I often hear two statements made regarding drinking water from outdoor sources. Some claim “I never treat the water I drink in the outdoors” while others say “I never drink the water because it’s got bugs in it.” In the first instance not treating water increases the risk of gastrointestinal illness and in the second instance not knowing how to make the water safe to drink dramatically increases the risk of dehydration and the many other problems associated with becoming dehydrated in the field.
“In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practises the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets overexcited and breaks things and laughs too loudly.” ~ Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
On September 24, our nation will celebrate its 16thNational Punctuation Day. Jeff Rubin founded the event in 2004 as “a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipses.”
Rocky Mountain National Park is popular. Very popular. It had the third highest number of visitors of any national park last year, and for two very good reasons: the scenery is spectacular and the wildlife abundant. Imagine how annoying it is when you’re trying to get a shot of a wonderful snow-capped mountain peak, and those pesky elk or moose keep blocking your view.
This is a charming, entertaining, and educational little book, written by RMOWP member Virginia Parker Staat. It brought both tears and chuckles – what more can a reader ask? Although written for children eight to 14, it’s a lovely story for all ages. It’s also a true story, and includes delightful illustrations by Andy Ramon.
The challenges of functioning effectively – and safely, in a cold environment are directly related to your ability to protect yourself from the ambient temperature, precipitation and wind. While accurate numbers are difficult to come by, it is estimated that about 600 people die each year from accidental hypothermia – many of these, about 50%, are elderly. As with heat challenges, the emphasis needs to be an awareness of the environmental threats, on early recognition of what is happening, minimizing the risk and then on effective treatment of hypothermia should it occur.
Around the year 2000 I read a wildflower hiking book for the Colorado mountains. It profiled a feature called Shrine Ridge and, furthermore, bestowed upon it the title of Century Hike. That would be at least a hundred different wildflowers in the course of a season. What the authors had shared would turn out to be life-enriching for me.
One of the great opportunities of the RMOWP organization through the years has been the annual photo workshop. This long-standing summer ritual has provided first-class, professional instruction in nature photography for the many participants who signed up and showed up, wanting to improve their skills in the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park. Most recently, coordinator Nic Showalter and instructors Jared Gricoskie and Fred Lord have for the past 11 years created a remarkable learning experience and contribution to the field of photography. Individuals from several states across the country have taken part. It has been a good run indeed.
I sure hope you’re planning to attend the RMOWP conference in Rocky Mountain National Park in September. It’s stunning, inspiring, magical. That’s just a few adjectives. Supply your own when you come. I taught up there for about a dozen years at the RMOWP photo workshop and I figure I’ve been in the park two hundred or more times.