Pics or It Didn’t Happen?

Around 4 a.m., Jeff and I crept out of our open-air bungalow. Our little stray jungle cat with the crooked tail and orange fur—we called her Naranjica (small orange)—scuttled around our feet along the gravel path to our rented Montero. The phrase “It’s always darkest before the dawn” seemed so true  as we jounced over…

People Power Will Save Mother Earth

Mother Earth has been calling me for many years. I haven’t always been able to decipher her messages. A few years ago I started to understand a little bit better. I traveled to the far reaches of Southern Patagonia where I learned the story of the aboriginal Yaghan people, and it was the first time…

A Direct Update From the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock

The Oceti Sakowin Camp has been flooded with emails for months. Here are some key updates addressed in an email I received from them today. At this point they’re only really requesting monetary donations and FIREWOOD. Firewood is a priority since it’s not easy to find and transport in the northern plains. If you can…

The Revolution is Happening at Standing Rock

The Oceti Sakowin Camp looked like the promised land after a grueling 25+ hour drive. The terror I felt about coming to a place depicted as a war zone on social media had already started to dissipate, and then I saw a beacon: a massive tipi with a large turtle emblazoned on it. This was…

Not So Supernatural: Why Do Spiderwebs Disappear in the Morning?

A while back, I almost walked straight into this trap a spider spun right at my backdoor. It was about three feet in diameter, one of the most impressive webs I’d ever seen up close. Of course, I couldn’t possibly destroy something so intricately beautiful, so I left it. The next morning, it was gone…

Everything is Vegan: Vanilla Mini Sheet Cake

One day I found a cake on the kitchen floor, partially eaten, with two little paw prints indented into the heavenly frosting. It was disappointing and adorable all at once. Adorable for obvious reasons, and disappointing because there was my favorite cake in all the world, wasted. But this is how irresistible it was—even my…

Road to the Grand Canyon (Part 3): The Grand Finale

Around mid-morning I make my way to the Grand Canyon, about an hour-and-a-half west on the 40 and north via 64.  I reach civilization in the form of some very generic restaurants and chain hotels that threaten to lead me into a tourist trap. There’s no hint at all that I’m actually approaching a gargantuan…

The Spirit of the Sea Turtle

I dipped into a hidden lagoon on the leeward side of Oahu, and right there, one of my dreams came true. Snorkeling in the coral, I felt something graze my leg. I looked over and found a sea turtle the size of Smart Car gliding by and saying “hey.” He had a much smaller friend…

Road to the Grand Canyon (Part 2): Welcome to Arizona

Eastbound on the 62, back on one of those idyllic two-lane highways surrounded by nothing but sweeping desert and distant mountains.  A butterfly flutters by—what is it doing here?  There are no colors to attract them, no wildflowers to suck sweet nectar from, nothing to even pollinate.  It’s just a wanderer.  I could stay on…

Endangered Baby: Pangolin

It looks like a Pokémon. That’s cause it totally inspired one (Sandshrew). The pangolin is like some kind of freakish armadillo-dragon hybrid. But it’s no fearsome, fire-breathing reptile. It doesn’t even have teeth. It’s just a gentle, solitary mammal quietly roving its habitats across Africa and Asia in search of a tasty meal of ants….