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Paternoster Lakes

Paternoster lakes are circular lakes formed in a series along a valley, also known as a glacial stairway. From above, paternoster lakes resemble rosary beads on a string. Paternoster is another word for “rosary,” deriving from the Latin...

Singing and Barking Sands

Singing sand refers to the roaring noise or boom produced by vibrations in sand dunes. Barking sand, which makes yipping noises when you drag your feet along it, is found along coastlines in Hawaii and elsewhere. These terms are discussed in more...

Tsegi

According to Homeground: A Guide to the American Landscape, edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney, the Navajo term tsegi means “rock canyon.” This term was adapted into French as the name for the spectacular spot in Arizona known as...

Home Ground: Landscape Language

Hourglass valley, ribbon fall, gallery forest, and ephemeral creek may not be in standard dictionaries, but they’re terms often used in parts of the United States to denote features of the landscape particular to various places. Writers Barry...

Blind Creek

The term blind creek refers to evidence of a waterway that’s dried up, although water can still be found if you dig far enough. It’s one of more than 800 terms defined in Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. This is part of a...

Open Book Rock Formation

An open book is a rock formation that looks just like its name. This specialized term is one of hundreds collected and explained in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. Such a rock formation is also called a dihedral. This is...