From Fairbanks, Alaska

 

A safe 200 feet ahead of me atop a knoll, a pair of huge grizzlies ravenously chomped away at a soapberry patch.

‘Make yourself be heard – just don’t surprise the bears!’ had been the ranger’s warning. If threatened by a grizzly I would simply need to play dead – if confronted by a black bear, I would need to try shouting senselessly. If this didn’t work, I would need to fight back. Bolting would be a blunder. Continue Reading

From Varanasi, India

The rhesus monkeys or what I simply call “temple monkeys” are a frequent sight in these parts of the world. However, the Hanuman langur is probably less common in urban areas of Varanasi. Named after the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman, these primates are treated with some reverence. Continue Reading

Osprey!

From Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

It was early morning as we hurriedly rolled out of bed for an early morning raft ride on the Snake River. Here, in the Grand Teton National Park, Nature remained unclothed in her raw beauty, shorn of kiosks and stalls, tourists and clangor.

All was quiet. Continue Reading

From timeless Sedona

Our guide carefully uncovered an ancient Hopi flute from his patterned cloth bag. Mellifluous strains broke the quiet hush of the rocky landscape. Is that what he had meant by ‘conversing’ with Nature? “You can also absorb Earth’s energy through a medicine-wheel ritual,” he intoned.

Having driven 300 miles from glitzy Las Vegas with the aid of a GPS handheld, all this seemed surreally New Age to me.

The evening sun slanted upon the massive canyon walls, setting the red rocks afire. Stony ramparts enveloped the lush forest of ponderosa pines and juniper trees mottled by bristly agaves and cacti that that endured the elements for centuries. A scrambling climb ahead lay a knoll and Larry Sprague armed just with a pair of dousing rods, led us to just where that alluring power of Nature had become stronger. Continue Reading

From Devils Tower National Monument

I was on sacred territory stretching for hundreds of miles. Here, native chiefs and war heroes alike would have drifted to solitary lakes and towering mounds following Nature’s mystic cues to perform rituals to realize life’s true meaning. This was an ideal setting for such a mission – here loom majestic buttes and secret forests, surreal wastelands of cretaceous origins and vast plains where once roamed Oligocene behemoths, ancient mammoths and thundering herds of buffalo. Continue Reading