Paul Rosolie @paulrosolie

Naturalist, Author of ‘Mother of God’ | Coming soon: #TheGirlandtheTiger | I speak for the trees. @tamanduaexpeditions @junglekeepers

www.paulrosolie.com/

553 posts 57,355 followers 991 following

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Well this is it. I have just sent off 'The Girl and the Tiger'. My book is now out of my hands. What a strange feeling. It's a lot like that feeling you get when your chest seizes up when you get too close to a cliff. You realize you are at a moment in time and space that is potentially irreversible. Years in the forests braided into years of writing and editing. Months of tweaking and toning. Is it good enough? Is it true? Does it all work? Does it sing? Should I burn it? Just keep reading again and again and again. At first slowly, later feverishly. Until this day arrives, and it is gone. .
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My first book Mother of God was non-fiction. It's just a factual account of what happened to me in the Amazon. I realize now that somehow fiction is a far more personal thing to share. Our journal and our dreams - they come from different parts of us. // I realize now that even more than reading a book, writing one requires you to live deeply in the world you have created. Characters, places, moments that I've been living with every day for years now, are suddenly gone. And with that startling feeling of loss I realize that I truly feel like I have done what I set out to do. They say you should write the book you always wanted to read. .
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So this is it! I've been charged by elephants and my hands don't shake. But the hitting 'send' on the final draft of a book makes me break out in sweat. It's terrifying and exciting. Soon galley copies will be coming out for previews. Those will go out to news channels, book influencers, etc etc. Soon I'll have the cover to reveal (still working on that now). And this September, Monday the 16, at the @the_explorers_club ... we see if it was all worth it. .
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(*and yes the text in the image is Loren Ipsum - no way am I giving out the first page on an Instagram post) .
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#beautifulbooks #bookstagram #authorsofinstagram #reading #fiction #currentlyreading #books #bookshelf #paulrosolie #india #bangalore #elephant #tiger #bigcats #junglebook #bookclub #

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More from India - watch @gowrivaranashi crush the hardest climb she’s ever attempted in badass Badami ! @manushjohn and I filmed and played belay-bitches while the G was scaling shit I couldn’t even do the start holds for! She’s doing a takeover on @americanalpine right now where she’s talking about the climb and the journey and what’s coming next 🔥🔥🔥

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Back at it again! The journey we started in the Amazon has come to India. @tbfrost and I have become obsessed with the human relationship to snakes. Why do we fear them? Why do we love them? And how intimately are our lives intertwined with theirs? In India the answer is infinitely complex. .
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I’m going to be slow with posting because when I’m out in the field I like to concentrate on the work, not instagram. (The damn ‘gram takes up a lot of time!) But we are having some incredible experiences and there are some amazing things coming! #scalesandskin .
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Pc: @sidduzumaki - follows him for more shots like this one🙏🤘🐍
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#snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram #cobra #india #travel #explore #story #reptilesofinstagram #mysore #photography #wildlifephotography #conservation

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I’m so stoked for everyone who has signed up for the May 11 @tamanduaexpeditions trip! This is going to be an amazing week in one of the most incredible ecosystems on earth. Most of us have long lost our close connection to nature, but out here its different. Nature is in full riot mode. Giant trees, clean rivers, and life everywhere..! .
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There’s still a few last spots open - go to www.tamanduajungle.com/trips and check it out. This trip could change your life. And it will help us save thousands of animal lives as we continue to work to protect this vital river ~

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That was one big explosion. And the marines drove down river fast. @tbfrost and I joined the miners as they traveled up river to see the damage. The monstrous motor and all the equipment that has been on the barge in the morning was GONE. Just metal fragments. This hit meant that there was going to be no gold for some time - they’d have to go back to town, days away, and start the process of getting new machinery. Surprisingly the miners weren’t that upset. They said they had an informant who usually let them know when the marines came - and they would break it all down and hide it - they said they’d gotten away with it so many times that they couldn’t even be mad - it had to happen eventually.

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Amazon Gold Part V: Elemental Mercury. The only metal that is liquid at room temperature. This stuff looks like something from Terminator or The Matrix. It has a supernatural quality to it. Both in the way it looks, and in how bad it is for us to be around. It affects the central nervous system and even brief exposure to it can damage your brain, liver, blood, kidneys, vision, and there are a number of psychological symptoms that apply to people who have been exposed to it over long periods of time. .
One article I read cautioned how if you drop mercury in your home it can break into smaller parts, and take up in cracks and carpets - and over time evaporate into the air, filling your house with poison. Another article said: "If a person exposed to mercury stops breathing, use a bag and mask to give them air, but don't perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, since this contaminates the rescuer, too."
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The miners that @tbfrost and I lived with had no hang-ups about handling mercury. They thought it was comical how scared of it we were. They handled it freely, just as they have for years. Sloshing it in and out of the sediment, using it, and then gathering it up again to be used another day. We were shocked at they way they handled the stuff - but were horrified when the time came for them to burn off the mercury with a blow torch. No masks. Open air. No clue how bad it was for them. .
This is my blurry picture of the moment the gold and mercury is gathered into a cloth, and wrung dry. Moments later that water was dumped into the river.

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Amazon Gold Part IV: In the lowlands of Amazonia, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, gold comes in the form of small particles among the sediment in the Amazonian clay, almost naked to the human eye. To extract the gold, chainsaw crews level and burn huge swaths of forest. Then they use motorized pumps to suck earth through great hoses, leaving enormous empty pits where jungle once stood. Finally, mercury is poured into the sediment, where it binds to the gold. This mercury-gold amalgam is heavier than other particles in the sediment mix, and falls to the bottom. Thus, the miner is able to extract his yellow prize. In this photo by @tbfrost you can see the tiny gold flakes in the sand.
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Due to runoff from the illegal gold mining, today nine out of the fifteen fish most commonly consumed in the Madre de Dios region have mercury levels higher than are deemed safe by the US EPA. The result is that 78% of the human population in the region has dangerously high mercury levels in their bodies, a problem especially perilous for pregnant mothers. And although we’re aware of the effects on fish and humans, how this contamination is infiltrating the rest of the food web - and the rest of the Amazon Basin, is largely a mystery. .
OVER 170,000 ACRES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED FOR THIS.
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Photo by @tbfrost

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Amazon Gold Part III: This could be another #tenyearchallenge – the first image is the shocking destruction of full scale gold mining by @abdrodrigo . This was once a forest. Now everything is gone. The second image is my own from the air, of an undisturbed river where the forest is full and the river is clean. The third image is from a newspaper article on the protests by miners in Puerto Maldonado. They know that what they do is illegal, but like so many empoverished people around the world, they have few other options. The stand offs between the police, the military and the miners are tense and deadly. These people will fight for their right to earn a wage from the small yellow treasure in the sediment of the forest, despite the total and irreversible destruction, the deforming mercury contamination, and the constant threat of the law. The last image is my own: artisanal miners working grueling hours on a rocky riverbank for the small payoff of low quality gold.
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Coming next are photos from the time that @tbfrost and I spent on a special expedition with illegal gold miners.

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Amazon Gold Part II: You travel ten hours a day in an open top boat. We are backtracking the trade. Traveling against the current of trade to the source. Poachers bring animals down river, loggers float the cut piles of dead trees, miners have the smallest prize. You wont see it because it's minuscule, and hidden somewhere deep within the gear. Their eyes are dark and guarded as our boats pass one another. There is shame and danger in those eyes, and we hold their gaze so that we do not seem afraid. You can't show that kind of thing out here. We don't waive. Just nod. We wont swap stories, or see what they've taken from forest. What we will see though, when we get there, is what it cost. .
When you are traveling towards mining areas you think of the poison. You can no longer drink from the river. That is no longer clean, pristine wilderness. It's ruined here. You think of the mercury fish swimming strange. Deformed babies. The stories you read about he journalists who were found in a pile of sediment. Who asked too many questions. You think of the places the police wont go because out in the frontier, there's no laws. Their uniforms wont save them if things get rough. You think about the relatives who told you to 'get a real job', back in the days when anyone thought there was a chance you would. You wonder if maybe they were right. .
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Photo by @tbfrost .
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#travel #journal #blackandwhite #amazon #jounalist #goldmining #adventure #illegal #photography #paulrosolie #mohsinkazmitakespictures #trevorfrost #rainforest #madrededios #peru

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Amazon Gold, Part I: Tributaries are the old highways of Amazonia. It used to be that to get anywhere you had to ride the river. Now of course the new problem is that there are roads cutting everything up, and changing all that. You see, river travel is not easy. (If you’ve read ‘Mother of God’ you know how perilous the rivers can be). There is the unending current to fight against, the arms of ancient ironwoods trees reaching up trying to grab your boat down… I’ve spent weeks on expeditions up rivers with indigenous families and poachers alike. Usually @alpacka_raft s on the way down. In a time when everyone is rushing in cars or planes, it is easy to forget that you learn a lot about a place, when you toil slowly across the face of it. Your body is changed by the sun, rain, and starvation. Your mind is changed by distance, the overcoming of obstacles, by the breathtaking realization that this world still contains a few last spaces of nameless quiet wild. By reinheriting the responsibility of your own survival. In the jungle the further out you go, the wilder it gets. .
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For the last twelve years the tributaries of Amazonia have been a source of wonder as well as horror. Months back @mohsinkazmitakespictures and @tbfrost and I spent quite some time riding the rivers together, and in the coming days I’ll be sharing some of what we’ve seen unfolding in the Amazonian backcountry, specifically, the time we spent with illegal gold miners. .
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Photo by @tbfrost

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While cataloguing everything from last year I just came across this and can’t imagine how I forgot this snake! Or why it didn’t make it into #ScalesandSkin. Actually I do know: it was terrible at posing! Despite the incredible colors, these snakes are so meek that their only defense is to flop around like a wounded worm and then cover their heads with their own coils. Not very good at posing. // This is one of those jungle jewels that is so rare, that common names are pretty pointless. I could call it a checker bellied snake, in this case Siphlophis cervinus is a far more accurate description. I know they are nocturnal, I know they’ve been reported to lay 3-6 eggs, and I know I can count on one hand how many I’ve seen in the last twelve years. But man those colors!
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#snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram #reptiles #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #macro #wildlife #wildlifephotography #animal #animallover #paulrosolie #junglekeepers

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The only change that matters. I’ve seen a lot of it.
#tenyearchallenge
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Pc: @gowrivaranashi & @isha_ela

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