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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Language of Landscape

Air Date: Week of

Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney. (Courtesy of Trinity University Press)

Living on Earth continues its series exploring features of the American landscape. It’s based on the book “Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape,” edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney. In this installment, Jan DeBlieu defines the term “pocket beach.”


YOUNG: Coming up: the cat called “ghost of the mountain”.

MONTGOMERY: Here is this creature that no on ever sees but it’s able to live in the most extreme habitat in the world at heights that make it so difficult to breathe. They live in temperatures so cold that your tears will freeze on your face and your eyes. And they can become invisible right in front of your eyes.

YOUNG: An expedition in search of the Mongolian Snow Leopard. Just ahead on Living on Earth.


YOUNG: It's Living on Earth, I'm Jeff Young.

[HOME GROUND THEME: Daniel Lanois “O Marie” from Acadie (daniellanois.com 2000)]

YOUNG: The problem with being a beach lover is that so many others love beaches, too. But every once in a while the lucky hiker or boater will happen across one to call her own. That’s the subject of our latest excerpt from the book “Home Ground,” a collection of terms to describe our landscape.

Here’s Jan DeBlieu’s definition of a pocket beach.

DEBLIEU: Pocket Beach. A small gem, a pocket beach is a crescent of well-sorted sand tucked into a niche along a coastline. Where is occurs between headlands it is generally hidden from view and so all the more appealing. Pocket beaches are found along the coasts of Maine and Oregon, and in other places where the land falls precipitously into the sea. The term is synonymous with bay head beach and cove beach.

YOUNG: Jan DeBlieu’s most recent book is “Year of the Comet.” She lives on the beautiful beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The book “Home Ground” was compiled by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney.

[MUSIC: Anour Barhem: “Dance With Waves” from The Astounding Eyes Of Rita (ECM Records 2009)]



Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape


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