Photos in the May 2014 issue
This Month's Features
Big Bend canyoneering provides high adventure for expert rock climbers.
By Russell Roe
Ky Harkey pointed to an unnamed canyon in one of the most remote corners of Big Bend National Park and said that was where we were going.
In the satellite map image, the canyon sliced a dark, jagged gash across the Mesa de Anguila on the westernmost edge of the park. The tall, narrow walls of the gorge blocked out any light, keeping hidden any mysteries inside.
If you’re lost in the wild, these seven survival tips could save you.
By Dawn Bello
Though the park was unfamiliar territory, the couple had hiked rugged backcountry in a nearby area many times.
The weather was pleasant — sunny and warm during the day, with an evening chill necessitating jackets and warm sleeping bags. Their annual trip out to West Texas began like all the others but ended in life-or-death drama.
Unlocking the secrets of a songbird’s amazing journey.
By Elaine Robbins
The air is filled with a sweet chirruping as purple martins wheel and glide in the sky above a complex of birdhouses set on the gently rolling brushland property northwest of Corpus Christi. Other martins skim a nearby pond for insects or perch on the front stoops of their houses, gossiping with their neighbors.
At a long table, a team works quickly to tag one of the birds. Canadian biologist Kevin Fraser takes measurements, extracts blood for DNA samples, then snips feather samples for isotope studies before handing the bird to a volunteer to set it free.