Stargazing

Starry Eyed: Stargazing Trips Take Another Round

For all of our musings about what’s ‘innate’ in our human personalities and culture, we actually know very little about what human beings have been doing and feeling for the majority of our time on this planet. We don’t have journals from the paleolithic era to tell us how early humans felt about their existential Read More

A Seasonal Soaking: Monsoons in the West

Sometimes it’s the absence of a thing that reveals and sharpens its importance. The lover who is away, the friend who has passed on, these pangs of loss help us to reorganize our lives around the things that matter most to us. Lack reminds us to celebrate the return of abundance. The desert knows this Read More

Taking Shape: The Deposition of a River

Sometimes change occurs in a single, catastrophic swipe of fate or a sudden, glorious moment of victory. More often, we look back to a decade ago and realize, quizzically, that we are a totally different person now. Some mysterious combination of everyday interactions slowly wore upon our old beliefs and habits, and built new layers Read More

River Trip Inspired Poetry, by Brett Hoffmann

If I Had Drifted Along the towering canyon walls that echoed sounds for miles… and had I flown through the spray from swift rapids that carved an array of rock forms tangled with the earths plates, that shoot into the clear blue sky… for the Moose, Deer, Big Horn sheep and all wildlife to thrive… Read More

Rhapsody on River Foam

  Guides call it ‘beaver vomit,’ the plumes of brown foam along the river. When you first see the lines of froth, you might suspect foul play and pollution. But long-time Holiday guide Lauren Wood reassured me: “This is the good stuff. This is a healthy river.” Lauren’s words, as they often do, cajoled me Read More

What’s Right With Uintah County: In Eight Parts

A market analyst once told me about God’s plan for dirt. He said it’s all well and good to talk about how special land is when I’m in a spectacular red rock national park, like Arches — but, he asserted, “other places God just stuck dirt to keep the earth from falling apart.” This wasn’t Read More

Evil Weeds and Post-apocalyptic Permaculture

Don’t try to tell me tamarisk isn’t pretty. I’ve scratched my skin to ribbons on those ruddy twigs, those blue-green feathers of leaves and plumes of purple dust-flowers. I know beauty when I see it. It’s called Tamarix chinensis, as in China, where it rightfully, geographically, ecologically belongs. But it was brought here because it Read More

Feathered Velociraptors on the River

Bird Day is Saturday, May 14th, and there’s bound to be a fun-and-feather-filled celebration near you! Here are some reasons to give a day to the fierce little dinosaurs who live on the river. We put cute birdies on bland Hallmark cards and ladies hats and Portland’s pillows, but here’s the scientific truth: Birds are Read More

Saved by the Rodent: beavers build hope for the West

In the deserts of the West, the most precious resource is water, and that water has a guardian, and that guardian is a very big rodent. We see their wet fur in glimpses, or startle at their warning-slap on the water, recognizing that the danger they’re shouting is us. Or maybe we only see the Read More

Fighting the Current: Deleted Words and Depleted Rivers

Over the past decade, Oxford Junior Dictionary has weeded nature out of its words. Acorn, Apricot, Blackberry, Dandelion — the plants have wilted straight out of the text, along with their animal kin Beaver, Heron, Cheetah. Their empty posts have been taken by Broadband, MP3 player, Chatroom (tellingly, Allergy, Drought, and Endangered have also made Read More