Parlez vous francais?

le-peuple-des-abeilles

Well, if you don’t speak French, no worries — read on! Recently, a Land Library friend donated one of the most remarkable books on bees and beekeeping that we have ever seen. Eric Tourneret’s Le Peuple des Abeilles will always have an honored place on the Land Library’s shelves.

The text may be in French, but Tourneret’s photographs speak volumes. Many of the photos give such an upclose view of the bee’s world that you’d swear Tourneret strapped cameras to the backs of worker bees:

incoming

A steady stream of incoming bees, with pollen baskets full.

In some ways our personal inability to read the text liberated us to focus on the incredible patterns of another world:

comb

Eric Tourneret also turns his lens on an equally fascinating creature: the beekeeper:

french beekeeper

Le Peuple des Abeilles tells the tale of beekeepers employing both modern and traditional techniques. There are wonderful photo-essays on the capture of wild swarms, and the never-say-die efforts of urban beekeepers — including a few atop the Paris Opera House!

Eric Tourneret has seen a hidden world through his lens:

merchant-and-makers-honey-bees-eric-tourneret-3

If you don’t speak French, or if you someday hope to speak Bee, you’ll really enjoy this short clip:

We hope a publisher issues an English translation of Le Peuple des Abeilles — but then again, we have loved the visual odyssey we’ve been on, unaccompanied by words!
fields

Advertisements

Mean Poets & Calm Cattle

thorpsongslgz

If you got to talking to most cowboys, they’d admit they write ’em. I think some of the meanest, toughest sons of bitches around write poetry.” — Ross Knox

In 1908, a local rancher walked into the Estancia, New Mexico newspaper office, and inquired about printing a small book of cowboy songs he had been working on. For almost twenty years, Jack Thorp gathered cowboy ballads and poems from across the west. The finished volume was printed for just six cents a copy, and was the first book exclusively devoted to cowboy songs. Not only that, but Thorp is recognized as the first person to preserve the ballads sung by ranchers to calm cattle on the range.

A special corner of the Marie Guiraud Ranching Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch will be devoted to cowboy poetry, and will include many sound recordings as well:

sfw50003

Cowboy Poetry Classics (a CD of a Smithsonian Folkways recording)

various-artists-the-library-of-congress-archive-of-folk-culture-cowboy-songs-ballads-and-cattle-calls-from-texas-3-cd

Cowboy Songs, Ballads, and Cattle Calls from Texas, a Library of Congress CD, featuring field recordings made by John A. Lomax. We also have several books by Lomax, including:

002608

And it’s not just cowboys who write poetry:

graining2

Graining the Mare: The Poetry of Ranch Women, edited by Teresa Jordan

The Marie Guiraud Ranching Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch:

IMGP1440

In the ranch’s Main House, right through the green screen door to the right, we’ll be setting up a special library — celebrating ranching history & traditions, from the early days to the present, with books on ranching in the American West, and across the globe.

This constantly-growing library is named after Marie Guiraud, who along with her husband Adolph, first established this homestead ranch, back in 1862 along the Middle Fork of Colorado’s South Platte River.

The Cloud Atlas Project: Celebrating Nature Nearby

dxn2b17

Maynard Dixon, Desert Journey, 1935

Cloudscape : Tracing the Evolution of Clouds in Art

Friday, February 23rd, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The Rocky Mountain Land Library is thrilled to be partnering with the American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection for one of the first eye-opening programs inspired by the RMLL’s ongoing Cloud Atlas Project.

Join the AMWA staff on a Museum walking tour that will explore the cloudscapes of Western American painting. We will discuss the historical importance of clouds in paintings, along with how the use of clouds contributes to our reaction or interpretation of art.

The walking tour will begin at 3:00 pm and last approximately an hour and a half. The tour is limited to 25 visitors, and advance reservations are recommended as programs often sell out. Tickets are not refundable for sold-out events.

For Tickets and more information about AMWA, click here!

galleryview_bold-1

The Cloud Atlas Project

The Rocky Mountain Land Library has long felt that nature is always near, whether we are at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch, or in downtown Denver. Nature, and in particular clouds, enrich our days no matter where we are.

The Cloud Atlas Project’s goal is to cultivate community appreciation for clouds in the city and the country, to foster conversations about clouds and encourage simple awe at the sky above. We will also be advancing related programming in partnership with local neighborhood groups, art institutions, public schools, and local governments.

For more information, be sure to visit our project website, CloudAtlasProject.org!

showdetails-aspx_

Myron Wood, Sheep, Storm – South Park, Colorado, 1967

 

What Moves the Land Library Forward?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whenever we pick up a new Land Library book we always turn to its bibliography, knowing from experience that one good book often leads to another. Next, we check the book’s Acknowledgement page. We love dwelling on the network of friends, family and colleagues that nurtures any good work.
Now it’s Rocky Mountain Land Library’s turn to gratefully acknowledge the community of supporters and volunteers that keep moving the Land Library forward. It’s impossible to name everyone, but each has inspired us to keep to the vision of creating a special place where people can slow down, reflect, get energized, and in general reconnect to nature and the land — our common heritage.
The Rocky Mountain Land Library exists thanks to our all-volunteer staff, our supporters, program partners and our social media friends across the globe. Then there’s the amazing lifelong learners who attend Land Library classes and workshops, and the virtual army of hardy souls who show up for workdays, often in less than ideal weather.
Everyone on our endless acknowledgement page shares these qualities in common: resilience, creativity, hopefulness, and a love for community and the land. Plus this: we learn something from each other every day!

Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about future projects at the ranch, especially the establishment of special libraries focused on topics such as Rivers & WaterNative American historyranching, and Public Lands across the globe. We have gathered these books for over 30 years, and we are so excited to make a home for them in the rich learning landscapes of South Park.

The funds we raise this month will continue the steady progress we’ve been making at Buffalo Peaks Ranch over the past three years, gradually transforming a historic Colorado ranch into a residential library/learning center dedicated to land and community.

We have the books, the shelves, ongoing programs, and a long-term lease on the ranch. With your help we can accomplish so much more in 2018!

x-greatwork2

With $20,000 we will unleash the Land Library’s amazing volunteer team, giving them the tools, supplies (bricks & mortar, lumber & nails), and support they need to take on a myriad of projects, including building platform tents and Leopold Benches, and much more.

unnamed (2)

Feel free to click on our PayPal donation button at the top right of our home page, or it you prefer to write a check, our best address is: Rocky Mountain Land Library, 2550 W. 39th Avenue, Denver, CO 80211.

THANKS so much!

This short video will show you why we are so excited about the ranch — enjoy!

“The stories of people and the land couldn’t be told in a better place than this high mountain ranch, threaded by trout streams and elk trails, with traces of native tribes and early settlers still visible on the land.” — Jeff Lee, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library

 

Walt Whitman in South Park

unnamed (25)

South Park, the headwaters home of the Rocky Mountain Land Library, can be described as a high altitude basin, surrounded by mountain ranges, and encompassing approximately 1,000 square miles.

Or you can take this description from the great American poet Walt Whitman, 1879:

I jot these lines literally at Kenosha summit, where we return, afternoon, and take a long rest, 10,000 feet above sea-level. At this immense height the South Park stretches fifty miles before me. Mountainous chains and peaks in every variety of perspective, every hue of vista, fringe the view…so the whole Western world is, in a sense, but an expansion of these mountains… (from Specimen Days).

The view of South Park from Kenosha Pass is still one of the most stunning views in the entire Colorado Rockies. We feel a surge of anticipation every time we near the top, knowing what’s to come. It’s an experience we wish for you all!
48 (3)

Mount Silverheels from Buffalo Peaks Ranch. photo by Sarah McLaughlin

This short video will show you why we are so excited about being in South Park — enjoy!

“The stories of people and the land couldn’t be told in a better place than this high mountain ranch, threaded by trout streams and elk trails, with traces of native tribes and early settlers still visible on the land.” — Jeff Lee, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library

 

A Learning Landscape for Generations to Come

425

Buffalo Peaks Ranch. photo by Carl Young

“Buffalo Peaks Ranch is a beautiful spot of land, and the perfect home for a library dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of the land.” Los Angeles Times

Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about future projects at the ranch, especially the establishment of special libraries focused on topics such as Native American history & culture, ranching, and Public Lands across the globe. The funds we raise this month will continue the steady progress we’ve been making at Buffalo Peaks Ranch over the past three years, gradually transforming a historic Colorado ranch into a residential library/learning center dedicated to land and community.

This short video will show you why we are so excited about the ranch — enjoy!

“The stories of people and the land couldn’t be told in a better place than this high mountain ranch, threaded by trout streams and elk trails, with traces of native tribes and early settlers still visible on the land.” Jeff Lee, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library

We have the books, the shelves, ongoing programs, and a long-term lease on the ranch. With your help we can accomplish so much more in 2018!

buff15 (1 of 1)

Cattle in morning mist, Buffalo Peaks Ranch. photo by Larry Glass

Water & Rivers at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

The Lambing Barn at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. (photo by Berry Oliver)

With Buffalo Peaks Ranch lying along the headwaters of the South Platte River, water will always be a central theme of the Land Library’s resources and programs. Our planned River Hut (partly inspired by the cozy simple structure of traditional fishing huts) will house a Watershed Library, full of books focused on one of the next century’s most critical natural resources.

Given the global importance of this increasingly limited resource, the Land Library is always glad to add another important volume to its water collection. Books such as:

enduring-acequias

Enduring Acequias: Wisdom of the Land, Knowledge of the Water by Juan Esevan Arellano. The word acequia has its roots in the arid Middle East. This insightful work pays homage to like cultures across the globe, especially New Mexico’s time-honored irrigation system that balances the needs of community with the limits of water in the West.

Zars_B_1

Tristan Gooley’s wonderful naturalist’s guide to water.

Stratton_H_1

April Summitt’s Contested Waters, an Environmental History of the Colorado River.

9780295994574

Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West by Jen Corrinne Brown.

9781607813996

Rivers, Fish and the People: Tradition, Science, and Historical Ecology of Fisheries in the American West, a collection of Pacific Northwest studies, edited by Pei-Lin Yu, combining both traditional knowledge and recent scientific discoveries.

Plotsky_C_J_1

Simon Cooper’s Life of a Chalkstream, a lyrical look at one of England’s natural treasures: over 150 streams flowing wide, shallow and clear, thanks to the natural filter of headwater chalk hills.

Will be excited to start on the River Hut as soon as we can. We have the books, the shelves, ongoing programs, and a long-term lease on the ranch!

header3

Buffalo Peaks Ranch along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River