Sometime last year, I saw a Facebook meme that suggested creating a “gratitude jar,” where once a week you’d write down one good thing you’re thankful for. I decided to take up the challenge. Here are some of my observations from a year observed via positive Post-It Notes. Continue reading “Tracking Your Gratitude”→
Given that I was (and am) a major fan of the Lord of the Rings movies–enough of a heretic to suggest that they are, in some ways better than the books–I would’ve had my Geek Card revoked if I didn’t visit the Hobbiton movie set while I was in New Zealand. After quite a bit of discussion and little success arranging said visit from the U.S., I found out Trafalgar offered the tour locally (it would’ve been nice if they’d said that in the first place, but that’s a discussion for another day). What follows are pictures and thoughts from the trip to Hobbiton and another tour I took out of Queenstown to some other LOTR sites. Enjoy! Continue reading “What I Did on My Autumn Vacation, Ep. 4”→
Thanks to plate tectonics and an ice age or two splitting them away from the rest of the world’s land masses, Australia and New Zealand’s local wildlife had time to evolve differently. Suffice to say, there are some mightily curious critters down under, and I saw quite a few of them under varying circumstances.
At a rest stop in the Dandenong Hills, there was a spot where the cockatoos liked to hang out. My guess is that the birds figured out that the arrival of the large, noisy vehicles filled with humans meant they’d get fed. This fellow decided to jump up and pose for a picture. Oh, and the bird liked the idea, too…
Unlike Australia, New Zealand had few apex predators when human beings arrived (starting with the Maori around 1200 A.D.). It was, if anything, the world’s largest bird sanctuary. A couple birds died out thanks to the Maori–the Moa and the Haast Eagle, which preyed on it–and others like the Kiwi face threats from ferrets, which Europeans brought in to bring down the population of rabbits, which Europeans also brought in. Speaking of critters the Europeans brought in…
Okay, so I’m not going to win any awards for bird watching or animal photography, but I had fun with the critters.
So I’m back after three and a half weeks of being a tourist in the lands down under (Australia and New Zealand). I kept a journal during my time abroad and took a ridiculous 7,000 photos…however, eventually the reason for that will become clear. Feel free to read for enjoyment or just look at the pretty pictures. I will not post all 7,000. (You’re welcome.) Continue reading “What I Did on My Autumn Vacation, Episode 1”→