Crimson Beach!

Awash in red, this is how the beach looks like today in Lovers Point; Pacific Grove in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.  A sight to behold as thousands of Red Tuna Crabs are stranded on the shore.

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Even though he never reached the Americas, nonetheless, his fairy tales made it across the oceans and touched the hearts of many.  A small museum in a Book Loft is dedicated to him in a far away from home Danish village nestled in Santa Ynez Valley. His name is Hans Christian Andersen.

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Do you know that up to 60 percent of an adult body is made of water!

That you can go without food for 21 days but can only survive 3 to 4 days without water at an average temperature outdoors?

Do you know that after a major disaster you may not have access to clean water!

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Whether to farming, encroaching suburbs, or high tech campuses, the natural landscape of the Bay Area has changed drastically over the years. Indiscriminate development has rendered many parts of the Bay Area foreign even to its natives. Napa County is no exception. It is one of the counties in California that have been affected by rapid development.

One non-profit organization took notice and challenged the status quo. Its mission is to preserve the character of Napa by permanently protecting land.


Lake Berryessa in Napa

This organization is called The Land Trust of Napa County; the work of which focuses on acquiring land or conservation easements, or stewarding land or easements to achieve conservational purposes. These purposes vary from protecting the natural habitat, to conserving the water quality, or preserving the scenic values into the future.


Lake Hennessey

Since its establishment in 1976, The Land Trust of Napa County has successfully protected 70,000 acres of land throughout Napa County. That is 14% of Napa.


Spanish Moss draping the oak trees in Napa

Become Part of the Solution; Get Involved!

If you are a nature lover or concerned about the ecological well-being of Napa like me then The Land Trust is the right place for you.  It organizes many Preserve Stewardship events that will educate you about Napa’s unique ecosystem and at the same time get you involved in preserving it.


Linda Falls Preserve Vegetation Workday/ Leader Soil Conservationist “Chip Bouril”  

For example, The Trust has been waging a battle against invasive species like the French Broom; a plant that can grow rapidly to 4.5 feet (or up to 12’ high), replacing smaller native plants and contributing to the spread of fire.


Volunteers from Americorps removing French Broom; an invasive plant

The Trust also works on restoring native habitats. The return of the Mountain Agoseris, Ithuriel’s Spear and native clover plant species to its Missimer-Snell Valley Preserve is testimonial to the success of their efforts.

The Trust maintains many trails and hosts public access orientation.


Cedar Roughs Hike led by Author “Ken Stanton” & “Chip Bouril”

It also monitors wildlife to create a baseline for existing mammal populations; a requirement for monitoring any decrease, increase, or stabilization in the numbers of individual specie.


You can join The Land Trust stewardship efforts by becoming a member or by volunteering your time to support any of the aforementioned events.  Hence, you become part of the solution to preserve Napa’s unique ecosystem for future generations. After all, our well-being is dependent on the well-being of our natural ecosystems.

For a photo album from the Cedar Roughs Hike, click here

For a photo album from the French Broom Workday, click here

To join the Land Trust Hikes or workdays, click here

Writing & Photography

Samar M. Salma

15th of March, 2018



Sadly, conflicts are a fact of life!  Wars and their weapons follow bringing devastation for generations to come.


As such is the case in  Nagorno Karabakh also known as Artsakh; a de facto post-soviet republic located between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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There is a magical place in the Lesser Caucasus where the beauty of unspoiled nature combines with rich history,  and the goodness of its people, giving travelers an unforgettable authentic experience.

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Settling Controversy!

Graffiti is always controversial and divisive.  Art or Vandalism!

Those writings or drawings, sprayed on a wall in big cities have been viewed by some as a form of art that needs protection. Others, on the other hand, believe it’s an act of vandalism thus punishable.

But if graffiti moved from the walls of big cities to tree trunks, rocks, cliff surfaces, caves…  if it moved to nature paths where many seek comfort from city stress, should the issue of graffiti continue to be controversial.

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If you are looking for a place to hike, photograph, surf, or simply bask in the sun, then I have got the place for you.

But wait, there is still much more to do!

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Hey Friends,

Many think that during hiking its easier to go downhill than uphill.

True going uphill is very tiring but going downhill is the most strenuous for the knees.


Alshira Mountains; Jordan



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Hey Adventurers,

So what’s it like to travel in Egypt like an Egyptian?

I can tell you, it’s not easy, it can be challenging and for sure it will get you out of your comfort zone but its a lot of fun, a lot of exploration, unexpected discoveries and many beautiful encounters with the natives.

Join me  as I continue to get the real taste of magnificent Egypt 🙂

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