Best Places to Go to See Animals in Nature

See animals in nature

Sure, anyone can see all the animals they could ever want in a zoo. However, it's much more thrilling to spot an animal in its natural habitat, rather than locked away in a cage. Below are some of the best places to go to see animals in their natural habitats in and around the United States.

Alaska bears

Bears in Alaska (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

Bristol Bay

The northernmost place on this list is Bristol Bay, located in Alaska. Not only is this area beautiful with its wonderful plant life but it also has a range of animals that can't be easily found elsewhere. Some of the animals that can be found on land include American bald eagles and waterfowl. However, it's the animals that live in and around the bay itself that are even more exciting.

The marine life in Bristol Bay is astounding, to say the least. Visitors who take boat tours of the area will likely see both sea and river otters, beavers, and seals. If the are really lucky, they can see beluga whales! Perhaps what Bristol Bay is most popular for is its salmon. The fishing industry here is huge, but the fish are in trouble due to dam building and other human interferences. If you want to learn more about it, check out this article by Louise Gund. Whether you like to look at fish or eat them, you can view the salmon jumping up the river-- a rare and mesmerizing site.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the United State's most famous wildlife parks. This park is so large that it spans across several states! All in all, there are about 400 unique animal species that can be spotted here. How can so many animals be found here? Well, it's because the area is protected. No one is allowed to take anything from the park--let alone hunt in the park. This gives the animals a large area to thrive and reproduce, ensuring that there are animals for future generations of visitors to enjoy.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Image by Klaus Stebani from Pixabay)

Yellowstone National Park doesn't operate like a zoo. This means there are no cages. Instead, the animals roam freely in their native habitat. There are fences to keep visitors from getting too close to the animals, but there is nothing keeping different animal species away from each other. Some animals you might be lucky enough to spot while visiting the park are listed below.

  • Black bear
  • Lynx
  • Red fox
  • Bison (Buffalo)
  • Elk
  • Beaver
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Trumpeter swan
  • Sandhill crane
  • Western tiger salamander
  • Columbian spotted frog
  • Rubber boa
  • Sagebrush lizard

These are just some of the 400+ animal species you can find at the park! So, keep your eyes peeled (and keep a safe distance) to see how many animals you can spot on your trip.

Whether you travel to Bristol Bay, Yellowstone National Park, or another national park or animal reserve, always make sure to keep a respectful distance between yourself and the animals. Even though they are in a protected park, they may not be totally used to humans. Remember, they are wild animals! With this in mind, you can surely still enjoy your visit!

April 23, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Diary, Day 43: Socially Distanced Dancing

Socially Distanced Dancing

My daughter and niece entered a dance choreography contest recently. 

And they placed runners-up in the Short & Sweet category!

Lindy Bout Short & Sweet Champion 2020

As of this writing, four of my friends have shared the video on YouTube.

Proof that people are hungry for uplifting, positive content ... in these unprecedented times (LOL, that phrase has become such a cliche!).

I'm super proud of these two! They did a great job choreographing a socially distanced routine and then editing their videos so it looked like they were truly dancing together.

I'm also very grateful that they have each other.

In Today's News

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that the federal government will provide $1.1-billion for research to address COVID-19.

This aligns with an article I read today, where a former World Bank chief said:

" makes absolutely no sense to keep putting trillions of dollars into a stimulus package and not put hundreds of billions into the one thing that will stop the financial crisis. The thing that will stop the financial crisis is getting the virus under control." - Jim Yong Kim

When I pray the rosary, I pray for our leaders and scientists that they may be guided towards the best way to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.

People Are Also Talking About...

Mainstream media picked up on a recent "study" that debunks the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as treatment for COVID-19.

I fear that because US President Donald Trump had been promoting the drug, then its use has become highly political.

In fact, the study is not rigorous. The sampling wasn't random, and it's still in pre-print stage. Meaning, it has not been peer reviewed.

Here are a couple of good explanations why the results of this study should be taken with a grain of salt.

Here's another one from a medical doctor who's been treating COVID-19 patients.

Let's hope this doesn't stop researchers from carrying out more rigorous studies on hydroxychloroquine and other possible treatments for COVID-19.

April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Diary, Day 42: The New Normal

COVID-19 Diary, Day 42

Unbelievable but true: It's been 42 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

By now, we've gotten accustomed to what some like to refer as "the new normal."

(On the other hand, some people have an almost violent objection to this term.)

The New Normal

What does this look like?

  • We're washing our hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • We're disinfecting high-use surfaces at home, such as door knobs, light switches, remote controls, and cellphones.
  • We're wearing cloth masks when we're in public places, especially the grocery.
  • We only go out when it's absolutely necessary. This means only for sunshine and exercise for the children and me. The only other time I've gone out was to pick up supplements from our naturopathic doctor. Contact-less, of course. And, for Bobby, this means going to the groceries for food runs, gassing up the car, and running other errands.
  • The children are attending online classes.
  • Bobby's working from home in his window-less man-cave — an arrangement that he's decided to continue even after the shutdowns are lifted.
Olson mask for COVID-19

This homemade cloth mask passes the candle blowing test. It's made with old 100% cotton t-shirts that were headed for donation.

It's amazing what humans can adapt to.

Our lives have been turned upside-down, inside-out, and shaken all around ... and now the dust seems to have settled and we're carrying on.

We're doing what needs to be done. And there are signs of hope.

COVID-19 Case Increases in Windsor-Essex

The number of new cases in Windsor-Essex has remained low this past week. (Source)

Nova Scotia Shooting

But maybe not everyone is doing quite so well.

Over in Nova Scotia, a man drove around killing people. As of today, a total of 23 people have been killed.

His motives are still a big mystery and I wonder if we'll ever really know for sure what set off this killing spree.

As if we didn't have enough on our plate!

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day 2020

On another note, today is Earth Day!

I haven't had the chance to plan anything special to celebrate this year.

It seems that Mother Nature herself is in a state of flux. It's mid-April, but we've been getting snow.

Dear Mother Nature, I urgently need to be able to go outdoors and soak up some sun. It could make the difference between getting a mild or serious case of this disease, if at all.


May 31, 2018

6 Ways To Be Eco-Friendlier After Having a New Baby

Eco-friendly New Baby

Following is a guest post contributed to this blog:

Dirty diapers… baby food containers… mounds of laundry… is it possible to have a new baby and still be eco-friendly?

While new babies can make it tough for families to lower their carbon footprint, there are plenty of ways new parents can opt for an eco-friendly lifestyle, even with their new arrival.

Here are six ways you can make greener choices when your new baby is born.

1. Cloth Diapers

To start with, stay away from disposable diapers.

Approximately 20 billion disposable diapers are trashed in landfills every year, and every new baby born increases the amount of waste being put into the ground.

An alternative to disposables is to use cloth diapers. Today, cloth diapers have come a long way. They are more absorbent and convenient, and they can be washed at home without a pricey diaper service.

Here’s an example of a one-size-fits-all cloth diaper available at Amazon:

Amazon Image

breastfeeding baby2. Breastfeeding

Next, choose to breastfeed your new baby instead of formula feeding.

Women who breastfeed saving money on the cost of expensive infant formula, feeding bottles, and sterilization for the first year of life. Breastfeeding also helps eliminate another source of plastic packaging that you would get from the formula company.

Even before your little one arrives, get help from a lactation consultant so you can be more confident in your breastfeeding technique. Over time, it will get easier, your bond with your baby will thrive, and you’ll enjoy the other benefits of breastfeeding.

3. Table Foods

When it’s time to start solid foods, you can choose to be greener with your baby.

Stay away from expensive jarred baby foods and choose to make your own baby food instead. It’s easy and quick to mash up soft foods, such as bananas and avocados. for your baby’s first solid meal.

Or, you could try baby led weaning, which brings your child to the family table and has her participating and choosing the foods everyone is eating instead of purees and mashes.

baby solid foods

Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron was my favorite reference when my babies were learning to eat solid food.

4. Second-hand Clothes and Toys

The amount of baby gear and other stuff a new infant needs can be overwhelming and costly. You can make it easier and cheaper for yourself by going for second-hand items whenever possible.

Clothes, toys, furniture, and other gear can be reused. Find out among your family and friends who are looking to get rid of their old baby clothes and gear. Or, look online at yard sale groups to pick up some items for a little bit of money.

In turn, make sure to reuse and recycle your baby items. Clothes can either be given away, donated to thrift stores, or sold at yard sales. You can also get creative and repurpose baby furniture into other useful items for the household.

5. Water Conservation

Water usage for a new baby is also something to watch out for if you want to be kind to the planet.

Educate yourself about water conservation practices and efforts, such as the Cadiz Water Project, and make sure you don’t contribute to water waste. For example, you don’t have to bathe your baby every day during those first few months. Instead, give him a bath every couple of days. This could help keep his skin supple and smooth.

If you are using cloth diapers, use an energy-saving washing machine and dryer. And line-dry the diapers, whenever possible. That way, you reap the benefits of the sun’s sanitizing properties as well.

6. Green Products

The last thing to do to have an eco-friendlier experience when you have a baby is to choose products carefully. Research the best options for you and your family for your baby’s skin, such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Choose products from responsible companies that use green practices for manufacturing. Shop for baby items made of natural materials, like cotton, linen, and bamboo. If you must use plastic, make sure it’s BPA-free and recyclable.

Amazon Image

When your new baby arrives, you can continue to practice eco-friendly habits as long as you make choices with your products and child rearing.

Follow the tips above to give your baby a great new safe start in life while helping to contribute to a healthier planet!


Cleaning Without Toxins – A Dirty Secret?

Toxin-Free Cleaning

Following is a guest post from Sally Collins, a freelance writer.

Being eco-friendly means avoiding commercial cleaning products as much as possible because so many of them contain chemicals which are harmful to the planet and to ourselves.

Lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda are great natural ingredients to use for most daily cleaning needs, but sometimes that is not enough. When you need something a bit stronger, how can you make sure you are using a product which is safe?Continue reading

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