It is one of history’s great ironies that the same source that gave mankind its proverbial best friend also gave it one of its greatest nightmares. Yet while the domestic dog has long-since become a trusted companion and protector in most human societies throughout the world, the still wild descendants of their ancestors – even though most of us have long-since developed a lifestyle to which they are not even remotely a threat to our health or well-being – continue to haunt the minds of far more of us than will ever (much as we may wish to) actually see one.
When a female Passenger Pigeon – named Martha by those who tended to her daily needs at the Cincinnati Zoo – died in her cage on 1 September 1914, a species of bird that only a hundred years prior had numbered in the billions forever vanished from the face of the planet. Other bird species, […]
When Charles Bowden’s Killing the Hidden Waters was first published in 1977, the population of Arizona – the U.S. state in which he was then living and part of the region in which so much of his narrative takes place – was a little under two-and-a-half million people. In 2003, the year in which his new introduction “What I Learned Watching the Wells Go Down” was added to the fifth paperback printing of the book, the state’s population had risen to over five million. Most who read it thought it both inspired and brilliant, but according to his opening words in the new introduction, he “went wrong.”
The many ways in which Galápagos Islands are extraordinary is a subject that has been taken up by naturalists, novelists, and explorers for centuries. From Darwin and Melville to William Beebe to the Grants, various aspects of the islands’ geology, flora, and fauna have been chronicled, often with superb skill and profound insight, in different […]