Spring has hit High Country News headquarters in Paonia, Colo.: The trees are blooming and the temperatures rising, the winds are strafing our winter-complacent mucus membranes with Colorado Plateau dust and juniper pollen, and snowpack is raging down the North Fork in a torrent of red water.
HCN is undergoing a sort of season change as well, as Assistant Editor Cally Carswell steps down. Fret not! She's still working halftime as our newest contributing editor, so her insightful, graceful work will still appear on our pages and website. She'll also be freelancing from her new base in New Mexico; if you know of interesting stories, drop her a line. Cally joined HCN in 2009 as an intern, stayed on as our first editorial fellow, and became a full-time, indispensible staffer in 2010. Her humor, smarts and keen sense of style will be sorely missed around the office, and her delicious aioli at local potlucks. Good luck, Cally!
In other news of moving and shaking, HCN contributing editor Sierra Crane-Murdoch has won a prestigious 2014 11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. She'll receive $10,000 to report and write a long-form story about Native American food sovereignty for a magazine with editing and support from The Botany of Desire author Michael Pollan and several other accomplished journalists. Congratulations, Sierra! If your reporting turns up a new aioli master to fill the gaping culinary hole in our hearts, will you please send her our way?
Readers have perhaps sensed this void, as they've recently buried us in gourmet treats. Mary Simons of Vermont sent us a bottle of her state's delicious maple syrup, which we devoured on tiny pancakes cooked up by circulation staffer Kati Johnson. A jar of honey appeared and then disappeared before we had time to record the name of the giver so we could properly thank them here: Whoever you are, you sweetened a spring afternoon, and we are grateful. And photojournalist/HCN groupie Theo Stroomer stopped by with a box of freshies from our favorite donut shop, Northside Coffee and Kitchen in Avon, Colo. These, too, vanished in a matter of minutes. But Theo's name will live on in Dear Friends glory for his generous gift.
Surely your mom would enjoy a treat, too, this Mother's Day? Give her an HCN subscription, and she'll also get an exclusive "Ode to Motherhood" poster by Diane Sylvain. This watercolor-print features the whimsical and slightly deranged Western critters that the artist has made popular – or at least made drawings of – throughout her long career at the magazine. See our ad on page 19 for details. Diane works in pastel, watercolor and other media, writes occasional essays, and is currently running a halfway house for retired and otherwise unemployable cartoon animals. Contributions are always welcome, c/o High Country News.