Gardens of Acadia

When immersed in the often jaw-dropping natural beauty of Acadia National Park, it may seem superfluous to seek out man-made gardens, but those on Maine’s Mount Desert Island gild this already stunning landscape. While garden mavens will treasure these sights, even those who don’t know a peony from a pansy will be tickled.

Mango Musings

As in many Brazilian cities, the streets of Salvador’s neighborhoods are lined with lofty, dark, shade-giving mangueiras (mango trees), some of them quite old. Most of the time, walking around, you don’t pay them much heed. However, come October, you suddenly notice that the once imperceptible green oblong fruits have taken on rich sunset hues.

Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito

The world’s most famous carrion carnivore, the majestic Andean condor, reaches its easternmost range in the Altas Cumbres (High Summits) of the Sierras de Córdoba, where it lends its name to the area’s only national park.

(Re)discovering Glow-in-the-Dark Mushrooms in Brazil

the latest news to send my imagination into overdrive was the announcement, this week, of the (re)discovery of some very cool-looking, glow-in-the-dark mushrooms.

The “re” part of this discovery is because these Kryptonite-colored Brazilian shrooms have been missing in action for 170 years.

Having remained off the grid for 160 years, in the past few years there were reports of bioluminescent mushroom sightings in the Brazilian states of Tocantins and Goiás. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that U.S. scientist Dennis Desjardin, working with a team from San Francisco State University, and Brazilian chemist Cassius Vinicius Stevani, who led a team from the University of São Paulo, were able to actually hunt down new samples of Neonothopanus gardneri.

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Nicknamed “Valle de la Luna” for the lunar landscapes formed from its colorless clay, reddish sandstone, and black volcanic ash, Parque Provincial Ischigualasto also deserves to be called “Triassic Park” for fossil-rich sediments that have yielded dinosaur skeletons 228 million years old.

Eyes Peeled on the Transpantaneira

In 1972, the Brazilian military government began concretizing its ambitious if foolhardy idea of building a highway that would cut right through the Brazilian Pantanal. The highway known as the Transpantaneira never got very far, but what it lacks in terms of people, it more than makes up for in terms of wildlife.