Natural Phenomena: The Bucket List

A view of Iceland's lava fields

Journeying to the Center of the Earth at Thrinukagigur Volcano, Iceland

“Because it’s Sunday,” says Saga (pronounced Saya), swinging her long blonde plait as the minibus accelerates away from Reykjavik’s Hafnastraeti car park, “I have a treat for you. Candy!” She holds up a box of chunky-looking chocolate-covered Read More

Sterling Hill Ore under ultraviolet lamps

Finding Fluorescence at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, New Jersey

A constant drip of water accompanies us as we follow our tour guide into the depths of an old zinc mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. It is pouring outside, so the occasional drips on us as we walk down the mine tunnels aren't a big deal. It's a little Read More

The Lone Swimmer

Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala

As I look down from the heights of El Mirador, the pools of Semuc Champey appear as expanses of turquoise set between limestone ridges. It occurs to me that El Mirador -- it means a viewpoint -- is a name far too common in Central America or, at the Read More

Aurora Borealis, photo courtesy of Jill Browne

Chasing the Aurora Borealis in Bettles, Alaska

Deep in a sound sleep, I am awakened by footsteps running through the corridors outside and the urgent sound of doors slamming open. “Get up everyone! Everyone, outside!” Groggily, I look at my watch: 3 a.m. I roll over, not quite in the land of Read More