Temples to Tea, Shrines for the Traveler

Camelia sinensis: the wind beneath the traveler’s wings.  ‘Cha’, ‘sah’, ‘chay’. Known to the West as ‘tea’.  Across Asia and now the planet, this infusion of legend and mystery is on offer, be it in the exquisite tea houses of Kyoto and Dushanbe or in the humblest roadside shelters.  Whatever its shrine, tea commands a … More Temples to Tea, Shrines for the Traveler

Hole-In-The-Day: Manoomin, Treaty Rights and Deferred Harvest

Come November 22nd this year, discriminating families at Thanksgiving tables will sit up – unawares – to turkey stuffed with the makings of an epic and delectable tale.  It is the tale of ‘manoomin’, the sacred wild rice that grows across northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the prairie provinces of Canada. Stand on the cat-tail fringes … More Hole-In-The-Day: Manoomin, Treaty Rights and Deferred Harvest

Makgadikgadi: Soul Depths On A Salt Flat

If the Okavango Delta resembles a primordial Eden, then the neighboring Makgadikgadi Pans may be a picture of a climate-changed future, at least for the drought-prone swatches of the earth.  Larger than the entire state of Connecticut, a baked crust of white clay stretches virtually without a single landmark, one of the largest salt flats … More Makgadikgadi: Soul Depths On A Salt Flat

Safari To Dislocation – And Time Immemorial

Safari (meaning ‘visit’ or ‘trip’ in Ki-swahili) has been a staple of Western travelers since Victorian times when outsiders with prodigious ‘kit’ came on tour to the bush country of Africa’s wild interior. Teddy Roosevelt figures high on the list of notables who tried their luck on the savannah. The tally of trophies taken in … More Safari To Dislocation – And Time Immemorial

Manhandled By Africa’s Beauty: The Smoke That Thunders*

Beauty in these wild places of Africa comes in two guises. There’s the filigree of a camelthorn tree against the dawn. Or in the rainforest the old-growth trees holding up in reverence a canopy that suffuses the underlay in green light. The only sounds: the rapping of rain from a shower striking the giant leaves … More Manhandled By Africa’s Beauty: The Smoke That Thunders*

Royalty of the Thirstland: Is It End Game For The Baobabs?

It’s the baobabs that will follow you home. Mysterious, massive, silent, on gnarled pillars they dominate the Kalahari thorn scrub, and the imagination. Ancient beyond telling, they are the grand elders of Africa’s arid hinterland, sentinels of the passing millennia. Now they’re dying. And no one knows why. news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/oldest-tress-africa-baobabs-dead-climate-science/ The San say that the creator … More Royalty of the Thirstland: Is It End Game For The Baobabs?

Lamps in the Night

In the winter of 1984, a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India malfunctioned in the morning darkness.  Poor maintenance and disabled safety systems took a savage toll as a cloud of toxic gas blanketed a sleeping city.  More than 2,000 nearby slum-dwellers never woke up in their shacks. And a further 510,000 who survived, … More Lamps in the Night