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Recent news and updates from Michael Ellis.

Falling Forward


Hello All:
It has been awhile since I sent out anything. A lot has happened but I will try keep this blog brief. Here is my latest KQED Perspective on SPECIES. A space just opened up on Natural History/Natural Mystery September 14-16 at the remarkable serpentine lands called The Cedars in western Sonoma County. I am one of the few folks with access to this amazing out-of-this-world place. 

I gave another talk at the St. Francis Yacht Club last week, this time on Tanzania. You might actually enjoy this if you have some extra time. Here is a link to the video via Facebook.

This is a video I made to send to the folks that went with me to Brazil this past July. We had a great time and saw many jaguars.

I had the pleasure of visiting Boston for the first time and one of the many highlights was seeing the most amazing glass flowers at Harvard.They were created over 130 years ago by a Czech father and son. Pictures don’t do them justice, but here is one anyway:

My friend Dr. Ava Pommerenk is the founder and facilitator of Chiapas Chocolate Retreats. Who doesn’t like chocolate? Chiapas Chocolate Retreats is a one-of-a-kind, transformational adventure retreat, held in Chiapas, Mexico. The next retreat is scheduled for November 10th through November 17th, 2018.
French park trains crows to pick up litter 
Kosher salt truth 
A Twilight Zone episode in 1961 presaged the current global warming. Go ROD! 
I always wondered why and how birds survived the catastrophic impact 65 million years ago. 
A nice blues song. Laura Jean Anderson – Can’t Afford To Lose My Man (by Memphis Minnie)
Here is an excellent graphic showing the spread of the largest fire in California history. 
This video about shredding various objects (which is really eco-porn) is strangely mesmerizing. 
I  have only had the pleasure of seeing a spotted skunk one time in my life but I would love to see this.     
Here is an amazing graph of how the United States uses land.  
The political divide has some very interesting FAULT lines  

A letter someone wrote to me about the Mojave Desert trip in 1993.

Once upon a time,
When women were birds,
There was the simple understanding 
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten, 
That the world is meant to be celebrated.
– Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds

July, 2018


June 23, 2018

Hello all:

I am in Brazil right now leading a trip to the Cerrado ecosystem, the Pantanal, and the southern Amazon basin. We are planning on seeing Jaguars, capybaras, caimans galore, hyacinth macaws, armadillos, giant tegu lizards, jabarou storks, giant anteaters, tapirs, and more birds than you can possibly imagine. And this is what I see nearly every single time. I’ve already got two trips scheduled for June/July 2019. If you are interested let me know.

Footloose Forays update: There is no room in either Farallon Island trip. There is a little room left in the Natural History/Natural Mystery outing in September in Western Sonoma County at The Cedars Preserve. Ecuador in January 2019 is wait list only. There are two trips to Tanzania in February. The first one is nearly full but the second one has plenty of room at this point.

 2018 continues to be quite a whirlwind of  travel for me. I just got back from a trip to Tanzania. It was delightful to go at a different time of year. We really had superb sightings and I put together a little video 10 minutes long about our recent trip. This was for a wonderful family – three generations – that I have done a half a dozen trips with. They are a lot of fun.  This will give you a good sense of what a Safari to Tanzania is like with Footloose Forays.

My most recent KQED NPR Perspective–which played last week–was on raccoons! And  just yesterday a raccoon tried to crawl in my open window at 5 am. Geez.

So you think you know yourself? Well this article in Scientific American clearly says you don’t. You only know how you would like to be, not how you are.

Art from the DiRosa Gallery
My favorite tree in the world is the Baobab. And many are dying suddenly after thousands of years.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
– Steve JobsSperm goes into egg, egg becomes human being. The miracle of life is portrayed here in a most amazing way. I have no idea how they did it.Highway to Hell Grandma.

A great TED talk on communication.

True facts about armadillos!!

It is hard to have a favorite woodpecker but these guys are super cool.

I thought I knew all about Daddy long legs

And here’s the New York Times on trees.

 Why you should stop being so hard on yourself.  I wish I could learn that.

How this very wily creature conquered North America.

We are all on a journey and here is something from one of my favorite poets. Blessings to everyone.