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Table of contents
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- Both Sides Now appears on:
- Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now - lyrics
- The Lost Canyon Springs Series by Candace E. Salima
The scenery around us was wonderful and, if you remembered that about four-fifths of it was underwater, terrible, like seeing a giantess sentenced to stand immersed up to her neck. Mark, Byron, and I were trying to see beneath the surface of the present to find the past. Somewhere below us, Dungeon Canyon tapered like a funnel. At its bottom was an intricate stone passage where, 50 years earlier, the environmental photographer Eliot Porter had walked across the sandy floor to make pictures of the dry world about to drown.
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His photographs show a sculptural space of twisting stone walls, light filtering down to make one of them glow carnelian. A pioneer of color photography, Porter made images of the natural world, often in close-up or full of texture, often without the usual sky and spaciousness of previous landscape photography. His early books, published by the Sierra Club, were powerful lobbying tools and played a role in creating a new public appreciation and appetite for the idea of wilderness.
On a map, Glen Canyon before its submersion looks like a centipede: a mile-long central canyon bending and twisting with a host of little canyons like legs on either side. Those side canyons were sometimes hundreds of feet deep; some were so cramped you could touch both walls with your outstretched hands; some had year-round running water in them or potholes that explorers had to swim across. Sometimes in the cool shade of side-canyon ledges and crevices, ferns and other moisture-loving plants made hanging gardens.
Like Dungeon Canyon, they are now mostly underwater. But this old world is re-emerging, and its fate is being debated again. The future we foresee is often not the one we get, and Lake Powell is shriveling, thanks to more water consumption and less water supply than anyone anticipated. Beneath it lies not just canyons but spires, crests, labyrinths of sandstone, Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs, and burial sites, an intricate complexity hidden by water, depth lost in surface.
The uninvited guest, the unanticipated disaster, reducing rainfall and snowmelt and increasing drought and evaporation in the Southwest, is climate change. Glen Canyon Dam is a monument to overconfidence feet high, an engineering marvel and an ecological mistake. The American West is full of these follies: decommissioned nuclear power plants surrounded by the spent radioactive waste that will remain dangerous for , years; the bomb-torn land of military testing and training sites; the Nevada Test Site itself, cratered and contaminated by the explosion of a thousand nuclear devices.
Las Vegas and Phoenix, two cities that have grown furiously in recent decades, are monuments to the conviction that stable temperatures and fossil fuel and water could be counted upon to persist indefinitely. You can regard the enormous projects of this era as a continuation of the Second World War.
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It had acquired the plumbing system of a giant water-delivery machine. No one yet realized that the technocrats were simultaneously unleashing chaos, though in a little-known scientist named Charles David Keeling began measuring atmospheric carbon. In , Keeling joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he remained active for almost 50 years.
In , atop the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii, he established a permanent monitoring station that is now maintained by Scripps and his son Ralph. The measurements confirmed that atmospheric carbon levels were steadily rising, thanks to a couple of centuries of taking fossil fuel out of the ground and burning it so its carbon went back into the sky. Scientists had theorized this might be happening; Keeling proved that it was.
The resultant curve of increasing carbon dioxide is known as the Keeling Curve. The impacts range from forest fires and crop failure to melting permafrost and glaciers. Into the first several years of the millennium, it was imagined as a problem for the future. That future arrived faster than anticipated. In the late s, when Keeling was just a young scientist gathering data, no one imagined that the world might be so destabilized.
It was a world without environmentalists or an environmental perspective. It had, instead, conservationists, and most conservationists of the s were anxious to make it clear they had no desire to question or stop what was universally regarded as progress. In the Southwest, progress meant development of the upper half of the Colorado River. A short version might start with the agreement among all seven of the states in the Colorado River basin about how to apportion water rights on this river, which cuts a diagonal across the Southwest from its head in the Rocky Mountains and is augmented by tributaries large and small along its 1,mile length.
By , the Sierra Club was making plans to challenge the dams in Dinosaur, so named because an extraordinary trove of dinosaur fossils was found there where the Yampa and the Green rivers come together in a dramatic geological landscape. Founded in San Francisco in by John Muir and a group of Bay Area residents, it had about 9, members by the mids. On October 31, , the organization placed the first full-page advertisement by a conservation group in a major newspaper. When, on behalf of the club, Brower went to Congress, he mounted three arguments against the dams.
The first was technical, about the relative amount of evaporation from different configurations of dams and reservoirs. The second was that Dinosaur was part of the national park system and that nothing should violate national parks and monuments. The third was that the United States did not need the hydropower when coal, oil, and nuclear were abundantly available energy solutions that were cheaper than building dams. The conflict over dams in the Colorado basin went on for years. The sites kept changing, but the appetite for dams was relentless.
In those years, there were proposals, all eventually defeated, to build dams in the Grand Canyon and Kings Canyon National Park. Permission to dam Dinosaur was never granted, but plans to dam Glen Canyon moved forward with little resistance. Many conservationists argued for a dam in Glen Canyon as a trade-off, feeling they had to be cooperative and believing that if there was going to be a dam, then the little-known, unprotected, remote place was one they were willing to sacrifice.
As the fate of Glen Canyon was sealed, members of the Sierra Club leadership went there and learned how magnificent the place was. They regretted their decision, but it was too late. On October 15, , President Eisenhower pushed a telegraph key that sent the signal to detonate the first round of dynamite. Construction of Glen Canyon Dam began with this warlike gesture by the former supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe. A temporary dam was built upstream of the site, and two 3,foot-long diversion tunnels were blasted into the canyon walls to send the river through while the dam was built.
Rafters explored the canyon, conscious that it was doomed, and Porter made his expeditions to document it. Many Navajo residents of the region were horrified; the confluence of the Colorado and the San Juan rivers, a place of great significance to them, was about to be erased. In March of that year, water began backing up behind the new dam, but the scale of the reservoir was so vast that it did not reach maximum water level until Full, its surface is 3, feet above sea level, but it will never be full again.
But the boats got us to the beauty that still rims the lake. The sandstone formations that rose above water level were stunning, majestic. One sublime afternoon we took the powerboat out and motored for hours among the mazelike channels that had once been side canyons, sometimes taking the boat under overhanging cliffs, along canyon walls with overhanging arches, into shadow and out into the sun again. Long dark bluish streaks on high rock faces reached the water and must have extended much farther down; now they met their own reflection. We took the boat up a channel so narrow we stopped where the water ran out.
We camped for two days in a shadowy cul-de-sac atop water so deep it was terrifying. We swam across the unseeable depths anyway in the cool, still water. The seam between deep blue water and dry orange-red sandstone was confusing, and not only to an eye trained to assume they did not belong in the same picture; there were times I looked across all that expanse and found myself assuming somehow that the place itself was Photoshopped. In other, shallower places, the water was green, and one day Byron photographed all the shades and made a chart of the results.
Red-barked tamarisks, an invasive species, grew on the banks and would drown when the fickle waterline rose; tiny clams grew below the waterline and would die when the water sank and left them stranded. High above the current waterline, clamshells traced where it once was. Litter and lost belongings lay along the shore, and sometimes the stagnant shallow water was disgusting, stinking with dead fish, surface gunk, and clouds of flies. Lake Powell has become a popular recreation area, visited by millions every year, full of bulky houseboats; sleek powerboats cut across the water.
Here even pleasure has been industrialized. Downstream in the Grand Canyon, people mostly camp and travel by raft, but the flooding of Glen Canyon has made it an easy place to explore. Or did: The surrounding area is full of houseboats up on blocks, apparently because many vacationers are abandoning the shrinking reservoir. We wandered on foot across great domes of solid stone, up canyons that had remained above water level or reappeared, into the dryness that spreads in all directions beyond Powell and the delicate tributaries that feed the Colorado.
Small streams poured down slot canyons and made clear pools. Langscape Magazine is an extension of the voice of Terralingua. It supports their mission by educating minds and hearts about the importance and value of biocultural diversity.
Both Sides Now appears on:
Langscape aims to illustrate biocultural diversity through scientific and traditional knowledge, within an appealing sensory context of articles, stories and art. The editors reached out to Page Lambert and asked her to craft an essay. Read her winning chapters here: www. The language is lush enough at the beginning to propel a reader to continue. It is a strangely multicultural mix of interesting language, breath, and an understanding of what a story needs to be, complete with image, feeling, and organized labor.
The small section here makes a reader want the entire book. We lust for an array of things—money, power, objects, sex, or just living life. Show us your interpretations. Who or what do you love or lust for? What images capture these emotions for you? Purchase from: Independent Bookstore Amazon. Read Billings Gazette review. A protective act. A celebratory act. Even an act of desperation. It is also an intimate and sensual act. Sometimes I crave the western earth like food, or breath, or sex, or water.
I cannot imagine hungering for another landscape in quite the same way, nor can I imagine writing about another landscape in quite the same way. Purchase from the Grand Canyon Association. Also included in this issue are "small windows into the lives of writers, artists, photographers, and musicians.
Our lives are worthy of such transformation. The desire to transform our life experiences, to make sense of our journey through life, urges many of us to keep a journal. A Rocky Mountain Land Library title. Johnson Books, Big Earth Publishing, It is a string of pearls. This book throbs with the beating heart of the West. Every time the body of Antaeus came in contact with the Mother Earth, his strength was mysteriously renewed. Mighty Hercules slew Antaeus only because he managed to wrestle the giant's body from the land, lifting him away from his source of strength, his very source of life.
When I moved from our small ranch in the Bearlodge Mountains of Wyoming, I felt as if I, too, had been torn from the earth.
Severed by a Herculean destiny from all that sustained me. This is scripture from the depths of our remaining wilderness. Writing Down the River may be the most unique adventure book of the year. The exhibit continues to travel the country. Together, we cried. Read More About the Literary Review. Purchase: Independent Bookstore Amazon. An anthology of original work by 57 writers from Wyoming and beyond. This anthology celebrates the Wyoming tour of the Smithsonian exhibition Between Fences.
Fall One foot in the past, the other inching toward the future. One hand reaching out, the other drawing back. One eye wide awake, the other drowsy with dreams. One moment we find ourselves eager for companionship, the next craving solitude. One moment we are married, the next divorced - watershed moments by which the direction of our lives is measured.
This formidable collection of contemporary poetry embraces the West of personal conviction.
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now - lyrics
The editors have assembled the works of twenty writers, whose poems compellingly and memorably represent the modern West. The collection recalls those who have lived and those who live now, revealing tension and harmony between psychological and geographic landscapes, embodying an authentic, unadulterated spirit. Alone, after fifteen spring calving seasons, twenty-four married winters, I step out the barn door, pieces of alfalfa cake in my pockets, specks of manure on my boots.
Cover illustration by artist Sarah Rogers.
The Lost Canyon Springs Series by Candace E. Salima
Showcases the best entries from a writing contest judged in three different categories, as well as selected pieces. Edited by Sonya Unrein. Ghost Road Press, Houghton Mifflin Company, Includes contributions by B. These stories demand that the West is without doubt a woman's place, too.
The voices in this collection are clear and strong, and their stories are true to western women. Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, Edited by Mary Stange. With excerpts from novels, short stories and articles by thoughtful hunters and writers, including Beryl Markham, Annie Oakley and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this volume celebrates nature, wildlife and visceral sensations. But this was my first time to experience it from beginning to end, from deer grazing in the meadow to meat frying in the pan. When Mark brought the heart and liver into the house and Matt and Sarah asked to see it, I was confronted by a moment of truth.
To understand this thing, I needed to face it full on. I reached inside the plastic bag and withdrew the heart. Wyoming Center for the Book, Pronghorn Press, Emotional context and earthy sensuality. These form the melody of my own personal song.