Friday, January 14, 2011

pulau pejantan island

-Zhao Renhui
An uninhabited island in the Indonesian Archipelago first visited by scientists only in 2005, Pulau Pejantan (also known as "Sand Forest Island") has recently drawn increasing attention from researchers for its extremely unusual geological features and remarkable biodiversity. Two distinct environmental regions - a central semi-tropical forest, ringed by pale white sand dunes dotted with geothermal oddities like the extraordinary Black Geyser - harbor some six hundred species of fauna, roughly seventy percent of which exist only on the island.

From curiosities such as the ghost hare (a black and white animal that seems to share a genetic background with extinct species of both hounds and hares) to spiny burrowing anteaters, brightly colored dune-dwelling rock pheasants, and improbably oversized felines such as the heavy oncela and the iriamondi cat, Pulau Pejantan provides scientists with an extraordinary opportunity to study what is essentially a closed ecological system.

Conditions are difficult for observation on the remote island. Its peculiar hydrological activity and location in the doldrums of the equatorial region along the Java trench combine to produce a thick blanket of fog that covers its landmass essentially from sunrise to late afternoon, 365 days a year; as a result, much of the work must be done in poor light. The images of Pulau Pejantan presented were taken by Zhao Renhui of the Japan-based Institute of Critical Zoologists on an expedition to the island between January and April 2009.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

psychedelic, angelic styrofoam soda

montane forest - temperate steppe - xeric shrubland
Airline Code:
pdx - slc - abq
Portland - Salt Lake City - Albuquerque

the plane from portland to salt lake city was a rocky one from what I can remember. window seat, next to an older morman couple sharing angelic experiences, some personal and others from a book the woman got from a fellow parish'er as a christmas present. landed in the middle of a crater not long after the man expounded a vision involving a blueish haze at the top of a flight of stairs. peanuts and tomato juice.
salt lake city airport: myriad of uncharted fast food joints and broken moving walkways.
flying into albuquerque, i awoke from a ten second, passed-out, book dropping sleep to find the plane psychedelic; engulfed in pinks, oranges and reds, from a neon sunset. my fellow passengers sitting still whilst the telescopic-sized windows of the plane project malleable, shifting shapes of colors and patterns over our fold-down trays and Styrofoam cups of ice, (the most satisfying two sips of soda).
kalleigh, a familiar face, awaits me and drives me through streetlight-less roads in a mammoth-sized white pickup truck to corrales. transported through an unfamiliar geography in pure darkness is unnerving, how can I adapt to my surroundings if I can't see them? adobe house with alien cacti lining the fence, inside barking dogs, welcoming people, libations and my own bedroom.
alarm set for sunrise.