This morning's nature hike is on a landscape of young lava and to witness after absolute destruction not long ago, how life prevails.
And here is my friend the flightless cormorant modeling or showing us how there is no way he will ever fly with those little wings! Makes me wonder, if the evolution process made these birds flightless because there are no natural predators to fly away from, will they grow wings now that they do have predators? Evolution?????
There is no dock here.. just keep the dinghy motor revved and as close to the lava as possible. Then jump off best you can! I like that.
Kevin is lagging behind again.. c'mon!
Check that little plant out. Amazing to see them grow in this extremely rough hard lava.
However! Young Kevin, who forgot to bring his hat from Quito, sees it as a great solution to his burning forehead! He's got sunscreen on, so it's more that it will make his forehead cool? Or he thinks he looks really cool. ;-))
Here is a little video Kevin took for a 360 view of where we are:
This has got to be one of my favorite cactus formations. Looks like a balancing game!
This is the one and only little lizard we saw on the whole hike. A proper little lava lizard with a belly of orange fire and cool on top.
There's even a couple lava lagoons where the flamingos live.
With the volcano in the background, I'm thinking this is a pretty cool and unique place to see.
On our walk back to the beach where the dinghy is waiting, I spot a sea lion Mom tucked up under a rock below for shade. What a cute little baby she has!
Mom looks up to see what that human in a green shirt is doing, but not fussed enough to move.
Now they are both looking at me. I hate to disturb them, but I am as quietly looking at them as they are at me. And the other passengers went straight to the dinghy without noticing, so it's only me.
I even think little baby was sad to see me go!
So I didn't! Kevin came over, I gave him my camera and I went down to their little beach. Our boat is in the background and the sea lions are tucked under the rock near the tree to the far right. I just thought this white sand amongst the black lava was pretty so wanted a quick photo.
Now the lava tour turns into a dinghy tour. We are going to meander our way slowly through this hot spot of Galapagos wildlife!
In one shot below, there are penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, and sally lightfoot crabs. A good lesson for our human society. See how they live happily together?
Another quick video taken by Kevin. He gave up trying to take still photos. He said there is too much going on to focus on one thing. Very true!
This gives me the impression of where time began. It looks like where the fish evolved out of the water and grew legs and tails.
Back to the boat and our daily back deck snack from our host.
Afternoon excursion by dinghy as well. This time into the mangroves to see who lives there.
Those three lumps in the water are sea turtles.
Watching the sea turtles....
Didn't expect to see the penguins swim like ducks!
We were in there quite a long time, motor off, watching nature quietly do it's thing. But lots of pictures of sea turtles in the water might get a bit boring for the blog.
On the way back, all three are comparing head dress notes... So how tight is yours?? ;-)
There was a rock coming up with something on it. I wasn't sure from a distance if it could be what I want it to be.. But it is!!!! BLUE-FOOTED BOOBIES!!! Woo hoo!!!! I have been waiting and watching for them since I got here! Kevin wanted me to calm down from my excitement, he was afraid I'd scare them away.. fair enough. It's not like we are in a zoo, this is the real deal.
The name booby comes from the Spanish term bobo (which means 'stupid' or 'fool') because the Blue-footed Booby is clumsy on land.
How cute is that sea lion, peeking over so he's not left out of the photo. Iguana, boobie and sea lion sharing a rock.
Yes, you are too cute and you keep posing so well, why should I pay attention to the boobies?
Look at this guy. He was worth coming to Galapagos for...
Kevin keeps carrying on about how in the heck during the evolution process did these birds end up with blue feet. He thinks it makes the birds stand out more to predators. My theory is so the sharks won't see their feet when swimming in the blue ocean and bite them off.
So Kevin, it's sort of like how attractive you feel with a t-shirt wrapped around your head! ;-)
The boobies may fly far out to sea while keeping an eye out for schools of small fish, such as anchovies. When their prey is in sight, these seabirds utilize the physical adaptations that make them exceptional divers. They fold their long wings back around their streamlined bodies and plunge into the water from as high as 80 feet (24 meters). Blue-footed boobies can also dive from a sitting position on the water's surface. (So keeping my theory in mind, it might not be about sharks, rather so their feet are invisible on the waters surface to a much kinder gentler school of anchovies that THEY can eat!)
Well not that everything else has not made my day, but I have to say that seeing these Blue-footed Boobies has REALLY made my trip here. And to be sitting so nicely on that rock for photos. Totally cool.
Before we left on the dinghy, we asked the boat crew to have the jacuzzi waiting for us when we got back. (Yes, we are spoiled!) I'm the last one to arrive after chatting away downstairs with the others. Until Kevin actually sent one of the crew to get me... sorry! "Senora Sherri, Senor Kevin is asking for you in the jacuzzi..." Senora!!?? It's Senorita...!!! ;-)
The crew thought Kevin and I are married..until I clarified I am a Senorita (age doesn't matter with that title, right?). But it was ironic when we went into our cabin after the jacuzzi and found how they put our towels together on the bed tonight. We came to look forward each day to our towel design, but this one made us laugh so hard.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring in the ever-amazing Galapagos.. Buenos Noches!