On the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, we explore the western edge of the Great Plains where water is scarce and the daily winds are high. In this drought scourged grassland we descend into a vast canyon where we we encounter birds, juniper, cacti, tarantulas, bees, ants, and many other species which inhabit this arid ecosystem.
In central Colorado beginning our expedition at 10,000', we ascend to 12,500' and explore the alpine tundra just above timberline. At this elevation flora is dwarfed and comprises only those species able to withstand this harsh environment. Rabbits, pikas, snakes, insects, arachnids, lichen, and grasses are some of the inhabitants we discover.
As the Colorado Plateau meets the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the ecotone is a habitat to birds, fish, arachnids, chipmunks, ants, pikas, and more. Exploring a lake at 10,000' the water has recently had a significant decrease in depth, we find diverse geology, the remains of former lake inhabitants, and diverse flora ecesising the rocky shoreline.
At 10,000' we explore this anomalous east to west mountain range and find several hydroseres that are a habitat for a variety of aquatic biota. Flash thunderstorms are a common occurrence, nights are cold, and spring, summer, and autumn brief, allowing for only the hardiest species to survive. We find birds, squirrels, lichen, fungi, and more.
This predominately sageland ecosystem with isolated areas of aspen and coniferous colonies is very arid, hot, and windy. But the few springs, creeks, and sloughs created by beaver dams support a plethora of very active inhabitants. We encounter mating dragonflies, insects depositing eggs, a moose and its calve, birds feeding newborn chicks, and more.
In the northern Montana Rockies we explore this far inland temperate rainforest ecosystem encountering a lake region with numerous waterfalls which feed this lake from the melting glaciers on the high peaks above. We find orchids, flies, chipmunks, moths, deer, birds, and many other species of plants and animals which inhabit this region.
We explore the headwaters of a creek in this Northeastern Washington temperate rainforest region, during which we expierience daily rainfall and even a summer snow storm. We discover beaver dams and other inhabitants of this ecosystem like chipmunks, birds, ground squirrels, frogs, moths, conifers, fungi, and many other flora and fauna.
The winter snow is starting to melt on the east side of the Cascades in central Washington, which lies in the rain shadow. Following the rapidly retreating snowline we see nature coming to life from it's winter dormancy and notice many propagules emerging from the soil while observing squirrels, frogs, insects, birds, and other wildlife.
At 8000' we explore this sageland coniferous ecotone, in the Lemhi Mountain Range. During our expedition along the banks of a creek we encounter marshy areas created by the numerous springs flowing into the creek. Frogs, chipmunks, butterflies, birds, deer, insects, and flowers are just some of the types of species which inhabit this ecosystem.
We study this ecotone of the coast and montane climaxes in northwest Montana. Our expedition focuses on a lake area in this temperate rainforest where a wide range of plant and animal species flourish. Rabbits, squirrels, deer, ducks, frogs, snails, hexapods, pikas, flowers, and lichen, are just some of the species we encountered.
15,000 years ago glacial icefields melted and broke the dam which held the 500 cubic miles of water which comprised Lake Missoula. The water flowing at an estimated 80mph from Montana to the Pacific Ocean created these Scablands. Exploring the canyons we find intermittent lakes, birds, snakes, turtles, succulents, and many other species.
As spring is beginning in northwestern Washington there is still snow on the peaks of the surrounding mountains, but at the base of the mountains deep within this temperate rainforest the inhabitants are emerging and starting to become active. We encounter many species of fungi, flowers, birds, insects, and other wildlife.
In this inland temperate rainforest in central Oregon foothills, the Alaskan Swirl brings a mix of mostly rain and some snow, with continuous storms lasting 13 days. Inhabitants rarely emerge during the storms but during the few days of clear weather we found a wide range of wildlife like butterflies, birds, spiders, and more within the understory of the forest canopy.
Here during the rainy season the Alaskan Swirl brings rain clouds which produce 4-7" of rain per day, turning slow flowing creeks into temporary deep flowing rapids and creating many temporary waterfalls too. Here we find water ouzels, ducks, snails, lichens, mushrooms, and more species under the tallest trees in the world.
We explore this central Oregon temperate rainforest along the Pacific coast where the Alaskan Swirl dumps 24 hour torrential rains for the majority of our expedition. We discover fungi, ferns, old growth forest, snails, lichen, and more including the dead salmon and steelhead carcasses washing downstream from the spawning areas.
We explore this rugged Northern California Coastal Mountain Range with numerous lakes and streams surrounded by a variety of geology from varying geologic ages. Here we observe convergent lady bugs mating, arachnids, frogs, lichens, mushrooms, and many other species. We also get the first snow showers of the season which melt off rapidly within 24 hours.
Exploring this central Oregon mountain range we start out at 6000' in dry pine forest and grasslands, dropping into the canyon we encounter a creek supporting a verdant forest and an area recovering from a recent forest fire. We find owls, grasshoppers, dragonflies, hummingbirds, ants, butterflies, mistletoe, ponderosa pines, lichen, and many others.
Located along the Oregon and Idaho border, Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America. We start at 8300' and decend into the deep canyon, at 4300' we explore a lush forest teeming with many species of life. Frogs, beetles, butterflies, moths, bees, ants, flies, fungi, and a plethora of plants are part of what makes up this ecosystem.
In northern Wyoming the temperatures are beginning to warm up, the record snow from last winter is melting fast on the surrounding 12,000' peaks creating swift flowing muddy creeks and waterfalls below. Elk, deer, pronghorn, ants, birds, flowers, cacti, sage, and lichen, are some of the things we found living in this high ecosystem.
At 8600' we begin our expedition atop forested mesas and plateaus. Descending into Dark Canyon we encounter a more desert environment with springs and hanging gardens. Here warm front snow storms last 1-3 hours from snow fall to complete snow melt. Vultures, frogs, deer, elk, cacti, manzanitas, and more inhabit this ecosystem.
We explore the base of this stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, part of the Cascade Mountain Range. Starting at 3800' we ascend the western and northern sections of this region encountering glaciers, lakes, springs, and creeks. In this ecosystem we discover flowers, mosses, ferns, ants, bees, spiders, and many other species of plants and animals.
This diverse ecosystem situated in the remote northeast corner of Oregon, has dense forests with flower filled meadows and streams flowing throughout. Exploring this hot and dry ecosystem we find a lush green forest which is a habitat for a wide range of bees, birds, arachnids, butterflies, fungi, lichen, mosses, flowers, and other flora and fauna.
We arrive just as the last of the winter snow is melting in northern Idaho and the plants begin their rapid but brief growing season. A variety of pteridophytes and other plants create a verdurous ground cover, beneath this dense predominately coniferous forest with arboreal animals and lichens. We find fungi, snails, moths, birds, flowers, and more.
It's spring in the northeastern Utah desert, and snow melt from the Uinta mountains creates temporary creeks, small ponds, and marshy areas below making a very diverse biota. Snow storms which last 12 hours from snow fall to complete snow melt also add to the waters. Exploring this ecosystem we find birds, fungi, insects, flowers, and more.
With elevations ranging from 5000' with a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem to mixed conifers at 9000', the South Mogollon Rim is comprised of many diverse species of plants and animals. While exploring this ecosystem we find arachnids, butterflies, ducks, lizards, woodpeckers, flowers, charred areas from a forest fire, and more.Watch Video
Surrounded by canyon walls and mesas, Fossil Creek produces 20,000 gallons of water per minute which supports the surrounding diverse riparian ecosystem, comprised of birds, insects, aquatic lifeforms, caddis flies, plants, and many other species. We also observed warm front snow storms lasting 24 hours from snow fall to complete snow melt.Watch Video
Chiricahua is a "Sky Island" region that supports a variety of wildlife, some of which are more commonly thought of as denizens of subtropical habitats in Mexico or Central America. Even in February with snow and temperatures as low as -10°F we still found a cornucopia of nature, turkeys, woodpeckers, centipedes, pines, yuccas, agaves, and more.Watch Video
Located on the Arizona and California border along the southern Colorado River, the river provides an oasis in arid desert to the migrating birds flying south along the Pacific Flyway to Central and South America and is a habitat as well for many other animals such as feral donkeys, raccoons, lizards, chipmunks, and more.Watch Video
We travel to the Lassen Volcanic Region in Northeastern California to explore this high subalpine montane region just below the tree line, made up of vast conifer forests and rocky outcroppings. We encounter a vast amount of flora and fauna species and observe a huge array of butterflies, moths, bees, and other insects pollinating flowers.Watch Video
On this expedition we travel to the South Los Padres National forest, 25 miles north of Los Angeles California. This diverse ecosystem is situated just outside one of the largest cities in the world, but it's amazing what the Piru Creek and surrounding Echo Valley ecosystem has to offer. We encounter species of damselfly, ants, cacti, and more.Watch Video
In 1911 the last Yahi Indian, Ishi, walked out of the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range in north central California. Exploring his canyon homeland along a creek we find praying mantis, butterflies, bald eagles, fossilized sea shells, lizards, slugs, caterpillars, ancient volcanic lava flows from Mount Tehama and more in this ecosystem.Watch Video
Yosemite is one of the busiest tourist destinations in America, millions of people travel here during the summer to see the few last remaining gigantic trees. But on the southern border lies some trees that most people didn't even know existed. Here we discovered a Sugar Pine with a trunk circumference of 19'.Watch Video
The Granite Mountains of the Mojave Desert in southeastern California are a hot and arid ecosystem in July, but plants and animals thrive in this heat with a minute amount of water. In the vast sandstone canyons we find, mojave rattlesnakes, lizards, hummingbirds, ants, grasshoppers, vultures, and cacti are some of the species we found here.Watch Video