KOAT: Explosive devices detonated at 2 churches.
SF New Mexican: After nearly four decades, iconic Jackalope headed to auction.
So sad. One of those must-visit-regularly joints in Santa Fe; their wares grace so many homes in this area.
PS Mag: The Long Lasting Legacy of Droughts in Forests.
The effects of drought are deep and complex. Our tall pine and aspen forests are hanging on by a thread. At some point, more hardy species will take over. When the bark beetle killed the piñons in ‘03, our foothills here became denuded of >50% of their evergreen cover. The junipers have not made up the difference, so instead of green hills with small bits of rock showing, we have rocky foothills with clearly spotty tree cover. I look at photos I took pre-‘03, and it’s quite shocking. We get used to the ‘new look’ of things rather quickly, and forget even faster.
SF Reporter: Lower traffic counts around town could be tied to a still-weak economy ...
Depends on where you’re measuring. Sounds like statistical narrow focus to me. Try this: “St. Francis Drive between Zia Road and Siringo, which now sees an average of 43,799 cars daily, has seen growth, averaging 3 percent per year ...” The main feeder routes continue to get more jammed, IMHO.
Bizarre Magic Mouse behavior.
My Magic Mouse has begun an afternoon “Duh ... you want me to do something?” routine. It simply stops working intermittently between 4 and 7 in the afternoon. I’m wondering if a neighbor’s starting using some sort of powerful device using Bluetooth. I may have to go back to a USB mouse.
SF Reporter: Plague Death Confirmed - Santa Fe County woman died of plague.
“Dr. Joan Baumbach, the deputy state epidemiologist, tells SFR that it’s the health department’s policy not to release information on the location of where the 52-year-old woman likely contracted plague.” I should think it would save lives to pinpoint the location, despite a certain amount of concern on the part of residents. Plague is usually concentrated around rodent nesting areas in specific locations; radiating outwards as the summer wears on and the fleas get transferred by breeding populations.
Later: Pets are the usual vector for human infection. As the CDC explains it, plague fleas sit at the entrance to packrat and ground squirrel holes. A dog sticks their head in, and if the pet has no proper repellents applied, the dog will pick up the fleas and transfer them to their owners (adults and children). Please, PLEASE don’t waste time with essential oils, brewer’s yeast or other ‘home remedies’. You are putting everyone’s lives at risk. And if you wonder why people don’t appreciate your dog coming up to them unbidden on walking trails ... well, now you know why.
One reader noticed.
On July 19, one of my photographs got in the NY Times. Elana Resnick and Will Nomikos were resident scholars here in Santa Fe, at the School for Advanced Research. I offered to take their engagement portrait while they were here. Will and Elana are both sweethearts; smart as whips, fantastic to brainstorm with. They restore my faith in the next generation shepherding our world to a better plane. Congratulations, E and W!!! Best wishes for a fantastic future.
Later: Irony. I can’t see it, because I’ve overstayed my non-paying outside-of-paywall status. Readers, let me know if it looks good.
Register.UK: Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California.
“Possibilities include jamming drone control frequencies, shooting them down, or just letting firefighting aircraft drop water on a site like Cajon without fear of getting sued. With the popularity of drones increasing steadily and forest fire season coming to California, the politicians feel that legislation is needed.” I can’t blame them. One tap in a tail rotor, and down goes a helicopter. Difficult enough with airplanes and ‘copters in the same area [an aircraft pilot can’t tell, while in the air, what direction a helicopter is travelling in. Helicopters can move in multiple directions, not necessarily in the direction of the nose of the craft. This has caused so many crashes.] Drones? Even worse. Drones don’t belong, unless controlled by the emergency services themselves. Even then, it’ll be dicey with all the air choreography required.
If I were in a firefighting area and lives were at stake, you’d better believe I’d draw a bead with a shotgun and knock down the drone.
SciAm: Drought-Plagued Western States Play Politics with Water.
“If these states stopped effectively double-counting their resources, they would have to change laws, upend traditional water rights and likely force farmers and cities to accept even more dramatic cuts than they already face — a political third rail.” Keep your hand on your hogleg when you talk water around here. Seriously.
SF New Mexican: Ex-spy Valerie Plame accuses Mayor Gonzales of turning a deaf ear to constituents.
Bravo, Ms. Plame. Old Pecos/Old Santa Fe Trail is the best and most picturesque way to enter Santa Fe. I recommend it to all visitors. It’s already seen too much development in recent years, IMHO. We certainly don’t need more development along that stretch, nor do we need the requisite increase in traffic.
The National Weather Service says our drought is still receding ... but ...
If you dig in the earth, you’ll find the ground rock-hard about six-eight inches down. There may be plenty of water at the moment, but the longer-term, less-seen effects of drought are still manifest. It’s going to take a long period of wet years to undo what’s been done - and if we start getting dry again, it’s only going to allow drought to return with a vengeance.
NY Times: Santa Fe Opera Adds Performance of ‘Cold Mountain’.
Of note to locals and visitors.
New Mexico Department of Health Warns Residents about Tularemia
Discover: Latest Report - El Niño Continues to Bulk Up in the Pacific.
Yeow. Good skiing this winter. I’d better get those snow-removal alternatives lined up.
Guardian.UK: Two coyote attacks on young children prompt California to warn residents.
“Maybe just a handful of coyotes are acting a little aggressive, but in general they do a huge amount of service for the ecosystem. They’re great at rodent control.” Yes indeed. But don’t leave small children unattended in coyote areas - they’re as easy to snatch as household pets. And I’ve repeatedly posted here about what happens when the local coyote pack starts frequenting the area. The “Missing Pet” signs blossom like forsythia in the springtime. The pack can bring down pit bulls and rotts with relative ease.
SF New Mexican: Safety concerns may force removal of century-old tree in Sena Plaza.
“Last Wednesday evening, a heavy, 10-foot branch fell, hitting a table in the courtyard and pinning a female restaurant patron to the ground.” Read the whole thing. Points more to neglected maintenance, than reason for yanking the tree, methinks.
Archaeology News Network: Research shows how Spanish colonists changed life in the Middle Rio Grande
“I was expecting to see a turnover in the mammals people ate – a change from wild mammals to introduced domesticates, like sheep, goats and cattle - relatively early in the 17th or early 18th century. You would start with wild fauna which would then be mostly replaced by things like sheep, and goats and cattle. [snip] What I actually found was that this change doesn’t seem to occur until very late in the game in the late 19th and early 20th century.” History still lies very close to the skin here in New Mexico.
KOB: Former CNN reporter shoots, kills armed robber at Westside motel.
The big news here in the state. Former CNN anchorwoman Lynn Russell and her husband were attacked. They both have CCWs, and together they played along with the assailant until one of them could arm themselves. Long story short, Ms Russell’s husband got to a gun first and is in the hospital, took three shots, two bullets in the abdomen. The assailant is dead.
Unsurprisingly, they recommend CCWs. Best wishes for your swift recovery, Mr de Caro.
Later: I have to comment further ... usually the most lethal things at a Motel 6 are the rugs. No, wait. And the bedspreads. I’ve been known to lay trails of clean towels from the bedside to the bathroom, some have been that bad.
SF Reporter: Munching on Trees.
Unnerving to see, but the foliage will be back full next year. Saying it’ll ‘sort of’ recover by fall is a bit much, IMHO. The buggers eat all the foliage, leave ugly tents that fall away to dead leaf-skeletons.
“Flight of fancy ...”
Another from last eve ...
A LaSalle on the “Great Race.”
Got some great photos, but it’ll take time to finalize ‘em.
Oh damn! The Hemmings Motoring News Great Race is coming through Santa Fe tonight.
Gathering my gear in a small bag, heading over now ...
Coffee. Then linkage.
Coming off two days of punishing heat, with little relief during the nights ... a lovely storm last evening brought beautifully cool temps. Nice to get a good night’s sleep again. Grateful this morning, even if the cool is tinged with the smell of smoke from wildfires.
Something you’ll enjoy, from Motorado yesterday.
SF Reporter: Laissez-faire approach to fire in Santa Fe National Forest is clearing out dry fuels.
“TThe blue haze seen on Santa Fe’s horizon over the weekend was the result of a 3,500-acre fire burning west of Socorro just outside the community of Magdalena in the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands.”