Map from NOAA Climate.gov

Today the One-Minute Geographer is looking at the impact of climate change on crop planting and gardening. We’ve all seen those planting zone maps that tell us what kinds of flowers, shrubs or vegetables we can plant in our regions.

NOAA and the folks at Climate.gov have given us a handy measure of how zones are getting warmer and, in effect, shifting northward between 1971 and 2010. Everything you see on the map above indicates warming; that is the expansion of more southerly zones farther north. …


Change in precipitation from 1991–2020. (map from the CISESS Consortium at NOAA)

The climate is a-changin’. This map showing precipitation increase and decrease from 1991 to 2020 is worth thousands of words but the One Minute Geographer will rise to the challenge by focusing on just three takeaways:

1) Much less rainfall and many pockets of drought from the Rockies and westward. And not just the Rockies, but also the high plains of the southern Great Plains in west Texas. The most severe example is Arizona and its Colorado River basin. The Colorado basin is the driest it’s been in 100 years and maybe in the last 1,200 years. …


Map by the author on greatcirclemap.com

A globe is a strange thing. You’re going to fly from New York to Tokyo, a 13.5 hour trip, and you may be thinking ‘Well, almost 6 hours to California and then the rest over the Pacific; maybe I’ll get to look down and see Hawaii.”

No way! But I hope you like Canada, Alaska and Russia. You can see on the Great Circle Route pictured above how you will really get there. …


The seven counties in Texas of the ten that gave that gave Donald Trump the highest percentages of his vote in the 2020 election. Map by the author

Welcome to the Heart of Trumpland! The map shows seven of the ten counties in the US that gave Donald Trump the highest percentages of his vote in the 2020 election, ranging from 97% to 92%. From north to south these counties are Roberts, Wheeler, Armstrong, Motley, King, Borden, and Glasscock. These are huge ‘empty’ counties in or near the Texas Panhandle. All the counties are about the same size territory, around 920 square miles, almost the size of Rhode Island. But Little Rhodie has more than a million people, not 270 people like King County.

We’ll look first at…


by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. In this post, mainly a photo essay, we’ll look at some of the historical background of Portuguese American immigration and settlement in the area.

Kids in the ‘Portuguese Navy Yard’ of New Bedford probably in the 1930’s. The structures were all destroyed in the 1938 hurricane. Photo from the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Portuguese came to southern New England (and to Hawaii and California) because of whaling connections with New Bedford. They left lives as poor peasant farmers on tiny plots of land to come to urban areas in America. …


New Bedford’s sea of three-deckers. Photo by George Riethof on m.imagekind.com

by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

In this post we will look at the urban environment of the Portuguese Americans: housing, gardens and the ‘yardscape,’ and efforts to attract tourists through a Portuguese cultural district and museums.

Many Portuguese Americans live in what are called “three-deckers” — wooden three-story buildings with an apartment on each floor. Almost all of these were built within walking distance of the mills, as can be seen in the…


by Jim Fonseca

New Bedford’s annual Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. Photo from Feast of the Blessed Sacrament site on Facebook

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese American Community of Southeastern New England. https://www.amazon.com/Making-History-Creating-Landscape-Southeastern/dp/1722258462/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

More than 95% of Portuguese Americans identified as Catholics when they arrived in the United States. For almost all of the immigrants the Catholic parish…


Signs, Symbols and Stones: Uncovering the Mysteries of an Urban Ethnic Landscape #8

I-195: The Portuguese American Interstate Highway. Map from Rand McNally Road Atlas, 2018.

by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. Signage is one of the most obvious ways that a different culture presents itself in the American landscape. I’ve been taking pictures of these signs for many years, so not all are still present in the landscape.

It’s time to show a map of the area we have been looking at (above) in these posts…


Signs, Symbols and Stones: Uncovering the Mysteries of an Urban Ethnic Landscape #7

by Jim Fonseca

The Azores Market in Fall River. Photo by the author.

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. I’ve been taking pictures of these signs for many years, so not all are still present in the landscape.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese…

Jim Fonseca

Geography professor (retired) writes about New England, the Fifty States, politics, urban geography, cultural geography, Portuguese Americans, novels

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store