Watercolor by Mama SnailWatercolor by Mama SnailAs my fellow Southwest buffs know, just outside the bohemian city of Taos lies Taos Pueblo, named for the language (Taos) of the Northern Tiwa tribe. The pueblo is approximately 1,000 years old! It’s no surprise, therefore, that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s conquistadors visited as early as 1540. Today, about 150 people live in the pueblo complex full-time, and the surrounding reservation land is home to around 4,500.
One of the United States’ early conservationists, George Bird Grinnell (1849-1938) named many of the features in what is now Glacier National Park, and so the park’s star glacier (which he first saw in 1885) is named for him. A specialist in zoology and Native American studies in the Northern Plains, George Bird Grinnell is most recognized for his public and legislative work to preserve American bison. I’ve long wanted to visit Glacier National Park, which I’ve read is one of the most pristine exemplars of Montana’s sweeping beauty. I’m also keen to go because, due to human-induced climate change, the glaciers there are melting fast. The 2010 U.S. Geological Survey found that Grinnell Glacier lost almost 40% of its acreage between 1966 and 2005. Imagine this postcard–which seems to be from the ’60s (a young bear checking out a tourist’s car would not work as a quaint etching today)– with only about half the ice.
And for you snail mail fans in the Southern Hemisphere, check out this summer solstice post.