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All was quiet: operations at the plant, which started production in , are currently suspended. German Pellets filed for insolvency in but environmental campaigners fear their Texas plants will reopen soon despite a string of safety problems. Last year a fire in a silo and a separate fatal accident at a German Pellets Texas storage facility prompted lawsuits. There was an explosion and fire at the Woodville plant in And the Sierra Club environmental group accuses the facility of far exceeding permitted levels of emissions, with regulators willing to raise pollution limits. The Texas commission on environmental quality and German Pellets did not respond to requests for comment, but a TCEQ spokeswoman told the Texas Observer that it ensures violations are corrected.

An analysis by the Environmental Integrity Project found that at least eight of the 15 largest US wood pellet facilities have had fires or explosions since , while 21 mills exporting to Europe emit excessive greenhouse gases and pollutants. Back in her garden, Sanchez is not anti-industry but believes that regulations need to be tightened. She cannot prove the plant made her sick but thinks it is no coincidence that her health is much improved since it ceased production.

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Don't carry it to someone else this time. Tell me about it if it's something human. Let me into your grief. I'm not so much Unlike other folks as your standing there Apart would make me out. Give me my chance. I do think, though, you overdo it a little.

The Meridian Line in Hither Green

What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother--loss of a first child So inconsolably--in the face of love. You'd think his memory might be satisfied--' 'There you go sneering now! You make me angry. I'll come down to you.

God, what a woman! And it's come to this, A man can't speak of his own child that's dead.

If you had any feelings, you that dug With your own hand--how could you? I thought, Who is that man? I didn't know you. And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs To look again, and still your spade kept lifting. Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice Out in the kitchen, and I don't know why, But I went near to see with my own eyes.

You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby's grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it. I'm cursed. God, if I don't believe I'm cursed. What had how long it takes a birch to rot To do with what was in the darkened parlor. You couldn't care! The nearest friends can go With anyone to death, comes so far short They might as well not try to go at all.

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No, from the time when one is sick to death, One is alone, and he dies more alone. Friends make pretense of following to the grave, But before one is in it, their minds are turned And making the best of their way back to life And living people, and things they understand. But the world's evil.

I won't have grief so If I can change it. Oh, I won't, I won't! You won't go now. You're crying. Close the door.

The heart's gone out of it: why keep it up. There's someone coming down the road! I must go-- Somewhere out of this house. How can I make you--' 'If--you--do! First tell me that.


I'll follow and bring you back by force. I will! Robert Frost To Earthward Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of—was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Downhill at dusk? He detailed his findings in an article for National Geographic in December As a science, dendrochronology was off to an auspicious start. But it would have to wait several decades before finding its ultimate object of study: the bristlecone pine.

Foxtail pines are hardly newcomers to this Earth. Their oldest fossil ancestor dates back more than 40 million years, to the Eocene, the epoch when modern mammals first emerged. Though today the trees are found at between 2, and 3, metres, their range fluctuates considerably with climate. Because the trees like things dry and frigid, they extend their reach downward in cool, glacial times and recede to high ground in warm periods.

In California, foxtail pine fossils have been found as low as 1, metres, no doubt the denizens of a previous ice age.

The oldest of the living bristlecones were just saplings when the pyramids were raised. The most ancient, called Methuselah, is estimated to be more than 4, years old. Located just north of Death Valley, the White Mountains are some of the driest on the planet. Visiting the trees in March meant trudging several miles through snow at just over 2, metres, as road access to the bristlecones is closed through May. It also meant that the forest was empty, as deserted of human beings as it has been for all but a brief flicker of its history. The most ancient, called Methuselah, is estimated to be more than 4, years old; with luck, it will soon enter its sixth millennium as a living, reproducing organism.

Because we conceive of time in terms of experience, a life spanning millennia can seem alien or even eternal to the human mind. It is hard to grasp what it would be like to see hundreds of generations flow out from under you in the stream of time, hard to imagine how rich and varied the mind might become if seasoned by five thousand years of experience and culture. The trees sit atop the White Mountains, but it is the neighbouring Sierra Nevada — the highest range in the contiguous United States — that creates the arid conditions they crave.

The friction of that event filled the local crust with great plumes of granite, a volcanic rock known for its glittering quartz. Out of this deep, crustal sliding arose mountains and volcanoes, craggy giants that millions of years would smooth into rounded stubs.

The vanishing groves

But time would resurrect them eventually. Less than five million years ago — in a sense, the geologic present — new mountains of ancient granite began to rise from the grave of that ancestor range. Today they hover more than 4, metres above the neighbouring Pacific Ocean.

Over time, water — both liquid and glacial — has carved their peaks into thin wedges, snow-whitened dorsal fins of exposed granite. Together they make up the Sierra Nevada, the great, gleaming spine of California. As you read this, they are still rising. The Sierra is important to this story because its high ridge forms the rain shadow that makes possible the dry air beloved by the bristlecones. Indeed, from the right vantage point, the bristlecones on the high, western slopes of the White Mountains almost seem to reach out to the Sierra, their gnarled branches twisted into an arboreal pantomime of worship.

From this elevated perch, these elderly trees have borne witness to the rise of a new geological age, a successor to the Holocene. The idea of this new age arose just over a decade ago, as scientists began to realise that the geological record would likely bear the marks of human activity for aeons to come.

There is still a question as to whether the term will enter the official geological lexicon, and there is fierce debate about whether the Anthropocene began with the Industrial Revolution, or with the development of agriculture some 10, years ago. But this much is certain: one of its signature features is massive deforestation. I t was just under million years ago that plants first evolved woody stems in order to propel themselves upward into unobstructed sunlight.