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November 6, 2010
The last sunset, sort of - scaled.Sunset Nov. 6

Here is the last sunset of the summer, so to speak. The day after I saw this view out of my kitchen window, I would expect total darkness at the same hour. The latest incarnation of the law governing Daylight Saving Time takes us a week past Halloween with sort-of late sunsets. By the way, former President George W. Bush backed this extension of DST because he hoped it would save energy. There isn't a lot of evidence one way or another about that. We are Americans who turn on our lights getting up or going to sleep.

Regardless of the clocks, I am always struck at this time of...

October 26, 2010
Free water - scaled.DSCF3003

The United States still seems big when I travel thousands of miles from Connecticut. Here in this photograph a sensibility I don't see in Connecticut greets everyone headed to the rest rooms of the University of Montana's student center. The Society of Environmental Journalists held most of its conference events in this building from October 13-17, 2010. I had three days to think about what went into posting this sign.

Perhaps 13 years ago I wrote my first article for The Day (in New London, Connecticut) comparing the quality of water from a municipal system to bottled water...

October 15, 2010
A mountain next to your town - scaled.DSCF3078

Missoula, Montana is a town tucked in the center of a ring of mountains. Sentinel Mountain watches over the University of Montana campus. Waving grasses bump up to long switchbacks in a trail that begins from a city road. Imagine, anyone who lives at sea level, as I do, or in flat places, or far from mountain trails, an ordinary morning in Missoula. You take the dog, perhaps, over to the trailhead, finding there a supply of extra leashes just in case you forgot yours. Within 20 minutes you are hiking past a gigantic concrete "M" painted white, set into the hillside for the past...

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