Saturday, September 7, 2013

Home field

photo of dew covered bluestem in the shade
© harrington
Hi. Well, we did it, or at least some of us did it. We completed the Where you at bioregional quiz. It's time to see how we scored. Of course, if we were really organized, we were scoring ourselves as we answered each question and , maybe, even totaling the score as we went along. Not us, you? Here's our (self) score:

Question # Question Score
1 Trace the water you drink from precipitation to tap 1
2 How many days until the moon is full?
(Slack of 2 days is allowed.)
3 What soil series are you standing on? 0
4 What was the total rainfall in your area last year (July—June)? Slack: 1 inch for every 20 inches.) 1
5 When was the last time a fire burned in your area? 1
6 What were the primary subsistence techniques of the culture that lived in your area before you?  1
7 Name five edible plants in your region and their season(s) of availability. 1
8 From what direction do winter storms generally come in your region?  1
9 Where does your garbage go? 1
10 How long is the growing season where you live?  1
11 On what day of the year are the shadows shortest where you live? 1
12 When do the deer rut in your region and when are the young born? 1
13 Name five grasses in your area. Are any of them native? 1
14 Name five resident and five migratory birds in your area. 1
15 What is the land-use history of where you live? 1
16 What primary ecological event/process influenced the land where you live? 1

(Bonus special: what’s the evidence?) 1
17 What species have become extinct in your area? 1
18 What are the major plant associations in your region? 1
19 From where you’re reading this, point north. 1
20 What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom where you live? 1

Total 20
Here's the scoring categories again.


  • 0-3 You have your head up your ***.
  • 4-7 It's hard to be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all.
  • 8-12 A firm grasp of the obvious.
  • 13-16 You're paying attention.
  • 17-19 You know where you're at.
  • 20 You not only know where you're at, you know where it's at.
We know we only did so well because we were researching each answer. On the other hand, we knew a basic portion of the answers to many of the questions before we started the research. Estimating how we would have scored "for real," we think we would have been in in the 13 to 19 range. A more important question, perhaps, is how can we maintain and use this knowledge? We promise to return with some thoughts we hope will help answer that question. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. To take with you until you return, here's a poem from Gary Snyder, who helped establish and foster interest in bioregionalism.

Piute Creek

By Gary Snyder
One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted   
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.   
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks   
Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.   
All the junk that goes with being human   
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail   
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge   
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.   
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.