Fermata's Space4Place

The world is being reduced to a homogeneous goo, an ocean of undifferentiated space rarely punctuated by an island of what we call "different." We define the world by the small spaces that envelop us, and rapidly these spaces are becoming the same. Yet for those who might like to disembark this cruise ship at the next port, there are nooks and crannies where the real is still found. Here we celebrate our work and these little known places only found off the beaten path.


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Fermata's Space4Place

Fermata's Space4Place

  • 62 Pins

Prickly pear cactus with tunas (fruit)

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Prickly pear cactus

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Rainbow cactus

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Mammalaria cactus, Barbuda

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The green jay is as common in south Texas as the blue jay is in the northeast. However, one must visit south Texas to see one in the U.S.

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The road between Lajitas (the western boundary of Big Bend) and Presidio is one of the most scenic in the nation. Here the Rio Grande snakes between the Texas/Mexico mountains.

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Cacti offer more than a pin prick. Here a claret-cup cactus is in full bloom.

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The desert explodes in color in the rare years when rain invites the wildflowers to bloom. Bluebonnets can be whitebonnets as well.

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The Big Bend region of Texas is not simply a place where one can see the end of the world; it is the end of the world. The trip is worth the effort. Here the Chisos Mountains erupt from the desert floor.

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The Great Lakes are bordered by numerous lighthouses, this one in Ohio at Marblehead.

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The glaciers left behind evidence of their presence in seeps, kettles, and moraines. This kettle bog is in Blue Heron Reserve in Sandusky County.

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The beach pea is uncommon in Ohio, but can be found at locations such as Headlands Beach State Park.

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Magee Marsh is east of Toledo. This coastal area encompasses Ottawa NWR, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, as well as Magee.

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I find it hard enough to imagine the power of ice age glaciers, a force that scoured and reshaped much of the northern U.S. But glacial grooves? On Kelley's Island you can see evidence of this movement as glaciers scraped across the land leaving grooves through the dolomite. But how does a glacier spin and turn?

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Ohio's Lake Erie coast sprawls between Toledo on the west and Conneaut on the east. Although better known for industrial cities such as Cleveland and Ashtabula, the coast still retains impressive areas in a natural state. This is particularly true of the islands off of the coast - the Bass islands, and Kelley's Island. Kelley's is one of the most intriguing islands in the U.S., with alvar, glacial grooves, and migrant birds that sweep through in migration.

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Trilliums are common, even along the roadsides, in the UP.

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The damp leaf litter under the northern forests is ideal for fungi. This is the coral fungus, one relatively common in the Les Cheneaux region of the UP.

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Of all the gentians my favorite is the fringed. This is a photograph from Government Island in the Les Cheneaux region of the UP.

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The Upper Tahquamenon Falls is in the heart of the remaining UP forests. The water that churns through this cataract is stained by tannin from the forest.

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There are two Michigans, one known and one obscure. The Upper Peninsula (UP) of the state begins at the Straits of Mackinac, an immense stretch of land splayed across the north. The UP is verdant north woods, grand waterfalls, monumental snowfalls, and three of the Great Lakes.

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  • Joyce brown
    Joyce brown

    Love the UP

The Great Plains is littered with the hulks of pioneer homes long past their prime. The Flint Hills of Kansas is no exception.

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One of the delights of a North Dakota winter (not the 35 degrees below zero) is when hoar frost forms on every surface.

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In a North Dakota winter even the fog freezes.

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From inside an old "soddy" the view of the featureless prairie must have tried the souls of European immigrants.

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European settlers in North Dakota often constructed their homes out of prairie sod.

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