The Planetary Progression

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The People's Progress

How long does the elephant have left on planet Earth? When will our greatest land mammal cease to wander?

Our notion of progress is tied to continuous industrial development. A notion that has been exported throughout the world. We’ve led ourselves to believe that the point of humanity is to build factories and convert nature into economically viable investments. But is this our true calling? Is this the path towards true enlightenment and natural harmony? What is the point of all the hard work and sacrifices of our ancestors over the millennia? Will we ever sate our need to consume? Or has a history of detachment from nature shaped us into a new type of animal, one who’s needs can never be met.

As more and more animals face extinction, it is up to us to ask ourselves what the point of our species is. Are we here solely to consume? Moving from one land to another until all resources are converted into dollars. And if some progress but others falter, is progress truly a progression?

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Climbing Toronto’s CN Tower to raise money for World Wildlife Fund

Hey Everyone! First off, thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you and always look forward to seeing your reactions to my posts.

Next week, I am going to be climbing to the top of the CN Tower, which was formerly the tallest free standing structure in the world. It will be a bit of a slog and no doubt, I will be soaked with sweat. However, in order to join other racers in this sprint to the top, I need to raise 250 bucks!

Since my photos of animals are usually the most popular, I know you are all animal lovers. So, if you can, take a minute and donate whatever you can afford to help support WWF in their fight to preserve the worlds endangered species. Think how boring this planet would be if it were only humans (and tardigrades of course!) and no amazing animals. We get a hell of a lot out of this planet but we rarely ever give back. So here is an opportunity! Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Jesse

Burdened by Breakfast

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Burdened by Breakfast

The dense and heavy fog that filled Ngorongoro was just starting to abate as we reached the crater floor. Having spent the night sleeping on the rim of the dormant volcano, we woke invigorated by the splendour of our natural surroundings. We begged our guides to make sure we were the first truck inside the crater, and we got what we asked for.

Just as I was clawing the remnants of sleep from the corners of my eyes, we spotted a pride of lions sprawled in tall grass. As we approached, they barely flinched. The stains of blood smeared across their faces left them nearly comatose, burdened with the meat of a fresh kill. Behind them, we spotted a destroyed zebra carcass, picked clean. Hard to argue with the efficiency of nature.

The Reality Show

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The Reality Show

As much as I had eaten, it wasn’t my full stomach that kept me planted in my seat. The sun was dipping out of the sky at the end of a beautiful day. The humidity in the air was dense and thick. Dark, sprawling clouds spread across the glowing sky. A breeze kicked up and rain felt inevitable. Cockatoos and kookaburras squabbled in the trees, like arguing monkeys. No, there wasn’t much reason to hurry inside. Not much reason at all.

The Serengeti’s Lullaby

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The Serengeti's Lullaby

When the sun finally set on our first day on safari, I knew I had made the right decision. To me, going on safari seemed like one of those things only rich old white people did, not young stinky adventurers. But in this case, I think I was duped by the khaki fashion designers and I was happy to be wrong.

After sourcing a budget version, which switched lodge accommodations for camping (exactly what I wanted), it became feasible. After researching the sights on our itinerary, it became impossible to stop dreaming about.

The glowing orange sun was disappearing when our guide announced it was time to head back to camp. We arrived at tent city, stuffed our faces with delicious fresh food and curled up into our sleeping bags. As I drifted off into an exhausted sleep, I was lost to the wailings of hyenas, the snorts of water buffalo, and the trumpeting of elephants. Perfect.

The True Nature of Niagara Falls

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The True Nature of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Canada. No matter what time of year you visit the Falls, people from around the world can be found. Each night, fireworks light up the sky and mingle with the mists spewed from the falls as tourists lap up haunted houses, casinos and restaurants. The shore front is littered with cheap gimmicks and gambling, profiting on the natural beauty that draws in the crowds. But the true magic of Niagara Falls is not hidden in a shop or a store, it’s in plain sight, for all to see.

The Curse of the Empty Pockets

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The Curse of the Empty Pockets

Unfortunately, my pockets were empty. In retrospect I should have known better. I should have packed some cookies from breakfast just in case. While travelling in a new country, it’s always good to have little odds and ends to give to the swarms of kids that come up to say hello. Or in some cases, a swarm of toque macaques.

I couldn’t resist those big brown eyes so I passed this fine fellow a stick, thinking he might enjoy playing with it. He quickly went about fashioning a pair of chopsticks and then looked back at me as if to say “So where’s the sushi?”

Lesson learned.

Suspended in Sunlight

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Suspended in Sunlight

It was nearing the end of the day when we climbed back into the Landcruiser. We had been driving for hours through the open plains of the Serengeti National Park. We had seen cheetahs sprinting and playing in tall grass, giraffes picking the choicest leaves off the tallest trees, and elephants bathing in fresh springs.

I got in the truck and climbed onto my seat to poke my head out through the open roof. As our driver threw the engine into life, we shot off down the baked dirt road. There I was. In the middle of the Serengeti, surrounded by some of the most exotic animals here on Earth. The wind rushed through my hair and dust burrowed into the crevices of my skin. I looked around in every direction as golden light fell, cascaded across the tall water starved grass.

In my mind, I zoomed out on where I was. I floated high up into the sky, looking down at myself as I became a speck upon a great continent. We all became specks. Specks, all connected through the same flowing energy of our home planet.

I came to, just as a truck further ahead shot dust into the still air, leaving it to hang suspended in the setting sun. Best day ever.

The Natural Business

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The Natural Business

Waterfalls and pools of ice blue water line the well worn path of the Milford Track. By celebrating the natural beauty of New Zealand, the Kiwis have established a lucrative renewable business based on the appreciation of nature, not its depletion.

Each part of the world has unique and stunning natural beauty. If we all had the same appreciation for our own back yard, our small speck of a planet would be in better shape. Your share of planet Earth is essential to the wellbeing of our home as a whole.

As celebrated photographer, Ansell Adams, famously said “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”

The Great Migration

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The Great Migration

The Great Migration is an epic event of nature, heralded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Taking place between Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, close to 2 million wildebeest make the giant loop in search of water and greener pastures.

During their constant search for survival, they bring new life into the world and lose lives at the end of their cycle. As the favourite meal for most of Africa’s major predators, wildebeest travel in giant herds with a swarm mentality, working as one unit for the preservation of their species.

Lessons from the natural world.