The Plains Zebra is a relatively common sight across much of Eastern and Southern Africa. While Plains Zebra populations are currently unthreatened, the same is not true of their cousins, the Grevy's Zebra. Differences in social structure may be at least partially to blame. Plains Zebra are social, forming large harems or roving bands of bachelors with a dozen or more members. Grevy's Zebra by contrast are relatively asocial, staking out large territories and creating few lasting bonds. Perhaps there is something to be said for making friends.
The Fynbos of South Africa's Western Cape, a region one-sixth the size of Colorado, are home to more than 9,000 species of plants, 6,000 of which are endemic. They're also stunningly beautiful. Here, stars are sprinkled across a midnight sky in the hill country north of Botrivier.
Not all commutes are created equal.
It's the capacity to empathize that provides us with the potential to emotionally enter an image. We've each known a time when we've sat with downcast eyes, pondered circumstances or questions with uncertain outcomes. This capacity to empathize is not uniquely human. Primates, dogs, and even mice have been shown to empathize with others in their orbit. It's also the single thing that might just provide our own species' greatest potential for salvation.
It doesn't matter where you're from, what color your skin happens to be, orhow much money you have. Joy and wonder are human capacities everywhere. Lugogo Swamp, Uganda.
Soaring with the flighted ones off the coast of South Africa.
Though not normally a fan of obvious image manipulation, I think there is value in the juxtaposition within this piece. The photo of the woman was taken recently. She was a protester at the Denver Women's March in January of 2017. The collodion wet plate-like styling, however, evokes an earlier time, the dusty western outposts of the 1800s. The fact that her protest, as a Native American and a woman, is both relevant now, and certainly would have been relevant then, perhaps speaks volumes.
Rudy is an American White Pelican that was brought into a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Colorado with a fractured ulna. Rudy weighed nearly 20 pounds and had a wingspan of 9+ feet. He spent months in rehab, letting his fracture heal and regaining muscle mass, before being released back into a squadron of pelicans on a beautiful lake along Colorado's Front Range.
MacKenzie Falls ribbons over blackened rock in the Zumsteins region of the Grampians. In early 2014, lightning started seven separate fires within Grampians National Park, eventually burning much of the area around Zumsteins. The area is recovering, though, with Fantails and Thornbills now flitting through the creekside brush.
Just another drive in the land of Oz.
A walk in the foothills of the Rockies on an early winter's evening.
The granite spine of the Sangre de Cristo Range rises to form the eastern wall of Colorado's San Luis Valley, an area sufficiently grand in scale that the entirety of the state of Connecticut and its 3.6 million inhabitants would fit comfortably within it. Much of the San Luis Valley, by comparison, has a population density of exactly zero. Great Sand Dunes National Park lies just to the south, quietly plucking sand grains from the wind as it rises against the shoulder of the Sangres.
The beauty of camping is what will sometimes come to you, if you let it. A camp chair. A glass of wine. A good book. A meadow. The unassuming ingredients from which a magical evening sometimes crystalizes. On this evening, roos wandered from the forest. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos settled in to decorate the eucalyptus canopy with their brilliant bodies and golden bonnets. And the sun spilled a palette of watercolors across the evening sky. Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia.
Eastern and Western Spinebills genetically diverged from one another about 12 million years ago when two segments of the original population became geographically isolated during a period of climate change and desertification in Australia. You can see this genetic split by searching for the Eastern Spinebill here. There's also a great article on the global geographic distribution of evolutionary distinctness and species richness, metrics that can be used to prioritize areas for the conservation of avian species.
Some of my favorite images invite you into them. Shall we go for a walk down a country lane on this summer's eve? The air is still and evening cool, thick with the scent of fresh cut hay. Bells on the dairy cows beckon in the distance.
A scene can sometimes be engaging in its subtlety. A granite spire and stunted pines are just visible through the blue mist of a foggy evening.
Every once in a while you have one of those moments when you realize you're just riding on a big ball of rock, ripping through the cosmos. Home, sweet home. Lyons, Colorado. Planet Earth.
Blue Jays quickly become one of our favorite species to rehabilitate at Colorado Native Bird Care and Conservation. They are smart, cheeky, curious, and playful.
And after the rains, came the sun...
A member of the sunflower family, Blanket Flowers dot Colorado's summer meadows. Low to the ground, they beckon you to lie on your back in the tall grass to catch them waving against the summer sky.
The Blue Jay was originally an eastern species, but over the past century they've moved further and further west, island hopping across the Great Plains between copses of trees that we humans first planted and then protected from fire. Their range now stretches westward to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
Movement Climbing. Denver, Colorado.