By Jack Nisbet
Those are the genesis tales of a quarter. In historical locations, Jack Nisbet uncovers touchstones around the Pacific Northwest that demonstrate the symbiotic dating of individuals and position during this nook of the realm. From rural Oregon, the place an argument brewed over the provenance and possession of a meteor, to the good floods 15,000 years in the past that formed what's now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, this can be a compelling choice of tales concerning the usual and human background of our quarter.
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Extra info for Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest
The chytrid fungus, it turns out, does not need amphibians in order to survive. This means that even after it has killed off the animals in an area, it continues to live on, doing whatever it is that chytrid fungi do. Thus, were the golden frogs at EVACC allowed to amble back into the actual hills around El Valle, they would sicken and collapse. ) Everyone I spoke to at EVACC told me that the center’s goal was to maintain the animals until they could be released to repopulate the forests, and everyone also acknowledged that they couldn’t imagine how this would actually be done.
The mycologist grew cultures of the fungus and then sent some of them back to Washington. When healthy blue poison-dart frogs were exposed to the lab-raised Bd, they sickened. Within three weeks, they were dead. Subsequent research showed that Bd interferes with frogs’ ability to take up critical electrolytes through their skin. This causes them to suffer what is, in effect, a heart attack. * * * EVACC can perhaps best be described as a work-in-progress. The week I spent at the center, a team of American volunteers was also there, helping to construct an exhibit.
Golden frogs have a distinctive, ambling gait that makes them look a bit like drunks trying to walk a straight line. They have long, skinny limbs, pointy yellow snouts, and very dark eyes, through which they seem to be regarding the world warily. At the risk of sounding weak-minded, I will say that they look intelligent. In the wild, females lay their eggs in shallow running water; males, meanwhile, defend their territory from the tops of mossy rocks. In EVACC, each golden frog tank has its own running water, provided by its own little hose, so that the animals can breed near a simulacrum of the streams that were once their home.