Grampians to Melbourne: Kangaroos, Skinks, Waterfalls and More

Bobtail Skink seen in the Grampians, Victoria, Australia

Waterfalls and wildlife, our days in the Grampians region were filled with natural beauty. Inland from Victoria’s southern Australian coast, Grampian National Park is a perfect base for exploration. Best shared in photos: Practical Information: The Grampians National Park is located in Victoria and is comprised of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests. We barely […]

More Photos from the Great Ocean Road: Explore Australia (Part 2)

The Grotto along the Great Ocean Road in Australia

If my photos from the Great Ocean Road earlier in the week didn’t inspire you to hop on a flight to Australia, maybe the next portion of our journey will. Those were from Torque to Apollo Bay. These are from Apollo Bay to Point Fairy. It was my favourite portion of the Great Ocean Road. […]

Astoria: Highlights of Oregon’s Northernmost Coastal Community

Rose River Inn B&B in Astoria Oregon

Astoria sits in the northwest corner of Oregon, at the base of the Columbia River. It is the first permanent settlement on the west coast. It’s an adorable city built around the fishing, lumber and fur industries, yet its main waterway holds many hazards. Astoria was our first overnight stop as we began our adventure driving the […]

Cartagena Port in Colombia: Toucans, Iguanas, Monkeys and More

Toucan at the Port of Cartagena Columbia

Toucans, iguana, monkeys and other animals greeted us at the Cartagena port as we walked off the Island Princess cruise ship in Colombia. Not “wild” animals per say, although many appeared to be free. Along with the more typical duty free shopping and a cafe, these animals appear to be part of a nature park provided by […]

Birds and Alligators of Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

Anhinga and chicks at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach Florida

Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach Florida is home to interesting bird life, alligators, and colorful flora. As we walked along the boardwalk we saw it all. According to my mother-in-law, a frequent visitor, the day we visited exhibited the most abundant collection of nesting birds she had seen to date. According to the signage, “The […]

Penguin – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Little Blue Penguin (ferry penguin) in New Zealand

P is for penguin . . .  or precious.   Practical Information:  Native to New Zealand these little blue penguins are fairly common on New Zealand coasts and also found in southern Australia. They are the world’s smallest penguin, standing just over 25cm (10 inches) and weighing only about a kilogram (2.2 pounds). They are […]

Kaka – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Kaka, a native forest parrot of New Zealand

K is for kaka. Practical Information:  The kākā is a large forest parrot found on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island.  With between 1,000 and 5,000 remaining, they are considered nationally vulnerable. Generally considered diurnal, they are also active in a full moon or on fine weather evenings. Often heard before they are seen, they make a […]

Endangered Takahe – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Critically Endangered Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi

E is for endangered. Practical Information:  Now classified as critically endangered, the takahe were once thought of as extinct until they were rediscovered in the Murchison Mountains (Fiordland) on the South Island in 1948. Takahe are flightless birds found only in New Zealand. They display their wings during courtship or as a show of aggression. Takahe are […]

Baby Lambs – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Spring lambs in Shakespear Park, Auckland, New Zealand

B is for baby lambs . . .  or baaa. Practical Information:  New Zealand has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. It has more sheep than people. In fact, the country is home to nearly 4.5 million people and 30 million sheep. Springtime is lambing season, and the hills all over the country […]

White Silica Sand of Rarawa Beach in Northland, New Zealand

White silica sand at Rarawa Beach on the Aupouri Peninsula New Zealand

Rarawa Beach takes your breath away. I know it’s cliche, but what else can I say about pure white sand, gentle waves, and a quiet that seems out of place, disrupted only by the gentle waves and the occasional squawk of a nesting bird. We stopped at Rarawa Beach as a side trip on the way to the northern tip […]

Interesting Animals of the Auckland Zoo

Baby elephant at the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand (Auckland Zoo Photos)

I have mixed feelings about zoos, yet the Auckland Zoo always makes me smile. It is more than a venue to view the animals. It is a centre for conservation activities both domestically and around the world with extensive breeding and rescue programs. We have visited many times in our 12 years living in New Zealand. On a recent visit my Auckland Zoo photos focused […]

Yellow Eyed Penguins in New Zealand: World’s Rarest Penguin

The yellow eyed penguin is considered the world's rarest penguin. Photo in New Zealand

We stood quietly in the trench, a hiding hut for humans. Here we waited, and then watched as yellow eyed penguins headed to their nesting boxes. It’s important that these endangered birds remain undisturbed. Watching quietly from our hut, we were so well hidden the penguins didn’t know we were there. Their nesting boxes seemed […]

Research, National Geographic and Saving Big Cats

National Geographic Wildlife Photographer Steve Winter presenting in Auckland New Zealand

Last night I sat alongside more than 1,000 other people, enchanted by the images and stories of National Geographic wildlife photojournalist Steve Winter. He spoke of his adventures photographing big cats, often being the first to capture images of several species of tigers and snow leopards in the wild. His passion contagious, leaving every person […]

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

Intimidated by Cows I Climb Over an Electric Fence

On part of today’s walk through Shakespear Park in Auckland (New Zealand) hubby and I parallel an electric fence. We were well beyond the paddock that held the adorable black lambs. Escape route gone, my rational mind takes over and I know these cows are not going to harm us. They are used to humans. (Even […]

A Black Sheep in the Family: Baby Lambs in Shakespear Park

Spring lambs at Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand includes one black sheep

Black or white, bouncing, bleating, baby lambs make me smile. Despite the chill in the air, this is my favorite time of year to walk in Shakespear Park (A regional park north of Auckland New Zealand). Birthing is just about over and the hills are dotted with happiness. And this year there is a special […]

Macaque: The Tale of a Tail in Malaysia and Morocco

Macaque eating a banana at Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Spotting wild monkeys always makes us smile when we travel. My first encounter was long before I met hubby. We were drifting down the Belize River at dusk when my friend’s father pointed out the howler monkeys up in the trees. This was in the days before I had a digital camera, and the photos […]

Meet Steve Winter – National Geographic Wildlife Photographer

Tigers in Bandhavgarh Natl Park India ©Steve Winter

Some of us do get to live out our dream. National Geographic Wildlife Photographer Steve Winter is one of those few. Aside from being an incredibly talented and patient photographer, Steve Winter is a nice guy.  Down to earth and friendly, he speaks with a passion and enthusiasm that beams through in the stories he […]

Essaouira: We Saw Surfers, Horses, and Camels on this Moroccan Beach

Essaouira Morocco on Horseback

Essaouira Morocco with its warm days, exotic aromas, cobblestone streets and an eclectic mix of beach goers was the first image that popped into my head when asked by Lexa Cain to join a blog hop about my favorite summer vacation spot. I have been to cleaner, more beautiful beaches on tropical islands like Fiji […]

Ending the Challenge at the Auckland Zoo #AtoZ

Feeding the giraffe at the Auckland Zoo

Our journey though Auckland from A to Z, ends with a cliche, an obvious and simplistic Z. I take you to a zoo. Let me assure you, the Auckland Zoo is exciting.  It is loaded with New Zealand creatures, like kiwi birds and tuatara, and includes special exhibit areas dedicated to native wildlife.  However, my best shots […]

Sheep and Adorable Lamb Photos in Auckland #AtoZ

Sheep and lambs in Shakespear Park, Auckland, New Zealand

Ever since I moved to New Zealand, I have heard countless jokes about sheep. Let’s set the record straight: This is New Zealand, there are more sheep than people by a current factor of six, so we are looking at nearly 4.5 million people compared to just under 30 million sheep (the lowest numbers since […]

Dolphins and Whales Are Abundant in Auckland

Leaping dolpins in the Hauraki Gulf, just outside Auckland New Zealand

Every day I look out over the Hauraki Gulf from my home at the end of the peninsula they call Whangaparaoa, meaning “bay of whales.” Yet, until a few days ago when I went out on the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari boat (AWADS), I had no idea of the abundance of marine mammals living […]

Zealandia, New Zealand Wildlife the Way Nature Intended

Tuatara in the bush in New Zealand

Tucked up over the city of Wellington is Zealandia, an eco reserve reminiscent of the days before humans arrived in New Zealand. A predator proof fence surrounds the sanctuary, creating an “island” within New Zealand’s capital city and allowing birds and other native creatures to live wild as nature intended. In contrast to the Wellington […]

Wellington Zoo, Home to the Only Bear in New Zealand

Sun Bear at the Wellington Zoo, New Zealand

Wellington Zoo calls itself the “Best Little Zoo in the World,” and they just might be accurate. Having lived most of my life near large cities with somewhat famous zoos, I thought I had seen it all.  Not so. The Wellington Zoo offers many surprises, and is worth a visit.  It’s one of the highlights […]

Pied Shag – Bird Watching in New Zealand

Pied shag in Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

New Zealand is currently home to over 170 different types of birds so it’s not surprising that we see interesting birds like the pied shag when we go hiking.  This one was spotted in Shakespear Park, north of Auckland. While I took this shot on the east coast of the North Island, I have previously […]