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“Leon Dormido” becomes cover for Galapagos Calendar 2012

Posted by Susanna On August - 6 - 2011

Great news: My “Leon Dormido” becomes the cover for the official 2012 Galapagos Calendar of the Galapagos Conservation Trust GCT.  You can purchase it on their website and help the animals of Galapagos.

Galapagos Calendar 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Galapagos Project App for iphone, ipad & ipod

Posted by Susanna On June - 18 - 2011

I am very proud to announces that my first Apple App for iphone, ipad and ipod touch was released in the Apple Store / itunes today.
The App is called “Galapagos/The Galapagos Project” and contains 32 selected amazing wildlife and nature photos of the enchanted islands and 11 different backgrounds. You can send them or your own photos or snapshots as customized ecards to your friends. You can combine the different pictures and backgrounds in various ways. From each sale I will spent a percentage for charity to help and for raising awareness for the animals of Galapagos.

Enjoy the photos and help and please leave a great comment. Thank you!

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Galapagos News

Posted by Susanna On May - 21 - 2011

One of my winning photos became the cover of the Galapagos News Spring/Summer 2011 of the GCT Galapagos Conservation Trust.
Download the magazine as pdf here: www.galapagos.org.nz/download/16/

Leon Dormida - Sleeping sea lion at Lion Rock

Leon Dormido – Sleeping sea lion at Lion Rock

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Lion + Tiger = Liger?

Posted by Susanna On February - 19 - 2011

After being refused at the Big Cat Rescue in the Tampa area where the stuff welcomed us very unfriendly I decided not to waste my money for their “zoo“! The friend of mine and I gave the cats another try and decided to check out the Big Cat Habitat. Just so we could get a couple of nice shot with the big cats. We saw them – yes. But the whole spectacle seems to be more of a circus show for the big predators which private people once owned… I was surprised how many cats must have been in private households… People even had crossed lions with tigers to get a liger… The cats and bears are in a few cages which are very small but I guess they can leave when there is no public visiting. And since that place is open only at the weekends there might be quite a few options. I was glad getting a glimpse on how majestic the white tiger were looking. Even though the photos I made were not high class. There was just no real nice possibility. Everywhere people stressing and the cats seemed all far from happy about that. Later we watched the show they make which reminded on a circus show. The tricks were funny but nothing extraordinary. I still wonder if big cats are happy like that and if there is no alternative than a life like that even though there are rescued… And why is it allowed in Florida to own big animals like that? Do you need to cross a tiger with a lion?

Big Cat Habitat

White Tiger

Lion + Tiger = Liger?

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Crystal River Manatees

Posted by Susanna On February - 17 - 2011

Have you ever snorkeled with Manatees? Mostly it is actually forbidden. When I visited Australia I had done a cruise at Monkey Mia and seen them from above. Then of course in the aquarium in Sarasota and in Blue Springs where you can watch them from the shore. But in Crystal River you can actually go and snorkel with them. There are hundred and hundreds of manatees in that area migrating over winter time and even in summer a few stay all year around. There big but gentle. Some recently hurt manatees carry a special sensor buoy with them so the park ranger can follow their healing progress and their migration. The water is nice but still chilly and one is officially not allowed to dive down. Behind a designate area the manatees can relax and snorkelers are not allowed to enter. But the manatees don’t leave their designate protected area when to many people are around and especially when they move around like hippos barely are able to hold themselves in a horizontal position on the water. I have to admit that this is difficult since the water is fresh water and the current is kind of strong. It was amazing to see these beautiful animals but so annoying to bump all the time in others which snorkel or kayak. I still can recommend that place if you wish to have a once in a lifetime experience. Who knows how long it will be possible to be that close to these gentle giants.People already discussing to stop the contact with the animals via snorkeling since there every now and then still people who abuse the manatees and separate calves from their mothers. Believe it or not, the place with the spring where the manatee migrate had belonged to a private person which wanted to fill the river and spring up with sand to build condos! Ridiculous it is such a magical place and thanks god the town and private investors bought it to save its beauty as one of the unique places on earth.

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The Ringling Museum

Posted by Susanna On February - 16 - 2011

For visiting the Ringling Museum Complex one needs definitely a day. The area is wide and contains the Ringling Art Museum, the Ringling Circus Museum and last but not least the Ringling Mansion.
All in all is wonderful but especially the Circus Museum was great since it might be the only one on the world. It is great to see how the whole circus and freak show business worked back then when this was the greatest entertainment one could wish for.
The Ringling Brothers Circus was a circus founded in the United States in 1884 by five of the seven Ringling Brothers which were originally from Germany. In 1919 it merged and became the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and promoted as The Greatest Show on Earth. The circus was so successful that they could afford a luxurious mansion at the sea and a big art collection with old master pieces.
The art gallery reminds very much on the Getty Villa which was built like an ancient roman villa. The rooms are divided in epochs and countries and contain paintings, sculptures and furniture or accessories like fans. I was very impressed of the seize of that collection which contains a lot of remarkable pieces like the over dimensional Rubens paintings or the one of the last portraits of queen Marie Antoinette of France before she was executed.
The Mansion was build in 1924/25 and reflects the splendor and romance of Italy which the Ringlins admired very much. All the 56 rooms contain finest original furniture and art. It is inside as beautiful as it is from the outside – a real luxurious palace.

Ringling Circus Museum

Ringling Art Museum

Ringling Mansion

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Too much to see…

Posted by Susanna On February - 16 - 2011

And too less time… For a city I had never heard before Sarasota had so much to offer… Even though we made plans what we wanted to see and take pictures off it seemed impossible to do everything… For today Andrew took us to the beach in the morning. Before arriving at the beach I was attacked by a small raccoon which was looking for food near the garbage bins. I escaped but not without taking a few photos of that cheeky creature. The beach was so beautiful that I truly wished to stay there for the whole day. The sand stayed cool so it must have been out of quartz. Few people enjoyed the sun and here and there birds. The world seemed so peaceful right here watching few people fishing for bait and few birds waiting for stealing away the fish. I felt the warm sun on my skin which I liked. I saw Amish people I had never seen before. This kind of people refuse modern life and life like 150 years ago. Very interesting. Why? I don’t know. But you notice them everywhere in this area because they wear as well very old fashioned clothes.
After the beach we went checking out the Mote Marine Laboratory. A place I can only recommend. It is a big aquarium with lots of different fish and other marine animals. They had a massive dead giant squid displayed. And which was very cute lots of baby seahorses to see. The Laboratory is very big and in another section you will see all kind of native birds and another dolphins, manatees and turtles. What is great about that place that almost all animals you see are rescued animals. There are not able to live in the wild anymore. The most interesting for me were again the manatees. There were so big and with a bit imagination I realized the relationship to the elephants.

Sarasota Beach

Mote Marine Laboratory – Fish

Mote Marine Laboratory – Birds

Mote Marine Laboratory Manatees


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The Ringling Park

Posted by Susanna On February - 15 - 2011

Meanwhile I left Orlando. Todd another friend of mine had picked me up and we went to visit his friends Lathrop and Andrew and their family in Sarasota in Florida. I never had heard of that city before and was surprised how nice it was. Even more – Sarasota and the surrounding area has so much to offer! Since Todd and I wanted to do photos of a lot of things. Turns out we really cannot decide what first. Yesterday I was just relaxing and doing some workout and Pilates with Lathrop but today I took first photos of the Ringling Park (This time we were too late for entering the museum.) and a Sandhill Crane and a Tricolored Heron. For bird watcher Florida has a lot to offer.

Ringling Mansion and Park

Rose Garden

Sandhill Crane and  Tricolored Heron


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Orlando Skyline

Posted by Susanna On February - 11 - 2011

Travis got a white tomcat called Ghost which is very much worth taking pictures of… This cat is smart and just appeared one day and stayed ever since.
To show you at least a little bit of Orlando here the skyline at sunset… The fountain was broken for years my friends told me but now its back to its beauty. Orlando’s skyline might be not as famous as NYC or LA but it is certainly nice to look at. Enjoy!

Ghost the cat

Orlando skyline

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The Anhinga

Posted by Susanna On February - 10 - 2011

While working mostly on my photos everyday I could observe this interesting bird (cormorant family) dry off at the pier. It is called Anhinga or better known as Snakebird. Why? Because it looks very amusing when it swims – and snakelike. The bird is not able to waterproof its feathers using oil produced by the uropygial gland like for example ducks. So it sinks easily and swims mostly only with the head sticking above water which as you can imagine looks like a snake. My first time I’ve seen that.

Anhinga

Anhinga

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About Me

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”
by  Robert Louis Stevenson
 

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