I admit that I came to Madagascar with a head full of preconceived notions, which mostly (thankfully) turned out to be false. My first thoughts of this forested island nation were of humidity, bugs and French–three things I dread. Continue reading “Mad about Madagascar”
The sun is shining on this lovely March day in Nairobi–a rare occasion lately, as we have had seemingly nonstop rain for the past 10 or 12 days. But the rain has restored the color green to nature’s palette and the sun is being photosynthesized by a legion of happy plants cranking out rich, luscious oxygen by the bucketload. Continue reading “For the Birds”
His parents were wise, building their nest high under the eaves of the house, where the downspout from the gutter formed a sheltered platform inaccessible to all but the most determined of predators. I noticed them early in the spring, flitting about the back deck, gathering materials for their home construction. Continue reading “The Little Cardinal”
For nearly 100 years, the land that is today the Bubye Valley Conservancy (BVC) of Zimbabwe was not wilderness. The land was a cattle ranch. Wild animals were intentionally wiped out, for fear of disease transmission, and to eliminate predators that would kill cattle. For nearly a century, the land hosted a cattle monoculture, devoid of wildlife; and elephants, rhinos, leopards and lions were completely wiped out. For a century this land was the furthest thing in the world from wilderness. Continue reading “The Myth of Wild Africa”
The raucous music of birds foraging at the feeder beneath my window wakes me just after sunrise. The metallic click of Dark-eyed Juncos, the buzzing trill of the Carolina Chickadee, the clear bell-like chime of the Song Sparrow. Local residents, the migrants having not yet returned from their long winter vacations to Mexico and Brazil, boasting of their travels and flashing their gaudy breeding plumage. Frost still coats the windows, a crust of ice covers the dog’s water dish; Spring is still 3 weeks away by the calendar. But the signs are there. Continue reading “Not Yet Sprung”
I keep pondering the issue of life. What it means. Life on earth. We know that life on earth has existed for around 3.5 billion years, and that the sun will grow in intensity until it makes the earth uninhabitable to life in somewhere between 1.75 and 3.25 billion years from now.
Time is running out. Life on earth is somewhere in a late mid-life crisis. Continue reading “The Final Frontier”
I could write a book about misheard song lyrics, and maybe someday I will. From Jimi Hendrix’s “excuse me, while I kiss this guy” to Dylan’s “knock knock knockin on Kevin’s door.” But one of the most persistent misheard lyrics in my mind has been the Rolling Stones song “Bitch.” Which says “must be love, it’s a bitch.” For many years, in fact until only recently, I heard “monkey love, it’s a bitch.” Granted, monkey love makes no sense, but I was greatly disappointed when I learned the true lyrics. Such a letdown.
I have no great love for the monkeys of the Grand Palm Hotel and Casino in Gaborone, Botswana, however. They are menacing little terrorists. Continue reading “Monkey Love”
NOTE: Click on the pictures for a larger high resolution version.
2010 was a busy year for travel. I documented travel to Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in Part 1. I also made two trips to Namibia in 2010. The first, in February, was to participate in a rhino capture operation in Etosha National Park. Those photos are documented here. The second, in July, was a trip with my father to celebrate his 60th birthday, which will be documented in Part 3. Continue reading “10 YEARS, 28 COUNTRIES: 2010. PART 2”
Note: You can click on the images to open a full-size high resolution version.
Continuing this photographic reflection of 10 years of work related travel. In 2009 I only made one trip, to Cameroon. I attended a workshop in Yaounde and then took a trip to the southern border region with Equatorial Guinea, to a national park called Campo Ma’an along the Campo River, which forms the border. This was my first trip to Cameroon.
Disclaimer: I know the author personally. He is a friend, and for 10 years he was my coworker and mentor. I make no claims of impartiality with this review.
Today I’m reviewing 2000 Miles Around the Tree of Life, by Richard W. Carroll. (ISBN-10: 1935925512, ISBN-13: 978-1935925514), published by Peace Corps Writers, 2014. I have known Richard for ten years, and worked under his guidance for much of that time. I consider him a friend and a mentor, and so I was excited when I learned that he had published a memoir of his 1975 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading “Book Review: 2000 Miles Around the Tree of Life”