scientifically magnificent

Billy Barr at his home below Gothic Mountain. ©The Atlantic

I really enjoyed reading this article because it was oddly intriguing and interesting.  This man, Billy Barr, had been living up in the mountains for over 40 years. That’s a long time!!  Before he dropped out of college, he intended to go to Gothic Mountain one summer as a research student.  He dropped out of college in 1973 and decided to live in an abandoned shack at the base of Gothic Mountain.  With boredom overcoming him, during the first winter, he began his recordings on snow levels and animal tracks.  During the spring time, he’d record when the birds would start chirping again, hibernating animals awaken, and blooming flowers.  Little did he know that with this data, he had discovered something legendary.  With Barr’s data and further research, scientists discovered that as the years go by, the ecosystem changes due to the climate change.  The climate gets warmer every year, meaning hibernating animals awake sooner, flowers bloom earlier.  This is a problem for the hummingbirds because they rely on the lily flowers so much that their migration syncs with the time just before the flower blooms.  What Billy Barr thought was just an escape from boredom, eventually became something scientifically magnificent.


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