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Today's Features

  • Summer time in Texas means more time to play outside, go swimming, and soak up the sun. However, warmer temperatures also mean that pets may be more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. To help pet owners avoid these risks, Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, offered some insight.
    “Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are major problems for pets in the summer, especially in short nosed breeds, such a pug or a bulldog,” Eckman said.  “These conditions can occur during hot and humid days and even cooler days, if your pets aren’t accustomed to the heat.”

    Heat exhaustion is the early stages of a heat stroke and causes lethargy, vomiting, and weakness. Following continued exercise or exposure to heat, Eckman said a heat stroke can occur with more severe signs, including extreme lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and pale mucous membranes.  This can lead significant problems up to and including death if not recognized and treated immediately.

  • The Colorado River, one of the longest rivers in the United States, is gradually shrinking. This is partly a result of overuse by municipalities and seasonal drought. The other reason is global warming.

    The decline in the river reservoir will have serious implications for large U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, that depend on the Colorado River as their water source. In addition, this will also have an impact on the Native American tribes who view the Colorado River as sacred to their religions.

    As Ka-Voka Jackson, a member of the Hualapai tribe and a graduate student working to address climate change on the Colorado River and restoring native plant species along its banks, stated, “The Colorado River is so sacred not just to my tribe, but to so many others.”

    As a scholar of Native American religions and the environment, I understand how indigenous people’s religions and sacred places are closely tied to their landscape. For the past 100 years, indigenous peoples have been forced to adapt to changes in their environments and modify their religious rituals in the United States. The U.S. government made certain Native American religious practices illegal in the 19th and early 20th century. Although these policies have since been rescinded, they led to changes in many indigenous practices.  

  • The Jemez Mountains Bear Paw Quilt Guild invites the community to their annual Quilt Show.
    Come see a dazzling display of quilts, including the Patriotic Fallen Warrior Quilts given to New Mexico families that have lost a soldier in the Middle East.
    A selection of quilts and handmade items will also be available for sale (cash only).
    Admission is free. The event takes place July 21-23. Friday and Saturday the show will run 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. On Sunday, the show will run 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. It takes place at the Walatowa Visitor Center, 7413 Hwy 4.
     

  • Artist and instructor Lisa Coddington is returning to teach a one-day workshop on drawing using botanical and natural subjects at the Los Alamos Nature Center on July 20. This class, made possible by Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), is great for all skill levels. The workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register to learn techniques for creating realistic, still life, and nature-inspired art.

    Participants will explore pencil techniques that portray plants and animals. With easy to understand demonstrations and master artist examples, Lisa will work to reinforce confidence in creating dimensional, summer-themed subjects. Her next class will take place on July 27th and will feature painting and watercolor techniques.

    Coddington earned her Master of Art in Illustration at Syracuse University. She has illustrated a children’s book and has received commissions by regional and national firms for her artwork and art instruction. Her whimsical characters have been licensed for ornaments and are also featured on greeting cards.

  • This Sunday will mark the 71st anniversary of the Trinity Test, the first test  of an actual nuclear weapon. The test took place in the Jornada Del Muerto Desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    At Fuller Lodge this weekend, the birth of the atomic bomb will be remembered in an hour and a half, thought-provoking performance that will include poetry by former Los Alamos native Allison Cobb, art by Japanese artist Yukiyo Kawano and dance by Butoh dancer Meshi Chavez. Stephen Miller and Lisa DeGrace will be providing the music and visual effects.

    The performance will actually center around the Aug. 9 bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, when the plutonium “Fat Man” bomb was dropped. Kawano created a replica of the Fat Man bomb from World War II era kimonos sewn together with Kawano’s hair. She has grandparents that survived the Hiroshima bombing on Aug. 6. The kimonos came from a shop owned by one of her grandmothers.

    The event is sponsored in part by the LA History museum.

    “When viewed together, the multiple perspectives from Los Alamos and Japan creates a more holistic history than what can be understood from only one point of view,” LA History Museum Director Judith Stauber said. 

  • I am loving summer, I hope you are too.

    I love the way things slow down, even though lately I haven’t seemed to get anything extra done.

    I hope you plan to participate in the Los Alamos County 100 Aha Moments photo contest. If you aren’t much of a contest participant, but like taking photographs, give it a try and support a new idea.

    Check out the County’s Instagram page, shoot a photo of your own and post it with the #100AHAMoments. The number sign for our young generation is called a “Hashtag,” and while I try not to be judgmental someone actually named their child that about a year ago. He isn’t reading yet and the family doesn’t live here, so I feel safe in sharing the story.

    I am not an Instagram kinda person, but I may give it a whirl as I do like to photograph almost anything.

    Last weekend I photographed a lot of local activities as we try and take advantage of all fun, free things while our company is visiting.

    This is an excellent time to just relax with some fun, new summer television shows too.

  • The recent rains have brought out a variety of different flowers, transitioning our landscape into the colors of summer. Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator Chick Keller will lead this year’s Wildflower Walks. These monthly outings will be easy walks to identify some of the wildflower beauties found in and around Los Alamos. Each time Keller will pick a different trail, depending on what is blooming at the time. The walks are free and there is no advance registration required.
    The Wildflower Walks will take place one Monday a month for the season. Since he wasn’t able to lead a walk in June, there will be one more walk in July on July 24.
    Wildflower Walks will meet on Aug. 14 and then again on Sept. 11. Participants will receive a plant list and that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify wildflowers currently blooming in Los Alamos. The group will meet each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center, at 2600 Canyon Road, to carpool to the trailhead.  
    For more information, visitpeecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.
     

  • Visitors and locals driving up NM 475 (the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) may notice something happening with aspen groves that create one of the most popular vistas on the Santa Fe National Forest.

    To the casual observer, the aspens may appear to be dying. But those bare branches signal the return of the western tent caterpillars, native defoliators whose larvae feed on a variety of hardwood trees species. At least here in New Mexico, they seem to be particularly fond of aspen.

    The caterpillar gets its name from the conspicuous “tent” it builds on branches and twigs. The silken shelter protects the larvae during molting. As they mature, the larvae disperse and continue feeding on leaves until it’s time to retreat into cocoons for their transformation into moths. The process takes a couple months after which the adults mate and the female moths lay the eggs that become next year’s caterpillars.

  • BY ROBERTA R. FINE
    Special to the Monitor

    Jemez House Inc. Thrift Store is rounding out its 21st year as a community and youth resource. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, it is facing growing pains and must make some hard decisions, again asking the community for its cooperation and forbearance.

    It has become an eyesore and a thorn in county management’s side due to unmanageable donations left on the store’s porch during off hours.

    The organization is an outgrowth of a group home for troubled or neglected children founded by a pastor of the United Church of Los Alamos. When the group home closed in 1996, due to new state requirements that were too expensive for it to meet, one of the thrift stores that helped to support it remained open.