Archive for ‘Travel’

March 26, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 29: South Africa

From a safari park, inland of Cape Town, South Africa.

Can you see them?

How about now? Hippos! From July, 2009

March 25, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 28: New Zealand

An aerial shot of New Zealand from November 2008. I’m pretty sure it’s of the Marlborough Sounds, at the top of the South Island.

March 24, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 27: Dunedin

From the China Gardens, Dunedin, New Zealand, December 2008. Designed & funded by the Chinese Government it is meant to represent a traditional Chinese garden.

March 23, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 26: South Africa

A beach famous for whale-spotting (actually called Whale Beach, if memory serves), the Cape, South Africa, July 2009

March 21, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 25: New Zealand

A native bird feeding on a native plant. Taken by my sister, a prominent Botanist, from December 2008.

March 20, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 24: Switzerland

Me posing in front of The Matterhorn, the Swiss Alps, July 2004. The first time I’ve ever had altitude sickness – which is odd given that I’m from New Zealand. When you’re young you can put up with nearly anything I guess…

March 19, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 23: Porthcawl

A beach near Porthcawl, South Wales, February 2010

March 16, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 21: South Africa / The Gallery: Trees

Another 2 for 1: you lucky lucky people!

This is from the beautiful botanical gardens on the Western Cape, south of Cape Town, South Africa. It’s from July 2009, (their Winter, it looks even better in Spring & Summer).

It’s also my entry for this week’s Gallery, on the theme of “Trees”; again randomly selected, so again I got lucky.

Why not pop over to Tara’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers for more arboreal artistry? (click the pic):

March 15, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 20: Fiordland

Lupins by the river on the Te Anau – Milton Road, Fiordland, New Zealand

March 9, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 18 / The Gallery: Lonesome (in Galapagos)

This post is also for Tara Cain’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers. 2 for the price of 1! Well, we are having to economise these days…

I’d set myself a bit of a challenge with this. I’d decided that whatever came up using my usual random selection method I would use for the Gallery, the theme of which this week is “One Word”. It could have been tough, but when I saw the photo that came up I was delighted. I knew immediately what my one word was:


Meet George.

Or more correctly, Lonesome George.

He lives in his own enclosure in the Charles Darwin Research Centre in Santa Cruz, one of the Galapagos Islands.

Why ‘Lonesome’? Because he is truly the last of his kind, the last remaining Pinta Galapagos Giant Tortoise: the world’s rarest animal.

In the 19th century whalers & sealers used the tortoises as a food source: they could live up to year without food or water so seemed perfect for long journeys at sea. Also, in the 1950s goats were released onto his island of Pinta, also as a food source. They then out-competed the slow-moving tortoises for their food, & also caused much erosion.

When he was found alone on the island by National Park Wardens hunting goats it was decided to take him to the safety of the Research Centre.

There are many other different types of giant tortoise there, including many lovely ladies. In trying to continue his species the staff there are only too keen to set George up with any lovely lady of his choosing, setting the ambience, choosing the finest cuisine to set the mood for lurve. You would think that this would be a gentleman bachelor tortoise’s paradise, but apparently not. He’s just not interested.

Very unpleasant things have been done to his private parts. Ladies skilled in the Art of Lurve have been brought in to attempt to, um, engage his interest. I kid you not! All to no avail.

I wonder if it’s occurred to anyone that he might prefer the company of gentleman tortoises: must be worth a try, surely?

Personally I wonder if it’s just time to just leave the poor old fella alone & let him live out the rest of his life with all the food, drink & shelter he could ever need. He’s probably had a tough old life, he’s in his 70s; isn’t it time for a rest?

So for now, he’s still Lonesome George, the last of his kind – & looks like staying that way.

Why not have a look at all the other One Words in Tara’s Gallery at Sticky Fingers?  (click the pic.):