A good cause

Chris Clarke has put out a Kickstarter to fund a resource for information about California’s wildlife. It looks like an excellent idea.

I wish I could imagine something similar for my neighborhood in Minnesota, but the majestic soybean, the mighty corn stalk, and the lithe, bounding dairy cow just aren’t that exciting. The prairie was an impressive ecosystem, but it seems to have mainly met the plow.


  1. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Donated last week and I’ve been doing what I can to boost the signal. This is a really valuable project.

  2. otrame says

    There is (or was, at any rate) a small park in northern Illinois that boasted one of the few remaining pieces of true long grass prairie. During the summer they had warning signs that is was bloody hot out there and absolutely no shade and please be careful.

    It was wonderful. Just a few acres but real tall grasses, over your head, with sod that had never been cut. It was like being on an alien planet. They also had a nice swamp and a small spring-fed pond. Tons of birds. It was one of the few things about northern Illinois I remember with pleasure. I just wish I could remember what it was called because when I get rich, I’ll send them some money.

    Seriously, PZ, I’ll see if I can find the name and if you are ever in that part of the world, I most strongly recommend going.

  3. magistramarla says

    I grew up in southern Illinois and I remember reading about that park in school.
    Like you, I have no idea of the mane of it.
    Please pass the information along here if you find it.

    Darn, I miss Chris Clark’s posts here!

  4. PDX_Greg says

    What are the odds that this evolves into PZ starting a second Kickstarter campaign to get plowed …

  5. PDX_Greg says

    @chigau #5, that’s a beautiful post you chose to link to. I recommend all reading this thread take the time to read the post if you haven’t. I don’t read Mr. Clark’s blog regularly but perhaps I should.

  6. PDX_Greg says

    Ugh, I also forgot the “e”. I blame his patriarchal forebears for gratuitous silent letter retention.

  7. says

    Our back 23 acres are set as CRP land here in Minnesota. In the spring it is gorgeous back there. There is some kind of wild plum tree all the way at the back, where the swamp begins, and sometimes in the spring we take our binoculars and head in that general direction. We see mamma deer tending to their newborns.

    Coming down from Denver through Colorado there are also still some places where the high prairie looks virtually untouched. Boring sometimes, but get through there at the right time of year and it is breathtaking. Last time we were through we saw a herd of antelope on what appeared to be their spring break – just prancing all around and kicking into the air. Pulled over to watch for a good half hour.

  8. Seize says

    Chris I would donate to you any time! As a person who grew in up Pasadena this means a lot to me. Thanks!

  9. says

    I don’t read Mr. Clark’s blog regularly but perhaps I should.

    PDX_Greg, I highly recommend it. Chris has written some really powerful stuff through the years.

    Regarding the kickstarter campaign, I wish I could spring for the top pledge – a personalized tour of the desert sounds amazing.
    Unfortunately, I’ve used too much money on donations this month for me to be able to find that sort of money any time soon (I was one of the two people who did the matching $1000 donation for Skepticon).

  10. ChasCPeterson says

    72 Backers
    $7,675 pledged of $7,500 goal
    15 days to go

    Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!
    thank you, people!