Santo Rosa Island, Channel Islands

Sep 27, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird

Beauty above, terror below…I thought I knew the Indian paintbrush…How could it hide this dark side from me? This was one of the day’s revelations aboard National Geographic Sea Bird while hiking with Jon Rebman from the San Diego Natural History Museum, digging into the botany of Santa Cruz Island. One of the intriguing aspects of excursions with Lindblad is the mix of people that come together for a time and the sharing and learning that occurs. Jon provided a unique lens and perspective with which to view the islands plant behaviors and adaptations. One of the hike’s insights was the quasi-parasitic nature of the Indian paintbrush, a beautiful plant that photosynthesizes but also uses its roots to sap nutrients from its neighboring plants: the paintbrushes dark side thus revealed. (Thanks for a great hike, Jon!)

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About the Author

Daniel Baldwin


An educator at heart, Dan finds great joy in opening doors for others to explore and connect with the world around them. He has taught marine sciences in the Florida Keys and on Catalina Island, and science and math in international schools in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the South Pacific. 

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