Pic of the Day

Turtle and Dragonfly photographed by Bret Love in Sanibel Island, Florida

Turtle & Dragonfly in Sanibel Island, Florida

 

As an insatiably curious world traveler who rarely visits the same place twice, it’s odd to have the sort of connection that keeps drawing me back to Sanibel Island, Florida over and over again.

 

I’ve been there at least 15 times since my first visit in the early ’90s. I know the island so well that I can recall its changes over the last two decades– the massive Australian pines that were felled by Hurricane Charley in 2004, the old drawbridge that used to cause long waits when crossing the Causeway from the mainland, and old school businesses (R.I.P. McT’s) that have gradually been replaced with newer, flashier establishments.

 

When I first started going to Sanibel, I was shocked and amazed to discover that you could usually count on seeing Alligators in the tiny swamp right next to the historic Bailey’s shopping center, which was opened in the late 1800s. You’d most often spot them lurking in the middle of the water, still as statues, their foreboding eyes watching for prey. But occasionally you’d see them right along the bank, less than 20 yards from the movie theater parking lot.

 

I’ve heard stories of people being caught feeding them, of small dogs snatched from their owners as they walked along the shore, and of gators being moved deeper into the swamp to avoid human contact. I haven’t seen gators in the swamp for years. But I still visit the area every time I’m in Sanibel Island, because you never know where wildlife may turn up.

 

And so it was that I found myself walking along the fringe of the swamp on a recent evening. I was looking for gators right around sunset when I saw this Turtle surface in the water about 15 yards away. As he stared at me, this big orange Flame Skimmer Dragonfly landed right on his head. I snapped the photo with my 500mm lens, and before I could click the shutter a second time he was gone.

 

It was a perfect moment of serendipity: Not the Alligator I’d hoped for, but a reminder that Nature adapts to change and brings with it sweet surprises if you keep eyes and mind open.  –Bret Love

 

Our trip to Sanibel Island was hosted by the Lee County Visitors BureauBut we will never compromise our obligation to our readers. Our opinions remain our own.

If you enjoyed this post on Sanibel Island, Florida, you might also like: 

FLORIDA: Sanibel Island Eco Activities

FLORIDA: Swimming with Manatees in Crystal River

 

MEXICO: Snorkeling With Sea Turtles in Akumal

DOMINICA: Sea Turtle Conservation

 

Baby Cheetahs in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Baby Cheetahs in Kruger National Park

 

If you’ve never been on a nighttime safari drive, it’s truly a spooky spectacle to behold. The darkness lends an added air of mystery to an experience already filled with awe and wonder. And, with your tracker’s flashlight usually the only source of illumination, it can be a little scary knowing that wild things wander unseen all around you.

 

My memories of our game drives through South Africa’s Kruger National Park are extraordinarily vivid. I remember the racing pulse of excitement the first night, when our Londolozi Game Reserve driver struggled to find pathways through the thick underbrush as we followed a female Leopard stalking her prey just after sunset. The thunderous noises of a massive Hippopotamus crashing through a thicket and running across the road behind us, faster than you’d ever imagine a creature so large could run. The incredible sight of 13 Lions stretching lazily in the road back to our camp, looking for all the world like sleepy, overgrown house cats. And the heart-pounding intensity as we watched a pack of cackling Hyenas chasing a herd of Gazelles, which leapt and bound gracefully across the road.

 

But one of my favorite nighttime wildlife sightings has to be this cute little trio of Baby Cheetahs, who we found hidden amongst the grass of the open savannah late at night, nursing contentedly on their mother. Cheetahs are my favorite of South Africa’s big cats– I admire their distinctive markings, their speed, their gracefulness– but until this night they were the only species (including the rare African Wild Dog) that we hadn’t seen. To stumble upon them in the dark, late at night, and see an entire family? It felt as if we hit the jackpot.

 

You can read elsewhere on GGT the story of how South Africa inspired our passion for ecotourism. But, for me, this photo captures one of those indelible little moments that makes Kruger National Park such a special place. In these adorable little faces, I saw the future of sustainable travel.  –text & photo by Bret Love

 

If you enjoyed our photo of Baby Cheetahs in South Africa, you might also like:

SOUTH AFRICA: Londolozi Game Reserve Safari

SOUTH AFRICA: Phinda Game Reserve Safari

SOUTH AFRICA: Zulu Memories From Kwa-Zulu Natal

INTERVIEW: South African Legend Johnny Clegg

INTERVIEW: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

INTERVIEW: Soweto Gospel Choir

 

 

 

 

The annual 4th of July Fireworks in New York City

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City

 

We normally avoid cities like the plague. But the Big Apple? Well, that’s a whole different story.

 

For one thing, it’s a global hub of arts and culture. For another, it’s where Mary grew up (specifically, on Staten Island). But most importantly, we still have a ton of family and friends in the area. And so it was that we took a family road trip a few years ago to visit Mary’s dad and college friend Jill, and  to find out if it was possible to Go Green in New York City.

 

It was a wonderful week of adventures that took us from our base in Greenwich Village to the American Museum of Natural History, from a river cruise around Manhattan to riding bikes in Central Park. But, for me, the most memorable highlight was taking Mary and my daughter to see the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks.

 

Jill lived right on the Hudson River, and the pier outside her building provided the perfect vantage point from which to watch the annual Independence Day spectacle. There was naturally a vast sea of people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder, but we managed to find some open space hidden behind a line of trees (talk about “Going Green“!) beside the pier. From here, we could see three of the four barges from which the fireworks were launched, with the incredible Manhattan Skyline (including the red, white and blue colors of the Empire State Building) in the background.

 

It was the first time we’d ever traveled anywhere for Independence Day, and the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks definitely made it one of our most memorably family vacations to date. Now, every time I see fireworks, it takes me back to that incredibly special day…  –Bret Love

 

If you enjoyed our post on the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, you might also like:

Going Green in New York City, Pt 1: Museum of Natural History

Going Green In New York City 2-  Central Park

FRIDAY PHOTO: Twin Moose Babies

 

 

Mama Nursing Her Twin MooseBabies at Wrågården Farm in  Falkoping, Sweden

FRIDAY PHOTO: Twin Moose Babies

Nursing at Wrågården Farm in Falkoping, Sweden

We’ve been fortunate to see quite a few adorable animals over the course of our travels, from baby Rhinos in South Africa’s Londolozi Game Reserve and baby Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands to baby Guanacos in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and baby Penguins in Antarctica. No matter what the species may be, our soft hearts seem to melt every time we see little ones, especially the newborns.

So you can probably imagine our gushing reaction when we first laid eyes on the awkwardly adorable moose babies pictured above during our tour of Wrågården Farm in Falkoping, Sweden.

We’d already been overwhelmed with emotion when Bo Alexandersson– the father of the farm’s current 5th generation owner–introduced us to Oskar, a 2-year-old moose he had hand-raised, who now followed him around like an adoring puppy dog. As Oskar licked, nuzzled and drooled all over us like an overgrown Great Dane, we were surprised to see his lady moose, Ebba, crest the hill with two gorgeous 14-day-old calves in tow. As Ebba eyed us cautiously, the two youngsters began to nurse, and I quietly crept over to a nearby rock to snap a few shots.

We’ll have the full story– including some great GoPro video footage– on Sweden’s “Moose Whisperer,” his growing Moose family, and our incredible experience exploring Wrågården Farm (where they also raise Dum Dum deer, Canadian Bison, and Scottish Highland cattle) coming soon. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy this rare shot of Moose babies nursing their mama almost as much as we enjoyed getting to hang out with them for one awesome evening in West Sweden.  –by Bret Love

If you enjoyed our photo of Twin Moose Babies at Wrågården Farm, you might also like: 

NORWAY: Our Amazing Road Trip Through the Jotunheimen Mountains

Top 5 Eco Attractions in Norway

SWEDEN: Cycling Remote South Koster Island

SWEDEN: Touring West Sweden in a Volvo

Top 5 Eco Attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina

CROATIA: Exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park

Galapagos Sea Lion Pup & Mother

Page 1 of 71234567
Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

Help Support Green Global Travel!

Each time you make a purchase on Amazon.com using the link below,we'll earn a small percentage, at no extra cost to you.


Amazon

www.amazon.com

Thanks for your support! - Bret & Mary

Follow Us

Check out our other sites! Green Travel Media
Green Travel Reviews
Proud members of: The International Ecotourism Society

As Seen In:

Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN