Six of New Zealand’s Best Experiences

I am happy to have called New Zealand home for over six years. Long and lean, New Zealand offers 8,700 miles (14,000 km) of heavenly coastline, 13 national parks, 9 great walks, and countless scenic settings. I hold many great memories of exploring this country. I found it to be the perfect place for a…

Seney Wildlife Refuge

While driving down Highway 77 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, road construction brings me to a halt. As I wait for the construction worker to turn his sign to ‘GO,’ I notice a family of trumpeter swans swimming in a marsh next to the road. I realize I’m sitting in front of Seney Wildlife…

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established in 1966, and was the first of its kind in the United States. Within its boundaries there are over 73,000 pristine acres, but it’s the fifteen miles of cliffs bordering the south end of Lake Superior that is the focus of the cruise I’m about to embark on. Looming…

New Zealand’s Captivating Birds

When I first came to New Zealand I was amazed at how green this country is. Every shade from lime to emerald, and hues that don’t even have names yet, emerge in the landscape. It’s as if Nature is challenging herself with how many tones she can create. The colors here can come together in…

02 Pool Whales

Whales are marine mammals. This means they are warm blooded, give birth to live young, and breath air just like their land mammal counterparts. However, they are built for life in the ocean. There are many different species of whales, each with unique adaptations to thrive underwater. Whales can be divided into two groups: Mysticetes and Odontocetes. These two groups diverged from each other about 30 million years ago.The group mysticetes consists of baleen whales. Baleen whales are filter feed

01 Galapagos Finches

Ancestral FinchIzzy’s word of the day: NicheNiche: How an organism fits into its environment.The Galapagos Islands are isolated. This puts interesting pressures on the animals that live here. Millions of years ago, the ancestral population of finches felt the pressures of limited space and resources the islands could offer. Because of these pressures, the beak’s of the ancestor finches adapted to match what food was available in the area. Eventually, they evolved into many different species, eac

03 Dog Evolution with Izzy Sharpe

Alaska, USA Izzy always dreamed of leading a team of dogs through the Alaskan landscape as part of the great Iditarod race.  She marveled at the skill required and the bond with the dogs. She didn’t have 12 dogs, but she did have her beagle, Monte. So Izzy let her imagination take her and Monte…

Treasured Deer

Nara, Japan Early one morning in late spring I set out to visit Nara Park. I walked off the train with the tourist swarm and started heading towards Todaiji Temple. Food carts offering delicate, plain crackers dotted the sidewalk. They looked unsubstantial, but I couldn’t judge too harshly because they were not for human consumption….