We bumped into our friend the conch again while down in Costa Rica’s Rio Ario/Bongo watershed earlier this July. He was at first a bit timid, but then he became curious. And when he sensed that we weren’t going to harvest and eat the increasingly over-hunted and endangered creature, he even smiled for us. While attempting to grab a few photos of the fascinating little gastropod, he slid back into his protective shell – perhaps for an afternoon nap. Fortunately, he cooperated with the camera during a previous encounter. Check him out. He’s no doubt one of the coolest little animals we’ve ever come across.
Camera Info: Canon S100, 15mm, ISO 400, 1/125, f4.5;
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Since our first trip to Central America in 2000, we’ve been growing increasingly intimate with a region of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula known as the Bongo-Ario watershed. Aside from the region’s world-class surfing waves, it’s abundant natural wonders and it’s kind-hearted people, it is also home to an inspiring new project. A new organization, CIRENAS, seeks not only to secure the long-term conservation of the unique and fragile Bongo-Ario watershed (from mountains to ocean), but to educate and inspire future community leaders, promote ecologically sound development in the region and facilitate positive change on all levels by bringing local people, students, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists, tourists and more…together.
Our friends Caroline Grew and Tucker Szymkowicz, who now direct CIRENAS, have been working hard this fall 2010 to raise the funding they need to take CIRENAS to a whole new level. They have an extraordinary opportunity right now to see the first $100,000 they raise by the end of this year matched by a founding donor who believes CIRENAS is a key ingredient to the long-term ecological, cultural and economic integrity of the Bongo-Ario watershed and its surrounding communities.
Please take a look around the CIRENAS website, and if you have a few extra dollars to spare, please consider becoming a founding donor with CIRENAS – and supporting Caroline and Tucker’s inspiring efforts. Also, if you know of anyone interested in the courses they offer, please don’t hesitate to share the news, as their courses will likely fill up soon.
We’ve been admiring this beautiful image of the north Atlantic from space, captured yesterday by one of NASA’s many weather monitoring satellites. In this image at lower right, you can see Tropical Storm Lisa, which was born yesterday. And former Hurricane Igor, which threatened to strike Bermuda as a powerful Category 3 hurricane (but spared it by weakening to a Category 1 storm), is now a huge and still-powerful sub-arctic low (top). Unfortunately, Igor rattled southeast NewFoundland on Tuesday, with winds gusting to 100 mph and 5-9″ of rain. Hundreds of roads and several major bridges were washed away by flooding.
Also, look below for an image Emily captured Monday as Hurricane Igor was closest to the New England coast. It’s breaking waves (i.e. surfing waves) in the most exposed areas reached up to twelve feet in height. (Note the sea gull toward flying in front of the wave at right). – Brian
One of our photographs was recently selected by jury for inclusion in the latest upcoming exhibit at the relatively new Vermont Photo Space gallery in Essex Junction, VT. Our photo, entitled, “Chacabuco” (and featured above), captures one of the last great sheep herds in Chilean’s Patagonia’s endangered Rio Baker watershed. The exhibit, entitled, “Managed Landscapes”, will be open to the public starting Sept 6, 2010. You can learn more about our experiences in this region, and the issues affecting it, at the following link on our main website – HERE. Also, If you are around Burlington on Friday, Sept 17, please consider stopping by the Vermont Photo Space for the opening reception of the exhibit, which will continue into early October.
Since 2005, we’ve been supporting the great work of the Green Mountain Club (GMC) – the primary steward of Vermont’s 200+ mile Long Trail hiking trail – by collaborating on an annual slideshow event in our local communities (through the GMC’s Annual James P. Taylor Series) and by providing the GMC with discounted access to our growing library of photographs. Recently, the GMC published a new book in celebration of the GMC’s 100th birthday, entitled,A Century in the Mountains, which features several large scale reproductions of images we’ve captured along the Long Trail. And on the cover of this summer’s Long Trail News, the GMC published an image captured by Emily when hiking last summer in southern Vermont’s new Glastenbury Wildnerness Area (above). Starting this summer, too, several of our fine-art photographs (matted and framed) will be on display at the GMC’s headquarters along Rt. 100 in Waterbury Center, VT. Proceeds from the sale of these prints will also be donated to the GMC.
You can support the great work of the GMC by coming out to our slideshows or considering the purchase of our fine-art photography, but most importantly, by becoming a member of the GMC, by volunteering some time, or by offering a gift to the GMC. GMC Membership has lots of nice benefits, whether you live in Vermont and use the Long Trail, or not. Please help the GMC reach its goal in its 100th year for 10,000 members, and consider joining or giving the gift of membership (upcoming birthday, wedding?) to one of Vermont’s greatest organizations.
Consistently cold and snowy weather in the higher elevations of the northeast has brought the snow goblins out from hiding again. We came upon a beautiful community of goblins while exploring a wild stretch of the Green Mountain Divide in northern Vermont last week. They were nice enough to guide us toward the run we were looking for, while sheltering us at times from cold and biting north wind. Here are a few images to share. These are available as fine art photographs (matted, framed or canvas). If you are interested, please consider our pricing info, and please contact us by phone or email. Enjoy!
Oregon-based WEND Magazine has recently published our story and photographs featuring our recent backcountry skiing adventure among the fjords, islands and towering peaks of East Greenland. You can view a sneak peek at our story HERE. (Stay tuned to this blog post for an updated link to a full PDF version of our story soon)
WEND is a great new magazine dedicated to providing readers with top-rate stories and photographs under the auspices of “Adventure/Inspiration/Travel/Activism”. Please consider subscribing to this excellent publication. We will also be contributing adventure skiing content to WEND’s blog soon. Here’s a bit more about WEND… “Our mission is to educate and inspire, as we see travel and experience as revelation that enriches our lives, and makes us better world citizens. We travel not to escape but to challenge ourselves and discover the humanity that every culture, big or small, poor or rich, shares. Sometimes grand adventure takes us to the other side of the planet, atop a towering peak, across an ocean, or even to our own cities, just around the corner. Our narrative style doesn’t focus so much on where we go, or what summit we made, but rather all the nuances of how we get there. We are people who write in our journals, take photographs, and build our understanding of the world one step at a time with humility and respect.”
Last week, in Vermont’s Times Argus newspaper, a photo of ours opened a story, authored by correspondent Jake Brown, about ATV use on Vermont’s public lands. See our photo and the story HERE.
Since December 2008, we have been working with Vermont’s Natural Resources Council (VNRC) by providing them with images they can use for their ongoing website, fundraising, media and membership communications. We’ve also donated some of our fine-art photography to an auction the VRNC organizes in conjunction with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, hosted by the VRNC in Burlington every fall.
The VNRC is Vermont’s leading statewide organization dedicated to protecting our natural resources and our environment through research, education and advocacy. We feel lucky to have organizations like the VNRC that are working hard to protect the great things we love about life in Vermont. Please check out their website, and if you support their work, consider supporting them with a donation of money, your time or membership.
Thanks to a long stretch of snowy weather, the upper elevations across the northern reaches of the northeast are in a truly beautiful state right now. The hardwood forest above 2500′ is especially attractive with its ever-deepening snowpack, and the birches and beeches decorated with some of the most impressive rime buildup we’ve ever seen. The conifers higher up are almost entirely cloaked in snow. Now is a great time to enjoy the higher mountains in their winter state.