Whales granted a reprieve, but penguins not so fortunate

The Tourist Trail tells the story Magellanic penguin researchers and anti-whaling activists. And though the book is fiction, the stories themselves reflect all-to-real events happening right now around the world. I read this morning that Japan had suspended whaling activities due to harassment from the Sea Shepherd Society. This is amazing news, though Japan could … Read more

The good fight

Although I’ve been living up and down the west coast for several years, I’d never made it far enough north (or south) see the Redwoods National Forest. Until yesterday. It is a strange feeling to stand next to another living thing that has been on this planet for more than a thousand years. These trees … Read more

The penguin counters

Petermann Island, situated halfway down the Antarctic Peninsula, is the home to both Gentoo and Adélie penguin colonies. I was fortunate to have visited this island as part of a tour group many years ago. And it was there that I met the researchers with Oceanities, a non-profit group that has been counting the penguins on this … Read more

A new season of Whale Wars begins

Whale Wars, the popular TV series, begins its third season tomorrow. If you’ve been following Sea Shepherd virtually, you already know the bullet points about the upcoming season. A destroyed ship, more lives endangered, and an activist in prison. And, most important, many whales were saved. But more than 500 whales died. The battle between the … Read more

How to learn more about penguins

Did you know that there were 17 species of penguins? You would if you had matriculated at Antarctica University. There’s a university in Antarctica? Well, not exactly. It’s a virtual university. And it’s hosted by one of the leading Antarctic research organizations: Oceanities. Oceanities is an impressive organization — balancing public education (like Penguins 101) … Read more

Is ecotourism an oxymoron?

I came across a short piece on the Magellanic penguins of Punta Tombo in the Salem-News today. The writer Gail Parker hits on a theme that is sure to sharpen in the year ahead, and one that I often wrestle with. Ecotourism. She asks if ecotourism is an oxymoron. According to my fictional researcher based … Read more

The King on Bing

I was happy to see a very young King Penguin on Bing this morning. This photo was taken on South Georgia Island by Tony Ernst. I hope to visit this island some day, as it’s home to one of the largest King Penguin colonies on the planet. Kings aren’t the largest penguins on this planet … Read more

How big is Antarctica?

It’s difficult to convey size through words. Square miles doesn’t mean much to people. But a picture, well, like this one… The US would disappear within Antarctica, with room to spare. Photo courtesy of Icebridge.