From the NYTimes article “Horses Fall Victim to Hard Times and Dry Times on the Range“
AZTEC, N.M. — The land is parched, the fields are withering and thousands of the nation’s horses are being left to fend for themselves on the dried range, abandoned by people who can no longer afford to feed them.
They have been dropping dead in the Navajo reservation in the Southwest, where neighbors are battling neighbors and livestock for water, an inherently scant resource on tribal land. They have been found stumbling through state parks in Missouri, in backyards and along country roads in Illinois, and among ranch herds in Texas where they do not belong.
Some are taken to rescue farms or foster homes — lifelines that are also buckling under the pressure of the nation’s worst drought in half a century, which has pushed the price of grain and hay needed to feed the animals beyond the reach of many families already struggling in the tight economy
Arizona continues to keep it classy. From azcentral.com “Two killed in Eloy ambush near smuggling route“.
Around 10:30 p.m., an unknown number of people in camouflage armed with rifles ambushed a pick-up truck filled with a group of suspected illegal immigrants, according to a press release from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene near the Ironwood Forest National Monument in southwest Eloy and found one person dead in the truck bed and another body in a nearby wash, the release said
Wired.com’s article “Megafires May Change the Southwest Forever“
The plants and animals of the southwestern United States are adapted to fire, but not to the sort of super-sized, super-intense fires now raging in Arizona.
The product of drought and human mismanagement, these so-called megafires may change the southwest’s ecology. Mountainside Ponderosa forests could be erased, possibly forever. Fire may become the latest way in which people are profoundly altering modern landscapes.
The two closest fires to me are still burning. The Las Conchas Fire in the Jemez Mountains near Las Alamos is at 92,735 and is close to being the largest fire in New Mexico. The Pacheco Fire near Santa Fe and the Pecos Wilderness has burned a measly 10,000 acres and is 24% contained.
The Donaldson fire is much more south of me but has burned over 43,000 acres.
We are getting signs of Monsoon weather.
I should leave this sort of thing to John Fleck, but I found an article at The Christian Science Monitor titled
“The new water wars? Study shows broad decline in Rockies snowpack“. When I think of climate change I often think that the Earth will be fine, it’s our way of life that will be impacted.
While the shrinking snowpack in the 20th and early 21st centuries is not unprecedented from a climate-history standpoint, at no time in the past 800 years have so many people relied so heavily on these winter snows for their fresh water. The rivers and the drainage basins that feed them provide as much as 80 percent of the water used for irrigation, power generation, and other purposes by some 70 million people, according to the study.
Meanwhile most of the State of New Mexico continues to be in a drought.
Remodeling For Geeks points out the problems with faucets in the southwest. Although he is in Arizona, New Mexico has the same problem. The water is hard: It has a high level of dissolved minerals and everything that the water runs through eventually gets coated with the minerals (mostly calcium). The water has high levels of minerals because of the ground it comes from.
These minerals act like abrasives on seals and the moving parts of faucets, so they leak. They all leak. I don’t care what the ads or salesman tell you, sooner or later your faucets will leak. So when you are spending money on a faucet you should make sure that repair kits are available. Really. If the place you are buying it from does not have repair kits in the same section as the faucets, run away! Unlike a lot of products, faucet manufacturers have pretty explcit instructions for repair. Plus faucets are not like electric outlets where the only decisions are amperage and color. They are different and do not share parts.
Goodbye Southwest Regional Spaceport. Hello Spaceport America. New Mexico officials planned to unveil the new name Monday for a proposed $225 million space hub where British billionaire Sir Richard Branson hopes to send paying tourists on suborbital flights. The previous name was a mouthful to pronounce and didn’t reflect the cutting-edge vision of the project, said New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans.
I’m not sure I like the new name. Having a space port is cool no matter what the name.