(Click on any of these postcards to see them in their full, larger glory.)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico." Here's an excerpt from the educational text on the back of the postcard:
"This photo was taken from the downward trail in the entrance to the Cavern, looking up. There are an estimated 3,000,000 Bats at times, and the flight covers a period of from two to three hours. This wonderful sight led to the exploration of the Caverns by Jim White. ... The Bats stay in a remote part of the Caverns and are not seen on the regular trips through the Caverns."The most recent estimate is that about 800,000 bats now reside in Carlsbad Caverns. It is thought that DDT, among other factors, has severely winnowed their population.
Glencar Lough in the Yeats Country, Co. Sligo, Ireland." From the back of the card, which was postmarked in 1963:
"Situated about 8 miles north-east of Sligo town, this delightful sheet of water stretches eastward for over 2 miles into Co. Leitrim, along a valley which provides some of the loveliest scenery in Ireland."
Gallup, New Mexico. This one shows Navajo Church Rock, described on the back as:
"...resembling a a church with its spires. A landmark to be seen for miles. it is like a gem in a mammoth setting of red mesas studded with occasional pinnacles and spires of grey sand stone."
"This scene is part of the stretch of red rock formation extending a distance of about 40 miles along Highway 66, seen between Grants and Gallup, N.M. The route is a historic one, as it was first traveled by the Spaniards, later by the U.S. Soldiers and then by the pony express."
Luray Caverns in northern Virginia. The sprawling underground cavern was first "discovered" by Americans in 1878, although of course it's possible that Native Americans knew about the place long before that.
Hunter, N.Y." These "Greetings From..." postcards were made for every conceivable city, town, hamlet and village in the United States, often using the same generic nature scene or roadway. So this specific spot likely cannot be found in Hunter. Still, Hunter's location in the Catskills would certainly seem to lend itself to some peace, beauty and untouched landscape.
Coincidentally, two of my current #FridayReads are books that are appropriate to the notion of Earth Day:
- Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Joseph Romm
- Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest, by Lawrence S. Earley
Additionally, the recently published Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, by Edward Humes, (author of Garbology) is on my to-read list.
Here is a roundup of environment-themed newspaper and magazine articles that I have come across in recent months:
- Isthmus: "Plan B after Bernie: Green Party candidate Jill Stein says Sanders voters are about to be burned" by Dylan Brogan
- The Washington Post: "The most important mystery about U.S. climate change policy" by Chris Mooney (Spoiler alert: It's the methane leaks associated with fracking)
- Slate: "The United States of Megadrought: If you think that California is dry now, wait till the 2050s" by Eric Holthaus
- Narratively: "The last eco-warrior" by Aaron Kase
- CityLab: "This Japanese Town Shows How 'Zero Waste' Is Done" by Linda Poon
- CityLab: "The Violent Afterlife of a Recycled Plastic Bottle" by Debra Winter
- Smithsonian.com: "Could the Funeral of the Future Help Heal the Environment?" by Erin Blakemore
- The New Yorker: "The Siege of Miami: As temperatures climb, so, too, will sea levels" by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Motherboard: "A New Advocacy Group Is Lobbying for the Right to Repair Everything" by Jason Koebler
- The New York Times Magazine: "Learning to Recycle in Switzerland, and Paying for It" as told to Laura Bauerlein
- The Atlantic: "A Brewing Problem" by James Hamblin (The terrifying cautionary tale of John Sylvan and the Keurig K-Cups. Almost 1 in 3 American homes now has a pod-based coffee machine. The cups are STILL not recyclable or biodegradable. Billions of them end up in landfills each year.)
- The New York Times: "E-Commerce: Convenience Built on a Mountain of Cardboard" by Matt Richtel
- The New York Times: "German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too" by Sally McGrane
- Think Progress: "Scientists Have Now Quantified Mountaintop Removal Mining’s Destruction Of Appalachia" by Katie Valentine
- Mother Nature Network: "Are your glass bottles really getting recycled?" by Matt Hickman
- The Washington Post: "Our wasted food is a huge environmental problem – and it’s only getting worse" by Chelsea Harvey
- Plaid Zebra: "Water bottle made from algae could save 50 billion plastic bottles a year from our landfills" by Jessica Beuker
- The New York Times: "Three Headaches for the Recycling Industry" (diapers, plastic bags and juice boxes) by Matt Richtel
- Fusion: "Litter bug: The radical repackaging required to go zero waste" by Cole Rosengren
- Safe Bee: "Can Mushroom Packaging Help Save the Planet?" by Muriel Vega
For a final thing to think about, I'm going to leave you with one of the most Anti-Earth Day postcards in my collection. Crazy freeways, indeed.