And not just any land, but the whole revered open space immediately west of our box canyon community, our face on the world (surrounded as we are on three sides by the San Juan Mountains) … But Tom’s no stranger to good deeds (although this latest may be unparalleled in his personal philanthropy). But having seen the 2003 Mountainfilm screening of Josh Peace’s film, Aki’s Story and heard Aki Ra himself speak, Shadyac anted up $85,000 for the Cambodian Land Mine Museum project <www.cambodialandminemuseum.org> which certainly made me an admirer of him back then … Welcome all festival-goers. I may get to see a few of you at the Sheridan Opera House, where I hope to be emceeing in the mornings.
GREEN THUMBS UP … Telluride did the right thing in preserving the open high valley floor headwaters of the San Miguel that prospectors and surveyors first commented on – this high alpine tarn-turned-park. From Brown to Crofutt, it was the spectacular horizontal expanse of the place (the empty echo of a once-mighty glacier) – embraced on three sides by near-vertical slopes – that made the landscape so extraordinary. The postcard from Society Turn will remain extraordinary forever … And just as Telluride will have a cherished library (thank you, Robin) larger than you’d expect for a town this size, so will it be bounded into the future on both sides by town parks far bigger than to be expected.
BLUE THUMBS DOWN … Who can complain of flooding from too much water after a half-decade of droughts? A super-moisture year may wreck havoc with my more immediate plans (like planting my 49 varieties of potato at Cloud Acre or fixing my irrigation pump) but in the long term it’s a very shallow complaint … Go ahead, gods & goddesses. Douse us! We promise never begrudge the skies water again!
THE RED FINGER … to the Colorado Department of Transportation for CDOT’s baregrounding of its Highway 145 barrow ditches around Norwood (against the advice of the county weed manager), and the current spring infestation of cheatgrass on that same public ground (and its spreading to nearby private fields).
SPEED … Most of us get addicted at some point in our lives. If not to the drug (which, like meth, is quite nasty stuff, IMHO). Then to the hurtling along at speeds far beyond what few humans have ever experienced in their 100,000-or-so-year history (except perhaps those falling to their deaths from great heights) … And, while it may be addictive, it’s not good eco-practice. In cars, fuel economy drops 17 percent on average, when one drives 70 versus 55 miles per hour in a vehicle. Idling produces zero miles per gallon, yet 25 pounds of greenhouse gases is emitted by a vehicle for every gallon of fuel it burns.
SPEAKING OF ENERGY … Buying food from farmers markets or other local and regional sources saves the emissions associated with trucking food in this wasteful country of ours the current average of over 2,000 “food miles” … The EPA has calculated that if every American household replaced only one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would reduce national global warming emissions by the equivalent of taking 800,000 cars off the road (So long’s we remember to dispose of those fluorescents with their essential mercury as hazardous wastes).
TRANS FATS AND FERTILITY: Well, it appears the U.S. food industry is working effectively to control its population -- in spite of fundamentalist Republicans. The January 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a study of 18,555 women with a history of infertility found that, for every two percent of calories consumed from trans fats instead of mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil (viva Italia!), the risk of ovulatory infertility doubled.
THE TALKING GOURD
falling asleep at the wheel
Dolores River guardrail to my left
& a sandstone wall of spruce to my right
just past Stoner & the West Fork
I sense this involuntary jolt
as though even half asleep
I could grok rock
sense its hold here & hard
for just an instant in that zone
between this curve & what’s next