Tag: birding

Colorado Trail, Day 15: Ready, Rogue One!

I wake up in our lumpy, rogue campsite behind the Visitor Center in Twin Lakes just before 6 am to the sounds of the magpies squawking, the hummingbirds whizzing by our tent and a car pulling up on the other side of the willow bushes that separate us from the Twin Lakes Forest Service parking lot. I listen to all the sounds around us from the comfort of my cozy sleeping bag for several minutes before I remember that today is my birthday! (more…)

Kepler Track, Day 2: Moturau Hut to Iris Burn Campsite

Kepler Track, Day 2

I wake up to a swollen eye and wonder if one of New Zealand’s pesky sand flies chomped on me during the night. Hopefully, it will go away before too long, but I feel a little dread as I have had such bad reactions to bug bites lately. Ughh…

We have a lazy 9 am departure and begin our day back at the beach of Shallow Bay. The skies look a little dark and moody as we set off, and we wonder if we have some rain in store ahead. From the beach, we follow the lakeshore for a bit before ducking back  into the mossy beech forest carpeted in lush green ferns for the 16.2-kilometer relatively flat tramp to the Iris Burn campsite. (more…)

We’re Back!

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Hello, friends.

We know, we know…long time, no write. Our bad. Is anyone still out there?

We don’t want to make excuses for our poor blogging etiquette, but we thought that the very least we could do is to let you know what we have been up to lately to help explain the long absence. So here goes... (more…)

Chicago Is for the Bird(er)s!

Chicago for the Birders2

As nature photographers and hiking enthusiasts, we are often bemoaning the fact that we live in Chicago. Now, don’t get us wrong. Chicago is an amazing city with tons of fantastic cultural offerings at our fingertips. But as far as hiking and wildlife opportunities go, we’ve always found it to be lacking. With skyscrapers providing the only change of elevation and pigeons being the predominant fauna, this urban setting is a little less than ideal in the nature department.

Or so we thought…

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Big Fun in Big Bend

Big Bend National Park in far west Texas is an amazing place. Snuggled into a big bend of the Rio Grande on the US-Mexico border, this park is known for striking sun-kissed scenery where its three distinct habitats of mountains, desert and river meet.

Mountains, Desert, River

Even though this park is undeniably gorgeous, it seems to be a well-kept secret. At over 800,00 acres, like all things Texas, Big Bend is huge, yet it only sees an average of 300,000 visitors per year. Compare this to the 8-10 million people who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you’ll feel like you have this desert paradise all to yourself.

Why such a difference, you ask? In a word: Isolation. (more…)

Your Ticket to Iceland’s Puffin-Palooza

Puffins at Látrabjarg

Every summer, music fans in Chicago look forward to the annual return of one of rock’s annual mega-festivals, Lollapalooza. For sheer people watching, not to mention the variety of music on offer over three consecutive days, the Lollapalooza Festival cannot be beat. For the nature enthusiast, however, who perhaps prefers the birds to The Byrds, this type of concert scene can be a bit overwhelming. We at Take A Hike would like to offer an alternative Summer Tour, lovingly-entitled Puffin-Palooza. The following is your concert guide to four of Iceland’s greatest stops on a summer tour of the country’s most beloved band bird, The Puffins! So grab your (concert) ticket and don’t forget the camera for those groupie fan photos, because you, my friend, are on Summer Tour.

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