Posts with the category ‘Nature / Wildlife / Outdoors’


Traveling With Ignorance and Uncertainty. Yes, I Bought a Campervan

July 15, 2021

It took eight months from that day in May 2020 when I first started thinking about getting an RV until I took possession of my new campervan. While that’s shy of a full gestation period, I do find myself murmuring, “Hello baby,” each time I approach it, ready for my next road trip. Yes, Ladies and Gents, I bought a campervan and it has taken possession of me. From the position of still not knowing much about this thing called #vanlife, Here are some things I have learned already. There is a lot to learn. Other RV owners are eager to help. Some are brilliant…. Read More…


Finding Travel Treats Close to Home

September 8, 2020

The virtual traveler may be all the rage, but for those of us working at our computers during the coronavirus, more time in front of a screen seems like the opposite of a getaway. So on a recent walk not five miles from my home in Greenwich, Connecticut, I was delighted to find the ruins of a mansion hidden deep in the woods off the trail of a city park. I’m a sucker for the large historical artifact, which I wrote about in this article for The New York Times. I’ve written about my visits to historic sites in Iceland, England, Germany, Turkey and Syria…. Read More…


In Praise of Serendipitous Travel or Seth Kugel Has It Right

November 17, 2018

It was hot as blazes, about 95 degrees, the October day I set aside to explore Muscat, Oman’s capital city.  Wiping sweat and chugging water, I ticked off just two of the city’s must-do activities before finding a shady spot to sit and consult Google Maps for my new must-do: find a beach. My 2017 trip to Oman to came to mind while reading Seth Kugel’s excellent New York Times Travel story How to Up the Spontaneity Quotient on Your Next Trip.  Like him, I firmly believe it is not the sites we see but the people we get to know on their turf that… Read More…


Bnb’ing With My Peeps; Flying a Bike and Sleeping With Airplanes

October 18, 2018

Note to readers: Many photos and all the videos in this post graciously provided by aviation vlogger and pilot Pedro Saldarriaga. Follow him on YouTube. It was a quick trip to Florida to take care of some business. I would be there and gone in just 24-hours so all I really needed was a clean, inexpensive room. But as my cursor hovered over the selections on the Airbnb website, how could I say no to the Man Cave, located, the listing said, “in my airplane hangar.” Click, and it was mine for the night. Like every other internet-age disruptor, Airbnb has its downsides, but where… Read More…


Spring Sights, Sounds and Smells, Coming Soon to a Garden Near You

April 13, 2018

For those awaiting the arrival of spring, the place to be is the Biltmore House & Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. Over ten square miles you will find lush green hills dotted with still-bare trees whose branches are tipped in white, pink and purple. This vista of life rejuvenating convinced me that winter may finally be coming to an end. The six Biltmore gardens sit below America’s largest private residence, the place George and Edith Vanderbilt called home in the early 20th century. In early April, tulips create a riot of color barely restrained within the garden’s stone walls.  From this point of view, the… Read More…


More Thrills Than Just the Great Barrier Reef, As Bats Take to the Skies in Cairns

February 4, 2018

The most monumental fig trees I’ve ever seen, stand on the property of the Cairns Public Library in Queensland, Australia. These trees are such an impressive sight, it took my dazzled brain several minutes to notice that they were singing. In the thicket of deep glossy green, a high pitched-clamor prompted me to look for a cluster of noisy birds, but I was wrong. Very wrong. The Cairns library trees are a year-round roost site for thousands of bats, or what the Australians call Flying Foxes. Spectacled Flying Foxes and Little Red Flying Foxes spend their days hanging upside down (as they do), wrapped in… Read More…


In Bend, Oregon Stone Sculptures Go Flying Out of Creator’s Yard

December 27, 2017

Artist Greg Gifford of Bend, Oregon, sees inspiration where others might overlook it. He finds it on the ground. A decade ago, a hobby for stacking rocks turned into the retired school teacher’s creative second career. “The materials are really cheap,” Gifford said, adding another incentive to using this material over something else for his creations. Gifford first started playing with stones while camping on the beach in Baja with his wife Jan. Mornings they would fish or kayak and in the afternoons they would windsurf. In between, he would make rock stacks, seeking the most challenging, oddly-shaped rocks to see if he could make… Read More…


National Park Service Scenes Splash Across Northern California

August 26, 2017

Doris Dalbec is making use of the wheelchair her recently-deceased husband no longer needs; rolling herself back and forth from paint-laden table to the side of the visitors center at Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California. Oh, she can walk alright, but there’s a lot of up and down and side to side action when creating a mural 36 feet across and eight feet high. On the day I meet her, Dalbec was joined by Wanda Kirkpatrick and Nan Marie Stewart, three of many local painters who “leave ego aside” and work collaboratively on one enormous work of art. They are members of… Read More…


A Ride Through The Sky Even the Wright Brothers Couldn’t Imagine

August 10, 2017

Before the Wright Brothers mastered the air they were accomplished bike builders and competitive cyclists. All this was brought to my attention this Spring when on assignment for Air & Space magazine, I traveled for seven days by bike exploring the history of aviation in and around Dayton, the Wright’s hometown. You can read the full story here. Now, little more than a century later, we barely think twice about getting on an airplane on one side of the world and arriving on the other. The same cannot be said about biking in the sky. That is why I have a clear recollection of the… Read More…


My Growing Affection for All That Flies

May 1, 2017

For the past two decades I’ve had a passion for things that fly and that’s as it should be considering writing about aviation is how I make my living. How birds arrived on my radar screen is not so clear, but on a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I took a bike tour of Gulf State Park with Ted Floyd, the editor of the magazine of the American Birding Association. As we pedaled along I was captivated by a beautiful grey blue northern mockingbird and a loggerhead shrike that was perched at the top of a long dead tree. Shortly after that, a bald eagle flew… Read More…


Enter to Win

Want to receive some free swag from Christine? Sign up for the mailing list!

Top