Photograph by Michael Nichols
Redwoods: October 2009
At least 1,500 years old, a 300-foot titan in California’s Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has the most complex crown scientists have mapped. This photo, taken by Michael Nichols, is a mosaic composed of 84 images. Click here to see larger version and full credit.
Photograph by James Nachtwey
Indonesia: October 2009
Facing the dawn, women of the An-Nadzir commune begin Islam’s Feast of the Sacrifice, which celebrates the Koran’s account of God sparing the prophet Ismail. As the sun rises, their prayers join those raised by a chorus of Indonesia’s Muslims, fundamentalist and moderate alike: “Allah akbar.” God is great.
Photograph by Martin Schoeller
Hadza: December 2009
Like his ancestors, young Nija will grow up to roam the wildlands around Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania—if outside pressures don’t curtail his people’s freedom first.
Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel
Green Roofs: May 2009
A garland of nature crowns Chicago’s City Hall, softening the hard edges of a town famous for steel and stone—and lowering summer temperatures on the roof. Inspired by a worldwide movement, Mayor Richard Daley has made Chicago North America’s leading “green roofs” city.
Photograph by Amy Toensing
Murray-Darling Basin: April 2009
Simon Booth remembers when he grazed 250 head of cattle on his ranch in southeastern Australia—a sight his children Ryan and Claire may never see.
Photograph by Stephen Alvarez
Deep Southern Caves: June 2009
Prime qualification for cavers: tolerance for a tight squeeze. John Benson can make progress only with his helmet off and his head turned just so. He exhales, making his body as flat as possible, slides a few inches on his back, stops, inhales, and repeats. Photo taken in Thunder Hole Cave, Alabama.
Photograph by John Stanmeyer
The Global Food Crisis: June 2009
Stung by soaring food prices, angry Egyptians throng a kiosk selling government-subsidized bread near the Great Pyramid at Giza. Across the globe, rising demand and flat supplies have rekindled the old debate over whether production can keep up with population.
Photograph by Fritz Hoffmann
Parallel Rivers: May 2009
Muscling over the Nu River’s rush on a steel cable, Nan Boyi hauls a cow to market. The hard-earned sale brought this Lisu-minority villager about $150, two-thirds the average yearly income in rural Yunnan Province.
Photograph by Randy Olson
Kamchatka Salmon: August 2009
Fattening up for winter, a brown bear waits to snatch salmon in Kuril Lake.
Photograph by Kevin Schafer
Amazon Dolphins: June 2009
River dolphins navigating the Amazon Basin’s tea-colored brew of silt and rotting vegetation seem to glow orange. Out of water they’re pale gray, with some marked in pink. Called botos here in Brazil, they use high-frequency sonar clicks to build a 3-D echogram of their dark world.