CHARLES DARWIN: "The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention. Most of the organic productions are aboriginal creations found nowhere else; there is even a difference between the inhabitants of the different islands; yet all show a marked relationship with those of America, though separated from the continent by an open space of ocean between 500 and 600 miles in width. The archipelago is a little world within itself, or rather a satellite attached to America, whence it has derived a few stray colonists and received the general character of its indigenous productions. Considering the small size of the islands, we feel the more astonished at the number of their aboriginal beings, and at their confined range. Seeing every height crowned with its crater, and the boundaries of most of the lava streams still distinct, we are led to believe that within a period geologically recent the unbroken ocean was here opened out. Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be be brought somewhat near to that fact – that mystery of mysteries – the first appearance of new beings on this earth."
PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Through threaded mists of sea and sky the clouds scrape the parched, highland lava crust. Mists and dews are precious now, and life is resourceful about collecting them and passing them on.