Monday, April 25, 2011

Calling All Photographers!

"These Things Are Really Heaaaavvvvyyy!" - Denali Nat'l Park, AK (2008)

It's time again for the 3rd annual Wilderness Volunteers Photo Contest!

As was the case in this event's first two years, which, among other things, have featured hard work, extreme hikers, a snowman, great views and "deep thoughts," we're looking for your photos of folks doing whatever you feel demonstrates the best of Wilderness Volunteers.

Submit up to four photos from any WV trips you've participated in, and include the name and date of the project, as well as a brief caption describing the photo. Humor is appreciated :). Email your entries to Mike Leonard.

Prizes will be awarded for the top three submissions (maximum of one prize per entrant): 1st place wins a WV hooded sweatshirt, 2nd place wins a 27 oz. WV Klean Kanteen, and 3rd place wins a WV baseball cap. All pictures will be posted to the Wilderness Volunteers Photo Gallery, and winning pictures will be posted on the blog in July. (Check out past winners here and here.)

The contest runs until June 30th. Click away!

Monday, April 18, 2011

"The Mountain"

Norwegian photographer Terje Sorgjerd spent a week atop Spain's highest mountain in early April taking time-lapsed film that he put together for a stunning piece called, "The Mountain." Enjoy!

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Endangered California Condors

We often see California Condors on the North Kaibab service trips, lazily soaring in thermals or perched on snags in the areas above Kanab Creek. They are huge, very distinctive looking birds with large numbers on their wings (this is a picture of number 33).

I recently learned that the singer Johnny Cash caused a forest fire in 1965 that burned 508 acres including 49 of the 53 condors being raised at a sanctuary in the Los Padres National Forest. Cash, who reportedly said, "I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards" at the time, was sued by the federal government and settled, bragging for years that he was the only person sued for starting a forest fire.

According to this report, there are currently 369 California condors remaining in the world, and in northern Arizona, several are pulled out of the wild every year to undergo chelation therapy for lead poisoning due to eating lead shot used by hunters. There is a program to give free safe ammunition to hunters and to teach them to clean up the entrails and shot left when they hunt in the North Kaibab, which has been somewhat successful although at least two condors died due to lead poisoning in 2010, and three are unaccounted for.

Spend a week on the North Rim with Wilderness Volunteers for an opportunity to see this rare, magnificent condor and marvel at the 9 - 10-ft wingspan as they take flight.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Quote of the Day

North Fork John Day Wilderness, OR (2009)

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” - Hal Borland, 20th century American writer and journalist

Monday, April 04, 2011

Reality TV

A live webcam trained on a nesting pair of Bald Eagles has been very popular lately. The eagles have been sitting on three eggs, two of which hatched over the past two days.
Video streaming by Ustream
The male and female adults take turns on the nest, and bring food frequently. Who needs fake "reality tv" when you can watch nature?