I'm going through some of my older photos while I recover from my turkey-and-sweet-potatoes-induced coma. I thought I'd just share a few of them with you! Needless to say, I'm immensely thankful for having had the opportunity to travel to such wonderful places and see such amazing wildlife. Enjoy!
A pair of whakahao/Hooker's sea lions at Allan's Beach on the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand, in February 2016. These are the world's rarest sea lion species with a population of about 10-12,000. In the past, they were hunted for fur and meat, and now they get caught in fishing gear and are often harassed by domestic dogs. These two males are competing for dominance. As the largest animal native to NZ, they're not very afraid of people, so it's important to give them a wide berth.
Elk calf in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, in August 2017. I had traveled back to the US to see the solar eclipse with my parents, but we also took some time to travel around Yellowstone and the Tetons. We were out for a short walk near Colter Bay on Jackson Lake when we came across a mother and baby elk, browsing the sage. They were wary of us, but we kept quiet and gave them their distance, and eventually they moved out of our sight.
River otter in Chincoteague, Virginia, USA, sometime around May 2014. Chincoteague is a special place for me - my dad taught me to fly kites there, we've gone biking along the beaches, and we get to see really great wildlife, which is even cooler than seeing wildlife elsewhere because it's so close to home (check out the earlier blog post about the Chesapeake Bay). One year, we got really lucky when we saw these river otters. It's amazing how they just slip through the water - plus they're adorable!
Toutouwai/New Zealand Robin on Ulva Island, off the south coast of the South Island of NZ, in January 2015. These little guys are endemic to NZ, meaning that you won't find them in the wild anywhere outside of NZ. They're not very afraid of people, and will often follow you down the path because you kick up dirt and reveal bugs that they can eat. I once even had one climb up onto my hiking boots and pull at my laces! They're already pretty round, but I happened to catch this little guy at a funny angle that really makes him look like a borb (bird orb, for the uninitiated).
Sea turtle, fish, and coral off the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, USA, in July 2015. I was out for a snorkel when I saw a bit of the coral move! Turns out it was small sea turtle, about the size of a dinner plate. I followed him around for a while (at a distance, I didn't want to be one of those jerk tourists who harass and touch the turtles) and tried to get a few shots. He's a bit hard to spot in this photo, but he's on the lower left - the fish are all sort of aimed at him.
Sunlight falling through the redwood trees in Redwood State/National Park in California, USA, in August 2010. I know it's not a wildlife photo, but it's one of my all-time favorite photos that I've ever taken. California or coastal redwood trees are the tallest living things on Earth, capable of reaching heights of 115 meters (380 feet), not including the roots. They're closely related to the giant sequoias, which are the world's most massive living things. These huge trees provide for hundreds if not thousands of other species, and can live for 3,000+ years.