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ePostcards – Intro

Greetings, I launched our Cloud Ridge ePostcard Blog in late March of 2020, as the unfolding tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic encircled the globe in a shroud of sadness. With the help of our skilled webmaster, Clyde Lovett, I wanted to provide a respite from the daily...

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ePostcard #155: A Voyage to Haida Gwaii

Note of Acknowledgment: Cloud Ridge’s May 2022 voyage to Haida Gwaii—the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Haida people—enriched our understanding of the uniqueness of Haida Gwaii and the Haida culture. Visitors to the archipelago are asked to sign...

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ePostcard #154: A Naturalist’s Bookshelf

Illustration Credit: Courtesy of the Human Origins Program, and adapted from the United States Geological Survey and Visible Earth, NASA. This wonderful ammonite-like representation shows the geological time scale, with the Anthropocene Epoch (starting time before...

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ePostcard #153: Extinction Matters

Illustration Credit: Woolly Mammoth painting courtesy of artist Mauricio Anton and Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13911. UNDERSTANDING EXTINCTIONAsk any child to name an extinct animal, and most will tell you the name of their favorite dinosaur. But if you ask them...

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ePostcard #152: Humans and Megafauna

Photo Credit: Courtesy of José Iriarte.ROCK ART EVIDENCEDateline: December 3, 2020. A major discovery at the archeological site of Cerro Azul in the Serranía La Lindosa, Colombia, provides proof that the Amazon rainforest’s earliest inhabitants lived alongside...

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ePostcard #151: The Armadillo Bestiary

Photo Credit (above): Courtesy of Fernando Trujillo for IUCN. The Giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is one of the largest species of armadillos, and ranges in length from 2 to 3 feet. It is easily recognizable due to its powerful, enlarged central claw and the...

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ePostcard #150: Darwin’s Megafauna

'It is impossible to reflect without the deepest astonishment, on the changed state of this continent. Formerly it must have swarmed with great monsters, like the southern parts of Africa, but now we find only the tapir, guanaco, armadillo, and capybara; mere pigmies...

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ePostcard #149: A Naturalist’s Bookshelf

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Audrey DeLella Benedict and they were taken on Cloud Ridge Naturalists trips. These are Red-Legged Cormorants at their nest on a cliff near Puerto San Julian in Argentine Patagonia. When the geology is as vibrantly colored as the...

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ePostcard #148: Darwin’s Sloth

When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. CHARLES DARWIN, On the Origin of the SpeciesPhoto Credits:...

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ePostcard#145: Darwin, Geologist!

It is an old story, but not the less wonderful, to hear of shells, which formerly were crawling about at the bottom of the sea, being now elevated nearly fourteen hundred feet above its level. — Charles DarwinPhoto Credits: All courtesy of Audrey DeLella Benedict....

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ePostcard #144: A Naturalist’s Bookshelf

A NATURALIST’S BOOKSHELFI subscribe to the stewardship vision best expressed by the great Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum—we are moved to conserve what we understand and love. Every so often, in researching the topics for our ePostcard series, I discover a book...

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ePostcard #143: Fire and Ice: Volcán Osorno

Photo credits: All Volcán Osorno photos are courtesy of Audrey DeLella Benedict. This 8,724 foot high (2659 m) stratovolcano and its lava-bench waterfall are located in the stunningly beautiful "volcano country” of the Chilean Lake District.FIRE AND ICEWhen viewed...

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ePostcard #142: Patagonian Glaciation

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Audrey Delella BenedictPATAGONIAN GLACIATIONThe extraordinary ice-sculpted scenery that captures the heart and imagination of everyone who visits Patagonia is the legacy of millions of years of glaciation and erosion. The...

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ePostcard #139: A Naturalist’s Bookshelf

Photo Credit: Courtesy of photographer Guido Mocafico and the Natural History Museum of Ireland. This Blaschka masterpiece in glass is of a type of sea slug called the spotted sacoglossan (Caliphylla mediterranea),A NATURALIST’S BOOKSHELFI subscribe to the stewardship...

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