Category Archives: Nature

Wildlife: Orangutans On The Island Of Borneo

Learning survival skills is a must for baby orangutans to live in the rainforest among their predators, however, not all of them are natural acrobats!

The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan endemic to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran orangutan and Tapanuli orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.

Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan and the tiny nation of Brunei. It’s known for its beaches and ancient, biodiverse rainforest, home to wildlife including orangutans and clouded leopards. In Sabah is 4,095m-tall Mount Kinabalu, the island’s highest peak, and, offshore, the famed dive site Sipadan Island. 

Winter: North Shore Of Lake Superior, Minnesota

“Sunday Morning” leaves us on this first Sunday morning of winter on the north shore of Lake Superior. Videographer: Scot Miller.

The North Shore of Lake Superior runs from DuluthMinnesota, United States, at the southwestern end of the lake, to Thunder Bay  and  NipigonOntario, Canada, in the north to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in the east. The shore is characterized by alternating rocky cliffs and cobblestone beaches, with forested hills and ridges through which scenic rivers and waterfalls descend as they flow to Lake Superior.

Wildfires: The Alder Creek Giant Sequoia Graveyard

On a dead still November morning in the Sierra Nevada, two researchers walk through a graveyard of giants. Below their feet: a layer of ash and coal. Above their heads: a charnel house of endangered trees.

This is Alder Creek Grove, a once idyllic environment for a majestic and massive specimen: the giant sequoia. It is now a blackened monument to a massive wildfire—and humankind’s far-reaching impact on the environment. But these two researchers have come to do more than pay their respects.

Linnea Hardlund and Alexis Bernal, both of the University of California, Berkeley, are studying the effects of record-breaking fires such as the one that destroyed large swaths of Alder Creek Grove in the hopes that their findings will inform forest management that might preserve giant sequoias for future generations.

So far, those findings are grim: mortality in Alder Creek Grove is near 100 percent. Of the mighty trees that stood watch for thousands of years, only charred skeletons remain. About a century of aggressive fire suppression and a warming, drier climate have created a perfect environment for unprecedented fire.

On August 19, 2020, it came to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The SQF Complex was two fires—the Castle and Shotgun fires—that burned for more than four months, affecting nearly 175,000 acres. And a preliminary report on the Castle Fire estimated that 10 to 14 percent of all living giant sequoias were destroyed.

Hardlund, who is also at the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League, and Bernal fear that, without scientifically informed intervention, such fires will continue to return to the Sierra Nevada—leaving the once proud guardians of the forest a memory and another casualty of our ecological failure.

Nature: Buffalo National River, Northern Arkansas

Sunday Morning” takes us to the banks of the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas. Videographer: Scot Miller.

The Buffalo River, located in Northern Arkansas, was the first National River to be designated in the United States. The Buffalo River is 153 miles long. The lower 135 miles flow within the boundaries of an area managed by the National Park Service, where the stream is designated the Buffalo National River.

Cover Preview: Outdoor Photography – DEC 2021

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View: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

“Sunday Morning” takes us to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest – trees that date back thousands of years – at Inyo National Forest in California’s White Mountains. Videographer: Lee McEachern.