ScienceDaily: The Red Queen was right— Life must continually evolve to avoid extinction.
“The death of individual species shouldn’t be the only concern for biologists worried about animal groups, such as frogs or the ‘big cats,’ going extinct. A University of California, Berkeley, study has found that a lack of new, emerging species also contributes to extinction.”
Las Cruces Sun-News: Residents—Action needed on NM mine due to cancer.
“Residents showed Curry a ‘death map’ showing illnesses clustered in a small area just south and west of the site.” While, on the other hand, NM is working to allow a new uranium mine near Mount Taylor (one of the Navajo’s sacred mountains) at the same time.
New Scientist: Scuppered barges plug dyke to hold back German flood.
That’s quick thinking. I approve.
NOAA: NOAA, partners predict possible record-setting deadzone for Gulf of Mexico.
Very PC. Nutrients are at fault. Looking that up, it’s nitrogen and phosphorus, from treated sewage and agricultural fertilizers. Interesting to note that the Gulf’s dead zone began appearing in 1950, earliest recorded observation.
Tres Lagunas: 90% contained, 10,219 acres.
Jaroso: 0% contained, 3,546 acres (this one may roar back to life at the end of this week, when the drying/wind trend returns).
Thompson Ridge: 80% contained, 23,903 acres.
Silver: 5% contained, 23,200 acres.
Thompson Ridge was feeding most of the smoke to our area; it’s been a lovely two days sans significant smoke. We even had a half-decent sunset last evening. I hope the reprieve continues.
Coyote Crossing: Driving through Arches with Ed Abbey.
For fellow-fans of Cactus Ed.
Our baby bluebirds are fledging.
Quite something to watch.
DiscoveryMagazine: On the Verge of Another Extraordinary Greenland Meltdown?
Wait and see. There were significant variations last year (trying to be optimistic).
BBC: Oxygen mystery—How marine mammals hold their breath
“The team studied myoglobin, an oxygen-storing protein in mammals’ muscles and found that, in whales and seals, it has special ‘non-stick’ properties. This allowed the animals to pack huge amounts of oxygen into their muscles without ‘clogging them up’.”
Our local rabbit’s pretty smart.
I’ve seen her camping out under our minivan for extended periods over the last two days. The driveway’s concrete … and is blisteringly hot in the sun (no walking barefoot across it). I moseyed on over to put my hand in the shade of the van, and was surprised to find it cool … very cool. Nearly air-conditioned-quality cool. I then compared it to the ground temp in the shade of a nearby tree—not even close. Tree-shade’s still hot.
That’s no ‘dumb bunny.’
Today’s Fire Updates.
Jaroso: 0% contained, fluctuating acreage measurements. Today, they’ve pulled it down to 3538 acres by infrared. There was a very large thunderstorm over this area last evening, with entertaining lightning. I expected other ‘starts’ this morning, but haven’t heard of any (thank goodness).
Thompson Ridge: 60% contained, 23,946 acres burned. I see in the news, they’ve pulled that beautiful DC-10 air tanker off this fire and moved it to the Colorado Black Forest fire. Structures are involved in CO, they get the preference in equipment, I suppose.
Tres Lagunas: 80% containment, 10,282 acres burned. Great news as this continues to get mopped up.
Silver: I haven’t mentioned this one much - it’s down in the Gila Wilderness. It’s another monster, 18,800 acres and no containment.
Milder smoke in the area overnight. Still dangerous for those with respiratory problems.
ArtDaily: “Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom” is Field Museum’s latest exhibition.
Missing a vital component. The smell, that awful smell that is pervasive … and hopefully not permanent.
NMFireInfo: Tres Lagunas update.
77% containment. Mop-up. Didn’t reach Jack’s Creek or Hamilton Mesa, thank goodness.
SF New Mexican: County OKs fireworks ban.
“With smoke from multiple forest fires billowing over ridge tops in the Santa Fe area, Santa Fe County officials voted Tuesday to ban certain fireworks in advance of the Fourth of July holiday.” Thank God.
NMFireInfo: Jaroso Fire Update - June 11, 2013, 9 p.m.
Woke up to thick smoke this morning. Dangerous for breathing-compromised folks. Luckily we plan ahead. I’ve got a double-filter HEPA filter that I run, and I taped off all the vents in the house (fireplace … even the bathroom fan vent opening). We’re OK for the moment. Feel sorry for folks who haven’t prepared for this kind of thing.
It’s the heat that slays us. Air conditioners transport the smoke, somewhat diminished, inside the house. Can’t open the windows. You just sit and swelter. Can’t run the computers if it’s too hot. Forecast for 96 again today, probably going to reach 100.
Later: New update - 8,000 acres. Burning Pecos Baldy.
NM Watchdog: Dry, drier and driest—Trying to tackle NM’s drought.
The graphics pretty much say it all.
And a great illustration of fire behavior - Jaroso at 8:15pm.
Heat and wind have diminished as the sun’s gone down, and the fire activity gutters. Too bad they can’t light it and hit it at night with aerial bombers. Note - this image is getting almost *no* traffic, in comparison with my other more dramatic shots. This afternoon’s shot picks up all the interest.
Jaroso Wildfire, taken just a few minutes ago.
When wind and heat peak at the end of the day, you get wildfire plumes and clouds like this. Dramatic as hell. We used to get scared - seen too many of ‘em now.
Later: Comparing the above photo to the old Pacheco fire from two years ago, I’d say Jaroso is much, much larger. Pacheco was miles closer to my front yard, from which both of these were photographed from.
Best news first.
Tres Lagunas, the fire in the Pecos Wilderness to the northeast of my home, is at 70% containment. Huzzah to the firefighters and their support organizations.
Thompson Ridge, west of Santa Fe in the Jemez Mountains near the old Las Conchas burn, still pouring smoke over the Santa Fe metro area and choking us to death nightly, is at 50% containment. They’ve got the monstrous DC-10 jet airtanker over there, trying to keep some green in the Valles Caldera. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, I shared a video (taken by another party) of the jet in action. Awesome.
Jaroso, the new wildfire in the area, north of Santa Fe, is at zero containment. Too hot, too rugged. No roads to speak of. It’s moving north and east, away from structures … and, some are reporting it’s moving *away* from the huge tree blowdown area. This fire would have some significant benefits to the environment, if they can herd and manage the edges. Early hours yet on this one. Gotta wait and see.
Editorial comment: I. AM. SICK. OF. BREATHING. SMOKE.
SF New Mexican: New fire burning in Pecos Wilderness.
More on the Jaroso Fire I illustrated last night: “… if the Jaroso Fire remains completely out of control, and without rain in sight to slow it down, the inferno could spread east to Rascon and north into the Carson National Forest. With three other large fires burning in the state, the Jaroso Fire adds to the competition for firefighting resources. More fires are likely to start as lightning storms roll through New Mexico.” And we’re as dry as we’ve ever been. Just peachy.
I was a little heavy-handed with the contrast/clarity enhancement here, but I wanted to bring out the color of the smoke.
A THIRD wildfire, just started this afternoon.
Looks very close to the old Pacheco fire scar (hope so; less fuel). 10 miles south of Truchas.
Still getting pretty nasty smoke from Thompson Ridge. Terrible to have to close up the house on cool nights because of smoke. The envelope of the house can’t get cool, and makes working on computers during the day like sweating on a chain gang.
Can’t wait for these fires to be out.
SF New Mexican: Contractors take to the skies to help fight Northern New Mexico wildfires.
SciAm: Plastic Bags Litter Seafloor.
“So remember, we may throw things away—but that doesn’t mean that they go away.” Photos next time, SciAm.