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BAKER PARK

RECENT NEWSLETTERS

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AUGUST 2021

I have been a landscape architect for over 30 years and have been asked a hundred times what I do for a living. When I say that I am a landscape architect, their eyes glaze over and a questioning look forms on their face. The next question is either, "Can you help me plant a tree in my yard?" or "How do you stand working out in this heat?". It seems that the only part of “landscape architect” they hear is “landscape” and then they add an “r” to the end. Just to clarify, a “landscape architect” designs the land and all associated amenities.  A “landscaper” installs what we design.

For the last 21 years our firm has done business as “Southwick Landscape Architects”. To help better identify what it is that we do, we have modified our name. Beginning September 1st our firm will be known as “SLA Land Architects”. We are architects of the land and want to emphasize that point. No one has purchased the firm, no employees have left, there will be no change in daily operations. We just want the name to better reflect what we do.

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JULY 2021

Having learned to speak Spanish, I realize just how crazy the English language is. Consider this, there is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

 

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

 

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese, so one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

 

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

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JUNE 2021

Earlier this month I spent a week in Austin, TX where it seemed like there were forests of green trees as far as the eye could see. They were experiencing record breaking highs around 100°F with normal humidity around 60%. The 100°F didn’t bother me much, but that humidity was a killer. When my plane landed in Las Vegas at 11:00 pm it was still 113°F with only 10% humidity.

 

According to Climate Central, “since the late nineteenth century, global temperatures have risen by a little more than 1.8°F (1°C) — a seemingly small number that has big consequences. The United States has warmed by a similar amount (1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895), and most of the warming has occurred in years since the first Earth Day in 1970. That warming has not been equally distributed across the globe, or within the United States. America’s fastest-warming cities all lie in the Southwest — a hotspot for temperature increases. Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, and Phoenix have warmed more than any other cities in the country. Each has gotten at least 4.3°F hotter since the first Earth Day.