Page 1

Vol. 1, No. 4

December 2008

An Educational Guide

to Sustainability and Spiritual Well-being

Flagstaff group working to create Starhenge INSIDE: 5 Dust storm predictions to aid health community 6

Grant helps More Kids in the Woods program

Page 16 8 Black-tailed prairie dogs back in AZ 24 Calendar of events

“I love Earth Odyssey, where can I ďŹ nd it?â€? We encourage our readers to patronize the merchants who support Earth Odyssey. Earth Odyssey can be found in the following locations: Black Canyon City OďŹƒce of Tourism

Cave Creek


The Art Store The Catalyst Wild Iris Coee House Yavapai College

Mayer Chamber of Commerce Mayer Public Library Mayer Senior Center

Cave Creek Coee Company & Wine Bar

Chino Valley Chino Valley Public Library Chino Valley Senior Center

Christopher Creek Creekside Restaurant Double D Store, CafÊ & Bar Kohl’s Ranch Tall Pines Market

Congress Country Corner

Cordes Junction Arcosanti Over the Hill Coee Shop

Cottonwood Cottonwood Chamber Cottonwood Public Library Mt Hope Natural Foods

Dewey Dewey Public Library Dewey Senior Center

Flagsta Animas Trading Co. Arizona Music Pro Coconino Center for the Arts Crystal Magic Flagsta Vstitors Center Public Library Sacred Rites

Jerome Firehouse Jerome Gallery Jerome Public Library

Prescott Valley

Mesa A Touch of Heather

Payson Back To Basics Bashas’ Fiesta Business Products Fireside Espresso CafÊ Green Scene Solar National Bank of Arizona Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness Payson Feed Store Payson Public Library Plant Fair Nursery Re-Runs Rim Country Chamber of Commerce Scoops The Bookstore and More Town of Payson Municipal Building Town of Payson Parks & Rec Vita Mart

Claycomb/Rockwell Associates Inc. Dippin Dots Prescott Valley Public Library The Honeyman Natural Food Stores

Sedona Crystal Castle Sedona Arts Center Sedona Chamber of Commerce Sedona Public Library

Scottsdale Whole Foods

Tempe Borders Book Store Ejoy Internet CafĂŠ

Skull Valley Skull Valley General Store

Star Valley


Kelly’s Sweet Revenge

Ponderosa Market The Crystal Lotus The Herb Stop


Prescott Cuppers Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Library Habitat for Humanity Restore Hastings Books Music & Video Highlands Center for Natural History La Fonda Mexican Restaurant On The Mesa Pangaea Prescott Chamber of Commerce Prescott College Library Prescott Public Library Raven CafĂŠ Roosters CafĂŠ

DQ/Jack in the Box Ginny’s Vitamin Village Quarter-Horse Antiques Wickenburg Public Library

Wilhoit Wilhoit Public Library

Yarnell McGerk’s Mercantile Yarnell Grocery Yarnell Public Library If you would like to see Earth Odyssey somewhere you frequent, send us the information at and we will see what we can do.


Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

Columns Vol. 1, No. 4

Cover story: In tradition of ancient celestial observatories, Flagstaff group working to create Starhenge

December 2008

16 by Maya Joy Angeles

storm predictions to aid health 5 Dust community

Page 9

helps More Kids in the Woods 6 Grant program

7 Audubon’s 109th Christmas Bird Count 12 Made From Nature 13 ‘Sacred Sky Sacred Bond’ Takes place Sunday, Dec. 14, to Monday, Jan. 5

Page 10

Bring nature inside your home this winter

Book tracks humanity’s bond with the skies

21 Nutrition News 8 Puzzle pages 22 Black-tailed prairie dogs clawing their way back into 24 Calendar southern Arizona 28 Antique or Junque 30 Yes! You can recycle that 30 Thrift Store Finds 31 Sustainable Living 31 Green Minute 32 EcoLiving 20 Heart Shrine Tour Diet makes a difference in cancer prevention

Page 11

Turn-of-the-century baby carriage U.S. made

Save fruit, vegetable seeds; grow your food

Page 12

Think thrift stores, not department stores

Time to perform a do-it-yourself home energy audit

Living green in Skull Valley custom home

to visit Sedona

Page 21 Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

ON THE COVER: Chaco Canyon, constructed between AD 900 and 1115, was a center of the Anasazi civilization. Chaco Canyon contains many astronomical markings and is among the world’s great ancient celestial observatories. See stories on pages 13 and 16. Photo by Pia Wyer December 2008

Earth Odyssey •

Page 29 Page 3

Education needed to make smart choices Editor: After reading the October article about global dimming, my college-age niece wrote and asked me why there is so much controversy over whether global warming is a fact. She said, “.... people who say ‘I don’t believe in global warming’ made me angry at first and now I just feel a little lost on the subject.... I feel duped by the media... “ Here’s what I wrote back. The topic of global warming is relatively new. When I was in college, there was virtually no discussion of global warming, and the concept of environmentalism (being good to the planet because it’s a good thing to do) was only beginning to gain a foothold. I can’t speak for my parents specifically, but the generations prior to mine never gave a second thought to the manner in which they were systematically raping the planet. Indeed, their goal was to strip the Earth of its riches for their own profit and material comfort, and never mind the consequences for future generations. For reasons of wealth, prosperity and comfort, we spent the entire 20th century destroying the environment—and I do not mean solely Americans. The British had blazed this trail long before us. Though circumstances were different, their exploitation of the entire globe was catastrophic in so many uncounted ways. Prior to the mid-20th century, we probably did not have the scientific expertise to examine the consequences of our actions, although we certainly had the eyeballs to see polluted rivers and similar destruction. But the scientific community, and, to a great extent, the power of computers to sift, analyze and store mountains of data made it possible to begin quantifying the changes. So, temperatures were measured; glaciers were photographed over long periods of time; chemical analyses of rivers became commonplace. All of these capabilities, coupled with the rise of many great universities with their research facilities, made it possible to theorize about many aspects of global warming that

were simply not possible long ago. The big problem has been the interpretation of the information and the data. And its publication. When, for example, a claim is made that General Electric is dumping chemical waste into the Hudson River—as it most assuredly did—you can expect GE to fight back with claims that its chemical waste is really not harmful. A problem for GE, however, is that the chemicals (dioxin and PCBs, I think it was) undoubtedly came from their facilities, and the fish were certainly all dead. Quod erat demonstrandum. GE had to clean up the mess, although they did the very least that they could do. However, their slogan—We Bring Good Things To Life—got tarnished pretty badly by all of the dead fish. They don’t use that slogan much any more. Now, apply this to the situation involving the atmosphere. Though we see smog sometimes, we can’t really trace it back to its source. Well, we can in a way, because in some cases, we know it comes from automobiles. A-ha! Let’s blame GM, Ford and Chrysler. Well, they certainly ought to bear their portion of the blame. In concert with the oil companies, the auto makers conspired to rid the country of public transportation, ensuring that by the 1960s, most people in this country would have to rely on gasoline powered automobiles. If you think that the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” was simply a funny cartoon-y movie, then you missed its point. (And if you haven’t seen it, rent it!) There is

Earth Odyssey provides a free and open exchange of ideas on all issues of interest and concern to our readers. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, style, accuracy and space. We may also refuse to print submissions we deem inappropriate. Your submission of a letter, poem or other work grants Earth Odyssey a nonexclusive license to publish, copy and distribute it. Include your name and phone number. E-mail your submission to: Put Letter to the Editor in the subject line. Or, send your letter via U.S. mail to Editor, Pinon Pine Press, 1042 Willow Creek Road, Ste. A101-PMB 486, Prescott, AZ 86301.

Page 4

a specific reason that we have automobile pollution in this country, and it was all about the money. Early models of auto engines were designed to use the far less-polluting diesel, or even hemp oil. But the Rockefellers wanted to sell gasoline, and they conspired with the auto makers and rubber tire companies to force the country into the gasoline-fueled economy that we now have. So, if you, as a scientist, now want to claim that global warming is produced by carbon dioxide and that the CO2 is coming predominantly from auto emissions and oil-based production facilities, you certainly have an uphill battle. Why? Because the auto makers and oil companies have a lot of money with which to “purchase” scientists who disagree with you. And, as any scientist will tell you, data can be interpreted to mean pretty much anything you want it to mean. And if you are GM/Exxon, and you buy a lot of advertising space in magazines and newspapers, maybe you can just call up the editor and say, “Well, I don’t know about publishing that story; the data has been refuted by all of our researchers....” And maybe the editor will look at how much of his budget comes from GM/Exxon advertising dollars, and maybe the editor will either move your story from page 1 to page 97, below the classified ads—or maybe he just won’t print it at all. So now you, as the scientist, have to figure out how to get your message across, in the face of overpowering opposition. Maybe you can get PBS to do a documentary; today, maybe you can post your data on the Internet—something not possible 10 years ago. But whatever you may be able to do, you will always be facing a huge wall of opposition supported by virtually unlimited funding. What’s the answer? I don’t know. I’ve seen data that supports the view that global warming is real and worrisome and may spell the end of this planet before the century is over. I’ve seen data that supports the view that global warming occurs regularly, in cycles, and it’s a normal part of the planetary process that has been happening for millennia. I don’t know which view is correct. But I do know that without open discussion, unhindered by corporations with private profit-making agendas, we will never know the answer. And that kind of public discussion needs well-educated young people who care deeply about the future of their own generation as well as those that follow. It’s something that my generation and its predecessors didn’t have. I hope the future will be different. Michael McGown Dripping Springs, Texas

Earth Odyssey •

An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

Our Mission The mission of Earth Odyssey is to encourage individuals to develop sustainable lifestyles and healthier well-being by providing educational information needed to make wiser choices. We envision an extended community of individuals who care passionately about their environment and their own spiritual well-being and recognize the symbiotic relationship between the two.

Magazine Staff Publisher/Editor Ann Haver-Allen Photographer/Photo Editor/Web Editor Pia Wyer Advertising Art Director/Writer Jason Allen Advertising Director Cathy Murphy Advertising Representatives Bill Allen Bonnie West

Contributors Maya Joy Angeles Leilah Breitler Cherlyn Fargo John Hall Shawn Dell Joyce Anne McCollam Sarah McLean Patricia Melchi Jim Parks Dominique Shilling Pia Wyer Earth Odyssey is published monthly by Pinon Pine Press LLC and is available online at Send comments and suggestions to: OR via U.S. mail to: Editor 1042 Willow Creek Road Ste A101-PMB 486 Prescott, AZ 86301 Phone: (928) 778-1782 The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or advertisers. Copyright © 2008. Pinon Pine Press, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission. For photo reprints, contact Pia Wyer at Printed by Valley Newspapers 23043 N. 16th Lane, Phoenix, AZ Printed using soy inks.

December 2008

Dust storm predictions to aid health community


atellite data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can improve forecasts of dust storms in the American Southwest in ways that can benefit public health managers. Scientists recently announced the finding as a five-year NASAfunded project nears its conclusion. Led by investigators Stanley Morain of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and William Sprigg of the University of Arizona in Tucson, scientists evaluated the influence of space-based observations on predictions of dust storms. Using NASA satellite data, forecasters could more accurately predict the timing of two out of three dust events. NASA’s Public Health Applications in Remote Sensing project, or PHAiRS, released a report on the study in November. Such forecasting capability is the first step toward a reporting system that health officials could use to warn at-risk populations of health threats and respond quickly to dust-related epidemics. “The program has been successful in its work to improve dust storms predictions, which has important implications for air quality and respiratory distress warnings,” said John Haynes, Public Health Applications program manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Dust and the pathogens it carries have been blamed for exacerbating some cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including asthma. Dust also obscures visibility on roads, which can contribute to closures and traffic accidents. NASA launched PHAiRS in 2004 to identify how satellites could help modeling and forecasting of dust storms and to enhance a computer-based system that health managers can use to report and respond to dust-related health symptoms. The key to better dust forecasts is to represent accurately the features that influence the behavior of dust: land topography, the proportion of land to water, and surface roughness. “Dust modeling always has relied on surface characteristics that we knew were wrong,” Sprigg said. For instance, information in previous models about a region’s features was patched together from old maps and topographic surveys, which do not accurately represent seasonal or cyclical changes in vegetation and related surface features. Through PHAiRS, up-to-date measurements of Earth’s surface features—collected from instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites—provided the critical details needed to enhance an existing dust model. Observations of Earth from space offer more complete information, filling in the gaps between the locations of surface measurements and providing up-to-date snapshots of changing surface features. The team began with an existing model Slobodan Nickovic of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva developed that describes how dust is lifted off the ground

December 2008

Photo courtesy of NASA An approaching dust storm as seen from a NASA satellite.

Photo courtesy of NASA An Afghanistan dust front enters the upper Amu Darya Valley. The central Asian deserts experience the greatest number of dust storm days on the planet each year.

Photo courtesy NOAA George E. Marsh Album This 1935 photo show a dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas.

and carried in the atmosphere. Researchers coupled this model with an operational weather forecast model the U.S. National Weather Service created. The team adapted the model to accommodate dust storms in the U.S. Southwest and then introduced the new satellite-derived measurements. After using the new model to make hourly dust forecasts for California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas during dust events, the team compared their results to real-world observations. They found that the NASA data improved the model estimates of wind speed, direction, near-surface temperature and the

location and amount of dust lifted off the ground. Statistics for the model’s performance show that between January and April 2007, the timing of two out of three dust storms in Phoenix could be forecasted precisely. Already, public health professionals have been enlisted to work with the PHAiRS team to assess the model’s real-world utility. The team is collaborating with physicians, public health experts and community leaders in Lubbock, Texas, to integrate the NASA dust storm predictions into a computer-based decision-support system called the Syndrome Reporting Information System, which maps

Earth Odyssey •

reported cases of respiratory distress. The satellite-enhanced system would allow health and environmental managers to “see” the next 48 hours of dust concentrations for their areas and track the number of respiratory distress situations that result. Ultimately, the system could allow health officials to issue early warnings to populations at risk for dust-related health complications. Preliminary feedback from public health end-users about the enhanced system’s performance is expected in January 2009. For information about NASA and agency programs, visit

Page 5

Grant helps More Kids in the Woods program By Doug Hulmes and Ashley Mains etting students out of their desks and out-of-doors to learn firsthand in nature has long been a goal for educators at Prescott College. This year, Doug Hulmes, Environmental Studies and Education faculty member, saw the opportunity to get more kids in the woods grow exponentially when the Forest Service funded a national grant proposal he co-authored with Mary Anne Kapp, Manager of Mingus Springs Camp and Outdoor Learning Center and Prescott College Adult Degree and Graduate Programs adviser. The grant funds a Children’s Conservation Corps (CCC) and Junior Forest Ranger Program—and was one of only 16 projects selected from 279 submissions nationwide. “The Children’s Conservation Corps and Junior Forest Ranger Program is an expansion program for underserved youth ages 9 to 12 and is a multi-pronged approach to engaging children in meaningful and sustained outdoor experiences that increase awareness, understanding and stewardship of the natural world,” said Laura Jo West, the Bradshaw District Ranger of the Prescott National Forest, who co-submitted the proposal with Hulmes and Kapp. This past July, the grant enabled more than 120 underprivileged children from local schools in and around Prescott and the Verde Valley to spend four days learning from a cadre of individuals, playing, exploring and discovering nature. Another part of the grant funds adaptation, expansion and evaluation of the Prescott Creeks and Watershed program that Hulmes developed with students from his Environmental Education Methods class. The eight-week Prescott Creeks and Watershed program has run in conjunction with Miller Valley Elementary School for 30 years, and engages about 90 fifth-grade students each year in classroom and field instruction. The program includes three days at the Mingus Springs Outdoor Learning Center on Mingus Mountain. “One of the most challenging things for educators is the question of how to motivate our children, how to get them interested in learning,” said Paul Helmkin, a fifth grade teacher at Miller Valley Elementary. “When you take the kids outside of the four walls of the classroom and you bring them into the environment, into the community to learn about these things, the results speak for themselves. “I’ve seen kids who struggle on a day-today basis in the classroom finally come outdoors and be able to learn. Believe it or not, the experience of spending time outdoors can help focus the kids on other things they need to do when we’re in the classroom.” Included in this part of the grant are two $6,000 scholarships for Prescott College graduate students Brendan Haggerty and Ali Kopinto, who, under the advisement of Hulmes, will assist in the expansion of the Prescott Creeks and Watershed program. Haggerty, a science teacher at Northpoint


Page 6

Courtesy photos A new grant was awarded to Mingus Springs Camp and Outdoor Learning Center, Prescott College and the Prescott National Forest enables 120 underprivileged children to get outside and discover nature.

Expeditionary Learning Academy, will coordinate opportunities for high schoolers to assist Prescott College students in facilitating the Prescott Creeks and Watershed Program at Miller Valley Elementary. He will also develop opportunities for Northpoint students to monitor the quality of creeks in the Granite Creek Watershed and identify social justice issues that influence quality of those creeks. “Miller Creek passes through the ‘barrio’ area of Prescott,” Haggerty said. “Passing through a low socio-economic area influences the quality of a creek. There are often more solid waste and pollution issues, as well as problems related to increased incidence of homelessness. “In addition to the physical condition of these creeks, we’re looking to address the social conditions that affect these important watersheds. Students at Northpoint will compare conditions of creeks going through different types of areas and consider possible solutions.” Kopinto will work closely with other schools in and around Prescott to adapt the existing watershed curriculum to their educational needs and particular geography. She will also create community garden programs in conjunction with several area schools, including Mountain Oak Charter School, Primavera School, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy and Willow Creek Charter School. “There has been a surge of interest in community gardening,” she said. “Not only will this project get the children outdoors, but it will also teach them various skills necessary See More Kids in the Woods page 7

Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

Audubon’s 109th Christmas Bird Count

Takes place Sunday, Dec. 14, to Monday, Jan. 5


rom Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas will take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Grandmothers and students, soccer moms and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists will head out on an annual mission—often before dawn. For more than 100 years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house in the middle of winter. These citizen scientists are taking action for conservation. By participating in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, they help scientists understand how birds are faring amid unprecedented environmental challenges. The data they collect informs the world about the state of birds and provides the information we need to shape their future and ours. “Each of the citizen scientists who brave snow, wind or rain to take part in the Christmas Bird Count make an enormous contribution to conservation,” said Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count Director. Last year, thousands of volunteers counted

Photo by Ann Haver-Allen See on how you can help with this year’s Christmas Bird Count.

nearly 60 million birds across the Americas and beyond. Each count occurs in a designated circle, 15 miles in diameter, and is led by an experienced birder, or designated “compiler.” The longest running citizen science program in the world, the count originally began

on Christmas Day in 1900, when ornithologist and legendary birder Frank Chapman posed an alternative to an earlier traditional holiday “side hunt.” Chapman proposed “hunting” birds to record their numbers. Instead of firing a shotgun, now we have an annual snapshot. Decades of data have added

up to results envied by other scientists who don’t enjoy such a fleet of volunteer help, or creatures as easily seen and counted as birds. “Counting is the first step in learning how environmental threats are affecting our birds,” LeBaron said. The proverbial “canaries in the coal mine,” birds provide an early warning indicator of the health of the world we all share. “Last year these birds sent us a clear message that their fate is determined by human activity more than anything else,” said Audubon President John Flicker when announcing WatchList 2007. Using CBC and other data sources, WatchList identified 178 species in the continental United States and 39 in Hawaii that are imperiled. The report was based on the latest available research, including the Christmas Bird Count. In June of 2007, CBC results were pivotal to the Common Birds in Decline Report, which revealed that some of America’s most beloved and familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past 40 years, with some down as much as 80 percent. For more information, or to get involved with the 2008 Christmas Bird Count, see

More Kids in the Woods

continued from page 6

to raising healthy, sustainable gardens and, hopefully, instill in them a greater sense of connection to both community and the natural environment.” The U.S. Forest Service More Kids in the Woods program launched two years ago and was largely inspired by the book, “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louve. In the book, the author describes a myriad of problems that children exhibit (ADD, ADHD and various emotional issues), which he believes are caused by an umbrella condition that he has termed Nature Deficit Disorder. “It seems obvious today that kids are spending less and less time in nature,” Hulmes said. “Kids need nature to be happy and healthy. To understand and interact with nature is profoundly important for both their personal physical and mental health, but also for the future health of our environment. We exist in a time when we need to be cultivating increased concern and responsibility and care for nature, not less. “The grant has motivated a tremendous collaboration of agencies, nonprofits and teachers. Together we’re bringing

Page 7

Earth Odyssey •

that enthusiasm and expertise into stronger focus and hope to improve the condition of creeks and watersheds in a way that can also support educational standards.” “With the support of this grant and our partners we are able to reach a great number of youth and educators within our county to support standardbased environmental education outside of the classroom walls,” Kapp added. “By engaging youth in meaningful and sustained outdoor experiences and providing opportunities for unstructured play and exploration, we are building the foundation for their future as land resource managers and stewards of their environment.” Mingus Springs Camp and Outdoor Learning Center is the lead organization on the CCC grant. Prescott College is one of the primary partners in a coalition of 20 other Prescott-area organizations. The coalition includes: Children’s Conservation Corps (CCC) and Junior Forest Ranger Program partners include Mingus Springs Camp and Outdoor Learning Center, Prescott College, University of Arizona Agriculture Extension Service:

(Master Watershed Stewards), Prescott Unified School District, Beaver Creek School District, Skyview Charter School, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, Highlands Center for Natural History, Prescott Creeks Preservation Association, City of Prescott, Prescott Yavapai Indian Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Nation, Sharlot Hall Museum, Arizona Foundation for Resource Education, Bureau of Land Management: Agua Fria National Monument, National Park Service: (Montezuma National Monument, Tuzigoot National Monument), Arizona State Parks: (Red Rock State Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Jerome State Historic Park, Verde River Greenway), National Elk Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation. Prescott College’s experientially based bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ph.D. programs guide students in developing individualized courses of study that balance personal and professional development with understanding of the influences of human activities on human and natural environments. For more info on Prescott College, see

December 2008

Black-tailed prairie dogs clawing their way back in southern Arizona By Andrew J. Shainker Cronkite News Service opping out of its burrow in Sonoita, Ariz.,, a black-tailed prairie dog seems a natural part of this grass-covered expanse. It would seem natural, that is, if the hole into its burrow weren’t a plastic tube. Or if a cage weren’t keeping it from going anywhere fast. Or if two people from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, camping nearby, weren’t keeping an eye on it through binoculars. Nearly 50 years after the black-tailed prairie dog was poisoned, shot and trapped out of existence in this area, the creature is clawing its way back into southern Arizona. Seventy-four black-tailed prairie dogs were brought here in early October from a ranch in New Mexico. They’re starting out in acclimation pens on 10 acres of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, 45 miles southeast of Tucson. While not everyone around here celebrating their arrival, Game and Fish biologist Kyle McCarty said prairie dogs are key to this area’s environment. “There are so many false perceptions of black-tailed prairie dogs,” McCarty said. “Many people don’t understand these animals are actually beneficial to our ecosystem.” It’s the prairie dog’s ability to dig—and dig and dig—that benefits the environment, he said. Prairie dog burrows aerate the soil, help water reach aquifers faster and provide habitats for other species, and the creatures’ waste fertilizes the rangeland grasses on which prairie dogs and cattle feed. “People realized it was a huge mistake to exterminate these animals,” said Bill Van Pelt, a Game and Fish program manager in charge of the reintroduction. “Just because something was done historically does not make it right.” The black-tailed prairie dog, which once was endangered but has come back in other areas, is native to 11 western states and parts of Mexico and Canada. The group brought

Prairie dog facts*


December 2008

Photo by Andrew Shainker/Cronkite News Service A black-tailed prairie dog stands at the entrance to an artificial burrow created to reintroduce several dozen of the creatures to southern Arizona near Sonoita. The species once was common in the grasslands of southern Arizona but was wiped out in the 1960s as a pest.

here was selected because it’s similar genetically to the population that once existed in Arizona.

McCarty said the prairie dogs’ new home was chosen for its rich soil and rolling hills, which resemble an area in Mexico that has one of the largest populations of black-tailed prairie dogs. “This land has given these prairie dogs the best possible chance for survival,” McCarty said. “The soil and vegetation are just ideal.” The artificial burrows are only temporary accommodations. The new residents already are digging and will expand their burrows at a rate of about 10 to 15 percent a year, Van Pelt said. The colony is starting out on land where Mac Donaldson’s family has grazed cattle for four generations. He said he had mixed emotions about having prairie dogs back. “I support the attempt to keep these animals off the endangered species list,” Donaldson said. “On the other hand, I hope they don’t compete against my cattle for food.”

Earth Odyssey •

• Prairie dogs occur only in North America. They are rodents within the squirrel family and include five species—the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), the white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus), the Gunnison prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni), the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) and the Mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus). • The Utah and Mexican prairie dogs are currently listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened and endangered respectively. Generally, the black-tailed prairie dog occurs east of the other four species in more mesic habitat. • Prairie dogs are small, stout ground squirrels. The total length of an adult black-tailed prairie dog is approximately 14 to 17 inches. The weight of an individual ranges from one pound to three pounds. Individual appearances within the species vary in mixed colors of brown, black, gray and white. • Black-tailed prairie dogs are diurnal, burrowing animals. They do not hibernate as do white-tailed, Gunnison and Utah prairie dogs (Hoogland 1995, Tileston and Lechleitner 1966). Species dependent upon prairie dogs include the black-footed ferret, swift fox, mountain plover, ferruginous hawk, burrowing owl and a number of others to varying degrees. • The historic range of the black-tailed prairie dog included portions of 11 states, Canada and Mexico. Today, it occurs from extreme south-central Canada to northeastern Mexico and from approximate the 98th meridian west to the Rocky Mountains. • The species is currently present in 10 states, including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. It is extirpated in Arizona. *Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Donaldson said his feelings are shared by neighboring ranchers, who wonder whether prairie dogs are even native to the area. He said he’s confident Game and Fish will work with ranchers if problems arise. “Learning from the past, the better we cooperate the more impact we can have on management,” Donaldson said. McCarty said people historically have feared that the creatures could transmit bubonic plague—which has harmed prairie dog numbers over decades—to humans, which he said isn’t the case. Prairie dogs also See Prairie Dogs, page 9

Page 8

The spirituality of stuff


Photo by Andrew Shainker/Cronkite News Service Kyle McCarty (standing) and Holly Hicks of the Arizona Game & Fish Department tend to a cage atop an artificial burrow created for black-tailed prairie dogs that have been reintroduced to the grassland near Sonoita. Officials say the creatures, which were wiped out in the area as pests in the 1960s, are beneficial to the environment in many ways.

Prairie Dogs

continued from page 8

have been viewed as competitors for cattle forage, but McCarty said prairie dogs actually improve cattle grazing. “Although they benefit the environment in so many ways, people still look at them as rodents that carry the plague,” McCarty said. While ranchers might have to get used to their new neighbors, hawks and eagles, which feed on prairie dogs, will benefit immediately from having them back, McCarty said. When the population here is fully established, Game and Fish plans to reintroduce black-tailed prairie dogs to five other sites in southern Arizona. The effort, a collaboration with the State Land Department, is using federal and state funds and is expected to cost $276,000 over five years.

December 2008

“The money being used is well worth it,” Van Pelt said, noting that the program will help keep the creature from being listed under the Endangered Species Act. Holly Hicks, a second-year intern with Game and Fish, is camping at the site to assure area residents that the prairie dogs won’t affect their livestock or crops. She said responses so far have been promising. The prairie dogs breed in the spring, with females producing anywhere from three to six pups, but it will take a long time for this colony to expand beyond the conservation area, she said, in part because there are no abandoned prairie dog tunnels nearby to move into. “These animals will not affect ranchers for many years, if at all,” Hicks said.

t seems like everywhere I look these days people are going through their “stuff,” whether it is emotional stuff, physical stuff, spiritual stuff or just plain stuff. You know…the kind of stuff that eventually fills up your garage, and then you need to have a garage sale to get rid of the stuff that you have too much of, so that you can acquire more high-quality stuff! The funny thing is sometimes we can’t even give the stuff away. People are becoming more particular about what stuff they will take off your hands. And even garage sales aren’t drawing many people looking for bargain treasures anymore. They already have a garage full of the stuff themselves! We end up taking the excess stuff to charities and even then you can’t get rid of it all. So we put it in our landfills… perfectly good, usable stuff. Buried in a heap with other stuff, so that we have to manufacture more stuff to fill the space we have made in our lives for more new stuff. Those of us old enough can remember George Carlin’s famous comedy routine making light of how much stuff people accumulate in their lives. The sad part is that it is all too true. This seemingly endless cycle of insanity is apparent to many of us and is easily observed by those of us willing to step back and look at the habits of purchasing and manufacturing that have been increasing in the industrialized nations for many years. In these days of consumerism and marketing, we are brainwashed to believe that we all need more stuff. And so we strive to have jobs that produce enough income to collect more stuff. And when we get our new stuff, we are enamored with it at first and then we seem to lose interest and begin to look for what we can get next. The problem is that all this stuff is cluttering up our homes, our communities and our lives. We have even taken discarding stuff to a “higher level” with the recent phenomenon of space junk. But what kind of stuff enhances our spiritual comfort or growth? Is having too much stuff or clutter contributing to our being less clear or less spiritual? Certainly there are things we choose to have in our lives that improve the comfort, beauty and enjoyment we all appreciate. Things that we enjoy, or have a heartfelt connection with are also uplifting to our spirit. These things have a different and more intrinsic value to our feelings of peace and calmness. But is this what we want to strive for as an indicator of happiness? Attaching our happiness to physical things, as we know, can have a detrimental effect on the balance of our emotions. We can have things and take pleasure in our surroundings and still not be attached to our possessions. Perhaps we can take stock of what we have and what we desire in order to see where we can make positive changes. Those of us who feel over burdened with the energy of stuff tend to trend toward simplifying our lives. In the past few weeks, I have observed many of my friends and family sorting out their stuff. Many people are letting go of stuff, not necessarily to get more,

Earth Odyssey •

by Maya Joy Angeles but to have less. Less to deal with on a daily basis…less to clean, less to organize, less to be responsible for. Is there a mirror here? How does this relate to what we are experiencing on a spiritual level? How many of us are still hoarding heaps of emotional stuff? How much usable stuff have we buried under our own emotional or mental garbage? Are we really leaving any space in our emotional minds and bodies for spiritual growth? Maybe we need to have an emotional/spiritual housecleaning! Spiritual growth occupies no space and creates no clutter. It is freeing the mind and body for experiencing a closer walk with our divine perception. We can let go of the stuff that is cluttering our spiritual awakening, and instead of filling up the new found space with more stuff…like buying into the widespread belief of lack and limitation…we can allow ourselves to feel the freedom of having less. Less worries…less fear, less negative thinking and less anger or confusion to occupy our minds. Perhaps it is a good time also to let go of old limiting beliefs, old pain and anger and worn out emotions that no longer serve our highest good. Let’s take a fresh look at what we really want to keep in our life and what new ideas, emotions and relationships we want to develop. The more we free our emotional selves, the more we can connect with the world within and without from a heartfelt space of peace and joy. We can make positive changes in our hearts, in our lives and in our world. Most of us, in some way, are looking at our own life in new and creative ways. Cleaning out closets, discarding useless items and getting rid of clutter. We can joyfully and generously give to our families, friends and people in need who may benefit from the flow of recycling our material resources. We may also find great fulfillment in donating objects we no longer use to charitable organizations. In this season of holiday cheer, let us all remember to share with the intention of giving value to those around us, bringing a sense of appreciation as we lift the spirits of others and ourselves. Peace and Blessings, Maya Joy Angeles, co-owner of the Crystal Lotus Gallery and Spiritual Life Center, located on Highway 87 in Pine, Arizona.

Page 9

Monthly horoscope Dominique looks to from Dominique the stars above


Read your Sun, Ascending, and Moon sign. An astrologer can help you find all of the planets’ places on the day that you were born. Included this month, you will find the planet that rules your sign. i Sagittarius—November 23–December 22 Focus on what you value. It is not just about valuables or worth. When one acknowledges and gets involved in that which they love and value in life, they attract all kinds of the “good things” of life. Some call it abundance. This is a truth that Sagittarius is all about as your sign is ruled by Jupiter. j Capricorn—December 23–January 20 Your ability to be creative is enhanced. Something good is going to happen. Be patient. You may feel it already. Trust the sense that something is coming and then let go of the wanting. But why wait? Enjoy the present and the future will take care of itself. Saturn teaches patience and perseverance. k Aquarius—January 21–February 19 Unusual or unexpected gift or news is likely now. Keep working on making a dream come true. No matter if it is big or small, quit fantasizing. Do something toward making it come true or just give up and get a new dream. Uranus helps you with the ability to handle many things at once. l Pisces—February 20–March 20 Work through any relationship stuff. Your career or purpose is energized. Change could lead to opportunity. Have faith, doubt is the strong deterrent that keeps us from knowing bliss. Focus on the important relationships in your life. New ideas come easily. Neptune bestows intuitive ability. a Aries—March 21–April 19 Lessons around health and/or your work. You may find that you have lots of tasks and responsibilities. A friend does something positive for you. Your confidence is high. Be creative. Let yourself go, do something you would have liked as a child. Mars gives you energy and strength. b Taurus—April 20–May 20 Important subjects for you this month; spiritual connection, lessons about love and relationships, creativity on a big project, intuition, endings and beginnings. Make the most of what is yours. You are able to see what others may overlook. Past planning pays off. Venus is about beauty and love. c Gemini—May 22–June 21 This month features relationships and partnering with others. Balance and adjustment are key words for you at this time. Look for opportunities to work with others. You feel good when those around you are happy. Past

Page 10

Dominique Shilling, MAFA, is a counselor and astrologer with a practice in the Valley. For an appointment, contact her at Way to the Light Within, (602) 279-2941 or check out her Web site at

situation comes up for correction. Mercury makes you good at communication. d Cancer—June 22–July 23 Anything you want can be yours. You have the capability to get anything you desire. Opportunities around your work. Focus on your ability to endure. You gain by letting go of the old and making room for the new. Focus on your health and spend time with your pets. Moon makes you a nurturer. e Leo—July 24–August 23 Mind on work and health. Change is likely now. What you focus on will pave the way to the negative or the positive. What you focus on expands. Plans you make for your future will be successful if you follow through. Listen with your heart. You are lucky, the sun is your planet! f Virgo—August 24–September 23 Romance and creativity are your themes for this month. Many things will improve soon. Just be patient and do what you need to do. Now is a good time to repair and renew around your home. Take time to have some fun. Simple things are best. Mercury enhances analytical ability. g Libra—September 24–October 23 Write, speak, ask, tell and listen; information turns into energy. It is important now to be a good observer as well. You may have feelings of expectation. Patiently stick to your commitments and things will work out just fine. Know your gifts and use them. Venus is about beauty and love! h Scorpio—October 24–November 22 Value, valuables and your worth changes. You have the ability to speak with strength and conviction. Trust your intuition about home and feelings about security. New life springs from within the old. You have a chance to learn about miracles. Pluto is powerful and the transformer.

he month of December starts with the sun in the sign of Sagittarius, so this month we look at this astrological sign and the planet that rules it. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius. The sun enters the sign of Sagittarius in midNovember and goes out in the middle of December. Sagittarius is a mutable sign, mutable means changeable or handles change easily. Each of the four mutable signs coincide with the gradual changing of the seasons. Sagittarius begins when autumn is turning into winter. Sagittarius is the sign that comes before Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign that starts on the first day of winter. Sagittarius is one of the three fire signs that can be described as life-giving and are the vital forces of the Zodiac. Fire signs are positive and extroverted, and are leaders and pioneers. Sagittarius is the teacher, or the philosopher. Sagittarians are open minded, progressive, visionary, freedom loving, adventurous, spontaneous, seeks truth and has aspirations. They can also have these negative traits: excessive, exaggerates, argumentative, procrastinates, pushy, blunt and frank. The ruling planet of Sagittarius is Jupiter. Jupiter takes about 12 years to circle the zodiac. Jupiter traits include the following: Sense of optimism, abundance, justice and morality, material opportunities, good fortune, compensations, expansion, sense of trust, breadth of experience, confidence, joviality, success, faith, farsightedness, wisdom, joy of living and likes travel and adventure. The constellation of Sagittarius resembles a Centaur with a bow and arrow and is called the Archer. The word sagitta is Latin for arrow. The astrological symbol for Sagittarius depicts the arrow as it crosses the bow. A Centaur has the torso of a man on the top of a horselike body. The constellation of Sagittarius is a large field of stars that is a part of the Milky Way. The very center of the Milky Way lies inside the constellation of Sagittarius. The archer’s arrow is pointing to Antares, the bright red star, which is the heart of Scorpio. The archer is said to be avenging Orion, who was slain by the Scorpion’s sting. This month’s Retrograde Planets: Wow! All of the planets are going direct! We spend the whole month with each of the planets moving in direct motion. Then on the last day of the month, Dec. 31, Saturn goes retrograde at 21 degrees Virgo. Saturn will be in retrograde motion until May 16, 2009. It is very rare to have all of the planets going direct at the same time! Forward motion is good, and literally we may see things happening in a more direct manner. The following paragraphs are broken down by weeks.

Earth Odyssey •

Monday the 1st, we have Venus Capricorn conjunct Jupiter, which enhances our ability for solving problems and finding solutions to mysteries and other unknowns. These two benefic or beneficial planets working together can help us with the tangible things in our lives. On Thursday, Mercury Sagittarius squaring Uranus Pisces could make it more difficult to attain mental discipline and harder to make decisions. The next day has the sun conjunct Mars in Sagittarius, which is great for starting new projects. It also enhances physical energy and ambition. On the 6th, with Mercury square Saturn Virgo, you may want to save detail-intensive tasks for another day. Mercury sextile Neptune Aquarius stimulates the imagination. Neptune in positive aspect to Mercury heightens our ability to appreciate creativity and the arts. This is a perfect day for enjoying a movie or just getting away from your daily routine. On the 7th, Venus goes into the sign of the Water-Bearer, otherwise known as Aquarius. Wednesday the 10th has sun Sagittarius squaring Uranus Pisces. Unexpected events could be related to electricity. Small things like having the power go off for a minute or so, a light bulb burning out or discovering that an electrical appliance needs to be fixed. On the next day, Mars Sagittarius squares Uranus Pisces, this combination puts force together with the erratic or unexpected in an unfriendly way. Leave for work early so you can take your time and be a little more patient than usual while in traffic. Friday the 12th has a lot going on! Mercury enters the constellation of Capricorn. This month’s new moon is exact at 21 Gemini at 9:38 a.m. MST. You may want to take time out of your day at 9:38 a.m., because this would be a great time to write goals, compose a love note or write a statement of the good things that are going to happen for you in the near future. Focus on things that you want to grow or expand. The new moon is a time for new beginnings as it starts the moon’s growth toward becoming full later this month. On this same day, we also have Mercury conjunct Pluto Capricorn to lend power to communication; this is a good day for research and analysis as well. The sun in Sagittarius square to Saturn Virgo could make it hard to work on mentally intensive tasks for too long. Saturday the 13th, with the sun Sagittarius sextile Neptune Aquarius, is great for imagination, dreams and fantasies. Monday the 15th’s Mars Sagittarius square Saturn Virgo may require more patience; try not to push yourself so hard today. Take time to relax. On Tuesday, the combination of Mars sextile Neptune in Aquarius enhances the imagination and can add a little fun and make it easier to get See Stars, page 11

December 2008

Save the planet first, Wall Street will follow


t is all connected! In the first two “What in the World is Happening” articles (Earth Odyssey October and November issues) I discussed the diminishing intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field and the possibility of a polar shift occurring on the planet in the not too distant future (2012?). I also questioned whether or not these Earth changes are in any way connected to the financial “crisis” the world is currently experiencing. Well, yes, of course they’re connected! Everything is connected. Consider the numerous astronauts who have flown into space and experienced prolonged separation from the Earth’s magnetic field. I understand that there are magnetic forces in the spaceships, but they are not the same as Mother Earth’s magnetic field. Many of these astronauts have had lifechanging spiritual awakenings as a result of these space travels. This is what I’m talking about. As the Earth’s magnetic field reduces (as it has been for many decades) we are less suppressed by the magnetism and more capable of perceiving subtle energies. The perception of subtle energies is a big step toward the belief of other dimensional existences and toward spiritual awareness. The most fundamental revelation toward spiritual awareness is the understanding that all intelligence (humans, animals, plant life, rocks, stars and other stuff) are all part of one collective consciousness of love. This is the connection. The one source of all that is divine intelligence—the sum total of all love; the unity consciousness of which you are a part. I encourage us to focus our intentions on those components of the collective consciousness that need healing. Let’s stop our preoccupation with the comeback of the “Dow Jones Average,” because everything is going to be fine with the economy, eventually. Let’s prod ourselves to get involved in the efforts of environmentalists to save life on this planet, because it’s getting very tenuous for many species. Please consider the following statistics from the World Conservation Union (IUCN) about the estimated 1.8 million species of life identified by our scientists: • 22 percent of all mammals on Earth are globally threatened or vulnerable to extinction.


“human beans.” Other news: There are political obstacles that are large enough to restrict the ongoing efforts to heal the planet. Why are we making it so tough on ourselves? The average person living on this planet is a peace-loving individual with nothing but good intentions toward the health of the human race and our living environment. The political structure of control in this world is leading us toward short-term corporate profits instead of long-term environmental sustainability. What can we do to correct the decision-making policies of our government? It is clearly not enough for us to vote “green” when electing our local, state and federal representatives. We must create more and more “grass roots” organizations to work toward the healing. What are you doing? What am I doing? Can we devote some of our seemingly precious time to creating something positive in our community? The “green” decree, “Think globally and act locally,” is a great one. If everyone were to get involved on the local level, it would lead to more political “Green Power” on the global level. If you are a retiree, you can have a new career as a volunteer assisting in your community’s needs. If you are a young person, you can learn that the surest source of happiness is to get involved in something bigger than

and purifying. At the least, it can have all of us feeling a little more introspective than usual. The intensity of the sun shines on what needs change in our lives. Pluto is the transformer. Vulnerable areas can become strengths when Pluto helps by bringing them to light. On the 24th, the big Christian Holiday, Mercury Capricorn sextile Uranus Pisces makes this a great day for communication. You could call and talk to someone who may not want to be alone on the holiday. Families can intensify their closeness and improve their relationships as they join in

celebration. Keep in mind that Uranus is not about the traditional, so expect the unexpected. In addition, this same aspect can make it easier to generate solutions and/or the ability to come up with creative ideas. Friday the 26th, has Mercury trine Saturn Virgo. These two planets together can help with mental discipline and make it easier to take care of details. This energy will help if you plan to hit the after-holiday sales or need to take things back. Also on Friday, Mars enters the constellation of Capricorn and we have the full moon at 06 degrees of Capricorn, which will

Courtesy photo The European Bison is a success story saved from near extinction.

yourself: Earth. Research what is needed in your community. Find out what is going on right now. Think about what else is needed. Think about how we can improve upon what is currently being done and then let’s join those organizations to allow our voices to be heard effectively. Organize and support community gardens, recycling, preservation of sensitive and sacred lands. Let’s do what we can do as consumers to improve upon the health of the planet, and the health of our extended families.

Success story The European Bison was nearly extinct in the early 20th century with just a few survivors living in a few zoos. As a result of efforts of certain environmentalists dedicated to reintroducing these wonderful beasts into the wild, there are now populations of an estimated 1,800 European Bisons thriving on free ranges in the forests of Eastern Europe. There are many opportunities for us to have similar and even greater success stories. As our efforts increase, our successes will multiply and before we know it, our planet will be happy with us; and we will thrive along with the “Dow Jones Average!” John Hall is a co-owner of the Crystal Lotus Gallery and Spiritual Life Center, located on Hwy. 87 in Pine. Telephone (928) 476-3410.

continued from page 10

things done. The sun goes into Capricorn at 5:04 a.m. MST on the 21st. Capricorn is the sign that is half goat in the front, and in the back he has a fish’s tail. He can go from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the mountain. On Monday, the sun conjuncts Pluto at 0 degrees Capricorn. The sun’s energy highlights Pluto’s attributes, which include the ability to reach deep into that which is hidden within. This can help to reveal whatever needs to be brought up and let go. Taken seriously this could be a process of cleansing

December 2008

• 14 percent of all birds on Earth are globally threatened or vulnerable to extinction. • 13 percent of all plant species are globally threatened or vulnerable to extinction. Most all biologists agree that we are undergoing a mass extinction phenomenon, with more than 1,000 species expected to enter the category of extinction within the year 2008. At the current geometric rate of insanity, approximately one fifth of living species could be extinct within 30 years. Please recognize that it is not OK for all these species to go extinct. This recognition makes the current economic “crisis” seem incidental. If you don’t understand how our fellow living species are more important than your financial situation, consider the bee. The worldwide population of bees is relied upon by the vast majority of plant life on the planet. Approximately one half of all the food consumed by humans is influenced in some way by the pollination efforts of bees. If the bees were to become extinct tomorrow, it would immediately threaten our very survival. We would be forced into the mind-boggling need to quickly develop some means of abiotic pollination with controlled wind machines or some such substitution for the valuable tasks the bees have been performing for us. Sadly, there are billions of bees dying every day, and scientists are not certain of the cause. I suggest the cause has a lot to do with the pervasive atmospheric pollutants created by our ever-growing industrial endeavors. Good news: We can alter the trend of pollution to our environment. There are no technical obstacles large enough to stop us from changing the planet back to the original “Garden of Eden” for all species; even us

Earth Odyssey •

be exact at 5:23 a.m. MST. The 27th has Venus conjunct Neptune in Aquarius. Venus is beauty and art, and Neptune is fantasy and imagination. This would make it a great day to go see a movie or do anything that piques the creative part within. Sunday the 28th’s Mars conjunct Pluto Capricorn intensifies ability to go into the deeper feelings, and beliefs of self and/or others. It could also be a great day to let go of something that no longer serves you. On the last day of this month, Saturn goes retrograde at 21 Virgo.

Page 11

Holiday feasting without gaining weight


ow can we avoid the weight gain during the holiday season without feeling deprived and miserable? Though it may seem impossible to avoid all those rich and delicious foods, here are ways you can share in the fun without increasing your waistline: • All things in moderation! Use this approach to all things during the holiday season. • Drink lots of water or tea to flush out toxins and help decrease appetite. • Stay active to burn off calories. My grandma use to tell me: “After eating stand up and walk 1,000 steps.” In addition, the following herbs and herbal formulas may help you avoid weight gain.

into fat, building additional storage of body energy (glucose).

Gymnema is a sugar destroyer Enjoy your sweets with gymnema. This herb blocks sugar absorption, and therefore, calories. People take it before a high sugar/ carbohydrate meal for weight management and to stabilize blood sugar.

Seaweeds speed up metabolism Kelp, dulse and bladderwrack are seaweeds known to be the best remedies for people who are overweight or gain weight easily mainly due to a low metabolism or low functioning thyroid gland.

Spirulina is a superfood Stay slim and fit Most people gain weight and build fat tissues because they do not metabolize and use nutrients effectively. Food stays in the body too long and turns into fat. (For example, meat usually stays in the digestive system for about two weeks.) Therefore, it is important to increase the body’s absorption rate. Herbs, such as kelp, ginseng and cayenne combined with some chromium can help your body absorb nutrients more efficiently, increase your energy levels and give you a wonderful sense of well-being. Effec-

tive elimination is crucial for preventing weight gain as well. Buckthorn, rhubarb root, triphala and flaxseed cleanse the digestive system, stimulate peristalsis and elimination.

Garcinia burns off fat Scientific studies have shown that this tropical fruit, also known as tamarind, suppresses appetite, burns off fat through thermogenesis and prevents the formation of fatty tissues. Garcinia works by slowing down the conversion of excess carbohydrates

Spirulina is loaded with easily absorbable vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is also high in protein, ideal for vegetarians. People take spirulina before meals to curb appetite. They eat less, feel nourished and energized, because the brain has recognized that the body is nourished, not just with calories, but necessary nutrients.

Drink tea Drinking tea can help burn calories and fat. It’s true. Some teas can even boost your energy levels. Studies have shown that people

who regularly drink green tea, four cups or more a day, have less body fat compared to those who don’t drink tea regularly. A traditional Chinese tea known as Bojenmi tea is one such green tea, blended with other herbs to maximize nutrient absorption, dispel fat, phlegm and excess water. My friends say that if they drink a cup before meals they eat less! One of the best kept secrets is that if you keep your body in a slightly alkaline state you can attain your ideal weight and never gain another pound. There are many ways to alkalize the body. One way is to drink teas without sweeteners or cream added. What kind of tea? Do they contain caffeine? How do they taste? How much tea can I drink? For more infomation about different teas, see The Herb Stop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays. For classes, weekend seminars and consultations, visit or call The Herb Stop, 4004 N. Hwy. 87 in Pine. (928) 476-4144. You may also visit the store in Ruidoso, N.M., or the Web site at The FDA has not approved these statements. The information given is not meant to act as a prescription, medical advice or therapeutic advice. Consult your healthcare professional prior to using botanicals discussed in this column.

Bring nature inside your home this winter


urn your home into a Winter Wonderland. Let Mother Nature be your holiday decorator and spend time with family and friends decorating your home with a focus on togetherness rather than spending and consumption. Walk in the wild rather than the mall. Check out your backyard for interesting sticks, vines, grasses and seed pods that can be turned into incredibly unique décor with a little bit of imagination. Get your children out and away from TV and computers by finding discarded natural materials. Every region has its own weeds. Wisteria, grapevine, honeysuckle, juniper and cedar all have their own beautiful essence and make gorgeous wreaths and garlands to frame your windows, hang on your doors or dress up your hearth. Adorn banisters and mantles with evergreen boughs. Holly has been a cherished holiday decoration since ancient times when the Romans celebrated the winter solstice by giving holly in honor of Saturn, the god of agricultural and vegetation. Christmas Cactus has a long life span and is easy to care for. Instead of buying a tree, look for colorful bare branches or those with interesting shapes and textures. Cut the twigs the height you want and secure in a container. Use sticky tape and wire, pour pebbles and/or sand into the vases and place large rocks around the stems to hold them in place. If you are wanting a table display, line up three glass vases on top of a colorful table runner. Fill the vases

Page 12

with your choice of nature’s offerings. Lay bunches of branches along the center of the table runner. Surround the branches with beautiful rocks, seed pods and dried flowers. being sure to keep the arrangement low making it easy to talk across the table. Decorate your branch-tree with handmade cranberry bead strands. They are an elegant, traditional, alternative and easy to make. Here’s how: Thread your needle. Tie a knot at the end of your thread. (The length depends on what your needs are.) Begin threading cranberries on to the thread making sure the knot holds at the end. When you have reached your desired length, tie a large knot at the other end. Variations: Thread bay leaves, dried fruit, pinecones, leaves, sticks and flowers. The fruit strands can be fed to the birds after you are done. When you are out gathering, choose

materials that will add to the look you want to create. If it’s a cozy dining area, use large branches and bring the display all the way to the ceiling—filling the area with nature. If you want a minimalistic look, use single branches and twigs and place them away from walls in an uncluttered area. Less will say more. To avoid harmful environmental and health related problems associated with conventional candles, use only beeswax or soy candles. They smell better as well. Try this: Make an Orange Clove Sparkler. Materials: Knife, whole cloves, whole orange, beeswax candle. • Cut the bottom of the orange so it sits flat. • Cut a hole in the center.

• Scoop out the insides enough to fit your candle. • Decorate the rim of the hole by pressing cloves into the orange skin. • Insert beeswax or soy candle in the center hole. Leave the STUFF in the stores, put more money in your pockets and give the holidays more meaning. Bonnie is an artist who reuses and recycles materials in her creations. She designed and instructed art programs for the Okanogan School of Arts in British Columbia and has been awarded art commissions from the State of Arizona Arts Commission and the Gilbert and Glendale libraries.


$hop $mart & $ave

Up to 80% off retail!

Earth Odyssey •

Gently used laundered clothing for men & women, gift and decor items, furniture & housewares 404 W. Main Street, Ste. E • Payson, AZ (928) 478-1065 • Monday-Saturday: 10-5pm

December 2008

‘Sacred Sky Sacred Bond’

Book tracks humanity’s bond with the skies


illiam Seven, author of “Sacred Sky Sacred Bond,” postulates that humanity has lost its course because humanity has lost its connection with the heavens. “For as long as men and women have walked our planet, the skies of day and night have not only been a practical tool, but also a source of divine inspiration,” Seven said. “As our early ancestors repeatedly observed the infinite majesty of the heavens, they imagined the possibility of something greater than themselves supervising its harmonious regularity.” Seven practices archaeoastronomy—science that combines archaeology, anthropology, astronomy and mythology in a way that reveals long lost secrets and misunderstood historical events—to examine the sociological development of humanity. He begins with pre-Ice Age civilizations and establishes that celestial/earth awareness was crucial to survival. Seven asserts that Ice Age homo sapiens learned to use the sky as a tool for survival and that their knowledge enabled them to survive while Neanderthals slowly disappeared. “The way we track time; the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west; the invention of the calendar; religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas; the concept of angels; our religious institutions—all have their origins in the cycles of the heavens, the earth and its seasons,” Seven writes. “It is accepted that the practice of incorporating these cycles for practical and ceremonial purposes started long before the invention of the written word.” Homo sapiens’ knowledge of the sky began with baby steps. The first astronomers began to make connections between the moon, sun, stars and seasons. They learned they could predict spring and winter. They learned when

December 2008

Photo illustration by Pia Wyer Chacoan people were intimately aware of all their surroundings and were close observers of the skies and seasonal cycles. Their observations provided them with the invaluable ability to time their agricultural and ceremonial events, which were central to their survival.

to plant and when to gather. “With the bond between heaven and Earth made, it was not long before another leap of consciousness was made,” Seven wrote. “A vision that something greater than themselves was responsible for the order of the world. Some force oversaw the care of trees, the water, the mountains and the skies. The concept of heavenly and earthly spirits was forming in the minds of early humans.” This basic knowledge developed into more complex societies, where those at the top were believed to have direct connections to the heavens. “Through divine authority granted by the heavens, the world’s pharaohs, emperors, kings, queens and religious institutions began considering themselves celestial representa-

tives on earth,” Seven writes. “For rulers to create credible empires, it was necessary to commune with the gods and interpret the celestial cycles that established their divine authority on Earth. Therefore, it was essential that each kingdom built structures that granted them access to the sky.” The oldest known archaeoastronomical site is Newgrange in Ireland. But perhaps Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain in England is the best known. Other structures built to connect the heavens and earth include the pyramids on the Giza plateau in Egypt; the pyramids and observatories of the Maya, Inca and Aztecs in Central and South America; and the Indian civilizations of the United States. “It is now accepted throughout the scientific world that these incredible monuments to

Earth Odyssey •

man’s ingenuity were inspired and designed by peoples’ vision of the cosmos, their need to interpret and commune with the gods and were solely constructed by humankinds’ manual labor and sheer willpower,” Seven writes. “Every culture on our planet looked to the heavens as a wellspring of enlightenment. Early humans used the heavens to create a stable existence.” He argues that humanity lost that knowledge of the heavens because religious zealots labeled it as pagan. “In 1582 many Protestant reformers began to consider winter festivals as frivolous pagan rituals and banned them all,” Seven writes. “Even though the legend of Saint Nicholas appeared as early as the 10th century in GerSee Sacred Sky, page 14

Page 13

Sacred Sky

continued from page 13

many, Normandy and northern Italy, Protestant reformers said it was nothing more than ancient Celtic and Gaelic traditions disguised as Christianity. It was not until 1703 that pagan Christmas celebration was once again

deemed acceptable. “Later in the 19th century, the Puritans again outlawed Christmas in Boston for the same reasons. Schools and business were open and people were fired if they refused

Clockwork of the Great Ages (from Sacred Sky Sacred Bond by William Seven)

Age of Aquarius

c. 2400

The actual needs of humankind become more important than what is technically possible. Space exploration and colonization.

Age of Pisces

c. 0

Fish-symbol religion promotes humility and charity through the foundation and development of Christianity. The pantheon of many gods ends and monotheism is firmly established worldwide.

Age of Aries

c. 1600 BCE

Ram-symbol tribes, who help build Egyptian dynasties, are freed, look for homeland and teach monotheism. Greek humanism builds an empire.

Age of Taurus

c. 4000 BCE

Bull cults appear throughout the Mediterranean. Egypt develops pantheon of gods and begins building massive pyramids and temples inspired by celestial observations and calculations.

Age of Gemini

c. 6700 BCE

Twin diety worship. Development of cuneiform, pictogram and other writing systems from Egypt to China. Structured religions and formal schools of learning begin to appear.

Age of Cancer

c. 8100 BCE

Crab and Moon centered religions. Civilizations and agriculture develop in Mesopotamia, China, India and along the Mediterranean. Villages and cities develop more massive architecture.

Age of Leo

c. 10600 BCE

Humankind makes transition from nomad hunter-gatherer to migratory agricultural villager. Stories of the sky, weather and earth evolve into mythology as cyclical studies continue.

Age of Virgo

c. 12960 BCE

Precise astronomical and seasonal observations begin and stories are invented to remember them. Tribal astronomers are appointed to keep engraved records of cycles.

Age of Libra

c. 15120 BCE

Interglacial period of Ice Age enables migrations into the Americas to begin again.

Age of Scorpio

c. 17280 BCE

Our modern ancestors continue to ponder and recognize recurring heavenly and earthly cycles.

Age of Sagittarius

c. 19440 BCE

Throughout the world, women watch the waxing and waning of the moon. Women observe that lunar cycles coincide with their menstrual periods and begin honoring the moon in religious ways.

Age of Capricorn

c. 21600 BCE

First migrations of modern humans along the coast of the Bering Strait. The peopling of the Americas during interglacial period of Ice Age.

Age of Aquarius

c. 23760 BCE

December 2008

Photos by Ann Haver-Allen Above, El Caracol at Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, provided excellent unobstructed views of the skies and surrounding landscape. El Caracol, an observatory, alignes with the motions of Venus, which had tremendous significance for the Maya. Venus was considered the sun’s twin and a war god. Mayan leaders used the changing position of Venus to plan appropriate times for raids and battles. Below, Kukulcán Pyramid at Chichén Itzá was designed so that each Vernal Equinox the dying sun cast a shadow of a serpent writhing down the steps of the pyramid. The acoustics are so efficient that a person standing at the top can speak in a normal voice and be heard by those at ground level for some distance. Chichen Itza was built by the Mayas in the Late Classic Period (AD 600-830).

Earth Odyssey •

Page 14

to go to work in order to observe the winter solstice holiday. “These are just a few examples of how religious authorities and their belief systems are continually in a state of transformation. Forgetting the truth of their origins, the cycle of subtle persecution of others begins again. “History and the Bible are filled with stories and examples of our astronomical heritage,” he continues. “Tragically, the church purposely and systematically suppressed many of these celestial connections and traditions as pagan astrology.” Seven goes on to discuss the coming “New Age” and explain the concept of the Grand Precession. It takes about 25,920 years for the Grand Procession to complete one revolution. Divide that into 12 and you get the Great Ages—each named for one of the 12 zodiac signs. Each Great Age lasts an average of 2,160 years, but it varies based on how large the zodiac sign is (see box on page 14). We are currently in the Age of Pisces, which is diminishing and the Age of Aquarius is dawning. Calculating the beginning and end of each Great Age is not an exact science—it depends on which calendar you use to do your calculations. Some assert that we have already entered the Age of Aquarius, still others say it will not dawn until the year 2437. Seven says humanity not only lost its connection to the skies because of religious zealots, but also the night skies are vanishing because of society’s attempt to turn night into day. “Tragically, our societies are unknowingly destroying this international treasure,” he said. “One that is as precious as any other. As you know, people get behind causes such as saving the whales and the rain forest. And, as important as these causes are, scientists around the world have discovered saving our skies from air and light pollution is just as urgent. Why? “Considering the fact that the heavens represent the one tangible unifying bond beyond the genetic link that makes us all one family, I think it’s time we recognized the very real necessity of saving our sacred skies. “Simply put, since the dawn of modern humans, our ancestors have shared the skies as a common bond beyond the genetic link that makes us all one planetary people. “Every culture on our planet looked to the

Page 15

heavens as a wellspring of enlightenment to create culture, society and spirituality. The sacred sky is a planet-wide cultural treasure that must be respected, protected and preserved. “I hope you’ll join the growing numbers of those who have realized, one need only look up . . . to see the light.” Seven, who is the chairman of the Starhenge Steering Committee (see related story on page 16) asserts that conscientious adults have a responsibility to re-educate youth and help humanity rediscover the “forgotten wellspring of human wisdom” available in the heavens. “The world is what we make it,” Seven writes. “If we believe that stopping soil, groundwater and air pollution will help give our children a chance for a substantial future, then this will be the fate of our planet—but only if we act upon it.” For more information, or to purchase a copy of “Sacred Sky Sacred Bond,” see www.

Photos by Gene Simpson Machu Picchu is an Inca citadel located 8,000 feet up in the Andes. It is a complex of cultivation terraces, stone houses, temples and plazas. Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450, at the height of the Inca empire, and was abandoned less than 100 years later, as the empire collapsed under Spanish conquest. Above left, the Intihuatana, or hitching post of the sun, is the only one within the Inca Empire to survive Spanish destruction. The Intihuatana is one of many features at Machu Picchu constructed as tools for astronomical observations, particularly the winter solstice.

Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

Painting by S.D. Nelson This painting captures what artist S.D. Nelson envisons that Starhenge will look like once complete.

By Ann Haver-Allen partnership between an artist and an astronomer may seem a little strange at first, but once you know the impetus for that partnership, it makes perfect sense. The artist and the astronomer teamed up to create and install a celestial observatory with standing stones reminiscent of ancient celestial observatories. Although still in the planning stages, both men dream of the project’s completion. S.D. Nelson, the artist half of the duo, is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas. He began exploring the idea of a megalithic stone calendar or observatory about 12 years ago. Christian Luginbuhl, the astronomer half of the team, works at the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station and is the author of more than

A Page 16

40 scientific publications. He is an advocate for dark skies and is a member of the International Dark-Sky Association. The two men met at a NightVisions art exhibition—created by Luginbuhl as a celebration of the night—at Flagstaff ’s Coconino Center for the Arts. The pair began conferring and Luginbuhl took Nelson’s artistic ideas and gave them scientific accuracy. The result is Starhenge—a celestial observatory that tracks the sun and moon and marks numerous star alignments. “Starhenge is not a startling idea,” Luginbuhl said. “But I had never thought of creating an observatory that would take advantage of many celestial alignments. I was fascinated by Steve’s idea and I hope this project will help reforge a connection of people with the universe around them.” Luginbuhl said that as a culture we have isolated ourselves from the natural world and

that Starhenge will be a way to help re-establish that connection. “Starhenge will be built upon the tradition of Stonehenge, as well as other stone celestial calendars,” Nelson said. “But unlike Stonehenge, which marks two celestial events—summer and winter solstice—every day and night at Starhenge moving shadows and halos of light will create patterns that reflect celestial events.” Starhenge will help people reconnect to the heavens. “You will be able to actually physically experience the space between us and the heavenly bodies and the infinite beyond,” Nelson said. “I think there is a desperate need for a work of art like Starhenge. “If you watch the evening news or pick up a newspaper, you will see the terrible disconnection that our modern urban society has created—especially among our youth. It’s

Earth Odyssey •

important to revisit our perspective with the cosmos and these stones will help do that.”

Art & Science elson calls Starhenge “environmental art that is based upon a multicultural tradition of stone observatories found throughout the world.” He expects Starhenge will be a place of reflection for people to connect with the earth and sky. “As an astronomical observatory, the stones of the monument will offer a profound sense of connection to the sun, moon and stars,” Nelson said. “It’s not about the needs of some individuals who are already connected. It’s intended to address the needs of young people and future generations—to build a direct connection. You don’t need a science


December 2008

book in hand to make this connection with the celestial bodies.” The central circle of Starhenge will measure 72 feet in diameter, with a 23-foot-tall granite “portal monolith.” Terraced earthworks in a double-spiral geoglyph will extend to 300 feet diameter. The portal monolith is the largest stone in Starhenge. It will be positioned so that during the three months of winter, sunlight falling through the portal will cast an image that moves across a “visioning stone.” During the three months of summer, the full moon will cast an image on the visioning stone, tracing the 18.6-year cycle between major standstills. “The moon will shine through the portal stone as does the sun, marking different times of the year,” Nelson said. “Unlike Stonehenge, which has two events that are over in a matter of seconds, all the major solar and lunar events will be recorded at Starhenge. There are events every day and every night that people can witness.” Three 16-foot trilithons will track the seasonal movements of the sun and moon. Each trilithon is topped with a lintel. The lintel of the west trilithon will be perforated with a 3-inch hole slotted north-south on the lower surface. Through that opening, the sun and moon will cast a disc of light on the vertical face of the northern upright at transit. At noon, the sun image will track up and down the face of the upright with the seasons, falling near the base at the summer solstice and near the top at the winter solstice. The full moon images will track in an inverse pattern with respect to the seasons, highest in summer and lowest in winter. Standing between the west trilithon uprights—or within the circle gazing outward through the trilithon’s opening—the winter solstice, summer solstice and spring and fall equinox sunrises and sunsets (eight celestial events) are marked by heel stones located in the double spiral geoglyph. Additionally, the setting of Antares, Arcturus, Deneb and the Pleiades can be observed through the west trilithon. “Chris has really developed a very sophisticated celestial observatory,” Nelson said. “And yet, it has no bells and whistles. It’s just very elemental. I wanted to design something that would speak to people of all cultures and

Photo by Pia Wyer The Starhenge model was on display in the Coconino Center for the Arts. Below is the sun/moon dagger with backlighting that demonstrates how the sun and moon will shine through the opening.

not have any particular religious or spiritual outlook.” Twelve smaller “star stones” positioned between the trilithons will form a combination of alignments to observe the rising and setting points of the Pleiades and the brighter stars. The sun and moon dagger trilithon will track daily and seasonal movement by forming a moving blade of light. Additionally, two daggers of light will graze the upright stones in mid-morning and in mid-afternoon. The angle of the grazing daggers will change with the seasons: The solstices and equinox positions are indicated by smoothed triangular areas on the north faces of the uprights. These events are observable every clear day and nights near full moon.

National Geographic reports on Our Vanishing Night The cover story of National Geographic’s November 2008 issue is “The End of Night.” Written by Verlyn Klinkenborg, who concludes: “In the end, humans are no less trapped by light pollution than the frogs in a pond near a brightly lit highway. Living in a glare of our own making, we have cut ourselves off from our evolutionary and

December 2008

cultural patrimony—the light of the stars and the rhythms of day and night. In a very real sense, light pollution causes us to lose sight of our true place in the universe, to forget the scale of our being, which is best measured against the dimensions of a deep night with the Milky Way—the edge of our galaxy—arching overhead.” See for the complete story.

Earth Odyssey •

Page 17

About The International Dark-Sky Association Mission: To preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies though quality outdoor lighting. Goals: 1. Stop the adverse effects of light pollution, including: • Energy waste and the air and water pollution caused by energy waste • Harm to human health • Harm to nocturnal wildlife and ecosystems • Reduced safety and security • Reduced visibility at night • Poor nighttime ambience 2. Raise awareness about light pollution, its adverse effects and its solutions 3. Educate about the values of quality outdoor lighting. Web site: Photo by Pia Wyer The mesa upon which Buffalo Park is located is the perfect spot to build Starhenge.

The Polaris stones align with the North Star every night. Notches on the side of the stones will align to frame the area of sky containing the North Star—an alignment that also will be observable every clear night. “I have had a fascination with stars all my life,” Nelson said. “I have done a number of paintings and illustrations of standing stones. About 12 years ago, I traveled to South America. I took a boat out to the Island of the Sun on Lake Titicaca. There’s a solar calendar there. But, like so many of these stone calendars, there was no event to be seen while I was there. Since then, I have been inspired to find some way to mark solar and lunar events in a way that people can witness something every day and every night.”

All about location elson and Luginbuhl envision their interactive public artwork and observatory being built in Flagstaff ’s Buffalo Park. Starhenge is designed to meld into the environment and will incorporate natural materials and native plants. The idea is to make Starhenge appear as if it has been on that Flagstaff mesa for thousands of years. “We selected this site specifically for this work of art,” Nelson said. “This is a spot with virtually no city lights. You have a view of the distant horizon. Almost every major rising of the stars, sun and moon can be seen on the distant horizon.” Nelson said the city purchased the 215acre Buffalo Park with the intention of developing an outdoor zoo and wildlife park featuring buffalo. The idea was to increase tourism and boost the local economy. After the land acquisition, they learned that buf-

N Page 18

falo do not live at that elevation, so the park has remained undeveloped. “Starhenge is environmental art that fits into the landscape,” Nelson said, adding that they have faced some objections from a few people who do not want to see anything built in Buffalo Park. “I understand where they are coming from,” Nelson said. “I am an environmentalist and I am active politically. But we believe the Buffalo Park setting is wonderful for this project. We would like to expand the whole concept of Flagstaff as an International Dark-Sky City. We think this would do that. It would really help anchor the concept and help secure Flagstaff ’s Dark-Sky status.” He said the real irony is that a couple of organizations and individuals have stepped forward and offered their land for Starhenge. But those settings are not right. A celestial observatory needs an enormous flat area for viewing the rising and setting of stars, moon and sun. “It is really frustrating to have reputable institutions offer us their land, and to know that it is not really suitable for Starhenge,” Nelson said. “We have to have the far horizons for sunrises, sunsets, moon rises, moon sets, star rises and star sets.” Buffalo Park affords the far horizons because it sits atop a massive lava flow mesa. “Basalt is right under our feet,” Nelson said. “We won’t have to dig down very far to find bedrock for the foundations.”

Construction elson said that some bulldozing will be required to prepare the site. Initially, about 1.6 acres of land will be disturbed, but 1.5 acres will be revegetated with native plants, particularly


Photo by Pia Wyer Artist S.D. Nelson explains the Starhenge model that was on display in the Coconino Center for the Arts.

night-flowering plants. Only the central 72-foot-diameter stone circle and two access paths will have a crushed stone surface similar to what is on the current trails in Buffalo Park. While the artist and the astronomer envisioned the entire project being built using local materials, they discovered that no one in Arizona had the machinery or the knowhow to cut stones on the scale needed for Starhenge. The trilithons, portal monolith, Polaris

Earth Odyssey •

Stones and the Sun and Moon Dagger will be a brown or gray granite to match Mt. Elden. Many of the upright vertical columns, the star stones and heel stones, will be basalt. “The basalt could come from a quarry in California and the granite could come from Minnesota, Vermont or Texas,” Nelson said. “The stones would be brought in on flatbed trucks or by rail, unloaded and placed on foundations.” The foundations would be prepared in advance of the stones’ arrival, and unlike

December 2008

About S.D. Nelson

Illustration by Christian Luginbuhl In the above illustration, astronomer Christian Luginbuhl illustrates some of the many celestial events that will be observed in Starhenge.

Stonehenge, where the lower one-third of the largest stones is buried, only a small portion of the Starhenge stones will be below ground. “We have to maximize and economize on the amount of stone that we will use, so virtually all of the stone will be above ground and setting on a concrete foundation,” Nelson said. “At 72 feet in diameter, I designed it with a physical presence. It could be bigger, but the costs would be prohibitive. As it is, we are challenging ourselves. I project that Starhenge is going to cost more than $3 million.”

Economics & Education ut that expenditure is in the future. Right now, Nelson and Luginbuhl are trying to get a feasibility study funded. Because Buffalo Park is city property, city support is needed if Starhenge is ever to become a reality. Before city support can be given, a feasibility study is required. “We have a firm in town willing to do the required feasibility study for $8,000,” Nelson said. “Once that study is done, if the city decides to support Starhenge, then we will begin fundraising.” Nelson has constructed a scale model that represents what Starhenge will look like once complete and they have setup a Web site ( illustrations, photos and videos to help people visualize the project. Nelson said they believe Starhenge will become a destination for visitors, much like Stonehenge in England and Carhenge in Nebraska, which hosts 800,000 and 80,000 visitors, respectively, each year. “We do expect Starhenge to increase the visitors to Flagstaff,” Nelson said. “We are


December 2008

hoping to bring tourists to Buffalo Park to improve the economy in Flagstaff. After all, that is why this property was bought. The City of Flagstaff, of course, will have to consider parking and restrooms.” Starhenge will be a destination for families. Nelson, who was a middle school art teacher for 28 years and is an illustrator of children’s books, believes children will be especially drawn to Starhenge. “I think that as children walk into this space, they will be moved,” he said. “They will get it. They will get it not just scientifically, but viscerally and spiritually. We call Starhenge an interactive classroom, and in fact, we have received an enthusiastic endorsement from the public schools.” He said that Starhenge will be an “awesome, hands-on experience” for school children. “Suppose they come here on a school day at 11 a.m.,” he said. “They will see the sun dagger slashing across the ground and blazing across these vertical stones. If they come at noon, they will be able to see the sun as it shines through three holes in the lintels on the trilithons marking orbs for the different months of the year on the uprights of the trilithons. At night, this is the perfect place to observe the moon as it arcs across the sky and shines through the portal stone onto the visioning stone, in which I will carve designs and markers for the moon.” Luginbuhl and Nelson said Starhenge will be particularly important to city children who may never have seen a sky filled with stars. Perhaps they have never seen the moonlight bright enough to negate the need for flashlights. “Starhenge will be especially important to young people, who are frequently more open to new experiences,” Luginbuhl said. “If you make a connection when you are young, it can have an impact on your entire life.” Both the artist and the astronomer are

interested in helping children make a connection to the skies, but frequently, light pollution obscures the night sky. “It’s really easy to fix light pollution,” Luginbuhl said, adding that installing better lighting—and less lighting—fixes the problem. So, why, he asks, aren’t our skies getting darker? “It’s not that we don’t know how to solve the problem of light pollution,” Luginbuhl said. “It’s necessary to do light the right way to solve the pollution, but that won’t be enough in itself.” He said that the real difficulty in reducing light pollution is that people in general just don’t value the night skies because people have lost touch with the natural world. “People won’t protect what they don’t value,” he said. “And this isolation from darkness causes fear. If we become detached, we become afraid. We are naturally afraid of things we are not in touch with. Fear is a common symptom of being out of touch.” Starhenge will help people learn again to appreciate the dark skies—and perhaps prompt a movement to eliminate or stop light pollution. “I would like to see Buffalo Park become the first International Dark-Sky City Park in honor of an appreciation of the night sky, which we are losing because most cities are oblivious to it” Nelson said. “They have the attitude that we are supposed to make nighttime into daytime. “People are afraid of the night,” he continued. “Electricity is great. I use it all the time. But there is a way to illuminate and we have proved that with our Dark-Sky city code. You can have a light that shines right on what you need to illuminate without throwing light into the surrounding space. Night is a wonderful time and you don’t need a flashlight to enjoy it.” For more information about Starhenge, including a slide show, see

Earth Odyssey •

Nelson is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas. “My people are known as the Sioux or Lakota,” he said. “During the 19th century they were renowned as the Horse People of the Great Plains. My ancestors were also the people of the Buffalo, for the Buffalo gave them most of their food, their warm robes and the lodge skins of their tipis. My people followed great herds of buffalo across the vast grasslands beneath an endless blue sky.” Nelson’s artwork appears on book jackets, greeting cards and CD covers, and his paintings are held in both private and public collections. He has written and illustrated numerous award-winning children’s books. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art at Minnesota State University at Moorhead. Nelson’s fluid style and traditional Native American imagery combines movement, color, and form into a visual celebration of life. “My mother, who was a quarter-blood Sioux, taught me at an early age to see the world with both the curious eyes of a child and the wistful eyes of an old man,” he said. “I learned that morning is the most beautiful time. For at dawn the world is born anew. It is the time when the little flying creatures make their song. The little green growing things are covered in precious dewdrops. At dawn, all is golden. All is beautiful. “I have not forgotten those long ago teachings... ‘Walk with your vision in your heart.’ The boy with the eyes of an artist was given a gift—to see things in a sacred manner. In turn, I became a painter and a teller of stories." His Web site is

About Christian Luginbuhl Luginbuhl joined United States Naval Observatory in Flagstaff in 1981 as an astronomer. His astronomical research has centered on the topics of very low mass stars and the optical flashes produced by gamma ray bursts, extremely energetic explosions thought to be produced as some black holes are formed. For the last 20 years, he has been very active in research about outdoor lighting as well as the political and legal aspects of outdoor lighting codes. He was a board member of the International Dark-Sky Association. He has published more than 50 articles on astronomical and light pollution topics, as well as a handbook for amateur astronomers. He understands the importance of dark skies to all people, not just astronomers. Luginbuhl is actively involved with issues related to dark-sky preservation and was instrumental in the adoption of the innovative Flagstaff and Coconino County outdoor lighting codes. Those codes were the first to restrict the amount of light permitted (per acre) in outdoor lighting installations. He continues his efforts to educate everyone about the problems of light pollution; broad societal benefits of improving outdoor lighting policies, including energy savings, dark skies, better visibility, and safety and security.

Page 19

Heart Shrine Tour to visit Sedona By Keith Wong t is believed that Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha) gave his final teaching in or around 483 BCE. Then, it is written, he entered into progressively higher states of meditation, ultimately passing into Nirvana. His disciples had been instructed to sift his cremation ashes, for he would leave behind profound gifts of loving-kindness for all sentient beings. In December, a portion of these manifestations of love and compassion will visit Sedona, bestowing the Buddha’s blessing upon all who see them. From his personal safekeeping, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has contributed eight relics of the Buddha to this international tour. A rare collection of more than 1,000 sacred relics of Shakyamuni Buddha and other Buddhist masters is traveling the world as the Heart Shrine Relic Tour. This tour is part of the Maitreya Project, whose primary aim is to promote the practice of loving-kindness to all. “This project is really wonderful and is the result of great courage and determination, and from the depths of my heart I appreciate and applaud it,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “You should realize that this is a really holy and sacred project. The very name Maitri, that’s loving-kindness. Now, in today’s world, we really need the promotion of loving-kindness.”


What is a relic? Throughout the world, holy relics are enshrined in cathedrals, temples, sacred statues and monasteries. Relics can be the bodies, or even personal effects, of spiritual masters and saints. The vast majority of the relics in the Heart Shrine Tour, however, are pearl-like crystals, called ringsel, that are found in the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters. “These ringsel are special because they hold the essence of the qualities of the spiritual masters,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of the Maitreya Project, explained. “Their inner purity appears in the form of relics.” The Relic Tour inspires people of all traditions and paths to come together to experience the blessing of the holy relics. Since the tour began in March 2001, it is estimated that more than 2 million people have shared this blessing at events spread across five continents. In each city they visit, the relics bring communities together for an inter-faith celebration focused on our shared human qualities—love, compassion and the importance of having a good heart. Individual blessings will be offered each day to people and their pets. During the blessing, some of the relics of Shakyamuni Buddha are placed upon the crown of the head. Thus, it is said that the Buddha himself is touching you and blessing you, or your pet. The Relic Tour is free of charge. All are welcome (including pets).

Courtesy photo A rare collection of more than 1,000 sacred relics of Shakyamuni Buddha and other Buddhist masters is visiting Sedona Dec. 12-14.

Relic Tour Details

Courtesy photos Above, a pet receives Buddha’s blessing while The Heart Shrine Tour was in Phoenix. Far right and below, relics in the Heart Shrine Tour are pearl-like crystals, called ringsel, that are found in the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters. Buddha’s blessing will be bestowed upon all who see them.

Page 20

Location: 7 Centers Yoga Arts, 2115 Mountain Road, Sedona. The opening ceremony is on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. It will continue Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, contact Keith Wong at (928) 634-0583,, or visit

Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

No matter what, your spirit is unbreakable


our spirit is unbreakable: Find out who you really, really are. Recently, a student told me her spirit was broken. I believed her at first. She had gone through a stressful breakup and seemed a bit down. But then it occurred to me that it was impossible for the spirit to ‘break’. I remembered an ancient saying from India about the soul .....Vasangsi jirnani yatha vihaya ... meaning, “Fire cannot burn it, water cannot drench it, wind cannot dry it, weapons cannot cleave it...” Na jayate mriyate va kadacin... which means, “The soul is never born and it never dies. It has no beginning, it has no end, no past, no present, no future.” Sounds unbreakable to me. So how can one feel their spirit is broken? Perhaps it is when the qualities of the soul are masked by the effects of stress. Stress is truly a psychophysiological response that impacts your nervous system, and if it isn’t released in some way, stress can build up and cause disease. And when a traumatic event happens, the stress builds up even more, weakening the immune system, inhibiting the body’s intelligence to heal or bring balance back, creates stress hormones

that cause depression, and somehow keeps the qualities of who we are, our soul, from shining through. That could be when we feel as if our spirit has been broken. I think the effects of stress break our lines of communion or illumination from the soul. I know that sounds weird, but bear in mind, I am writing to you from Sedona. Take a moment to turn your attention to the one who is reading this page. Keep reading, but notice where your attention is coming from. Do you feel a presence there? A sense of awareness? You probably already know you are not

your thoughts—you are not the conversation you are having in your mind like, “What am I going to have for dinner?” Or, “I really should call so and so.” You are not your body either. If you break a leg, are you broken? No. “Everything in your life is constantly transforming—transforming within a presence that’s always there. That presence was there when you were a newborn baby; it was there when you were a child; it was there when you were an adolescent; just as it’s there right now. And it will be there when you are very old,” says Deepak Chopra. This presence is often called pure awareness, spirit, consciousness, the field of intelligence, the inner self, or your soul. It calls your ever-changing body, with its myriad of thoughts and roles it plays, ‘home’. And perhaps it is calling you to become more intimate with it. No one else can do that for you. You can become more intimate with who you really are—commune with your soul—in a few different ways: through silent meditation practices, by spending time in nature (without your cell phone), and by practicing non-judgment (I don’t find that

very easy). The trick is to shift your reference point in your life away from the changeable, transitory experiences (like roles, environments, thoughts, bodies, breakups) to the awareness of this presence with its many qualities: bliss, spaciousness, flexibility, infinite possibilities, silence and so much more. How can we cultivate this relationship and become intimate with this presence? Of course, meditation is my choice. That, and spending time in nature. My daily practice of meditation reorients my awareness toward this presence, and keeps the awareness of it in the forefront of my experience—in almost every situation. It also releases stress and the impact of stress in my nervous system so that I can maintain a more wholesome outlook through life. No matter what, the spirit cannot break. So don’t worry. Sarah McLean is the director of Sedona Meditation Training & Retreats and is certified and recommended by Dr. Deepak Chopra. She can be reached via e-mail at, phone at (928) 204-0067 or fax at (866) 6541705. You can also visit online at http://www.

Diet makes a difference in cancer prevention


ooking for ways to cut your risk of developing cancer? Karen Collins, registered dietitian with the American Cancer Research Institute shared recommendations at the recent annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association: 1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. Don’t just look at the scale—check your waist measurement as a crude measurement of your abdominal fat, Collins said. She recommended that men’s waists be no larger than 37 inches and women’s waists be 31.5 inches or less. 2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. You can break that into 10- to 15-minute blocks, and even more activity may be better, Collins noted. 3. Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy-dense foods. It’s not that those foods directly cause cancer, but they could blow your calorie budget if you often overindulge, Collins said. She suggested filling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans. Go for a variety of colors (like the deep greens of spinach, deep blues of blueberries, whites of onions and garlic and so on). Most Americans, Collins said, are stuck in a rut of eating the same three vegetables over and over. 5. Limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women per day. And watch portion size of drinks—they are often poured liberally, Collins said. The pros and cons of moderate drinking is something women may particularly need to consider, weighing the heart benefits and increased breast

December 2008

cancer risk from drinking. 6. Limit red meats (beef, pork, lamb), and avoid processed meats. Limit red meats to 18 ounces per week, Collins said, using chicken, seafood or legumes in place of red meat. Red meat doesn’t have to be given up completely, just eaten in moderation. 7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium. Try to stay less than 2,400 milligrams per day, using herbs and spices instead, Collins said. She added that processed foods account for most sodium intake nowadays—not salt added when cooking or eating. 8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer: It’s not that supplements are bad—they may be “valuable” apart from cancer prevention, but there isn’t evidence that they protect against cancer, except for vitamin D, Collins said. 9. It’s best for mothers to breastfeed babies exclusively for up to six months and then add other foods and liquids.

Winning Web Is the holiday turkey lowfat? Yes, the holiday bird can be a tasty, lowfat entree for

many to enjoy, said Jananne Finck, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator. The choices you make in both buying and cooking the bird will affect the fat content. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers these suggestions to lower the fat in turkey: Pre-basted turkeys are high in fat. Buy a regular bird, if possible. Baste with broth instead of greasy drippings. To keep turkey fat out of the dressing, bake it separately in a lightly greased pan. Eat less skin. A 3-ounce serving of light turkey meat with skin has 7 grams of fat—without skin, 3 grams of fat. A 3-ounce portion of dark meat with and without skin has 10 and 6 grams of fat, respectively. For information on safely thawing and cooking turkey, visit the Web site Turkey for the Holidays at —University of Illinois Extension.

Winning Recipe This recipe for Pineapple Coffee Cake is from Eating Well’s new “Comfort Foods Made Healthy” cookbook. The coffee cake uses yogurt instead of sour cream and can be served for breakfast.

Pineapple Coffee Cake 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1/4 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Earth Odyssey •

1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks, blotted dry and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until blended. Do not over mix. Fold in pineapple. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Combine pecans and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake the cake until the top is golden, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm. Makes 9 servings. Per serving: 253 calories, 38 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 9 g fat, 24 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 476 mg sodium. Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian in Springfield, Ill. For comments or questions, contact her at

Fun Facts

Although beavers live near rivers, streams and lakes, they do not eat fish. Beavers eat only plants. They eat poplar trees, carrots, cattail, mushrooms, potatoes, berries, water plants, swamp wood and fruit. Soft bark is the main food for a beaver. *** The animal with the largest brain in proportion to its size is the ant.

Page 21


Find 20 words associated with Winter

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains numbers 1 through 9. The puzzle has only one solution. The solution is on page 28.

Word Power

Blizzard Boots Cold Earmuffs

Fireplace Freeze Frost Gloves

Icicle Parka Scarf Sleet

Sleigh Slippery Snow Snowflake

Snowman Snowplow Sweater Wind

Effigy (noun) Pronunciation: [‘ef-ê-jee] Definition: A likeness of a person, usually crudely formed as a dummy, but also a carved image, as Washington’s effigy on the U.S. quarter. Usage: A common way to demonstrate mass dislike of a person is to burn them in effigy, i.e., burn a dummy representing them. Effigies are usually so crudely made, a sign must also

be hung on it to identify its reference. Suggested Usage: We often forget that effigy can also refer to a carved or otherwise imprinted image: “When Murdock fell in the wet concrete, he left a reverse effigy of his face in the sidewalk that many of his employees still enjoy stepping on as they come and go.” The broadest usage today, however, refers to the poorly constructed dummy.

Let us recycle the lumber from your old deck Don’t throw your used cedar and redwood lumber away. Give us a call and we will pick it up and give it new life as distribution stands for Earth Odyssey.

(928) 778-1782 Page 22

Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

Savannah, Kevin, David, Mackenzie, Sean and Olivia each have their own Christmas tree. Each Christmas tree has a different number of candy canes (15, 17, 21, 23, 27 and 30) and a different number of ornaments (17, 21, 26, 36, 46 and 38). Figure out how many candy canes and ornaments are on each person’s Christmas tree. 1. David’s Christmas tree has the fewest number of ornaments. 2. Savannah’s Christmas tree has 19 more ornaments than the number of candy canes. 3. The Christmas tree with 46 ornaments has 27 candy canes. 4. Olivia’s Christmas tree has 23 candy canes. 5. The Christmas tree with 21 ornaments is not the tree with 15 candy canes. 6. Sean’s Christmas tree has more than 21 ornaments. 7. Savannah’s Christmas tree has 27 candy canes. 8. The Christmas tree with 26 ornaments is not the tree with 17 candy canes. 9. The Christmas tree with 46 ornaments is not the tree with 17 candy canes. 10. There are no more than 25 ornaments on Olivia’s Christmas tree. 11. Kevin’s Christmas tree has more than 36 ornaments.

12. David’s Christmas tree has the most number of candy canes. 13. Sean’s Christmas tree is not the tree with 23 candy canes. His tree is also not the one with 15 candy canes. 14. Kevin’s Christmas tree has 17 more ornaments than the number of candy canes. 15. Mackenzie’s Christmas tree is not the tree with 27 candy canes. Her tree is also not the one with 23 candy canes. 16. Sean’s Christmas tree has 19 more ornaments than the number of candy canes. 17. Mackenzie’s Christmas tree has 11 more ornaments than the number of candy canes. 18. There are no more than 35 ornaments on Mackenzie’s Christmas tree.

Solution on page 28

Nature-related Holiday Gift Items & Gift Baskets PRE-HOLIDAY SALE

Saturday, Nov. 22 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • Free gift wrapping and refreshments • Inspiring educational toys, books, and unique natural history related items, NEW t-shirt designs, long sleeved shirts, outerwear, & hiking items. Local artists will present: * Jewelry made from local, natural materials * Metal sculptures * Pottery * Nature/natural stationary products * Art Glass * Hand-crocheted items and more... While you shop for family and friends, consider a purchase for a disadvantaged child. Bring your donation of canned goods for the Yavapai Food Bank. We will collect donations through Dec. 20.

Solution on page 28 December 2008

The Benson Family Nature Store is located at the Highlands Center 1375 Walker Road, Prescott • (928) 776-9559 Earth Odyssey •

Page 23

Recurring Events Monday nights, 7 p.m.—Self Search/Channeled Readings, The Way To The Light Within, Phoenix. This class has been going on for over 12 years now. In the first part of the class, Dominique uses her psychic ability and StarWheel™ tiles to give each participant a mini reading. Bring your questions about anything you want to know, because in the second part of the class Dominique connects to her own as well as your guides, to get answers and guidance for you. Dominique is also a medium and can connect with and give you information from departed loved ones or friends. $20, Call (602) 279-2941 to reserve your place. Mondays—Heart-Centered Transpersonal Healing with Marsha Rand, MS, CCT, at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 308-6400 or (928) 277-1230.

Dec. 1, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Public Meeting, Trails 2010 Plan. Regional trail workshop to provide information on public trail priorities and gather public input on both motorized and non-motorized trail issues. FYI: Since this planning effort is for a statewide plan that sets state policy, we won’t be soliciting input on individual trails or on the federal travel management changes. Location: Tucson, Pima County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Offices, 3500 W. River Road, Tucson. Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-Noon—Land-Manager Meeting, Trails 2010 Plan. Regional trail workshop to give state planners more detailed information on public trail priorities. This workshop will gather land managers’ input on both motorized and non-motorized trail issues. Tucson, Bureau of Land Management Offices, 12661 East Broadway, Tucson.

Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Intuitive Readings with Dona Elia at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 445-8545. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499. Fridays—Intuitive Readings and Bodywork with Joseph Drew at Mountain Spirit CoOp, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 830-4030. Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Spiritual, Intuitive and Empathic Readings with the Rev. Lana V. Ante at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 717-4499. Saturdays, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.—Astrology with Linda Myers at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 445-8545. Sundays—Tea Leaf Readings with Sheryl Tilley at Mountain Spirit Co-Op, 107 N. Cortez St., Suite 100, Prescott. For more info, call (928) 899-5064.

Nonrecurring Events Registration is open for booth space at the annual Last-Minute Non-Profit StockingStuffer Bazaar to be held Saturday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Prescott Activity Center on Gurley. All nonprofit agencies, clubs, school or scout groups welcome. For more info, visit

Page 24

Dec, 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.—Photovoltaic Systems for Commercial and Institutional Buildings, Embassy Suites, Phoenix Airport, 1515 N. 44th St. Learn and share what it means to “Go Green” with other environmentally conscious professionals. Presentation outlines the scope of commissioning and how it relates to the LEED program. Luncheon, $25. Call (602) 840-2900 to register. For more info, contact Green Lunch Coordinator, Jacque Bauer, Dec. 2, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Public Meeting, Trails 2010 Plan. Regional trail workshop to provide information on public trail priorities and gather public input on both motorized and non-motorized trail issues. FYI: Since this planning effort is for a statewide plan that sets state policy, we won’t be soliciting input on individual trails or on the federal travel management changes. Location: Sierra Vista, Buena High School Performing Arts Center – Lecture Pod, 5225 Buena School Blvd., Sierra Vista.

Meeting, Trails 2010 Plan. Regional trail workshop to give state planners more detailed information on public trail priorities. This workshop will gather land managers’ input on both motorized and non-motorized trail issues. Sierra Vista, Oscar Yrun Community Center, 3020 E. Tacoma St., Sierra Vista.

Dec. 3, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.—Birdwatching for Kids 6-13, City of Chandler Environmental Education Center, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road., Chandler. Kids will learn to use their eyes and ears to spot birds in the wild. They will be introduced to the common birds of central Arizona and will also learn how to use binoculars. Cost: $8. For more info, call (480) 782-2890, or see the Web site at www. Dec. 3-4—Good and Green, the Green Marketing Conference, Chicago Cultural Center. Learn how to increase your brand’s emotional, cognitive and financial connection in today’s “greening” consumer markets. More and more consumers are embracing green initiatives. Thirty percent of American consumers are willing to pay up to a 20 percent premium on clean, green products over nonsustainable alternatives...and that number grows each year. For more info, visit Dec. 4, 9 a.m.—Regular meeting of the Yavapai County Water Advisory Group/ Technical Advisory Committee. Location: County Building, 1015 Fair St., Prescott. Dec 4, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.—Student Presentations. Prescott College Fall 2008 Environmental Studies Colloquium Series. Free. Prescott College San Juan “C” building. For info, contact Ed Boyer at (928) 350-2209 or

Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.—Holiday Celebration at Crystal Lotus in Pine. Vyktoria Pratt Keating will perform Christmas and Yuletide music with a Celtic flair. Festive food, cider and merriment. $10 suggested donation. 3850 N. Hwy. 87, Pine. For more info, call (982) 476-3410. Dec. 4-7—Medicine Wheel, West, Group 8, Merritt Center and Lodge, Payson. The West direction is the path of the jaguar, the way of the luminous warrior. In the West, we make our first journey beyond our fear of death, so that we may be claimed fully by life. We embrace our shadow (our unknown/dark side) to learn from it, so that we may choose differently. By working to heal our biological and karmic lineages, our choices become our own and are no longer sourced from the past. For more info, call (480) 473-8957 or e-mail Dec. 5, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.—The Ripple Project of Prescott College will host the Fifth Annual Student Showcase and Nonprofit Expo, Prescott College Crossroads Center. Information from local nonprofits, presentations of community service work, student projects and collaborations between local organizations and Prescott College. Will also feature student and youth artwork. Winners of the 2008 Ripple Grants and Scholarships to be announced. For more info, contact Kimberly Miller at or (928) 350-1002. Dec. 5-6—26th Annual Parade of Lights, Lake Havasu State Park. At Windsor 4 beach area, watch decorated vessels go through the London bridge channel, event free to the public. For more info, see or call (928) 855-2784. Dec. 5-6, sunset to 9 p.m.—Luminaria Nights—Fiesta De Navidad at Tubac. The village streets will be lined with thousands of traditional luminarias. Shops stay open until 9 p.m. Join us for lots of great gift ideas, Santa Claus, music and holiday cheer! For more info, contact the Tubac Chamber of Commerce at (520) 398-2704.

Dec. 3—Homeschool Day at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Each school year home-school families are invited to gather and experience Arboretum education programs. Participants are offered the “Plants of the Bible” tour starting at 10 am. Prepayment is required. Families are asked to reserve a spot no later than two weeks prior to the tour by calling (520) 689-2723. Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-Noon—Land-Manager

frog, Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Hwy., Phoenix, in the Quail Auditorium. This is a great event for the public and for home school teachers. Speaker Mike Sredl, reptile and amphibian program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, will give an informative and entertaining presentation, followed by an educational session with activities. The event qualifies for two hours of professional development credit. Free, register online at: form?key=pixviqYWWomW9RSALS-Hkbg.

Dec. 4, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Chiricahua Leopard Frogs: Learn all about this rare and threatened

Earth Odyssey •

Dec. 6, 8: 30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Reindog Day at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson. A holiday party for you and your canine best friends. Dress up your dog in holiday costume or simply enjoy

December 2008

a day at the Gardens together. Santa will be available at noon for photos (bring your own camera). Adults $7; Children 4-12 and nonmember dogs $3. Members, member dogs and children 3 and under are free. For more info, call (520) 326-9686, or visit the Web site at Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-Noon—Digital Photography in the Natural Environment for ages 15 and older. This class meets three Saturdays (Dec. 6, 13 and 20). City of Chandler Environmental Education Center, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road., Chandler. This class concentrates on using modern digital cameras to observe and record wildlife and the beauties of nature. Outdoor shoots are planned, and birds and animals will be our main subject. Depth of field techniques will also be taught. Students must supply their own digital camera. Cost: $32. For more info, call (480) 782-2890, or visit the Web site at www. Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.—Breakfast with Santa. Have breakfast at the Pima Air & Space Museum and welcome Santa to Tucson. Santa will be giving the reindeer some rest before Christmas so he will be arriving at the museum by helicopter. Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. and Santa will arrive at 10 a.m. Seating is limited, so reserve soon. Adults: $30; children 10 and under: $25. For more info, contact Leslie Hannegan at (520) 618-4850 or e-mail at Dec. 6, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Dragon & Tiger Chi Gung for Vitality Class. Learn Tai Chi health exercises used effectively in China for chronic fatigue, burnout, immune deficiency, cancer, degenerative diseases, arthritis, heart disease, pain and high performance. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info, call Susan Kansky (928) 9253426. Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.—Dutch Oven Cooking, Sportsmans Warehouse, 1750 S. Greenfield Road, Mesa. Join our camping team for this informative Ducth Oven Cooking Demonstration. Great samples to taste, not to mention have all of your Dutch Oven questions answered by our professionals. For more info, contact Kyle Hendrickson at (480) 558-1111. Dec. 6, Noon—Commencement for Prescott College’s low-residency bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates, Prescott College Crossroads Center. Free and open to all. Cake and punch reception following ceremony. For more info, contact Courtney Osterfelt at (928) 350-1007. Dec. 6, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.—Energetic Resolution Technique Group Healing Session. Rapidly clear root causes underlying physical and emotional issues. Backway’s, 250 S. McCormick St., Prescott. For more info call Susan Kansky (928) 925-3426.

December 2008

Courtesy photo Students in the Interpreting Nature through Art & Photography class in fall 2008 at the end of a field day on Mt. Francis near Prescott. Pictured, from left, are Misha Currie, Mike Richards, Sarah Wertz, David Allen, Sam Leslie, Casey FitzGerald, Aryn LaBrake and Brian Cavers. Kneeling in front are Rana Fettahlioglu, Kat Steigerwald and Monet Richter.

Prescott College art and photography students to present ‘Language of the Land: The Pun is Upon Us’


he Prescott College class in Interpreting Nature through Art & Photography welcomes all free-ofcharge to an art exhibition and multimedia slide show, “Language of the Land: The Pun is Upon Us” at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Crossroads Center at Prescott College, located behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave. The event will feature a multimedia photography show using sophisticated technology and reflecting the students’ passion about the subject. It also includes

a display of artwork created by the students during the course: watercolors, scratchboard and framed photographs. Since 1991, Professor Walt Anderson’s Interpreting Nature Through Art & Photography class at Prescott College has hosted an annual art show and exhibition based on a theme chosen by the students. “Sometimes these shows have celebrated an aspect of the beauty or inspirational quality of nature, as in the year the show was titled Spirituality in Nature: The Sacred Earth; Seven Faces of Water; the Works of Barry

Lopez,” Anderson said. “Sometimes they highlight the role of art in activism, as in the shows titled Restoration of the Earth: Redefining Relationships; Life Goes On: Healing Transitions; and Coming Clean about the Creeks: A Watershed Event.” Refreshments will be provided. The reception will continue after the multimedia event, giving an opportunity for guests to visit with the artists. For more information, contact Walt Anderson at (928) 445-7470 or

Dec. 6-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.—La Fiesta de Tumacácori, Tumacacori National Historic Park. In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were historically and are presently associated with

the Santa Cruz Valley, the Tumacácori Fiesta presents the traditional creations of these cultures. The fiesta features some 50 food and craft booths, continuous live entertainment on stage, and children’s activities each day. On Sunday, the day begins at 10 a.m. in front of the visitor center with a procession through the Fiesta grounds to the church, followed by a traditional Mariachi Mass in front of the church. The mission grounds are open throughout the weekend, and admission is free.

N. Swan, Tucson. Free. Join us for this free family festival with mariachis, ballet folklorico, Yaqui deer dance ceremony and regional food. For more info, call (520) 299-9191 or (800) 545-2185.

Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.—La Fiesta de Guadalupe, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300

Earth Odyssey •

Dec. 7, 2 p.m.—Tracing the Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau, Red Rock State Park, Sedona. Geologists Wayne Ranney and Ron Blakey will present this program. The beautifully stratified rocks of the Colorado Plateau tell a fascinating story of our ever-evolving landscape. Although the plateau is uplifted today and is actively eroding, many former landscapes were near

Page 25

Forum to explore Arizona’s sustainable future On Saturday, Dec. 6, a free public presentation will be held at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix, from 2 p.m.– 4:30 p.m. to discuss sustainable possibilities for planning Arizona’s rapid expansion. As part of the Desert Environment Series, the panel discussion, titled “Sustainable Urban Growth in Arizona,” will feature photographer David Muench presenting Arizona Desertscapes; Arcosanti architect Paolo Soleri with the Lean Linear City concept; ASU Professor John Meunier discussing the Architecture of Compact Urbanism; and ADOT’s Rakesh Tripathi with the Future of Rail in Arizona. A short break and open discussion will follow. Outdoor and fine art photographer David Muench introduces the framework of the discussion with images of Arizona’s beautiful desertscapes. Paolo Soleri presents his Lean Linear City concept, a model for a dense, pedestrian, urban development that uses solar and wind power. The city’s logistical design includes an extensive train system with local pedestrian and bicycle paths, all along an urban park. Food production, waste processing and water recycling systems are integrated into the city. Architect and Arizona State University Professor John Meunier discusses desert planning along with Sustainable Compact Urbanism. Rakesh Tripathi, Arizona Department of Transportation Multimodal Planning

Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.—Meeting of the Safe Yield Water Group, 1015 Fair St., Prescott (Gladys Gardner Conference Room, first floor). Dec. 10, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.—Watershed Wednesday, “Open-Mic Poetry Night” at The Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St., Prescott. Will include poetry readings featuring both well-known and newer local poets. For more info, contact Edie at (928) 277-9155 or

Division Director, explores the future of rail in Arizona, and Steven J. Gottesman, AIA LEED Architect, will facilitate the discussion. Cellist Dennis Yee will entertain participants before the presentations. The Desert Environment Series was started by Tempe resident Alex Barragan in March 2008. It presents forums to discuss ideas on architecture, urbanism, industrial design, transportation and the arts as they influence Arizona’s most spectacular desert environment. For more info, call (928) 632-6225 or visit

sea level and included tropical, shallow seas, sandy windblown deserts and Amazon-scale river systems that flowed as far away as the Appalachian Mountains. Each of these former landscapes left behind sediment that allows geologists to know past environments. These long lost scenes come to life in a series of dynamic and newly created paleogeographic maps, developed by “reading the rocks.” They take us on an incredible journey as we travel through time on the Colorado Plateau. Seating is limited. Call the park at (928) 282-6907 for more info. Reservations may be required.

while saving money. For more info, see www.

Dec. 8-9—Hollywood Goes Green, Universal City Hilton, Los Angeles. Offering industry insiders a forum to collaborate and develop partnerships for a sustainable future. Be part of this historic gathering for an indepth exchange of ideas and make deals with influencers who share your passion for protecting the environment. In recent years, Hollywood has significantly stepped-up its efforts to introduce eco-friendly business practices to preserve the environment and eliminate global warming. Changes in the music industry, broadcast and cable television, film, games, advertising and other allied businesses all have initiatives for saving Mother Earth

Dec. 9, 12:15 p.m.—Viewing Our National Parks on the Eve of World War II: The Mysterious Color Stereo Images of Clyde A. McCoy at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in Flagstaff. Michael Amundson, Ph.D., Department of History, NAU, examines the discovery and history of a private collection of 35 mm color stereo images of Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Glacier, Bryce and Zion National Parks made in 1940 and the life and mysterious death of their maker, Clyde A. McCoy. Bag Lunch Lecture. For more info, call (928) 779-4395.

Page 26

Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition/ Technical Advisory Committee, County Building, 1015 Fair St., Prescott (Gladys Gardner Conference Room, first floor).

Dec. 8-10—Green California Schools Summit and Exposition, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif. Bringing together the widest possible range of attendees, representing all sectors of the education community—from local school districts to state educational regulators—as well as hundreds of innovative companies with green products and services. For more info, see

Dec. 10, 1 p.m.—Regular meeting of the

Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.—Green to Gold Business Network Holiday Party, Prescott College Crossroads Center. Bring your best green/sustainability “story” to share. Was there something cool you incorporated in to your business practices this last year, or have you read about new ideas coming down the pike? Everyone is invited. Lunch is free to members or prospects who join and pay their membership fees at this meeting. Anyone else who wishes to attend, the luncheon cost is $15. You can pay online, or bring a check to the event. For more info, see Dec. 12, 4 p.m.-7p.m.—Prescott College Baccalaureate: Graduating seniors share presentations and performances on their senior projects. Topics include international service projects, fine and performing arts, education and environmental research. Prescott College Crossroads Center, behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave. Free of charge and open to all. For more info, contact Courtney Osterfelt at or (928) 350-1007. Dec. 12, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Annual Lighting of the Luminarias—A Community Christmas at the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Luminarias, or firolitos, are bags of sand with a lit candle set on the walls of the courthouse in honor of the Mexican tradition of the posada. Free festive Victorian era music, finger food and beverages at the courthouse. For more info, call (520) 457-3311. Dec. 12-13, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.—Luminari Nights at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson. Enjoy a stroll through the garden paths lit by more than 2,000 lights. Drink some hot cider,

Earth Odyssey •

listen to holiday music and create special memories at the Gardens. Food for sale. Cookies and cider provided by Trader Joes. Hot chocolate and chili provided by Café 54. Tamales provided by Kevin Reed (Hannibal’s Fire & Brimstone Grill). Cost: adults $9; children 4 -12 $3; children 3 and under free. Garden members $7; children 4-12 $3; children 3 and under free. For more info, call (520) 326-9686, or visit the Web site at Dec. 13—The Sierra Club Water Sentinels will monitor upper Verde River flow. Additional volunteers are welcome. For more info on the monitoring project and future monitoring and clean up activities, contact Sandy Bahr at or (602) 253-8633 or Tom Slaback at or (928) 778-4233. Dec.13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.—Prescott College Commencement for Resident Degree Program students. Prescott College Crossroads Center, behind the College’s main buildings at 220 Grove Ave. Cake and punch reception following. For more info, contact Courtney Osterfelt at or (928) 350-1007. Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.—Annual meeting/ potluck lunch of the Citizens Water Advocacy Group. Note later start time for this event, Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 882 Sunset Dr., Prescott. Dec. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.—Boating Safety Class at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. Learn about boat registration requirements, Arizona and Federal boating laws, equipment requirements, navigation rules, trailering your boat, aids to navigation (buoys) and other useful information. This is a state and federally approved Boating Safety Class. Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate and an ID card. Sponsored by Arizona Game and Fish Department. Call (520) 287-2791 to register. Dec. 13, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.—Christmas Party and Crafts at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park visitor center. Santa will be on hand to give out candy and Mrs. Claus will read Christmas stories to the children. In addition, there will be crafts for the children to make and take home, as well as Christmas music and general good cheer. To help fend off the cold, hot cider and cake will be served. Free. For more info, call (928) 779-4395. Dec. 13, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Primordial Sound Meditation Workshop in Sedona. For more info, see, or call (928) 204-0067. Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.—Victorian Christmas at Fort Verde State Historic Park. Christmas decoration crafting session, plus a wreath-making workshop (additional fee). Town of Camp Verde will host a Christmas

December 2008

parade at 6 p.m. For more info, call (928) 567-3275. Dec. 13, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.—Holiday Wreathmaking Workshop at Oracle State Park. Hone your botanical knowledge and make a decorative wreath using natural plant material gathered at the park. Meet at the Kannally Ranch House. Cost: $12, including entrance fee. Space is limited, reservation required. For more info, call (520) 896-2425. Dec. 13, 1:30 p.m.—Edible/Medicinal Desert Plants Walk, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Sonoran Desert plants have nourished, healed and clothed desert residents for thousands of years. Walk the Curandero Trail and learn more from Jean Groen, author of “Foods of the Superstitions.” David Morris, ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation member, alternates as leader for this tour. For more info, see http:// Dec. 13, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.—Caroling at Celtic Crossings in Prescott. Join Vyktoria Pratt Keating as she sings Christmas and Yuletide music with a Celtic flair. Singing along encouraged. Celtic Crossings is located in Prescott Gateway Mall. For more info, call (928) 443-8454. Dec. 14, 2 p.m.—Geology Hike, Red Rock State Park, Sedona. Park volunteers escort visitors on a guided hike through the park, discussing the geology of the area. This hike includes the Eagles Nest trail for a great view of the park and the surrounding area. The hike lasts for two- to two- and one-half hours and has a 250-foot elevation climb. Bring water and wear suitable shoes or boots. Call the park at (928) 282-6907 for further information. Reservations may be required. Dec. 14, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation for Beginners, Scottsdale. For more info, see, or call (928) 204-0067. Dec. 19-20, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.—Candlelight Tours of Fort Verde. Celebrate the holidays with a unique candlelight tour of Fort Verde, caroling, cider, cookies and re-enactors in period clothing. For more info, call (928) 567-3275. Dec. 20—Upper Verde River Stewardship Hike: Stillman Lake-Verde Springs. The

December 2008

upper Verde currently has no protection or special status, so private property owners are the only defense the river has against vandals, ORVs and litter. These guided hikes are made possible by the generous permission of the landowners. These are pretty, relatively easy, four-mile roundtrip hikes that start and end with a rocky trek (200’ elevation change in .5 mile). Additional hike dates are: Sunday, Jan. 25; Saturday, Feb, 21; and Saturday, March 28. E-mail Joanne at joellers@ with your full name, address, phone number and your preferred date. Advance information will be sent to you. Each hike is limited to 15 participants.

residents for thousands of years. Walk the Curandero Trail and learn more from Jean Groen, author of “Foods of the Superstitions.” David Morris, ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation member, alternates as leader for this tour. For more info, see http://

Jan. 10-11—11th Annual Gathering of the Gunfighters, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. Outlaws, lawmen, cowboys, saloon gals, townsfolk and a cornucopia of disreputable characters converge on the 11th Annual Gathering of the Gunfighters. A twoday skit competition event at the Yuma Territorial Prison, the only place tough enough to handle these wild and wooly gunfighters, outlaws and varmits. $5 for adults aged 14 and up. No charge for children aged 13 and under.

Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.—Annual LastMinute Non-Profit Stocking-Stuffer Bazaar, Prescott Activity Center on Gurley. For more information visit Dec. 20, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.—Meditation for Beginners, Sedona. For more info, seewww., or call (928) 2040067.

Dec. 20, 1:30 p.m.—Plants of the Bible Guided Tour, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. On this guided walking tour, Mesa resident and Bible scholar David Oberpriller points out palms, figs, olives, pomegranates and other plants of the Bible and shares his knowledge about botany, history and scripture. For more info, visit http:// Dec. 21, 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.—Trees of Arizona, guided tour at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Take our new autumn tour through the forested areas of the Arboretum, where you’ll learn about the towering sycamore and cottonwood trees, native hackberry, mesquite and many more. For more info, call (520) 689-2811. Dec. 27, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.—Music at Blue Sky Gallery & Coffeehouse. Guitarist/vocalist Vyktoria Keating performs. Blue Sky, Carefree. For more info, call (480) 5959909. Dec. 28, 1:30 p.m.—Edible/Medicinal Desert Plants Walk, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Sonoran Desert plants have nourished, healed and clothed desert

taxpayers) of $695 toward Kenosis Spirit Keepers programs. For more information, contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or info@ See www.kenosisspiritkeepers. org/KSK_MayaTrip.html for description, past trip photos and travelers’ stories. This is an adventure of the spirit!

Jan. 2-4—New Year’s Competition PowWow, Indian Craft Market and International Day, Rillito Raceway Park, River Road and First Ave., Tucson. Dancers from more than 50 tribes, authentic handmade crafts, children’s activity area, traditional Indian foods, birds of prey exhibit, dancing, singing and drum contests, Indian information booth with brochures, flyers, maps and powwow schedules for the next year. Public invited. All activities will be held outdoors. Bring your own lawn chairs and shade. Camera/video photography allowed for personal use only. Admission: $12; children 8 and under, military w/ ID & Indians w/ regalia are FREE! For more info, see Jan. 3, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.—Meditation for Beginners, Sedona. For more info, seewww., or call (928) 2040067. Jan. 4, 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m.—Meditation for Beginners, Scottsdale. For more info, see, or call (928) 204-0067. Jan. 7-18—Entering the Maya Mysteries with Carla Woody, Alonso Mendez and Carol Karasik. Spiritual travel to Mexico and Guatemala visiting hidden sacred places and engaging in nearly extinct ancient ceremonies with Don Antonio Martinez, the last Spirit Keeper of the Lacandón Maya. Group size limited. A Spirit Keepers Journey co-sponsored by Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers. Registration costs include automatic donation (tax-deductible for U.S.

Earth Odyssey •

Jan. 17-18—Virginia Beach, Va., Experiencing Deeper Meditation. Enjoy a weekend of meditation and spiritual practice at Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach. This conference features international teacher and author John Van Auken and other wellknown presenters from a variety of meditation traditions. From 2 p.m.-3:20 p.m. on Saturday, Judith Pennington leads “Music Is the Bridge,” an experiential journey into the light and sound of higher awareness. Expect visuals illustrating how sound raises consciousness, and access higher states of awareness through group singing, chanting and a mind-expanding meditation accompanied by Judith’s melodious lap harp. To register, call 1-888-273-0020 or visit Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.—Primordial Sound Meditation workshop, Sedona. For more info,, or call (928) 204-0067. Jan. 22-23—Conference registration open: Adaptation to Climate Change in the Desert Southwest: Impacts and Opportunities. Keynote Speaker: Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. The southwestern United States is a test case for climate scientists, economists, lawyers, policymakers and national, state, tribal and community leaders across the nation. This conference will explore how we can adapt to climate changes that scientist’s predict will exact a heavy toll upon the southwestern U.S. in a manner that reduces the environmental and social costs of climate change. Specifically, what can we do now to maximize the potential for a sustainable southwestern natural and human habitat? For info and registration, visit: Send calendar submissions to: editor@ Put “calendar submission” as the subject. Include the who, what, when and where details. Earth Odyssey does not charge for listing calendar events.

Page 27

Turn-of-the-century baby carriage U.S. made Q: The pictured baby carriage is in good condition. The words “Strollo-Chair—Jumel Place—New York City—10032—NY” are marked on the handle’s metal tag. The word “Rex” is located on the side of the carriage. I would like to know its maker, age and value. Any other information will be appreciated.

by Anne McCollam Creators Syndicate

A baby carriage, created by Rex Manufacturers, would probably be worth $150 to $200.

A: Rex Manufacturers, operating from 1949 to 1979 in New York, created your carriage. “Strollo-Chair” was the name of their carriages. They converted from a carriage to multiple baby equipment—a stroller, high chair and bassinet. Your baby carriage was made around 1960 and would probably be worth $150 to $200. Q: This mark is stamped on the bottom of my antique porcelain cup. The mark contains a red star and green wreath. The cup is footed with decorations, including pink roses, green leaves and gold trim. It has been kept in a china closet for as long as I can remember; it is in excellent

condition. Can you tell me anything about the history of my cup and what it is worth? A: Both Reinhold Schlegelmilch and his brother, Erdmann, used this R.S. Prussia mark on porcelain created in their German factories in Suhl and Tillowitz, from the late 1800s to 1917. Most of the porcelain was decorated with a combination of transferware, hand-gilding and enameling. Some pieces were hand-painted. Your cup was made around 1900 and would probably be worth $100 to $125. Q: I have every piece of the red glass “Cape Cod” pattern dishes that were sold by Avon. My set includes a service for eight place settings, beverage glasses, wine glasses, a pie plate and all the serving bowls and platters. I started purchasing the dishes approximately 25 years ago, with the idea that one day I would give them to my granddaughter. They have been stored in the original packaging and are still in the same perfect condition. I would be pleased if you could give me an appraisal of their value today. A: Avon’s ruby red “Cape Cod” pattern dishes were made exclusively for them by Wheaton Glass Co. located in Millville, N.J. The antique Sandwich Glass lacey pattern “Roman Rosette” was the inspiration for your dishes. Avon offered the “Cape Cod Collection” from 1976 to 1993. The name was chosen to commemorate the area where Sandwich Glass was created.

Puzzle Solutions

Logic Puzzle Solution: Savannah’s Christmas tree has 27 candy canes and 46 ornaments. Kevin’s Christmas tree has 21 candy canes and 38 ornaments. David’s Christmas tree has 30 candy canes and 17 ornaments. Mackenzie’s Christmas tree has 15 candy canes and 26 ornaments. Sean’s Christmas tree has 17 candy canes and 36 ornaments. Olivia’s Christmas tree has 23 candy canes and 21 ornaments.

Page 28

Individual serving pieces of Avon’s Cape Cod Collection range from $10 to $80 each.

Each place setting would probably be worth $125 to $135. Individual serving pieces and accessories range from $10 to $80 each. For example, a pie plate is worth around $35, a large platter around $50, a salt and pepper shaker set about $15 and a cake stand about $80. Q: While shopping at one of my favorite thrift stores, I found an engraving that I liked. Painted by Edwin Landseer and engraved by Chas. G. Lewis, it is titled “Islay Scotch Terrier with the Macaw.” The manager told me that it was an antique engraving, which hadn’t been appraised yet. After much pleading on my part, the manager agreed to sell the engraving to me without their appraiser looking at it. It is now one of my favorite pieces. Anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. A: Edwin Landseer, who lived from 1802 to 1873, was a famous English artist that specialized in painting animals. The English engraver named Charles G. Lewis, who lived from 1808 to 1880, engraved many of his paintings. Your mid to late 1800s engraving would probably be worth $125 to $225. Q: This mark is on the back of my six plates, which I inherited from my aunt. Each plate is decorated with a cobalt blue and red border, multicolored flowers in the center and

Earth Odyssey •

a white background; the name “The Ogontz” is placed near the mark. The plates are in excellent condition. I hope you can tell me something about the maker, vintage and value of my plates. A: Woods and Sons created your plates. Enoch and Ralph Woods founded their pottery in Burslem, England, in 1865. They still produce earthenware and ironstone. “The Ogontz” is the name of the pattern. Your plates were made around 1916 and each would probably be worth $20 to $30. Q: Could you please tell me more information about my cut glass bowl? It measures approximately 11 inches by 7 inches and is 4 inches tall. The saw-tooth border as well as the sharp edges of the floral and geometric pattern appear to be cut glass, rather than pressed glass. I found no manufacturer’s mark; it was a gift my mother received in 1920. A: Most cut glass is not signed by the maker. Even if marked, it is still hard to find the signature. Closely examine the pattern for a trademark. Nevertheless, marked or unmarked, cut glass is collectible. The value of your bowl would probably be $200 to $250. Q: I have a 1946 Bonnie Book that is titled “Favorite Nursery Rhymes.” It has a green hard cover, an orange spine, and measures 8 inches by 6 inches. Illustrated by Valerie Patterson, the cover contains the image of a little girl with blond hair reading a story. Behind her, a large daffodil with green leaves sheds a beam of light on her story. Although the book is in good condition, the corners and edges show some wear. Is my book collectible? Does it have any value? A: Children’s Bonnie Books were published by Samuel Lowe in Kenosha, Wis., and they are collectible. Your book would probably be worth $50 to $100. Q: I received a set of Paragon Fine Bone China from my mother. It is a service for 12 and decorated with gold flowers and gold rims. A pedestal cake plate and covered soup tureen are included in the set. On the back of each piece are the words: “By Appointment—China Manufrs. to HM Queen Elizabeth—The Queen Mother— Made in England.” Could you please help me identify the maker and possible value of my china? A: Paragon China has been made in England from 1919 to 1960. It has been a British tradition for centuries to grant Royal Warrants to recognize companies or individuals who have produced goods for members of the Royal Family. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was the mother of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the warrant was granted in 1938. Your set of dishes would probably be worth $1,500. Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P.O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters.

December 2008

Funny movie takes serious look at shopping


his film follows Reverend Billy’s antics and crusade against the false idols of Christmas spirit as he travels across the country in his vegetable-oil bus with his Church of Stop Shopping Choir. He spreads his message of moderation and consciousness in an effort to stop what he refers to as the “Shopacalypse,” the point at which our excess consumerism will destroy us. This film addresses the barbaric, compulsive habits Americans exhibit to feed their addition to consume. Rev. Billy’s persona is dramatic evangelicalism, a satire fitting for this religious holiday. It’s a bit over the top, but it’s pretty funny to watch him and his choir get thrown out of stores. He’s the only Reverend to have a restraining order prohibiting him from entering any Starbucks in California. Each year at Christmas, Americans spend half a trillion dollars and create 5 million tons of trash for products that are poorly made in another part of the world by people being taken advantage of (most of the time) and which usually have a very limited lifespan with the recipient, due to the newer poorly made product of tomorrow. Currently, every man woman and child of North and South America and Europe can fit inside American stores at one time, while the average household personal savings is below zero and 60 percent of us have long-term

Movie Reviews by Jason Allen

Movies that won’t make you dumber credit card debt of $13,000 or more. We spend less than one hour per week with religious/spiritual endeavors and more than five hours shopping. In some nations, it is illegal to advertise to children under 12, due to their impressionable developmental mental state. We, however, spend more than $15 billion each year targeting children because studies show that parents purchase what their kids nag for. Children under 8 lack the ability to tell the difference between advertisements and entertainment. The average child receives more than 40 hours per week of media exposure and only 40 minutes of meaningful conversation with their parents. The movie has interviews with the addicts

and with some of the merchants, both of which are very amusing. And, of course, they attack Walmart, showing towns devastated, the nations their products come from and interviewing some employees, which is also pretty funny—in that really sad way. The movie also notes that five of the Walmart family, the Waltons, are in the top 10 richest people in America. Rev. Billy seems to be a smart man deeply saddened by what he sees and is motivated to

try to help people to realize their errors, but is also disheartened by his message not being heard by those who choose to remain deaf and blind. They finish their holiday tour in Disneyland, where they get arrested on Christmas Day. It’s not an anti-Christmas message, but rather a plea to return the meaning to the holiday. So, here we are celebrating a holiday hijacked from the Pagans in the 4th century—which we have been told is the birth of Jesus Christ, a man whose message was one of peace and simplicity—by purchasing the most extravagant, wasteful, glimmering crap we can afford. Those items are quite often made in places with no rights for workers, so it can be as cheap as possible and also have the highest profit margin possible, while creating a massive burden for our planet to bear. I especially liked this film because I am one of the weirdos who makes my own presents. I usually use reclaimed materials (trash) and people seem to like it better. It means a lot more to take your time and your effort to think of and create something for someone rather than sending yourself further into debt by buying something mass produced. This year, I hope to collect all of the Christmas trash from my neighborhood and make some satirical art out of it.

Home of Underwood Gardens and Grandma's Garden Catalog

Hard-to-Find, Open-Pollinated and Heirloom Seeds for Herbs, Flowers and Vegetables Gardening Supplies and More Underwood Gardens

Terroir Seeds LLC

P.O. Box 4995, Chino Valley, AZ 86323

(888) 878-5247 December 2008

Earth Odyssey •

Page 29

Save fruit, vegetable seeds, grow your food


ast month, my article was addressing recycling computers, cell phones, etc. Well, I need to share another moment about this subject with you great Earth Odyssey readers. I stumbled across a Web site that will give you, yes you, anywhere from $10 to a couple of hundred dollars for your phones, game systems and digital cameras, etc. This is so cool. They will send you a gift card that you can use to purchase other gift cards on line. That’s right free money! This great site is Now for computers, Sam’s Club has joined forces and you can read more about getting your free money at samsclub. So have at it, time’s a wasting. Go get your gift card. These places even pay for postage and, free, free. Wow, now that I got that off my chest, let’s get back to this month’s tips on reuse. I was walking around my house and started looking at what things have a potential for reuse, and to my surprise I came up with some clever solutions to reducing my personal carbon footprint. I really like planting trees, so I decided I would collect my own seeds through my own food consumption. I saved my apple seeds, then my avocado seeds and then my watermelon seeds. Then it was seeds from my bell peppers, squash and my pumpkin. Before I realized it, I had seeds laying on plates drying all over my house.

Now drying seeds is very easy; you simply have to spread them out on a plate or paper towel and let them dry at room temperature for a couple of weeks. Sometimes they will dry sooner if your house is already warm. Always dry them in the open air spread out on flat surface, otherwise you are likely to grow mold on the seeds if they are sealed or contained before they have thoroughly dried. After I dried my seeds, I took out the old coffee jars I saved, labeled them appropriately. Not only did I save enough seed to grow several fruit trees, I saved enough seed to harvest food from for the next 10 years. Not only that, it can reduce my grocery bill. Come this spring, I am going to plant my

own little victory garden to celebrate and share my first fruits with my neighbors. Oh yes, I have successfully started and am growing five avocado trees, as well as my bell peppers. I am growing these indoors until the weather is good outdoors again. You don’t have to have a green thumb to plant a tree. You can start it indoors very easily. Just plant a seed in soil, water it daily, get it in sun and watch it grow. This can be a very fun project for kids of all ages and it can help them to appreciate the healthy foods. You can reuse your old milk cartons or cans

by using them as a seed starter. When they grow bigger, use a bigger can. If it turns out you have too many fruit trees or vegetables started, just pay it forward by giving some away to a neighbor. Who knows where this could lead? Maybe someday if enough of us save a few seeds and plant them, we can stamp out hunger. So my words for today....Plant a tree. Patricia Melchi is a writer, artist and avid recycler who lives in Tacoma, Wash. She can be reached via e-mail at patriciamelchi@yahoo. com.

Think thrift stores, not department stores


lthough the winter holiday brings good cheer, it also brings more solid waste to the landfill, harm to the environment and additional debt and stress to the average American family already on a tight budget. Shopping thrift and consignment stores is not only about your pocket book and the environment, but also about being inventive and creative and finding the unusual. Our marketplace has become so generic and lacks uniqueness. It is exciting and entertaining searching for that special treasure using your imagination by putting items together to achieve your specific goal. More people are shopping thrift and consignment stores for all of those reasons. December is an especially good time to go treasure hunting. We are dropping off donations so that we can claim a deduction on our taxes. Thrift stores have normally experienced a slow down of customers because, in the past, most have been shopping for new items at department stores resulting in great sales to turn over the merchandise. A lot of us tend to de-clutter for the holidays in anticipation of family gatherings and visitors. We get rid of furniture as well as home accessories and clothing items. Children’s toys are donated to make way for the new ones Santa will be bringing.

Page 30

You will find Christmas decorations by the truckload. People tend to get rid of decorations after unpacking and finding that they have too many. When dressing for festivities it’s only human nature to want something different each season, and this is the time of the year when we seem to donate last year’s holiday outfits. As a result, you’ll find quality, nearly new clothing perfect for the holidays—most often worn only once.

Thrift stores are a great place to find tons of baskets. Personalize your gift baskets. If your sister loves coffee, you will find mountains of unusual coffee mugs for her basket. If you are fortunate enough to have a baby to buy for, you will have struck it lucky and be amazed at the choices of quality recycled clothing and toys available at super prices. Does your friend love to cook? Thrift stores almost always have tons of unique kitchen utensils, pots, bowls and dishes simply because people receive these as gifts and often don’t cook. Does your grandmother love the color turquoise? Focus on shopping for only her special color. You’ll end up with an interesting basketfull of impressive items! Do you have an avid reader to buy for? If you haven’t looked at the huge selection of books available at thrift stores, you are in for an adventure. Imagine the stack of new reading you could purchase for $5. Consignment stores are finding their calendars fully booked with women wanting to sell their clothing, so variety will be especially good. Do not buy any gift wrap or ribbon. Be inventive and creative. Be the unique person that you are. Come up with your own ideas instead of using the expensive gift wrap purchased from the stores that most often times ends up in the landfill. You can purchase interesting pieces of

Earth Odyssey •

fabric for next to nothing at thrift stores and fabric makes a unique and impressive presentation. String, yarn, wire, rope, paper and shredded fabric can be used for bows and tying. Use bags, both plastic and paper, as well as magazines, newspaper and recycled packing paper. Make your own gift tags. It is so unnecessary to purchase these expensive items when you have everything already available at your finger tips. Go through your clutter and create, re-gift and reuse. Do your part to reduce holiday waste that causes stress on the environment; save money and spend more quality time with those whom you love to be with. You will have much more to talk about and you will all feel better about yourselves knowing that you are doing your part to make positive changes. It is time for each and every one of us to take responsibility to ensure the elimination of waste and pollution. You will have the best holiday memories ever. Happy holidays and happy treasure hunting! Bonnie is an artist who reuses and recycles materials in her creations. She designed and instructed art programs for the Okanogan School of Arts in British Columbia and has been awarded art commissions from the State of Arizona Arts Commission and the Gilbert and Glendale libraries.

December 2008

Time to perform a do-it-yourself home energy audit


aving a professional energy audit, and taking the auditor’s advice, is the best way to lower your utility bills this winter. If you can’t find an auditor, or live in an apartment or condo, here are ways you can perform your own audit. It’s as easy as walking through your home with a lit candle or incense stick. Hold it near the edges of windows, doors and electric outlets. The flame or smoke will flicker

By Shawn Dell Joyce where a draft comes through your wall. Pay close attention to mail slots, where wiring and plumbing penetrates walls, edges

Algae Crude When oil prices soar to places they’ve never risen to before, unconventional sources of energy become ... well, less unconventional. Consider the recent attention given to the lowly algae and its ability to make fats. The fats can be made into refined crude oil in the same way ground crude oil is refined. But for crude oil from algae to be made into commercially viable quantities, certain algae must be selected as well as genetically modified to overcome its tendency to slow down the output of fat. Bio-crude has a decidedly green benefit: While fossil fuels release carbon dioxide, growing algae absorbs carbon dioxide. Bill Gates has seen the potential dollar signs. One algae biofuel company, Sapphire, speaks of supplying crude for $50 to $80 a barrel, and Gates has invested a large portion of the $100 million that the company has raised in the last year. Sapphire aims at producing 10,000 barrels a day—a drop in the bucket compared with our nation’s 20 million barrels a day habit. But you gotta start somewhere.

Chinese Methane The phrase “canary in a coalmine” comes from the age-old practice of placing a caged canary in a mine to detect explosive gases; the canary’s death was a signal for miners to evacuate. The unfortunate death signaled methane gas. While the detection system has improved, coalmines tap into this dangerous, yet useful, gas in mines around the world. Methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The

December 2008

Environmental Protection Agency has had a program to reduce coalmine methane emissions since 1994, but it was recently announced that the program might extend to China—both parties are weighing the possibility of capturing the methane from three Chinese coalmines. The yearly equivalent of emissions from 330,000 cars would be collected, and the methane, being a clean-burning energy source, would be used or sold. So ... greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, mine safety is enhanced, mines find a new source of revenue and we’re working with the Chinese to protect the environment. Questions can be sent to Jim Parks at

of vents, air conditioners and fans. Big gaps often occur around masonry, where outer walls meet the ceiling, and fireplaces. If you were to put all these little holes and cracks, and areas around the electric outlets together, you could have a 3-foot gaping hole leaking your heating dollars. Use a caulk gun and a can of expandable foam to patch any holes you find in the walls, windows, baseboards and duct work. If you’ve never caulked before, here are a few simple tips: • Wipe away any dirt, moisture or loose paint on areas to be caulked so that you don't seal in moisture and debris. • Keep the caulk gun at a consistent angle and apply consistent pressure on the trigger so that caulk is forced out in a long even bead without bubbles and blobs. • Make sure the caulk adheres to both sides of a gap. Release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid applying too much caulk. • Use a high-quality caulk instead of skimping on cheaper caulks that shrink when they dry. • Expandable spray foam is used in areas that are 1/4 inch or more, which is too wide for caulk to stick properly. Insulation should be installed by professionals to achieve maximum benefits, but it can be done by a knowledgeable homeowner. The cost of insulating will be returned to you in savings on home energy bills. It is especially important to insulate attic floors and basement ceilings. If you have crawlspaces, basement doors and attic stairs, you can insulate these yourself using rigid foam panels. “The insulation doesn’t typically stop all of the air infiltration,” George Del Valle, an insulation contractor, recently said on DIY Network. “So, you want to do everything you can to stop that air from coming in.” If you were to take an infrared photo of your home, you would see heat leaking out from around windows and doors. Tight weatherstripping around doors will eliminate much of that heat loss. Try this test: Put a piece of paper on the threshold of your door and close it. If you can pull this paper out from under your door without tearing it, you are losing money and energy. Weatherstrip that door. Here are some weatherstripping tips:

Earth Odyssey •

• Weatherstripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces only when temperatures are above freezing. • Measure twice before you cut the weatherstripping. • Apply weatherstripping snugly against both surfaces of the door and the jamb. • Weatherstripping should compress when the window or door is shut. Also, replacing single-paned windows with efficient double-paned windows is ideal. If that isn't in your budget right now, consider sealing the windows with sheet plastic. You can tape the plastic to the molding around the window creating a dead air space that insulates against heat transfer. Doing this one thing will make your home feel much warmer, and save you considerably more money than the cost of the plastic. If you have forced-air heating and cooling systems, then you have ducts throughout your house. “In a typical house, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections,” according to Energy Star, a U.S. Department of Energy program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. Leaky ductwork means the house feels uncomfortable regardless of the thermostat setting, and your utility bills are always high. Exposed ducts in attics, basements, crawlspaces and garages can be easily repaired by sealing the leaks with duct sealant, or duct mastic, and sometimes with just duct tape. Also, insulating ducts that run through uninsulated spaces, like attics, garages or crawlspaces, can save you big bucks. Energy Star estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10 percent on their total annual energy bill, just by sealing and insulating. If your energy bills are $250 per month, that would equal $50 per month in savings, or $600 per year. While this advice can't replace a home energy audit, it can help you save money and energy in the coming winter. Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning sustainable artist and activist living in a green home in the Mid-Hudson region of New York. Contact her by e-mail

Page 31

Living green in Skull Valley custom home


us Kirk lives in Skull Valley, although he is a cabinetmaker from Yuma. But when he saw 3.1 acres on Skull Valley Wash, he knew he wanted to build an eco-friendly house there. “I wanted to be a green builder, but that’s not going to happen in this economy,” Kirk said. So he settled instead for building a super energy efficient home with incredible craftsmanship and details. The monthly electric bill for this 2,624 square foot home is $65. Kirk’s house is built with structural insulated panels (SIPs). These panels are formed from a high-quality insulation laminated between OSB. The result is a system that combines framing, insulation and sheathing into one step. The insulation value results in an average savings of 50 percent in heating and cooling costs. “There are no nails in this construction,” Kirk said. “We can’t just keep building stick houses because that type of construction uses a lot of natural materials. I believe there are some far better ways of building a house.” Kirk said he would never build another stick house. “SIPs is the way to go,” he said. “Houses can be built much more air tight.” Other details that Kirk put into his house include: • Solar-powered radiant in-floor heating system • Solar-powered hot water • Double-pane aluminum windows • Secondary backup forced air heating system powered by 94 percent efficient Weil McLain gas fired boiler (propane) • Trane forced air heating and central refrigeration • Whole house Venmar air exchange • Greywater system • Energy Star appliances • Photovoltaic panels • On-site firehouse with access to a 2,500 gallon holding tank

Eco Living

• Water storage tank But it’s not just the energy-efficiency of this house that makes it so appealing. Kirk has added many customized details that put the stamp of true craftsmanship on this house. “I wanted to bring the outside in,” he said. “I collected and stored components for years that I knew I would use one day.” Touches include a tree trunk hugging the top of an entryway, a stone water fountain and stone fireplace. Even the doorstops are custom made out of mesquite wood. “It’s been a fun project,” Kirk said. “It’s been a real uphill battle, but I’m pretty well on the downhill slide now.” For more information about this secluded property in Skull Valley, call Robert Israel at (928) 273-2420.

Photos by Pia Wyer

Page 32

Earth Odyssey •

December 2008

Earth Odyssey December 2008  

An educational guide to sustainability and spiritual well-being

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you