Prof. Ernest Ables stands on the side of a steep mountain slope in Yellowstone National Park surrounded by knee-high wild grasses, which wave in a stiff breeze. Peering through a telescope, he quietly signals to several students nearby that there are three mule deer feeding on the slope in front of him.

    Professor Ables swings his Best spotting scope to his right. Across the park’s Lamar Valley, a broad expanse of grassland surrounded by mountains and divided by the meandering, silvery ribbon of the Lamar River, he spots a handful of big horn sheep, a herd of nearly 100 elk and a small knot of bison.

  • Prairie dogs friend or foe

    JUST THREE YEARS AGO! Prairie dogs lived on millions of acres of the U.S. Great Plains from Canada to Mexico. But as the Great Plains has been developed by humans, the prairie dogs’ habitat has shrunk to between 500,000 and 800,000 acres. As their lands have decreased, the prairie dog’s population has decreased to 2 […]

  • [Part 3] Crossing Mount Soledad

    Part 3 …”Neither the Legislature, nor any county, city and county, township, school district, or other municipal corporation, shall ever make an appropriation, or pay from any public fund whatever, or grant anything to or in aid of any religious sect, church, creed, or sectarian purpose”–Article XVI, Section 5, California State Constitution. The cross is […]

  • [Part 2] Crossing Mount Soledad

    [Part 2] I learned how to question religion when I was a kid growing up in rural Northwestern Wisconsin, concluding that all deistic god concepts were unbelievable, superstitious claptrap. I am an atheist because my mother, now deceased, who I loved very much, was a devout Christian whose strongly religious, mentally rigid mindset served as […]

  • [Part 1] Crossing Mount Soledad

    Crossing Mount Soledad “Stand more than 800 feet high underneath the shade of a 43-foot cross, and enjoy gorgeous, 360-degree views from this prime memorial and picnic, photo and sunset spot.” The above enticement appears in the online entertainment guide of the San Diego Union-Tribune under “Attractions” and no doubt serves its purpose in directing […]