A sea lion sleeps while sally lightfoot crabs scamper on the Galapagos Islands. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2012)

Viewing Some of Earth’s Rarest Creatures in the Galapagos Islands

I don’t need a sign warning me to “Yield to Sea Lions.” When a big fellow lumbers across my path you can bet I stop to give him the right of way. Sea lions, like most animals on the Galapagos Islands, are nonchalant toward humans because they are Read More

The adventure begins...

Horse-surfing in Bradenton Beach, Florida

My legs were quivering like tapioca pudding: I’m not going to lie to you. Nervous, yes. But also a reaction to pinning my knees into Winnie’s belly to avoid getting dumped into Bradenton Beach’s Palma Sola Bay. A.J., one of our personal 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

Horseback Riding in Kauai

Horseback Riding in Kauai: Equestrian Adventures at Princeville Ranch

I am riding a horse in the land of a dragon. One slumbering dragon, by the name of Puff. You know, the guy from the land of Hanalei? Had a friend named Jackie? It's a real place, by the way, on the island of Kaua'i: a funky town with cool 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

Whalewatching off Cape Cod

Whale Watching by Boat From Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The massive head of a humpback whale appeared right next to us, coming up from underneath the boat. The smaller (but still massive) head of her calf then cleared the surface and the two moved off. Someone shouted. A group of whales was bubble-net Read More

minke whale

Swimming With Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef

We float quietly in the water, holding onto ropes tied to the boat. One by one the whales appear, drifting up from the dark below. We’re swimming with dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef.  But this is a swim with whales program with a Read More

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

Wildlife Touring by Jeep in Kaziranga National Park, India

The rhino calf lay sound asleep next to its mother, who was busy grazing not more than 20 feet from the road. Indian rhinos are ancient-looking creatures: They look like they should be sharing the earth with dinosaurs (or, at least, woolly mammoths Read More

Sea lions love to play with snorkelers. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins in South Australia

As I squeeze into a wetsuit, one thought keeps pushing to the front of my mind: sharks. This is Australia after all, the state of South Australia to be more precise and it’s known for those nasty Great Whites of “Jaws” movie fame. From the Read More

One frisky manatee begged for attention.

Snorkeling with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida

The baby manatee nuzzled my cheek with its fleshy whiskered muzzle, and when I began to scratch under its chin, it went vertical in the water, grabbed my hand between its two rubbery fins with their five broad, flat fingernails each, and hugged it to Read More

Bird watching in Suriname's largest lagoon: Bigi Pan (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

A Bird-Watching Boat Trip to Suriname’s Bigi Pan Natural Reserve

Herons skim the water, their white bodies reflecting in the inky-black water smooth as glass. Green kingfishers nosedive from branches and resurface with a thrashing fish, roseate spoonbills scratch around in shallow waters, and jacanas do what Jesus Read More

Gray Whale in Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Baja California (photo by Bob Bowers)

Petting Baby Whales in Baja California, Mexico

A two-thousand pound newly-born gray whale lifted her head a foot from our panga, presenting an irresistible petting opportunity.  I was one of six passengers on that side of the shallow boat, and together with the other five, reached out and stroked Read More

baby whale shark

Swimming With Whale Sharks in Mexico’s Yucatan

Glimpsing the cluster of huge, spotted heads in the water, I peer closer. I'm not sure if I'm hallucinating after slouching under the intense sun and sitting on a boat for an hour. But as our guide yells out and slings on his snorkel mask, I realize 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

A herd of cranes

Watching a Tri-Continental Bird Migration in Israel’s Hula Valley

If you were a bird, and for some reason known only to your creator, you found it essential each year to fly thousands of miles between the northern reaches of Europe and the southern end of Africa, somewhere in the middle of your trip, you would -- Read More

Mexico's Wintering Monarchs will Land on your Hand (photo by Bob Bowers)

The Monarchs of Mexico’s El Rosario Biosphere Preserve

My wife and I had just finished a simple breakfast of juice, pan dulce and coffee in Angangueo, a small village in Mexico’s central mountains.  The early February air at 8,300 feet is chilled, suggesting we add a layer or two before heading to El Read More

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Sailing, Snorkeling, and Watching Dolphins on Kauai’s Napali Coast

It's not often that the captain of a tourist catamaran is rendered speechless by what he sees in the course of a daily tour, but I'm here to tell you: A pod of approximately 750 spinner dolphins (his estimate, not mine) will do it. Followed by Read More

bottlenose dolphins

Snorkeling and Diving with Dolphins in Eilat, Israel

The dolphin is swimming so close that I could reach out and touch it, and it looks much larger than I had expected. I remind myself that being underwater has a magnification effect; things appear a third larger than they are. Even so, this toothsome Read More

Dolphins in the Ten Thousand Islands

Chasing Dolphins in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida

It’s not even 10 AM, so I’m surprised to see the enthusiasm on this sultry summer morning in Southwest Florida. We launched from the Marco River Marina a little over an hour ago for a tour on the Sea Excursions Dolphin Explorer, a catamaran tour of Read More

Green Sea Turtles at Maui's Ocean Center

Up Close with the Pacific at Maui’s Ocean Center

I am walking through the middle of a 750,000 gallon fish tank. Sharks and rays and some 2,000 other fish swarm around me as I make my way through a completely clear acrylic tunnel that offers a 360-degree view of the ocean. Under my feet, a reef Read More

An elephant family at Addo

On Safari in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

We have been riding around for an hour, it seems, and so far we have seen very little. A few zebras. A handful of antelopes. But no elephants, and the elephants are what we are here for. And when you're heart is set on elephants, a few antelopes just 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