Participant Submission: Foo Larkin’s Living Walls
Operations Manager Theresa Spear tells us, “Foo bought some tools from us and mentioned a project he was working on. I said I ‘d be interested in seeing pics. He just sent these and I thought they were very unique looking. They might be interesting to include in our next newsletter.” Foo says he’s happy to have us include his photos. Thank you, Foo for allowing us to share an example of how dry stone walls create livable environments for human beings, plants and animals, fungi and microorganisms!
The summer wildfires in the Sierra Nevada revealed a historic lime kiln in Colfax, very near the home of Stone Trust friend Jim Wood. The discovery prompted a research project that results in this hour-long presentation on the social, economic, and geologic history of the stone work in northern California. (Surprisingly often, people contact the Stone Trust to inquire about preserving a local lime kiln.) Jim’s research has evoked interest from archaeologists. As a DSWA Level 1 Initial Waller, Jim knows how to read the walls of the lime kiln. He describes the methods taught by the Stone Trust that have allowed the lime kiln to stand soundly for so many years. Listen here.
You may want to follow Jim on Twitter @Sierra Geology. He frequently posts discoveries about walling in the West and other places around the world. For example, here’s a tweet about an “inaugural fieldtrip (Oct 30) on the Amador Central Railroad to see Sierra foothills metamorphic belt geology.” Jim weds his fascination with dry stone walls and railroads. On frequent field trips he inevitably finds historic walls built using the five basic rules to facilitate rail transportation.
“The NH Geological Survey has an interesting online project called the Stone Wall Mapper that wants to map all the tens of thousands of miles of stone walls in the state. But the project doesn’t involve crawling around with a GPS – it finds walls on LIDAR mapping of the state. You go to the map and poke around, finding what you’re pretty sure are stone walls (they’re quite distinctive) and then mark them digitally. Right now 16,000 miles of walls – almost 211,000 of them – have been marked. Almost none have been double-checked on the ground, however.”– See Granite Geeks in the Concord Monitor, Sep 28, 2021
“The Preservation Trust of Vermont has been awarded $659,000 from the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program grant, administered by the National Park Service. These grants mark the third year of funding for the program named in honor of the late Paul Bruhn, president of the Preservation Trust of Vermont for nearly 40 years. Sub-grants awarded by the Preservation Trust will support preservation projects in rural Vermont.
Grant applications will be available in mid-October. To see past Bruhn Revitalization Grant projects at the Preservation Trust, visit https://ptvermont.org/bruhngrants2021/.”
Our friend Stefan van Norden discovers compelling stories about people connecting themselves and others to the natural world in which we live. Over the course of the past two years, he has interviewed a remarkable collection of luminaries across a range of human endeavor. Stefan’s guests reflect deeply on topics ranging from the famous gardens of Monticello and Brandywine to portraying nature in paint from the confines of a prison cell. From fly fishing to homesteading to the Appalachian Trail to poetry and philosophy in nature, you can hear thought-provoking conversations from people viewing life on Earth through focused and sometimes unexpected lenses. Each reminds us that we are part of nature.
Stefan and his team have produced over fifty episodes in the past two years! Recently we listened to Episode 50: Paul Hawken — Regeneration, a compilation of practical ways to address the urgent need to protect the future of our planet within one generation. Please listen!
If you haven’t already listened, we also recommend Episode 47: The Stone Trust. Or listen again!
And we are looking forward to listening to the latest story, Episode 53: Moely Prairie – In Their Own Words. Stefan describes the episode this way:
Moely Prairie is the largest remnant of the 14,000-acre Sauk Prairie in Sauk County, Wisconsin. Because it has never been plowed, the prairie is home to a rich array of native prairie plants and animals. Permanently protected through a perpetual conservation easement by owner Barbara Moely in 2015, the prairie is managed and cared for by The Prairie Enthusiasts Empire-Sauk Chapter. In this episode of Nature Revisited, we learn- through the words of the aforementioned- of Moely Prairie’s history, its ecological treasures, the challenges of its upkeep, and what lays in store for the future.
We hope you’ll listen, too.
A friend sent a link to this NYT article on the ancient stone work of Scotland’s St. Kilda archipelago–sheepfolds, cleitan for storage, and houses built from dry stone.