To all my Sage to Meadow followers! I have a novel of nature with a murder mystery! Or, a mystery novel set deeply in nature!
I am so happy to announce the Sunstone Press release of my novel, Death at La Osa: A Pueblo Tribal Police Mystery! Available on Amazon, B&N, independent bookstores!
I am pleased that Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, has published my first novel in a series, Death at La Osa. I am currently editing my second novel, Arroyo of Shells (title tentative), and finishing the third in the series, The Cave of the Infinite Symbol.
You may order via https://bookshop.org/shop/jackmatthews (Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. You also contribute to a local, independent bookstore of your choice when you use Bookshop.org.) If you order through Amazon, you can use the smile.amazon.com to contribute 0.5 % of your purchase to a charity of your choice. Also order, conventionally, through Amazon and B&N websites.
My understanding is that federal land that is designated “monument status” is closed to extraction of natural resources. Reducing federal land protection with monument designation of this scale (two million acres) is abominable.
Is it oil, minerals or a combination of that and other uses (housing, golf courses) that propel this change?
The resignation of the National Parks Panel brings public awareness to the exploitation of natural resources.
I read the other day in The New York Times that some political awareness group of the left or center-left has a group of 180,000 or so individuals that will go to a protest site to demonstrate. The protests were of issues NOT dealing with land use, monuments, federal land protection.
I would sign on to protest issues dealing with saving forests, rivers, land from corporate exploitation. I would pay my own way anywhere in the United States to protest the exploitation as demonstrated in this article.
The advisory panel has shown light on the problem with the Trump administration’s land policies.
Sitting Bull often walked barefoot on the earth at dawn in the morning.
“And in December, the administration reduced the size of two national monuments in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, by some two million acres, the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.”
Comments Off on Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel – The New York Times
Last September I attended a water association meeting in Penasco, New Mexico. The acequia photographed above is one of several thousand water ditches and collateral offshoots in New Mexico. This ditch alongside the road to Dixon, New Mexico, is not a part of the water association at Penasco although the two towns are close together and divert off of the Embudo Watershed.
I have located three milkweed clusters since 2003 on my place–central Texas, Erath County. Today I sought the three clusters again, one directly in front of the house, one alongside the road to the barn, and the cluster in the far field, one-quarter of a mile away. I found only the cluster photographed above–the cluster beside the road to the barn. I found no milkweed in the far field nor in the front yard. I believe that this spring has been mild so far and some heat is needed to bring out other patches of milkweed. Today, as I walked the fields, I discovered a large Monarch in the grove that soared out of the grass and into the sky above the trees. A huge Monarch, one the largest I have ever seen. Then as I finished my field trip, in the front yard, a Monarch flitted above the cut-leaf daisy and lawn grass. Two Monarchs, one patch of milkweed that has ten clusters of blossoms (you can only see seven in the above photograph)–definitely an event to be recorded for 2015. I will continue to monitor the milkweed and Monarchs, posting the field trips I take to far and near fields on my place.
It is spring at my place, Flying Hat Ranch or Ranchito, and I am not sad, even though it is said, “April is the cruelest month.” I understand the sadness and lament, but yesterday I took several photographs of the constant and the transient forms on Flying Hat.
The constants are the live oaks and yucca. You see them, they seem always present, but the blossoms of plants erupt, then fade out. They are the “transients.”
Yet, as the blossoms drop off, transient as they are, I know their roots and stems remain. That is constant, and given another year about this earth, I will see them again.
Here in central Texas, Erath County, we remain in a drought. Since Christmas, however, rain has fallen and we do not have to boil our water before drinking. The date for near-complete water extinction has been extended into the future. No specific date for extinction has been given, but the February 15th date for extinction is no longer in effect.
In the photograph above, I hold a rosemary blossom, indicative of moisture in the air and soil about the large rosemary bush on the west side of the ranch house. The scent of rosemary lingers on my fingers as I type. I use the rosemary for several recipes, but I favor its use when I prepare a sauce for steaks or lamb chops.
* * *
Before Christmas, my good horse Star died of colic. The old boy was fourteen years old and in his becoming ill, the first veterinary I called to the ranch said he was a strong, stoical horse in that he did not lash out at us, his handlers. Star was diagnosed at six in the evening and had to be put down at two o’clock the next morning at the Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery compound in Weatherford, Texas, where he was surrounded by three female veterinarians who took control and managed his passing. Without being sentimental, I still look out my porch windows, even today, to see where Star is in the pasture. Is he loafing under the mesquites? I know he is not there, but I still look.
Star Bars Moore APHA 808164, loafing in arena pasture under mesquites.
Currently, I am wrestling with water restrictions imposed by Barton Water Cooperative. My area is in a drought. Yet, so, I have green grass in all my fields for I have not allowed over-grazing by neither horses nor cattle.
Kirk Hanna sought to employ a holistic environmental approach to cattle ranching. His struggles are detailed in this documentary, “Hanna Ranch.” See also the link within the article to the Holistic Resource Management site, originating on the savannas of Africa.
“This Colorado cattle rancher — a featured personality in Eric Schlosser’s 2001 best seller “Fast Food Nation” — was a forward-thinking cowboy who embraced Holistic Resource Management, a fruitful approach that, among other things, encourages herding methods less stressful to cattle and a more frequent rotation of livestock through pastures. Mr. Hanna used earth-friendly natural fertilizer; to attack weeds, he employed hungry goats.”
A mid-morning rain fell on the place. The air is cool, almost cold, and the sky has not cleared and probably will not this day. This photograph shows a break in the clouds towards the south, the town of Stephenville, lying about nineteen miles away. My mother came to Stephenville–I tagged along–and bought plants at Wolfe Nursery. The nursery had a large sign of a wolf that signaled the entry to the nursery that encompassed acres and acres of tended trees and several hothouses.
The rain caused an eruption of this blossom upon the sage near the house.
Fall has come to the place, the farm, the ranchito, the people of Sims Valley, and all the wildlife abounding.
But an equally alarming source of the decline, both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Vidal said, is the explosive increase in American farmland planted in soybean and corn genetically modified to tolerate herbicides.
The American Midwest’s corn belt is a critical feeding ground for monarchs, which once found a ready source of milkweed growing between the rows of millions of acres of soybean and corn. But the ubiquitous use of herbicide-tolerant crops has enabled farmers to wipe out the milkweed, and with it much of the butterflies’ food supply.
“That habitat is virtually gone. We’ve lost well over 120 million acres, and probably closer to 150 million acres,” Mr. Taylor said.
A rapid expansion of farmland — more than 25 million new acres in the United States since 2007 — has eaten away grasslands and conservation reserves that supplied the monarchs with milkweed, he said.
The monarchs’ migration is seen as a natural marvel and, for Mexico, a huge tourist attraction. But naturalists regard the butterflies as a forward indicator of the health of the food chain. Fewer butterflies probably means there are fewer other insects that are food for birds, and fewer birds for larger predators.
Here on my ranchito I have seen no monarchs this year. It is a little early for their migration through central Texas (at least here in north Erath County, Texas), and I will hold off making any conclusive statements about their pattern for several more weeks.
I have only a few sprouts of milkweed on my 53 acres. I know precisely where the milkweed is and seek to keep it flourishing for the butterflies.
I put up these links in the footer because I like these places to eat, shop, get information, show awards, etc. I make neither money nor keep stats on how many links are opened from my site to these other places. The only centavos I have made from my blog was a $60.00 one-time fee from the Texas Hunters Online Course that I have on my blog. No one has mentioned whether I get kick-backs, but I thought I would give a disclosure nonetheless. I have the PayPal seal on my site for the Texas Hunters Online Course. That's all. Thanks and enjoy these links.
Sage to Meadow Copyright (c)
I gladly welcome your use of excerpts with full and clear credit given to Jack Matthews and Sage to Meadow with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Use of any material on this blog for commercial or profiteering purposes is expressly prohibited without authorized consent.
La Jicarita News
La Jicarita: Community advocacy for northern New Mexico
New Mexico Film
New Mexico State Film Office and Milagro at Los Luceros
La Casa Sena
Texas Hunter Safety Course online
U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Backwoods Clothing and Adventure
Texas Film Commission
Because of Greenpeace more than 21 million acres of forests are legally protected from destruction in Brazil's Amazon and Canada's Great Bear rainforests. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Colorado Film Commission
203 Fine Art Gallery of Taos
203 FINE ART
EARLY MODERNS TO CONTEMPORARY
203 Ledoux Street
Taos, NM 87571
[ 575 ] 751 - 1262