This Train Keeps Rolling Along

New Railroad Tracks for the Rail Runner

Are you wondering about the railroad construction stretching from downtown past La Bajada hill to the south? All that construction is a big clue that the New Mexico Rail Runner Express is coming to Santa Fe.

Fighting Dirty Coal in the Four Corners

Coal Plant Smokestacks

On July 31, 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency issued a PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) permit for the Desert Rock Energy Facility in New Mexico's Four Corner's region. In response, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Attorney General Gary King announced their intention to immediately file an appeal of the U.S.

Why I Garden #8

Delicata Squash Blossom

Blossoms on Delicata Squash (Cucurbita pepo) vines in the garden. Delicata (a.k.a. Sweet Potato Squash) is a heirloom variety with great flavor, but it is uncommon in the grocery store given its softer skin which doesn't stand up well to rough handling. So far it's been pretty easy to grow for us and forms the base of our Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) garden bed.

More Info:

Wikipedia - Winter Squash

Stay On the Trail

Blooming Cholla Cactus

Here's another plant that serves many purposes in the desert Southwest. Cholla (genus Cylindropuntia, family Cactaceae) grows in the plains and foothills across the Southwest. It's a native species, closely related to the Prickly Pear, that grows in thin soil and on hot, dry sun-baked locations.

Governor Extends State Ban on Oil & Gas Drilling in Santa Fe County

Great Seal of the State of New Mexico

Governor Richardson has extended a state ban on new crude oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin through January 24, 2009. The moratorium will allow more time for government agencies to gather information and begin rulemakings to protect water aquifers, archaeological and cultural resources, and wildlife in this ecologically fragile area.

Does a Bear Commute in the Woods?

Traffic Signal in the Forest

How do you use your National Forests? Are you a camper, hiker, equestrian, mountain biker, motorcyclist or an Off-road driver? Given that the National Forests aren't growing (in acreage) but the number of users is, there is some friction between different user groups. To address growing traffic in the woods, the US Forest Service is asking for your input on how our National Forests should be used in a new Travel Management Plan.

The Santa Fe National Forest released its

The Omnivore's Solution - a review of 'In Defense of Food'

In Defense of Food cover

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

Those were the simple directions at the end of The Omnivore's Dilemma. It's a straightforward and direct answer to the question "What should people eat?" Yet somehow, that wasn't clear enough for a lot of people. What is food? How much is too much? What kind of plants? Etcetera and so on. So, Michael Pollan wrote In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

Building a Better Firework

Ancient Chinese Firework Rocket

The Fourth of July is a holiday famous for parades, back-yard barbecue and fireworks. What could be more wholesome, festive and fun? Well, maybe a little less pollution from the fireworks would be nice.

Stop to Smell the Flowers, Carefully

Bee pollinating Prickly Pear Cactus bloom

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the flowers. But, smell carefully. The cacti are in bloom along the Dorothy Stewart trail where I saw a bee busily collecting nectar and spreading pollen on this Prickly Pear blossom. It was definitely worth taking a moment to smell the flowers to see this, despite getting drenched in a downpour later on that mountain bike ride.

More Info:

Wikipedia: Prickly Pear Cactus

Wikipedia: Bees

How to Kill (or at least, wound) the Solar Industry in America

Concentrating Solar Power Trough

UPDATE - July 2, 2008
The BLM has reversed its earlier decision and will continue to receive and review applications for utility scale solar power projects while it develops a unified PEIS. Click for the Press Release. It looks like the public comments had a direct influence on the BLM!

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