Check out the great Washington Post article - On Utah’s Cedar Mesa, solitude and the thrill of discovery by Kate Siber.
In the article, Siber shares:
Cedar Mesa, which is on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, harbors an array of colorful geological formations and hundreds of ruins from ancestral Puebloans, also commonly called the Anasazi, or “ancient enemy” in Navajo. Many sites have never been excavated, named or mapped, and few modern eyes have seen them. Although ruins in national parks can be larger and more elaborate, Cedar Mesa offers a rare slice of solitude and the thrill of discovery.
Discovering these ruins, however, requires an investment of time and patience, because they’re in canyons reachable only on foot. Unlike the National Park Service, the BLM provides few signs, only rough roads and no paved trails. But Cedar Mesa’s wildness is what preserves it. It’s also a large part of its appeal, and the reason it perennially lures me from my Colorado home, a half-day’s drive away.
R.I.P. Anna Merz, 1931-2013
“What Joy Adamson was to lions, Dian Fossey was to gorillas, and Jane Goodall is to chimpanzees, Anna Merz is to rhinos.” That’s how Desmond Morris described Merz in his foreword to her 1991 memoir and plea for rhino conservation: Rhino: At the Brink of Extinction, a deftly-written book that deserves to be more widely known.
Merz was born in England but spent much of her life in Africa, first in Ghana, where she served as an honorary warden for the game department, and then in Kenya, where she co-founded a rhino conservancy, Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary, with the Craig family, later folded into Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a leader in endangered species protection, restoration, and community conservation.
A rhino-whisperer, Merz was one of the first to learn the pachyderm’s cryptic language of snorts and breath noises. She kept a fascinating record while raising the orphaned Samia, warming the two-day-old calf in her own bed, learning from her that “aggression and bad temper are not normal aspects of [rhino] behaviour, and that being nervous and highly strung are.” Samia quickly grasped how to open gates and the door of Merz’s Suzuki truck with her prehensile lip, and her adopted human mum wrote that the truck, much bashed and clambered upon, “is starting to look all too much like a baby rhino’s favourite toy.” Merz’s knowledge was passed on to generations of conservationists at Lewa, who continue to raise orphaned rhinos and expand protected areas for both species of rhino, elephants, and other wildlife.
Lewa announced earlier this month that Merz, 82, died April 4 in a hospital in South Africa.
Woman by barn, Los Angeles County Fair, 1937 (Herman Schultheis)
the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
R.I.P. Storm Thorgerson, who did some of the best album artwork ever.
In mid July, this track topped the iTunes Jazz Singles Charts. This 2011 Hindustani flavoured re-interpretation of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s ’s ‘Take Five’ gained world-wide attention, including that of Brubeck himself, who said it was “the most interesting rendition of the track he’s ever heard.” Performed by Pakistan’s Sachal Orchestra, ‘Take Five’ is only one of many gems off their debut record, “Sachal Jazz: Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova”. Pakistani Classical Musicians have been a dwindling breed in Pakistan for many years. Most classical instrumentalists worked for the Pakistani film industry, called “Lollywood”. But when Lollywood died out, so did the classical music profession. Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani philanthropist and jazz lover, made it his mission to hunt down these retired classical musicians and create the Sachal Orchestra. (Dave Brubeck passed away last December.)
Roling Stones, 1968