Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51 – Unique

Unique – ask a dictionary, and it says being the only existing one of its type or, more generally, unusual, or special in some way. The most unique place I have visited is the Galapagos Islands.

This Ecuadorian archipelago with 19 islands are all unique in their own way – both flora and fauna. They all have endemic species, and the animals let you come close without being startled or afraid. They do not consider humans their enemies. Unique.

Thank you, Charles Darwin!

Charles Darwins resa med HMS Beagle 1831-36, Galápagosdelen

Some of the strange and fascinating landscapes on the islands –

If you look closely, you might see the flamingo…-

We had a very unique opportunity to see the land iguanas eating from the giant cactii.

Not many visitors are that lucky – at least our guide told us so.

Unfortunately we came too late to meet Lonesome George. Every effort to help this last of his species failed, and he died 2012. But we met several other giant tortoises on the island Santa Cruz.

In the header, two marine iguanas – unique to these islands, but unfortunately on the road to getting even more unique. As the waters are warming due to climate change, their sea food is dying and their numbers are already decreasing.

Let us hope these islands will stay unique – in a positive way. Nature is good at mending – if we will just let it.

A special thanks to Amy for this week’s photo inspiration.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33 – Nature

Patti’s challenge this week is Nature. I have spent most of my spare time in nature – and that is where I belong. The Galapagos Islands have been a dream ever since I was a child.

And in 2016 we went for Ecuador, the Amazon and Galapagos.

As all 19 islands are of volcanic origin, every island is different and many of their inhabitants are endemic to just that island. Harsh nature, but life thrives.

Among cacti and volcanic ground, birds and plants can live their lives without human interference. As a child I thought this must be a true Paradise.

In fact it is. Here you come close to nature and the animals, because they are not afraid of humans – they have no reason to be.

You can watch them hunt…like this Yellow -crowned night heron,

and fight – be it the giant land iguanas (stay clear here!)…

or the graceful Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Red-footed Boobies

The birds also allow you to watch them building their nests. I was 10 centimeters from the Red-footed Boobies – and they just kept courting and building without minding me.

The Marine Iguanas displayed their grandest costumes while sunbathing…

…and even let you get close-ups while lying on the ground, contemplating life.

It is the co-existing human – nature that fascinates me. It could be so easy…but we humans make it so difficult…

Why not walk the endless beaches together? There is room for us, if we only let there be…

If we are respectful,

Galapagos 3 and 4 407-2

and stay 2 meters away (the limit here on the islands),

then the animals might even come up to you. We are all curious creatures if we have nothing to fear. One of Nature’s little wonders – my favorite..

…the simple beauty of a Mockingbird

So, if you tread lightly and show respect…

we can live together, love together, and let Mother Nature thrive.

I will always love these islands – where Nature rules, and man is only a grateful guest.

Thank you to Patti for this wonderful challenge – and for the chance to present my view of Paradise.





Tuesday Photo Challenge – Crawl

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Crawl

For Dutch Goes the Photo this Tuesday – Crawl! I thought I had no photos of crawling creatures…but found these. I was looking for a snake shot of a Swedish viper. But No, did not find it…I hope a Galapagos Land Iguana is OK – at least when it is eating from a cactus. And the Swedish variety is a nice little spring frog.

And I could not refrain from giving you this human crawl as well…spotted in Switzerland some years ago…Enjoy!


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #16: Big Can Be Beautiful Too!

When Tina asks us to think Big, my first thoughts go to the Galapagos islands, Lonesome George and the beautiful Iguanas. Because I think they are beautiful creatures, I really do. So here are some of my favorites!

Colourful and pensive – or not –

Lazy or not –

In the header, Scotland’s impressive, 30 m high Kelpies, and lastly the lovely little terrier of Bilbao – size XXXXXL.



Thank you, Tina, for the Big opportunity this week to think Big!

For more information about our challenges click here.





WPC: Liquid

Ben, at WordPress,  asks us about things liquid. His findings are, that we all seem very occupied with liquid things. I guess he is right – thinking about it…If it is not liquid for real, it is the patterns and the textures made by something once liquid that will catch the eye. And as Ben says – the landscapes around it.

In the header – liquid golden sunlight in the sea – caught on the coast of Iceland.

Once liquid lava at the Gala’pagos Islands

A seemingly liquid wall at the Guinness factory, Ireland,

and liquid traces in the sand at Tylösand, Sweden.


Thursday Thoughts – Memories From Last January

Most photos this month were from the Galapagos Islands and our beautiful ship – Cachalote – Here are some of my favorites. In the header, me and my lovely mockingbird!

Volcanic Islands all of them – and here at Sullivan Bay – strikingly beautiful.

My absolute favorites on this trip were the iguanas – especially the land iguanas. We were so lucky to find an iguana up in the cacti – they love eating them, but rarely have any success in climbing them.

I would not mind going back one day – to see the other islands as well. Each island has its own specific flora and fauna. Mostly untouched by humans – and therefore, animal kingdoms.



So, we are asked by Paula at Lost in Translation, to post again – our best shot from 2017. My choice are the few shots of Elliot’s Storm Petrel that I managed to catch from our boat in the Galapagos Islands. Long waiting and hundreds of shots – made for these two dancers. One photo in the shadow of the boat and the other on the sunny side. No perfection…but I treasure them very much.



WPC: Security

Security is essential for humans to live a good life – and for our pets, it is their right to feel secure in our homes. Go here to find more interpretations!

On the Galápagos islands, the animals feel completely secure…and the sealions here represent this feeling very clearly to me. Whether humans are walking two inches from you, or you are sleeping together with friends on the warm sand, or having a delicious meal, or just being curious – or even being all alone without your mum! You feel secure!