the natural world

Where Lava and Sea Collide and Nature Overrides

Hawaii
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A photo posted by Ekua (@fogandlight) on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:30pm PST Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has a special pull. At this park, you can explore Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Numerous times while I was living on the Big Island, I took a two hour drive from Kona to this park […]

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Be Still for a Moment While the Earth Keeps Spinning

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Lava rocks and ocean at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

I have a piece of Pele in my house. It’s a large lava rock that was too tenacious to be removed when they were building the house. So the house was built around it, and they left the rock in the corner as an accent piece. To me, it’s become so normal to have this […]

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Songs for the Road No. 23: When the Sun and the Music Disappear into the Colors of the Dusk

Hawaii
Big Island, Hawaii Wallking Trail

Every evening is perfect at the walking trail. There are flowers everywhere and the sea breeze keeps you cool as you work up a sweat. When the sun blends with the clouds that often hover near the horizon, everything glows luminescent saffron. One day, I finish my walk and cross the street to go to […]

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When You Go to the Tatacoa Desert

Colombia
Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – When you go to Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert, no one is going to go with you. Among travelers, it’s one of those “Why are you […]

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Photo Essay: Sunset to Sunrise in the Tatacoa Desert

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When I think of Colombia, the first scenes that come to my mind are long drives through unbelievable shades of green that seemed to stretch on infinitely. But Colombia is a place of many landscapes, including a thirsty and barren place called the Tatacoa Desert. I spent a night in this lonely desert surrounded by […]

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The Case for Being Rained In in the Middle of Nowhere with Little to No Internet Access

Colombia
La Casa de Francois in San Agustin, Colombia

You plan a trip to do this and see that, but often the best travel moments come unexpectedly between this and that. I go to San Agustin solely to visit an archaeological site, but when I arrive, the weather delays my plans and the setting, characters, and atmosphere align to replace them with subtle magic. […]

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5 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Hiking in Colombia’s Valle de Cocora

Colombia
Tips for Exploring the Valle de Cocora, Colombia

While the mysteriousness of the Valle de Cocora is part of its charm, it’s a good idea to get some background knowledge before visiting, especially if you plan on hiking independently as I did. As popular as the valley is among travelers, it’s still a rugged experience with little information available once you arrive and […]

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Photo Essay: Scenes from Salento and Its Emerald Surroundings

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Town square in Salento, Colombia

Salento is more than just a base for the Valle de Cocora. It’s a town of colorful buildings that line imperfectly charming little streets that lead to the mountains. It’s a town where dogs laze about on the sidewalks and car drivers share the roads with horseback riders. It’s a town where Colombian city folk […]

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