Lava River Cave (Newberry National Volcanic Monument)

This weekend, we spent an afternoon exploring Lava River Cave at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument on a trip to Bend, Oregon.

This mile-long cave is the longest lava tube in Oregon. It was originally discovered by settlers in the late 1800s.

The entrance to the cave is quite bright, but you quickly descent into total darkness.

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Old-Growth Forest in Cook Forest State Park (Pennsylvania)

This month, I got to spend a day hiking through some incredible stands of old-growth white pine in Cook Forest State Park. This is without a doubt the finest forest in the Midwest.

The largest trees range from 250-450 years old and are upwards of 200 feet tall. These are the tallest trees in the Midwest.

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Reading | Earth Day at The Cabin

I got to curate and be part of an amazing poetry reading this past Saturday: an Earth Day 2018 poetry reading at The Cabin.

It featured nine local poets (Catherine Kyle, Rachel Murphy, Amanda Rich, Hannah Rodabaugh, Ruth Salter, Daphne Stanford, Elena Tomorowitz, and Tessy Ward) and Rena Ashton (educational director of Zoo Boise). They read poetry and essays about nature and conservation.

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Carolina Parakeet | America’s Forgotten Parrot

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Katrine Claassens, 2018

2014 marked the 100-year anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. People lauded the species in articles, videos, and celebrations. Nearly 50 articles—found everywhere from NPR, to the Atlantic, to the New Yorker—were published about the death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon, at the Cincinnati Zoo.

In many articles, we learned that R.W. Shufeldt, the man who dissected Martha, left her heart untouched (a fitting tribute), and that Martha’s specimen travels first class with a special handler. We learned there was a memorial launched at the Cincinnati Zoo, a place that has become a reliquary to Martha, with passenger pigeon-themed exhibits and a statue to mark her passing.

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A Soundtrack Of Depressing Music For The Trump Administration

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It seems like every time the Trump administration does something really horrid, I end up crying — which is why I sometimes avoid the current news cycle — and why I also have a list on my smartphone’s notebook app called List Of Times The Trump Administration Has Made Me Cry.

Other times, I feel I have to own it as much as possible and wallow in the horrid times we are living in, so I created a soundtrack of some depressing pieces of music that match the general atmosphere and political climate.

Here are six of them.

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