Go to the Galápagos, See What Charles Darwin Saw

A senior editor visited the Galapagos - here’s what she saw

Feedloader (Clickability)

It's T-minus ten days to Darwin's 200th birthday. We here at Smithsonian.com have already stretched out the strings on our party hats and spittled-up our noisemakers, and the party has hardly started!

We try to run an eclectic mix of stories in Smithsonian magazine and on our Web site, but two topics tend to be our and our readers' favorites: nature and American history. So the dual birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln this month has us all het up.

We put out a special newsstand-only issue of the magazine in honor of Lincoln's birthday—not that that means he was more important than Darwin. I think Sarah settled that once and for all. (Yes, we know, why does everything have to be a contest?) And we've gathered most of our Darwin coverage into one package, with more stories on the way.

Now, at the risk of being a bore, may I tell you about my recent vacation? It's sort of ridiculous how obsessed some of us are with the our beats. Diane, our art editor, goes to art exhibitions in her free time. Tom, our history editor, hikes around historical sites for fun. Mark, our archaeology editor, visits archaeological sites when he travels. And I spend most of my vacations bothering animals. (Well, trying not to bother them—I mean birdwatching, snorkeling, poking sticks at scat to identify what nocturnal animals are around, etc.)

And last month I went to the Galapagos to make the naturalist's hajj. We put up a slideshow—which is a little embarrassing because I'm no Tui De Roy—where you can see some of the islands' more interesting geology and wildlife.

Have you been to the islands? What'd I miss? If you're thinking of going, do you have any questions?

Get the latest Science stories in your inbox.