.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Stunning vistas and recent storms

-A A +A

Paying the consequences for ignoring geological advice

By Kirsten Peters

Here’s a classic poem that’s dear to me, both for its manic intensity and its meaning in the natural world. It’s so short you can memorize it right now and always have it at your disposal when you consider news of storms and their destruction.
“Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!”
The poet was Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her lines always come to my mind when heavy rains ravage the West and homes, bridges and roads are swept away by mudflows and flash floods.
The poem seemed apt as California recently experienced torrential rains that triggered debris flows in canyons. Cascading down the steep hillsides, boulders, trees, mud and water flowed rapidly downhill, imperiling houses and those who lived in them.
As usual, there were reports from the people who had built houses exactly where we geologists would predict the debris flows would be the worst.
They had traded safety for the stunning views of living in the steep canyons of southern California.
In so doing, they had not built upon the rock, but on the sands of impermanence. When the land above their houses started to move, they instantly knew the significance of their choice.


If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
info
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:



Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday