Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid

From Santa Cruz.

This Galápagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) shows off the grid-like pattern of his shell.  This is a fairly small tortoise; they frequently get to be 400-600 lbs with a carapace length of around 3-5 ft. We saw many others of varying sizes on Santa Cruz, both in the wild like this one and also at the Charles Darwin Research Station, where certain subspecies are part of a captive breeding program.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration


From Santa Cruz.

The famous Galápagos tortoises were part of Charles Darwin’s inspiration for the theory of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution.  The tortoises’ shells differ depending on what island they are from, indicating adaptive radiation.

For me, they were part of my inspiration to travel the world and see all its wonders.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol


From Santa Cruz.

The most recognized symbol of the Galápagos is the animal that shares its name with the island chain: the Galápagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra).  These amazing animals can weigh hundreds of pounds and live over 100 years.  On Santa Cruz, captive breeding programs are helping to save the various subspecies that are found on different islands.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur


From Santa Cruz.

We briefly explored these giant lava tubes on Santa Cruz island; they formed long ago when surface lava cooled and hardened, but the hot lava in the center still flowed, leaving big cave-like tunnels.  It’s a fascinating part of the islands’ geological history.  It was dark down in the tube, so all my pictures are terrible, but I thought this one had a cool composition, looking up and out of the cave.

I want to share this butterfly photo from La Selva Ecolodge in Ecuador, because it was the one my husband picked for this challenge ❤


Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed



From Santa Cruz.

This Galápagos tortoise has found a good hiding place.  We only saw a few of these in the wild; of all the islands’ animals, the giant tortoises may have been impacted the most by humans.  Galápagos tortoises are the largest tortoise species and can get up to around 500 lbs.  There are no large mammals native to the islands, so tortoises end up being the dominant herbivores, even eating Opuntia cactus pads.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed