A La Carte

What I Learned In The Galápagos: Part I

September 13, 2017

1. Expect to be sprayed with disinfectant before you land. Airport security screening is for plants and animals, not weapons. In 1971 the National Park Service successfully eradicated goats from Rábida. This introduced species upset the natural environment and led to the extinction of several native creatures including geckos, land iguanas, and rice rats. 

Fernandina Island Volcano erupting 12:30 pm on September 4, 2017 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fernandina Island Volcano erupting 12:30 pm on September 4, 2017

2. Best time to visit is when a volcano erupts, preferably after you've hiked around the island. And if you go with Lindlad Expeditions, you know they'll circle back the next evening to check on the volcano.

Lava from erupting volcano on Fernandina Island September 5, 2017 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lava from erupting volcano on Fernandina Island September 5, 2017

3. The darker the feet on a male blue-footed booby, the more attractive they are to the females. Lighter colored feet mean they've had too much sex already.

Blue-footed boobies (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Blue-footed boobies

4. The spectacular red sand and rock on Rábida is the result of oxidation the moment the island was formed. Unpopulated except for flamingos, and sea lions, it’s the only Galápagos site where Darwin’s nine finches are found.

Rabid Island sea lions (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Rabid Island sea lions

5. Zodiac boats hold 12 adult humans plus all their luggage, and dry landings are a lot like wet landings. GORE-TEX hiking boots get wet either way.

Rábida Island (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Rábida Island

6. If you skip the two-hour morning mountain hike and kayaking, you can sunbathe on the deck of  National Geographic Endeavor II and have the entire ship to yourself.

On deck of Lindblad/National Geographic Endeavor II (Photo by: Judith Beermann) On deck of Lindblad/National Geographic Endeavor II

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

7. Frigatebirds put on quite a show to get laid, iguanas loll around in monochrome, and cormorants don't mind that they can't fly. They're all living in paradise.

Frigatebird looking for love (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Frigatebird looking for love

Galapagos iguanas (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Galapagos iguanas

Flightless cormorant (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Flightless cormorant

8. Darwin’s giant tortoises are treated better than local islanders. Lonesome George, sent to the world’s finest taxidermist, has a climate controlled designer shrine. 

Lonesome George (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lonesome George

9. The archipelago looks a lot like the Amalfi Coast but without tourists or great outdoor dining … unless you're a bird.

Galápagos Islands (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Galápagos Islands

Galapagos pelican (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Galapagos pelican

10. Don’t expect results from Darwin Research Station and Tortoise Breeding Center on Santa Cruz Island this century. Giant tortoises don't start mating till they're a hundred.

2017 Santa Cruz tortoise hatchlings (Photo by: Judith Beermann) 2017 Santa Cruz tortoise hatchlings


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Fernandina Island Volcano Erupts in Galapagos

September 4, 2017

Shortly after noon on September 4, 2017, crew on board Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic ship Endeavor II observed a volcanic eruption at Fernandina Island in the Galapagos of Ecuador. The National Park of Galapagos was immeditaly notified.

It was confirmed as a new eruptive phase of Fernandina's La Cumbre volcano. 

After eight years of relative calm, this volcano began generating a column of water vapor and magmatic gases that were about four kilometers high.

Fernandina Island erupts September 4, 2017 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fernandina Island erupts September 4, 2017

By early evening, a volcanic ash advisory was reported. 


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Take Care in Georgetown

August 23, 2017

“We were enthralled. The space, the natural light we weren’t able to find it anywhere else in the city.” That’s what initially drew Take Care founder Becky Waddell to Georgetown, specifically to 1338 Wisconsin Avenue across from the old Georgetown Theater. Open since last week, the shop is a most welcome locally owned business addition to the neighborhood.

Take Care interior (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Take Care interior

Take Care offers a carefully curated collection of small-batch brands for the skin, face, body and hair, perfume and makeup, leisure wear and lifestyle goods, all natural, and mostly hand made in the USA.

Taylor Ray with lavender (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Taylor Ray with lavender

“Made with loving care by our brand founders,” adds Waddell. “Our collections are primarily vegan with a small number of exceptions for beeswax and honey. We do not sell products containing carmine, animal milk or other animal derivatives.” 

Miranda Bennett apparel (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Miranda Bennett apparel

Waddell grew up in the desert southwest of Arizona and attended graduate school in rural Oregon where she was inspired by nature.

Take Care manager Taylor Ray (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Take Care manager Taylor Ray

The shop’s interior palette of bleached wood, white and verdant is the natural environment for what store manager Taylor Ray invites customers to do, “Take time to indulge yourself, take care of yourself.” 

Lily and Becky Waddell (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lily and Becky Waddell

Take Care at 1338 Wisconsin Avenue NW (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Take Care at 1338 Wisconsin Avenue NW


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