As part of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop, we had the opportunity to visit Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Bandelier is justifiably famous for its impressive Pueblo ruins. The landscape and vegetation made clear that the environment here swings between extremes – the idea of “average” is almost meaningless. Trees showed evidence of both fire and flood damage. Brown turned suddenly to green for a thin strip around a stream. It is a land of contrasts, of beauty, of life, and of death.