Yosemite

Is technology invading our escapes into the wilderness, is the draw of a cell phone or WIFI trickling into those quite moments of introspection?

Iceland

Photographer: @tothewonderblog
Iceland has long been a destination for wayward travelers, those hell bent on adventure, isolation, refuge, or the unknown. Long before Vikings first hauled there wooden skiffs upon these rocky and black-sand shores, Iceland has stood weathered by the arctic winds, baked in midnight sun, and drowned in a sea of wintery darkness - it’s qualities perfectly suited to our planet’s most adventurous and resilient, those hardy few in search of safe harbor here in the Polar North. As Iceland’s remote beaches, windswept headlands, and jagged peaks become a staple of the contemporary wayfarers manifesto, this volcanic island tucked at the intersection of the Atlantic, Norwegian, North Sea has simultaneously experienced a catastrophic decline in it’s true seafarers, those puffins, fulmars, murres, kittiwakes, razorbills and skaus that have long peppered these coastlines and jagged outcroppings to rest and raise their young. Here in the Polar North, researchers have long called these rich waters the ‘Serengeti’ for fish eating birds, a nursery for 23 species of Atlantic seabirds and countless fish who since time immemorial have fueled one of the world’s most productive fisheries. Salty, weathered fisherman tell tales of the skies turning black and white with the whisking wings of these seabirds, beaks brimming with the silver bodies of sand eels, herring, hake and capelin. Yet, today few return. Nests have gone empty, and colonies throughout the North Atlantic are in precipitous decline. Our planet is undergoing a slue of rapid changes ranging from shifts in wind patterns to unprecedented fluctuations in ocean currents and chemistry. These climate induced dynamics coupled with an ever rising plume of pollution spilling from our planet’s biggest cities have caused profound changes to the world’s oceans – their climate, chemistry and the food webs they support. Notwithstanding, millions of these seafaring birds still roam our planet’s northern seas. Yet, keep in mind, if radical steps are not taken to address the myriad of issues affecting our planet’s ecology, these seaward relics of legions past may largely disappear from the skies and bays of Iceland. Their fate is in our hands.
By @Charles_Post
 

Palouse Falls

Your embarking on a 900-mile journey from the Pacific Ocean with over 6,500 feet in elevation gain, and 8 mammoth hydroelectric dams stand in your way. But there’s something engrained in you that tugs and inspires you to embark on the biggest, longest, and last epic journey of your life. You’ll be returning home, to your birthplace, to the very waters that you hatched in - those cool, clear Idaho waters. Your lineage stems from a population of salmon that straddles the Southern boundary of your range, the boarder of home and a vast world unsuitable for the likes of Sockeye. As you look around, you find that you’re not alone in this journey, but then again, your just one of a thousand or so other redfish, hook-jawed or hens with noses pointed upstream, bound for Idaho’s Redfish Lake. Yet stories of redfish so thick that these waters once churned with radiant, ruby-hued life remain like cold air lingering over morning meadow, a fond memory still told and re-told around campfires on these river banks – a memory held tightly, one that keeps hope alive that someday the great migrations will return.
 
Here, from the brow Washington’s Palouse Falls, a passing raven with a keen eye for mighty waters may be able to see the vast Snake River that runs just a few miles downstream from this pothole in the high desert. No sockeye salmon come this way, it’s far too hot; that desert baked water’s no place for a salmon.
By @Charles_Post

The Lynx & the Hare

Photographer: @ckristo
The silence of the taiga - our planet’s lungs – is characterized by the quiet, towering peaks that climb skyward, the shaggy balsam fir and their stoic photosynthesizing allies, their shallow roots broad and interconnected – a community of arboreal proportions. As green and delicious as their waxy leaves of the needle variety may appear to the passing snowshoe hare, the threat of predation weighs equally on the psyche. And perhaps one of the worlds best studied predator-prey dynamics highlights two creatures that call this biome home, the lynx and snowshoe hare, it’s primary prey. Over the past 150 years, scientists have found that snowshoe hare and lynx populations rise and fall synchronously, that is, in unison. Why, you might ask. Well, the jury’s still out, but what is largely agreed on is that ecosystems have carrying capacities, a maximum number of individuals a system can support (i.e., # of lynx). So, in the case of the lynx and the snowshoe hare, an ecosystem is able to support the steady rise of snowshoe hares up until they are so dense that their population collapses due to a lack of suitable food. With this collapse, their predators, the lynx, closely follow. Over time, the system stables out as the number of snowshoe hares that can be supported by the ecosystem is established, and with them, the suitable number of predators that the hares can support. Over time, the hare population continues to rise, incrementally degrading the vegetation community, which triggers the plants to invest energy into defensive mechanisms, like the creation of alkaloids, until the point at which the plants can no longer nourish the snowshoe hare population, and they crash again, along with the lynx. This is an ancient relationship that speaks to the interconnectedness of our planet - An integral complexity that relies on each cog and wheel, and every plant and animal.
By @Charles_Post

Our lust for adventure

Photographer @Greggboydston
395, the numbers alone evoke an overwhelming sense of wanderlust. It’s that road, that illustrious highway, the miles and miles that climb, bend and weave through ochre sagebrush, juniper, pinyon, ponderosa, and desert sunflowers. As we fly down cool mountain pavement, the fleeting responsibilities of that grind we call a day job now subsist as merely a recollection cascading out of sight, beyond the ocular limits of the rear view mirror. Though as much as the freedom of the open road captivates our eyes, nourishes the soul and fuels that aching lust for adventure, it’s those mountains that epitomize the rugged essence of this place, and tug your eyes skyward beyond the corn silk remnants of once cumulus and saturated cotton ball clouds who’s aqueous dregs remain as a powdered sugar garnish, as if to sweeten the already feast of a view.
By Charles_Post

New Zealand

New Zealand’s Mt. Cook National Park encompasses over 400 square miles of rugged uplands and sweeping glacial valleys

The Lorax

The mountain’s call is one that draws us to these vast seas of wildness, spaces that coax us out of our warm, down sleeping bags each morning with the temptation of adventure and escape.

John Muir

In 1868, John Muir first laid his eyes upon the luminous valley that came to be known as Yosemite, the greatest cathedral embedded in the Range of Light.

Wilderness and Conservation

The word itself evokes emotions deeply rooted in our inherent reverence for life, a notion so eloquently defined by the theory of Biophilia – a term coined by world renowned conservation biologist, E.O. Wilson

Mount Robson

With winter’s grip now firmly enveloping our forests, peaks and valleys, we’re left to huddle around campfires and hot tea, dreaming of warmer days, and cool summer mornings