When rivers go to court

Columbia-River-Kamloops-British-Columbia-by-Betsey-Crawford

Imagine a river taking her case to court. Arriving in her smooth, flowing robes, reflecting the blue of the sky, a shimmering train brushing the floor as she walks. Everywhere light is glinting, from her silver hair to her silver shoes. Her skin is sometimes the color of the mirrored moon, sometimes the color of …

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The most powerful family on earth

This vine mesquite (Hopi obtusa) on a Missouri roadside dangles its vivid anthers, ready to send their pollen to the wind. The feathery stigma at the other end of the filament are ready to receive pollen. Photo by Betsey Crawford.

Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.  ~Thomas Edison~  Such a tiny word — poa, Greek for grass — to encompass one of the great life forces on earth. The Poaceae are the fifth most species-rich plant family with over 11,000 plants. They populate a quarter of …

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My first summer in the Sierra

Pride of the mountain (Penstemon newberryi) Sierra Nevada Mountains

Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever. ~ John Muir ~ Fans of John Muir will know that my title is the same as one of his most wonderful books. Like thousands before me, reading it made me want to go and spend the rest of my life in search of …

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An Easter of memory and anticipation

Celebrating Laudate si: checker lily (Fritillaria affinis) King Mountain, Larkspur, California by Betsey Crawford

I was planning to write about transformation for Easter. I’ve been working on a series of essays exploring cosmologist Brian Swimme’s eleven powers of the universe, and what we can learn from these great cosmic energies. So far, I’ve done radiance, centration, and transmutation. Easter and this very welcome spring seemed like the perfect time to explore …

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Biomimicry: designing with nature’s 3.8 billion years of research

Biomimicry: abalone shell interior by Betsey Crawford

The first time I heard about biomimicry, it was the kingfisher’s eyelid that grabbed me. The largest hydroelectric dam in the world had problems with changing water levels. Nothing could grow well on the surrounding soil, so erosion was rampant. The down-flowing dirt and dead, decaying plants were causing water pollution. Four young designers decided …

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The patient genius of transmutation

Adaptation: whole-leaf rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) and one of the hundred species of grasshoppers at the Konza Prairie Biological Station by Betsey Crawford

“All is flux,” the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said 2500 years ago. “Nothing stays still.” He offered us a perfect description of transmutation, one of the great powers that cosmologist Brian Swimme ascribes to the universe. This is the third of those powers that I have explored, and one of the most intriguing. Since the first …

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