Voices for Wildlife

The Glorious Primitive Crane Fly

(Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Scraping sand grains and pebbles for nutrients, it has wandered the river bed for ten months.  After hiding from predators under submerged rocks it is time to leave the safety of the river behind. Among ...

The Rare Primitive Crane Fly and the Inelegancies to Find It

(Patagonia’s Untold Stories) While packrafting the southeastern edge of the Northern Patagonia Ice Field along Chile’s largest river, the Baker, in search of primitive crane flies, Anand Varma and I came across an exciting find. In a fragmented ...

Just a Seagull? Nope

There's no such thing as a seagull, according to certain pedants. How can that be? Because it's a gull—actually, one of about fifty gull species living in habitats all over the world, oceanic and otherwise. They range from the ...

Cliffhanger! Risking Life and Limb for Fluffy Seabirds

 Supposedly I didn’t show any fear during my first abseil, down a 70-meter seacliff south of Dunedin, New Zealand. Thank you, poker face. But in truth, it was amazement more than fear that I felt while hanging vertiginously over ...

Where the Glaciers Vanish

Where the Glaciers Vanish (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) Halfway buried in the sand lays the forgotten skull of a whale. Its flesh has been removed by the gentle erosion sustained by the pulsating sea. Its white form contrasts the dark ...

Donde los Glaciares Desaparecen

(Relatos inéditos de la Patagonia) Parcialmente enterrado en la arena reposa el olvidado cráneo de una ballena adulta. Sus tejidos han sido lentamente erosionados por el incesante vaivén de las olas. La blanca escultura ósea contrasta con ...

A Battle of Dinosaurs: Crocs vs. Birds

The rains ended months ago, starving the Msicadzi of its flow and surrendering it to dust. It wouldn’t be much longer before the river was gone. For now, all that was left was a pool, a hundred feet long ...

Return of the Penguins

This is Part Four of “Voyage of the Yellow-eyed Penguin” (See Part One, Part Two, Part Three) Last explorations of Eden 14 November 2017 Waterfall Inlet and Lake Hinemoa Today started out pretty OK. Just another morning in the subantarctic, in an ...

Residual Fragments of Past Lives

Stacked image of live Psychodidae pupa. (R. Isaí Madriz) Residual Fragments of Past Lives (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) Decaying fragments hang from the cavity’s roof as streaks of viscous dark red liquid meander down its sides. The peculiar scent ...

To Save Australia’s Outback, Indigenous Groups Connect With Nature

Note: This piece was updated on Nov. 14, 2017, with terminology to appropriately describe Indigenous communities in Australia. Flying across the width of Australia in July, from Sydney in the southeast to Broome in the northwest, I was mesmerized by the sweeping ...

Bikepacking The Abandoned

Bikepacking Patagonia’s abandoned tracks in search of insects. (R. Isaí Madriz) My bicycle is knee deep in mud. The snowline on the nearby mountains is closer than the previous day. The abandoned track has been softened by the stomping ...

Life & Glaciers: The Torrent Midge Lifecycle

(Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Its skin is splitting open down its back. Three pairs of lateral attachment points keep its streamlined body glued to the submerged rock. It will use the glacial raging torrent to its advantage. With the ...