Interacting with Animals: The Bucket List

Our chariot (Roberta Sotonoff)

Exploring Custer State Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park is big - 71,000 acres big. And, it's beautiful which is probably why it became a backdrop for films like "A Man Called Horse" and "Dances With Wolves." Winding roads pass lakes, lodges and lots of animals like bison and pronghorn Read More

View from Finch Bay Hotel, Galápagos Islands (©photocoen)

Sharing Breakfast with Darwin’s Finches on the Galápagos Islands

I was the only guest left in the dining room. Two Darwin's finches hopped on a chair before zeroing in on a bowl with freshly cut papaya, watermelon and pineapple on the breakfast buffet. When Natalia, one of the cooks, spotted the birds, she Read More

Swimming with leatherbacks. Photo by Shannon O'Malley

Swimming with Leatherback Turtles in Barbados

Shannon was crying. I knew she would. I knew she was crying, in fact, even before she lifted her snorkel mask. She still cries, after all, every time she talks about a leatherback sea turtle nest-hatching experience we shared in Antigua a few Read More

baby alligator

Becoming a Midwife to a Baby Alligator in Florida

“Push!,” my husband urged. Flashback: Heard that from him often enough with the birthing of my own baby. But this one was entirely less painful. Well, except for that chomp on my finger. I had, as instructed, picked off a piece of tough Read More

two kangaroos adjusted cropped final

Living among Wildlife in Australia’s Croajingolong National Park

"Take the next turn!" my husband Paul cried. "Why?" I asked, as we barrelled along Australia's Princes Highway between Melbourne and Sydney, hellbent on making it to the town of Eden--our randomly chosen stopping point--by nightfall. I eased off Read More

Manitoba polar bear

Bond with Churchill’s Belugas and Polar Bears

Hudson Bay’s August weather and tides finally cooperate on a four-day adventure to Churchill, Manitoba. Three men and I ignore the 7 a.m. chill as we tug into wetsuits and carefully scoot kayaks across the Churchill River’s rocky shallows. We paddle Read More

bathng the elephants

Mahout for a Day: Learning to Care for and Ride Elephants in Thailand

DoDo is my responsibility for the day. A big responsibility, four tons of it. He stands seven feet tall, and measures a good ten feet long. "He is a champion elephant, this one," says Teerapat Trungpakan (Pat, for short),  owner of  Patara Read More

Belize crocodile tagging

Tagging Crocodiles near Belize’s Lamanai Mayan Ruins

It is dark -- 97 percent dark chocolate dark, India ink dark, heart of Voldemort dark -- in this swamp in the middle of a moonless night in the middle of Belize. Only in the distance, across the fresh-water lagoon, do a few lights reveal the Lamanai Read More