Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

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From Bartolomé.

These spatter cones make a fascinating landscape on Bartolomé, courtesy of previous volcanic activity.  I imagine they were pretty scary-looking when active; now they seem a bit surreal.

This was perfect theme for my pictures because everything about the Galápagos is defined by forces of nature: geology, climate, evolution, etc.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

From mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos islands.

Ecuador is such a colorful place!  Clockwise from top left:

  • Sally Lightfoot crabs are a common sight on the seaside rocks of the Galápagos islands.
  • I found many flowers in the highlands around Quito.
  • The minerals in the volcanic rocks of Bartolomé give them this cool (or should I say warm?) color.
  • Close-up in the butterfly house at La Selva lodge in the lowland rainforest.
  • I spotted these hoatzins from my cabin at La Selva; playing Amazon Trail as a kid truly prepared me for life as a biologist! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

??????????From Bartolomé.

Pinnacle Rock is one of the most famous sites of the Galápagos; it’s been featured in the movie Master and Commander.  It’s quite a hike up to see this view, so we were all quite pleased with our achievement and took lots of groups photos as well.  I showed our hike back down in the recent “Descent” challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

??????????From Bartolomé.

We had several steep hikes on this trip, but the most rewarding was climbing the volcanic cone on Bartolomé for a great view of the famous Pinnacle Rock.

On the way back down we were more at leisure to marvel at the volcanic spatter cones and other cool lava formations on Bartolomé, one of the younger islands in the Galápagos chain.  We could also see out over the water to other islands.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Tiquilia

 

From Bartolomé.

On the hike up to see the famous Pinnacle Rock, we saw many of these whitish tiquilia plants growing on the slopes of the volcano.  They contrast beautifully with the red/grey ashy soil.  The light color comes from tiny hairs on the stems and leaves.  They are one of the few plants that can survive in this arid zone.

Tiquilia is the genus name; there are several species endemic to the Galápagos, all of which are generally called tiquilia, or also “grey matplant,” which is a pretty dumb name, so let’s stick with tiquilia.