A face only a mother could love?
Nah, I think he’s a looker!
Apparently the lobos girls agree!
Patagonian Sea Lions are larger than their northern counterparts, and genetically distinct.
The males can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds.
They have the archetypical lionesque heads with manes of fur, which make them quite impressive.
They are a protected species as there are only an estimated 265,000 of them left in the wild.
Comments are restored and will hopefully work, and I so very much miss hearing from you!!
Cheers to you from El Fin del Mundo, Ushuaia Argentina, the southern most city in the world~
Meet the Inca Tern!
Even the females wear their mustaches with pride.
Inca Tern’s occupy the territories of Chile and Peru once occupied by the Incas, hence their name.
They are considered one of the world’s most unique bird species.
In the 1850’s there were millions of them.
Their population is now estimated at 150,000.
I had no idea there would be such limited access to wifi on this trip, but I have never taken an entirely ship based trip before. Maritime wifi is extremely slow and expensive preventing me from responding to comments or commenting on your posts. Shore visits are intensive with limited time.
I so miss your comments and talking with you. I miss the feeling of traveling together virtually.
We are heading further south now towards Torres de Paine, Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Horn.
Our adult children have joined us for the holidays.
In about two weeks, we will return to terra firma, and I so look forward to catching up with you!
Until then, the gorgeous Inca Terns and I wish you Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!
Blue footed Beauties~
Elvis must have been on to something!
You could almost step on these Blue Footed Boobies, they are so unfazed by your presence, but Elvis would haunt you if you did!
The bluer the feet of the Blue Footed Boobie males, the more attractive they are to the opposite sex.
Elvis was right!
Blue Footed Boobies are native to the subtropical and tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean.
They extend as far south as Peru.
50% of the world’s breeding colonies are in the Galapagos islands.
So it is cheers to you from the Blue Footed Babes~
(I feel so out of touch, and miss talking with you, but I am still ship based and thus internet limited. Sending you holiday greetings from Peru!)
It’s hard to hide,
when you are naturally curious,
and colored like a rainbow.
The scarlet macaws seemed bemused by my presence and eventually got used to me.
“Who is this odd person?”
“She doesn’t move or speak.”
“Unusual for a human.”
“Maybe if we just ignore her, she’ll go away.”
Which, of course, after a long time, I did. Smart birds!
Cheers to you from Costa Rica’s flying rainbows~
Tonight we are approaching The Galapogos Islands. There will be no reliable internet until we reach Lima in about a week. Miss you & look forward to catching up with you then!
Gifts of Color~
Hope they brighten your day,
and bring you comfort.
We are sailing off now for a lengthy trip to the distant south.
Hope you will travel along, because you make traveling so much better!
I know you will understand when I am not able to access the internet. I do look forward to reading your blogs and comments, and chatting with you, when the maritime satellite deigns to cast her beam upon me.
Until then, sending you cheers & hopes for only the very best, throughout the holiday season~
Marksburg Castle rises above the town of Braubach in Germany and is one of the principal sites of The Rhine Gorge UNESCO World Heritage area. Come on in, and let’s go snoop around….
Construction started on the schloss in 1100. The great hall dining area dates back to 1239.
Of the original forty castles in the Middle Rhine Valley, this is the only one that was never destroyed. It seems an impenetrable fortress.
It was, however, damaged by allied artillery in 1945, but not destroyed.
Touring gives one a sense of what life was like living (and eating) here in the middle ages.
The living areas are surprisingly cozy and welcoming for a castle,
and the old artifacts and furnishings are fascinating to see in situ, as they were used in everyday life.
Topping off your visit, there are amazing views of The Rhine Valley from the castle ramparts.
Cheers to you from Schloss Marksburg~
Twigs & Twine~
Weavers, like this Red Bishop from Africa, are industrious and highly social birds. These photos were taken at The San Diego Safari Park aviaries, close to The Holler. There are now 400 or so of these beauties flying wild in Holler skies.
I bet they escaped from the park. Smart birdies.
Weavers belong to a family of birds named Ploceidae that weave incredibly intricate nests that hang from trees in groups or colonies. Holler orioles are weavers.
Buffalo Weavers, also from Africa, are charmingly gregarious, happy birds, that like to perch next to you to for a little chat!
Here they are discussing a leaf. What to do with it? Should they pick it up? They seem to think not. It is, obviously, an object worthy of much interest and discussion, but in the end, a useless thing to them.
They may have no use for leaves, but they are artistic masters of twigs and twine, and spend much of their time collecting both.
Cheers to you from the very busy, very happy weavers~
(Click on paired birds to see more detail.)
I think I saw a putty-cat! I went to The San Diego Safari Park to practice with my new camera, but I got kinda distracted by these little guys. I think this one wanted to come home with me……or else he wanted to eat something right past my ear.
Meet the tiger cubs. One cub was brought to the park from The National Zoo after it was rejected by its mother and the other was confiscated at the San Diego/Mexican border by patrol agents when it was seven weeks old. One is a Bengal Tiger and the other a Sumatran. There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.
This wasn’t a fair test of my new RX10 camera because I had to shoot through-multi inch tempered scratched glass, but who cares, these guys were too amazing to pass up and I knew you would like to see them! I can show you some fair test shots later. Now, it’s tiger time.
The cubs are living in a 5.2 acre outdoor tiger habitat with a river running through it, a waterfall, grass, trees, multiple levels and hiding places, and real dirt to roll in. It cost $19.5 million dollars to build. The cubs are growing up together and thriving. Check out this video of the day they were introduced to each other which was filmed with no glass obstructions:
There are other tigers in the habitat too, like this guy, who likes his bone. Doggies get grumpy when you take their bone. I wouldn’t want to try taking this guy’s bone away! He seemed to think I might want to!
There are only 3,890 tigers left in the wild. In 1900 there were an estimated 100,000.
This past year is the first time there has been an actual modest increase in the wild tiger population since 1900, which proves that conservation efforts can work if they are supported.
It would be a worldwide disgrace if the only tigers left in the world lived in zoos.
Cheers to you from the earth’s last remaining magnificent tigers~