Home » Author Archives: Kim Stone

Author Archives: Kim Stone

Chasing Totality

The woman next to me, probably in her early twenties, was jumping up and down like a contestant on the The Price is Right. It was T-minus three minutes, and the moon was poised to eat up the last sliver of the sun. She and I and a hundred other totality chasers had converged on the same state park campground near Shoshoni, Wyo. There were tent campers like me from Arizona, two touring motorcyclists on Gold Wings who road in from Chicago, a bagpiper from Billings, Mont., and a 25-member Friends of Astronomy group from Greece who had somehow crammed themselves into four rented motorhomes. Read More »

The Pinal Fire

Pinal Fire

On May 8, 2017, a discharge of cloud-to-ground lightning struck an oak tree in the Pinal Mountains. It was a dying tree with smooth grey deadwood in its canopy and offered little resistance to a bolt of super-heated lightning that delivered 50,000 degrees F. of fire- starting power.  The smoke was spotted by a resident in nearby Six Shooter Canyon and an engine crew was dispatched from the Globe Ranger Station to check it out. They found the tree burning at 6,700 feet on a steep, east-facing slope high above Pioneer Pass. A few days later, a photo of the tree’s charred shell was posted on Tonto National Forest’s Facebook page. You could almost smell the smoke lingering at its base. It was the origin of the Pinal Fire. This past winter, fire management officers, and other specialists at the Globe Ranger District and the five other districts on the Tonto National Forest, identified specific areas in the forest where the ecosystem would benefit from a naturally-caused wildfire. One of these planning areas was a north-facing swath of the Pinal Mountains that had not seen fire in over 60 years.    Read More »

Hwy 60/70 Project

Reprinted from Spring 2009. Ask any resident of Globe and Miami why they live here, and they’ll likely give you the same response: it’s because of the people. Both towns are working class, multi-generational communities and the people that we all enjoy are as likely to be our grandmothers, uncles, and cousins as our friends or coworkers. Over the years, decades, even lifetimes, most of us have become quite content with the status quo of our little mining communities and we’ve set our collective bar—our desired standard of achievement—far too low to the ground. Read More »

Local Toastmasters Club Looking For New Members

You can’t blame a child for thinking that a toastmaster is someone particularly adept at browning bread. An adult might picture someone who finishes an impromptu wedding reception speech with a hearty “cheers!” or “salud!” as he raises his glass from the head table.  Ask one of the 270,000 members of Toastmasters International, and they will tell you that a toastmaster is the person in charge of the proceedings of a public speaking event, namely, the weekly meeting of a local Toastmasters club.  Read More »

Saving a priceless collection – of plants

Boyce Thompson Arboretum to the Rescue: The effort to save the Wallace Desert Gardens Boyce Thompson Arboretum recently announced that it is part of a massive effort to save the plant collection of Wallace Desert Gardens. Located in north Scottsdale, this garden contains 12 acres of more than 7,000 cultivated plants, including a 6,000 square foot pavilion of large specimen cacti. HB Wallace built the Wallace Desert Gardens over 25 years ago and amassed 3,000 species of plants, including a wide variety of ephedras, boojum trees, agaves, cacti, and aloes. Adding this plant collection to the one at Boyce Thompson Arboretum will create a superlative garden of plants from arid lands around the world.  With over 4,300 species combined, Botanic Gardens Conservation International estimates this plant diversity will place Boyce Thompson Arboretum in the top 100 gardens globally, and top 25 in the United States.   Read More »

Why We Plant

A plant-filled landscape has co-evolved with humans for as long as we have been around to see it. Your stucco, wood, and concrete house is really just a fancy cave, and the picture window in your living room is the transparent cave door that keeps out the bears and inquisitive wooly mammoths. What hasn’t changed over the years is the context: We are still surrounded by a natural landscape of plants that has existed long before man had mortgage payments or double indemnity. Our long-term connection with plants is unshakable, and when plants are removed in the process of building a residential house, parking lot, highway, or strip mall, we  possess an overwhelming instinct to bring them back. For most major housing developments built in the lower desert valleys of south-central Arizona (and just about everywhere else), a scorched earth policy prevails and plants are scraped out of existence by the bulldozer’s blade. Native plants, perfectly tuned to their environment, are swept away to make room for sidewalks, sewer pipes, and the house you just spent a few hundred grand on. Establishing a new landscape here is literally starting from scratch. In hilly Globe-Miami, a cut-and-fill culture developed in the ... Read More »

The Tree of Heaven….is not so Heavenly it seems

Reprinted from GMT Spring 2008, regarding the ubiquitous “Tree of Heaven” now seen all over Globe-Miami. If a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, then the opposite must be true when considering some of the less charming plants. I know that it’s unfair to condemn one individual plant, no matter how smelly, allergenic, or uncharismatic it might be. But when that plant has run amuck with great masses of its equally offensive offspring, then fairness must take a back seat to a measured amount of negativity.  Read More »

Globemallow:A Sight for Sore Eyes

Do you know what a globemallow is? We'll give you a hint. It has bright orange blossoms, fuzzy stems and leaves, and you will be very sorry if you touch one and then rub your eye. Read More »

Awesome Redefined: Arboretum Review

Mark Zuckerberg, founder, CEO, and president of Facebook – and now Time magazine’s man of the year – summed up the movie The Social Network by saying that, when it came to portraying his life,  Hollywood fundamentally missed the point. He didn’t use money, girls, and access to parties and clubs as the drivers to develop Facebook, nor does he consider such things tobe the spoils of its continuing success. Instead, as he puts it in Time, the real motivator is the fact that he thinks “it’s an awesome thing to do.” Read More »