Not Dolly, but still dangerous

The quietest place in the US
BBC Travel: (Photos and text) Natural noises flow undisturbed by humans for quarter-hour stretches here. In fact, the park ranks first among the last dozen places like this in the continental United States. Nowhere in Europe does quiet – the undisturbed heartbeat of the land and its animals – still reign to such an extent. Activists are now pushing to make the Hoh the world’s first quiet zone, the sonic equivalent of a Dark Sky Reserve, by the park system’s centennial in 2016.

The Lion’s Share: Can travelers, herdsmen and big cats coexist in the Maasai Mara?
Travelgirl Magazine, Winter 2014
Text and photos: Suddenly a bald tribesman rises up from the seemingly flat earth in front of our vehicle. His long limbs unfold from a three-inch depression… Then I notice the short spear and the other dozen warriors, clad in the scarlet-and-royal-blueplaid togas of the Maasai, who materialize from invisible crannies in the grassland. We had interrupted a lion hunt.

Eyeball to eyeball with Canada’s migrating salmon
BBC Travel: My brain froze as I submerged into the cold water of British Columbia’s Shuswap Lake. But the discomfort paled as I watched sockeye salmon – hundreds of cherry-tinted fish with moss-green heads – swirl overhead like a kaleidoscope. At the end of an epic 4,000km journey, they were waiting to swim the final leg upstream to spawn and die.
Palouse image by Amanda Castleman

Vanishing Barns On The Backroads
Travelgirl Magazine (text and photos): This marriage of art and Americana may be headed for hard times. The Palouse’s beloved, historic barns are succumbing to age, weather and upgrades such as metal siding: practical, but not so picturesque. Expensive renovations can cause farmers to flinch — a new roof can cost $50,000. So when up-cycling companies bid on the distressed timbers for bars and restaurants, it’s hard not to sell out.

Stargaze With A Singing Astronaut
Travelgirl Magazine (text and one photo): Power down and look up this autumn, as the Dark Sky Festival returns to Jasper, Alberta, from October 17–26th.

Guyana: Running Naked in Paradise
Travelgirl Magazine, photos and text: From baby-cradle water lilies to stretch-limo river otters, South America’s only English-speaking country surprises. But can it push further – protecting its tropical rainforest and indigenous culture – with a clever carbon-offsetting plan?

Bagging Crowns
Sport Diver: Spanning an area the size of the continental US, Micronesia encompasses 5 percent of the Pacific Ocean and contains 61 percent of the world's coral species. Yet some are under threat. Each Crown of Thorns sea star (COT) can devour a square yard of reef every day.

Earth & Elegance
Travelgirl Magazine, photos and text: Willamette Valley has been giving California a run for its money on many fronts, from soft adventures to gourmet, locavore dining and award-sweeping wines that balance fruit with foresty flavors. The Allison Inn & Spa, opened five years ago, brought the area its first destination hotel, which has now been paired with a landmark tasting room at Sokol Blosser.

Village Greens
Visit Bellevue 2014: Tech tycoons have built Bellevue into a city of skyscrapers, glittering brightly as a circuit board. But look beyond the mirrored glass, where green spaces recharge visitors’ batteries, including the Downtown Park, which turns 30 next year.

5 Hotels That Pamper And Pay It Forward
Travelgirl Magazine: Text and images: Pack your bags in the name of philanthropy, and book a getaway to somewhere generous this holiday season.

Misty Mountain
Washington State Visitors Guide: As Mount St. Helens recovers from its cataclysmic 1980 eruption, the landscape shifts like a kaleidoscope... This “living laboratory” has become the world’s most studied volcano. But the evolution and innovation don’t stop with Mother Nature.

Facing the bride of Frankenstein foods –  makeup
Oxford Mail: Soya and corn oils are ingredients in numerous paints and potions, especially skin creams, but no GM labels are required.

Food Fight
In These Times: Europe and America gear up for a confrontation at the WTO

The starriest skies in the world
MSN: Astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” In the meantime, here are 12 of the planet’s best places to downshift and dream, while constellations shimmer against the darkness.

If you go down to the woods today... you can be sure of an aerobic workout?
Oxford Times: Green gyms: Conservation tasks prove more efficient and amusing than treadmills

Go Locavore: one woman's quest for the 100-mile lifestyle
Bellevue Visitor's Guide: Like many Seattleites, I’d frequently swished past Bellevue on Interstate 90, intent on a Cascades playground or the high desert of eastern Washington. But once I bothered to stop, I discovered the homegrown secrets the micropolis has been harboring behind the haute couture, computer code and home prices worthy of Zillow fights. Let me introduce you to superlocal Bellevue.

Even flowers can't sweeten GM's smell
Italy Daily Comment: Let’s just hope Uncle Sam doesn’t administer a force feeding. Washington is angry at the loss of exports to Europe worth around $4.5bn every year – and may run squealing to the World Trade Organisation.

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