Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

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From Fernandina.

If I were making a photo album of my Galápagos photos (which I did), this is the one I’d use for the cover.  Not only does it capture a nice quintessential Galápagos landscape (La Cumbre volcano), but it shows my group doing what the whole trip was about: exploring.

In the foreground is our professor and fearless leader, Dr. Jed Burtt; he was one of my favorite professors in undergrad and inspired me to continue with scientific research as my career.  The trip would not have been nearly as amazing without him.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Lava Cactus

From Genovesa.

The lava cactus (Brachycereus nesioticus) is one of the first plants to colonize the bare lava, enduring the harsh environment of the islands’ arid zone.  One of several cacti endemic to the Galápagos, Brachycereus does not grow very large, appearing in clumps along lava fields.  The new growth is yellow, and turns greyish as it ages.