever nature decrees the flow shall be. If the shortages were to be shared equally among the basin states, then things might not be so bad for Arizona. But this will obviously not be the case; there is that fateful clause stipulating that California shall always receive its full 4.4-million-acre-foot entitlement before Phoenix and Tucson receive a single drop. What began as an Olympian division of one river’s waters emerged, after fifty years of brokering, tinkering, and fine-tuning according to the dictates of political reality, as an ultimate testament to the West’s cardinal law: that water flows toward power and money.
Marc Reisner (Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water)
west. He liked the mild climate, the Sierras making it something like Colorado with a seashore. It took him several years to overcome the natural though secret belief of true New Yorkers, that people living somewhere else had to be, in some sense, kidding.
Gregory Benford (The Berlin Project)
In the face of this vision, Powell put forth another. What was needed above all else, Powell believed, was to know the land, to understand the land, and to react accordingly. This had practical consequences: while a cow might properly graze on a half-acre in the lush East, it would require fifty times that amount of land in most of the West. It followed that the standard acreage of settlement should be different, and it followed that settlement should take into account sources of water. Powell’s goal with his survey was to clearly map out the western lands, to determine what land could be realistically used for agriculture, which meant also determining where irrigation dams should be placed for best effect. In other words, his goal, to use Wendell Berry’s phrase, was to think about “land use” and to do so on a massive scale. Specifically, Powell wanted to think out the uses of land that would be the most beneficial and fruitful for the human beings living there, and for the entire ecosystem (though that word did not yet exist). From the Mormons, Powell learned how “salutary co-operation could be as a way of life, how much less wasteful than competition.” In the late 1880s, Powell wrote a General Plan for land use in the West that “reached to embrace the related problems of land, water, erosion, floods, soil conservation, even the new one of hydroelectric power” that was based on “the settled belief in the worth of the small farmer and the necessity of protecting him both from speculators and from natural conditions he did not understand and could not combat.” It was a methodical, sensible, scientific approach, essentially a declaration of interdependence between the people and their land, and the miracle is that it came very close to passing into law. But of course it met with fierce opposition from those who stood to profit from exploitation, from the boosters and boomers and politicians who thought it “unpatriotic” to describe the West as dry. After all, how dare he call their garden a desert? What right did he have to come in and determine what only free individuals should? Powell was attacked in the papers, slandered in Congress. According to Stegner, Congressman Thomas M. Patterson of Colorado referred to Powell as “this revolutionist,” and the overall attack on Powell “distinguished itself for bombast and ignorance and bad faith.
David Gessner (All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West)
It was not until 2014, more than two decades after the mastodon's discovery [a mastodon scavenged by humans in the Americas], that the tide decisively turned. Built on improved understanding of processes that incorporate natural uranium and its decay products in fossil bone, a newly enhanced technique, known as 230 Th/U radiometric dating, was now available that could settle the age of the Cerutti deposit once and for all. Deméré therefore sent several of the mastodon bones to the US Geological Survey in Colorado, where geologist Jim Paces, using the updated and refined technique, established beyond reasonable doubt that the bones were buried 130,000 years ago.
Graham Hancock (America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization)
Since the rains coincided with the headlong westward advance of settlement, the two must somehow be related. Professor Cyrus Thomas, a noted climatologist, was a leading proponent. “Since the territory [of Colorado] has begun to be settled,” he announced in declamatory tones, “towns and cities built up, farms cultivated, mines opened, and roads made and travelled, there has been a gradual increase in moisture. . . . I therefore give it as my firm conviction that this increase is of a permanent nature, and not periodical, and that it has commenced within eight years past, and that it is in some way connected to the settlement of the country, and that as population increases the moisture will increase.
Marc Reisner (Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water)
If some Mexican-Americans have their way, they will not have to go back to Mexico for burial; Mexico will come to them. What is called the Reconquista movement aims to break the Southwest off from the United States and reattach it to Mexico or establish it as an independent, all-Hispanic nation, thus reversing the territorial consequences of the Mexican-American war. Reconquista is widely promoted on college campuses. Charles Truxillo, a professor of Chicano studies at the University of New Mexico, thinks “Republica del Norte” would be a good name for a new Hispanic nation, which would contain all of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and the southern part of Colorado. The Albuquerque-born Prof. Truxillo says the new nation is “an inevitability,” and should be created “by any means necessary.” He doubts violence will be necessary, however, because shifting demographics will make the transition seem natural.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
Western Congressmen, in the 1970s, were perfectly willing to watch New York City collapse when it was threatened with bankruptcy and financial ruin. After all, New York was a profligate and sinful place and probably deserved such a fate. But they were not willing to see one acre of irrigated land succumb to the forces of nature, regardless of cost. So they authorized probably $1 billion worth of engineered solutions to the Colorado salinity problem in order that a few hundred upstream farmers could go on irrigating and poisoning the river. The Yuma Plant will remove the Colorado’s salt—actually just enough of it to fulfill our treaty obligations to Mexico—at a cost of around $300 per acre-foot of water. The upriver irrigators buy the same amount from the Bureau for three dollars and fifty cents.
Marc Reisner (Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water)