Kelp forest

Kelp forest

Side-blotched lizard

Side-blotched lizard

Cliff aster

Cliff aster

Scorpion Canyon

Scorpion Canyon

Cavern Point

Cavern Point

Island fox

Island fox

Scorpion Anchorage

Scorpion Anchorage

Coastal prickly pear

Coastal prickly pear

Potato Harbor

Potato Harbor

Greene's dudleya

Greene's dudleya

United States

Channel Islands National Park

May 2022 • The Channel Islands are California’s Madagascar—a land mass off the continent, home to dozens of species of flora and fauna found nowhere else. Twenty-five miles of ocean has kept Darwinian competition as well as human exploitation stuck in first gear, and national-park status provides added protection. It’s an hour-long ferry trip from Ventura Harbor, with no guarantee of a smooth ride or a clear day. On first hit, it seems like a hike in Marin or Sonoma. Then the subtle differences begin to assert, and it becomes easier to see this place not just as a terrarium but also a time capsule of the upspoiled California coastline that existed hundreds of years ago.

Kelp forest

Kelp forest

Side-blotched lizard

Side-blotched lizard

Cliff aster

Cliff aster

Scorpion Canyon

Scorpion Canyon

Cavern Point

Cavern Point

Island fox

Island fox

Scorpion Anchorage

Scorpion Anchorage

Coastal prickly pear

Coastal prickly pear

Potato Harbor

Potato Harbor

Greene's dudleya

Potato Harbor