August 2017 Update: The War Between Past and Present

I hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as I am!

I would like to share with you the name of a documentary I recently watched and enjoyed: Chasing Coral. A team of divers, photographers, and scientists set out on an adventure to discover why coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate.

Chasing Coral features startling images and facts about the oceans. Made by the director of 2012 award-winning documentary Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral arrived on Netflix a month ago. I recommend the film to anyone interested in the past, present, and future of the oceans.

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March 2017 Update: The Sixth Extinction and the First Garden

I recently finished The Sixth Extinction, a Pulitzer-Prize winning book by Elizabeth Kolbert. Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Kolbert posits that we are currently experiencing the planet’s sixth extinction. This time around, however, the cataclysm is not an asteroid or a natural event—but us. For the last thousands of years, at an accelerating pace, human existence has drastically been altering the environment.

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An emerald bird called Emi

I have the story of a lifetime—a story from the very jungles of Costa Rica.

My husband Aamer and I were driving from an ecolodge to a biological reserve in Costa Rica and decided to stop for a break. We sat in a restaurant and looked out the window to find a cat meowing as it stared up a tree. A green bird perched on a branch, her eyes closed, her feathers fuzzy.

We learned from a Swedish couple in the restaurant that she’d hit her head by flying against the glass windows, and now could no longer fly properly. The cat was waiting to eat her. In fact, cats kill billions of wild birds and mammals each year in the United States alone, posing an immense threat to wildlife.

The cat
The cat

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Photos from a Nature Excursion to Costa Rica

My husband Aamer Hasham and I visited Costa Rica in January 2017 and found it to be a beautiful country of misty forests, waterfalls, and sandy beaches. It has also taken important conservation steps such as protecting around a quarter of its land as national park and banning sport hunting. That said, deforestation poses a major threat to the country’s biodiversity, much of it due to cattle ranching and animal agriculture. In the photos below, ranging from the stunning to the strange, you’ll learn how tiny bats survive and why trees in Costa Rica show, but don’t tell, their age.

At a charming ecolodge and wildlife refuge where we stayed, Arenal Oasis, the large and small among the feathered kind dropped by for fruit. Their favorites were banana and papaya.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Birds and Fruit
A line of birds

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July 2016 Update: A Nature Retreat at Algonquin Park

My trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario with my husband earlier this month was restful and rejuvenating. The park was a lush green expanse during the day and the sky glittered with stars at night. Wilderness shows us that there are life forms on earth other than us and the sky reminds us that there are countless celestial bodies spinning about in addition to ours. Check out this blog to see photos from the park.

The beauty of Algonquin Park in Ontario
The beauty of Algonquin Park in Ontario

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