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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover

Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Medium)




Entries in Vietnam (81)


Scenes from the Old Quarter

I got stuck in rush hour traffic in the Old Quarter of Hanoi this afternoon. So vibrant and we were moving so slowly. The driver was continually honking the horn. I was continually smiling and filming. Look closely. The girl with the ladder, the lady in the dress shop, the vegetable sellers, the kids running down the sidewalk, the variety of different helmets and face masks. There are a million stories here. [NOTE: Music by Esbjörn Svensson Trio].


Andrew's Binoculars

We stopped for a coffee break in a small town on our way back to Hanoi, and the local kids (dozens of them) had great fun passing around Andrew's Nikon binoculars.  [NOTE: Andrew was remarkably relaxed about the whole thing].



We passed through some beautiful karst landscapes in Quang Binh province during our drive back to Hanoi.  The border with Laos is just on the other side of the peaks. [NOTE: In total, we drove over a thousand kilometers on the Ho Chi Minh highway to visit protected areas in the Central Truong Son Mountains (thx, Mr. Quang); guitar by Michael Hedges].


Phong Nha-Ke Bang

Misty morning in the town of Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Quang Binh province of Vietnam.  The nearby Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a World Heritage site known for its magical karst landforms and extensive network of underground caves.  Undoubtedly a lot or new palms to be found on these limestone substrates.



Leeches are one of my least favorite aspects of doing fieldwork in tropical forests. After snakes.  A new record for leech encounters was recently set while looking for a place to run an inventory transect in the Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Vietnam. The ground was boiling with them. [NOTE: I pulled off about 30-40 leeches, and two especially tenacious ones made it back to the guest house in my boot].   


Kon Tum

Truong Son range in the Kon Tum province of Central Vietnam near the borders of Lao PDR and Cambodia. Andrew Henderson and I have been visiting some of the protected areas in the region to collect and inventory rattans. Steep slopes, a few leeches, and lots and lots of rattan.  Some of them, apparently, new species to science.

Mr. Biu Van Thanh, our local counterpart, has been a great help and wonderful company. He is shown below pressing a plant collection. [NOTE: The specimens are first pressed in newspaper in the field, and then bundled in a large plastic bag and doused with alcohol to preserve them once we get back to town].



Streets of Hanoi

Trip to the airport for flight to Da Nang. Cars, and bicycles, and motorcycles, and rickshas, and pedestrians and seriously dangerous wiring. [NOTE: Check out the loose bundles of cables strung along the left side of the street in the last part of the clip; music is by Phronesis].


Watering the Lotus

A street vendor in Hanoi waters her basket of lotus flowers (Nelumbo nucifera) and roses. [NOTE: Taken during a wonderful afternoon of just wandering around town with my camera].


An Unusual Rattan

Andrew Henderson, Dr. Ninh Khac Ban (see Weaving a Trivet), and I collect an interesting and unique species of rattan in Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam. Interesting because it is branched, unique because rattans don't normally do this It turned out to be a new species to science.


Weaving a Trivet

During a rattan survey of Bach Ma National Park in Vietnam, our field assistant gave us a quick lesson in weaving useful household items out of rattan.  He made the whole trivet out of one rattan cane.  And he took it home after we finished for the day. [NOTE:  The other man in the clip is Dr. Ninh Khac Ban, a rattan specialist from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources in Hanoi.]