Posts Tagged ‘nature’

In the Realm of the Sea Eagle — A Cathedral in the Wild

Before Solomon built his temple, there were Cathedrals in the Wild. Before Giovannio de Dolci created the Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo painted his masterpiece on its ceiling, there were Cathedrals in the Wild. Before Norwegians built their Stave Churches, there were Cathedrals in the Wild. John Muir’s Cathedral was Yosemite; Thoreau’s Walden Pond. A Cathedral […]


This Bee is About to be Seduced – by a Flower!

It’s wings flap so fast you can’t see them. It hovers, seemingly motionless in midair like a helicopter. It’s brain is no bigger than a pinhead, with about 100,000 times less neurons than our brains. But this bee is focused, concentrating – concentrating on which flower comes next. What the bee doesn’t realize, however, is […]


The Spirit of Salcantay – Communion with the Cosmos in Our Virtual World

At 15,500 feet there isn’t much oxygen in the air. About half of what there is at sea level. It’s also cold. Really cold. The temperature drops about 3 degrees for each thousand feet in elevation. But there we were – our tents pitched in what used to be called the “Japanese Base Camp,” high […]


Sammy Seal Talks with Pete Polar Bear about the 1% that Really Counts!

Hi, Sammy Seal here! A while back, I had the pleasure of making a few comments on this blog about what’s going on where I live, down on the Antarctic Peninsula. You can check me out, Sammy the Leopard Seal’s Report from Antarctica. You may recall I talked about some conversations I overheard regarding global […]


The Happy Plight of the Obese Marmot and Other Tales

In our recent blog discussions, we’ve pointed out that wildlife, challenged by global warming, is moving to more northern latitudes, and when they can, further up the slopes of mountains. The species range-shift, as it is called by scientists, is occurring far more rapidly than originally projected. With the warming changes, migrations also hear a […]


The Milky Way: Detail 2011 – And a Question: Is Ecology Theology?

Recently, I read again a book that fascinated me in the 1960s, Henry Wilder Foote’s Religion of an Inquiring Mind. Afterwards, I went on line to check out the status of this wonderful work and came across the blog site “The Inquiring Mind.” A January 2010 post was titled “the religion that is Global Warming.” […]


Today, Luna Died

April 18, 2011. Today Luna, an Eaglet and resident of Tierra Verde, Florida, died. Luna was but three months old. The St. Petersburg Times reported that “Passing motorists told the deputies that they saw the bird flying east to west, apparently toward its nest. The eaglet landed on a wooden pole, apparently unsteady, and then […]


A lesson from the Sequoias – growing tall, straight, and strong …

One hundred fifty million years ago, give or take, giant Sequoias and Redwoods grew throughout the United States. By the turn of the 20th Century, Paul Bunyan’s friends had logged these giant trees nearly out of existence. In 1907, only a relatively few, small tracts of land north of San Francisco, California, with Sequoias and […]


Gone Fishin’ – Getting “Unplugged” in the Real World

The February 2011 issue of the Smithsonian includes an “Interview” with Jane McGonigal, a computer game developer from San Francisco. The theme of the interview is that computer games can make people smarter and help humanity. The games Ms. McGonigal develop take place in a virtual reality, but are designed to encourage players to action […]


Power of Play

Once upon a time … There were no video games, no iPads, no iPods, no cable or satellite TV, no texting, no Facebook, no iPhones … When children were at play, it was ‘play.’ Absorbing play. Enthusiastic play. Sometimes with others, sometimes alone with a lot of ‘let’s pretend.’ Sometimes inside, but most of the […]


Disappearing Florida – Sunrise or Sunset?

There’s something special about our island, Tierra Verde, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Living here is like being on a perpetual vacation in one of Gaia’s most beautiful places. Centuries ago, when native Americans settled this part of the globe, and the seas were much lower (about 120 meters lower – see our blog Abrupt Change […]


Disappearing Florida – Squeeze on the Swamp

Deep in the bald cypress forest of the Corkscrew Swamp in South Florida is Lettuce Lake. Its surface is covered with a mat of soft green floating vegetation known as “water lettuce.” The water lettuce provides shelter for crayfish, small fish, small reptiles, and amphibians and provides food for turtles and a vast variety of […]


Disappearing Florida – The Invaders

One of the early blogs I posted on this site was posted after a Florida Naturalist field trip within the St. Martins’ Preserve. I had heard about “invasive species” of plants and animals, but what I heard went in one ear and out the other. After the November 2009 field trip, I wrote the blog, […]


Disappearing Florida – The Eagle Has Landed!

Not all of the environmental information coming from Florida is discouraging. We do have an ecological success story! Our National Emblem, the Bald Eagle. After almost 40 years of concerted conservation efforts, the Eagle Has Landed! The Bald Eagle is the only eagle that is unique to North America. About half of the Bald Eagles […]


Disappearing Florida – Birds of a Feather Disappear Together

There’s something special about wading birds, like the Herons and the Egrets (members of the same specie family). Elegant, graceful, poetic in flight. And then there’s their feathers. Ken Burns, in his National Park PBS series and DVD provides telling information about our fashionable ladies’ quest for Egret and Heron feathers for their bonnets around […]


Some “Bugs” that “Bear” Fixing

The winter of 2010 is going to be a tough winter for the bears in Yellowstone – and for a number of the Park’s visitors. There’s a shortage of whitebark pine cones, a favorite bear food. Bears like to load up on the pine cones before they hibernate for the long winter. But in recent […]


Rosy Fingers of Dawn on a Fragile Day

According to ancient Greek legend, each morning Eos, the goddess of dawn, rose from her home at the edge of Oceanus, the ocean that surrounds the world, to herald her brother Helios, the sun. Homer’s Iliad immortalized the legend by opening each epic, unspoiled day by a gentle turn from Eos’s rosy fingers of dawn. […]


“HDR” – high dynamic range imaging – captures the “complete” picture, but maybe not in Lake Wobegon!

One of the great features of digital photography is its ability to overcome the narrow visual range or latitude of film. Our eyes can take in an almost infinite range of shades from black to white, but film can not. In the pre-digital days, I loved Kodachrome slide film, rich with reds and yellows. But […]


“I Think That I Shall Never See …”

When I was in the 6th grade, my teacher thought we should become familiar with poetry. My assignment, learn and recite “Trees,” Joyce Kilmer‘s 1912 poem, written a few years before he died during World War I. The poem went like this: I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. […]


A Visit to Eden, A Thought from Thoreau – and a Lesson for the Photographer

After a visit to our April 2010 blog, “Did the Wrong CAT take Over the Swamp?” Peter, a good friend and fellow photographer, asked me, “Are you a Photographer turned Planeteer, or a Planeteer turned Photographer?” I chuckled, “I’m a Photographer turned Planeteer!” Peter responded. “Thought so!” It wasn’t long after that quick exchange that […]


A Growing "Photo Op"!

Deserts are fascinating places for photographers. Deserts are filled with geometry – lines and curves, shaped by shadows and sweeping mountains of sand interspersed with dead trees and empty riverbeds, populated by unusual wildlife. Early on, as I developed my interest in photography, I bought a Brett Weston desert landscape, “Dune California.” In the mid […]


Did the Wrong “Cat“ Take Over the Swamp?

This is a tale about two big cats. Big cats are “territorial,” like nearly all other of our Creator’s creatures. Robert Ardrey, in his 1966 classic, The Territorial Imperative, defines “territory” as an area of space, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. Most species defend territory only against animals […]


What Happens When the Well Runs Dry?

It’s so easy for us in the United States to get a glass of water. It’s free at restaurants. At home or in the park, we simply turn on the spigot, and refresh ourselves. But most of our Gaia neighbors don’t have it so easy. The single biggest cause of premature death on our globe […]


"Leave Only Footprints" – an Old Adage revisited!

There’s an old adage, cautiously followed by nature photographers and environmentalists worldwide. It’s “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” As wise as that admonition is in environmentally sensitive areas, it has its limitations. Let’s consider the Pampas of Argentina as an example. Today, the Pampas are considered one of the most environmentally endangered habitats on […]