The World’s most striking wildlife

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When thinking about travelling and discovering new places to go I often think about what kinds of landscapes I’d like to see, and what cultures I’d like to experience. Often I’ll just tie this in without thinking to the local wildlife and plants. However it’s quite rare that I ever really sit down and think about the myriad of different species we have on Earth and what I’d really like to see. Of course, you can see plenty in a zoo but that just can’t beat seeing the animal in its natural habitat. I thought I’d run through some animals and plants I’d like to see naturally on my travels, and give some tips as to the best places to spot them if you’re interested too.

The largest animal that has ever lived is the blue whale. While not as numerous as they once were the whaling ban has certainly helped their cause and they can be seen in a number of locations around the globe.

Blue Whale

Blue Whale

A great place to catch a glimpse of these awe-inspiring animals is just off the coast of Los Angeles around the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Growing up to 110ft in length you’ll be able to see them from the deck of boats which you can buy rides on around the area. You’ll not only see Blue Whales but the range of other whales and dolphins that populate the area, so if you’d like to see some of the most impressive marine life you can then I’d certainly think about hiring a boat trip out there.

Another majestic sea creature is the giant leatherback turtle. You’ll be hard pushed to spot a wild one as they live out in the open ocean. However, the females return to land in order to lay their eggs and this is generally the best time to spot one.

Leatherback Turtle

Leatherback Turtle

Good places to see the females as they crawl ashore are beaches in Papua, Idonesia and the Solomon Islands, they’re also known to forage for food off the coast of Oregon in the USA so that might be a good place to try and spot one from a boat. Growing up to nine feet long and capable of swimming at speeds of up to 35km/h they’re certainly one of the most interesting creatures in the sea and something I would definitely love to see at some stage.

Next is an animal that I’m sure will be familiar to residents of the USA. The bald eagle can be found across North America and Canada and has enjoyed a resurgence in numbers in recent years. In 2007 the bird was taken off the endangered animals list and classified under ‘least concern’.

Bald eagle fishing

Bald eagle fishing

It is certainly one of the most striking birds of prey and one with really distinctive markings. They’re best spotted in coastal areas and around large lakes and bodies of water as their preferred diet is fish.

Completing my list is the tree with the largest volume of any living organism on the planet, the General Sherman tree in Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the USA.

General Sherman

General Sherman

Believed to be over 2,300 years old the giant tree makes for a spectacular sight. In 2006 one of its lower branches fell off, and was found out to be bigger than most regular trees. Trees like this don’t exist in the UK and it is definitely something I’d like to head over to the USA to go and see for myself.

There are of course, countless animals and plants I’d like to see and these are just the first few that came to mind. Perhaps you’ve seen them for yourself? If so then let us know what they were like.

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Where to spend your holiday in Autumn

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Here is a depressing thought for those of you still looking for a holiday idea. The summer is nearly over. Yes, it only seems to have just started but in a month or two the leaves will be turning a familiar shade of orange, the temperature will start to drop and we’ll be seeing less and less of the sun.

Unlike many people the summer isn’t actually my favourite season. As you may have guessed from my previous blog entries I’d much rather go somewhere arctic, or go exploring mountains than lie on a hot beach somewhere. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year, and one that I feel is definitely overlooked for holidays.

If you go on holiday in the Autumn you’ll be able to dodge the high summer prices and all the other travellers, along with being able to see some places in their peak of natural beauty. I was having a browse through the web for some holiday destinations for the Autumn for myself and I thought I’d share the one I thought looked most interesting.

If you ever want to visit the USA then I would go to New England in Autumn. September and October are the best times and it is a really beautiful time of year. You’ll get to see the rural side of America and experience some of the hospitality that they pride themselves on. There are plenty of touring holidays you can book that’ll take you to all the main sights of the region in Boston, Massacheusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Conneticut and more.

The region lends itself really well to active outdoor activities, which is certainly something you’ll want to be doing in the pleasant Autumn air. With rock climbing, swimming, running, walking and sightseeing tours on offer there is always something to do. Stowe in Vermont is even home to the first ski area in the East of the country and is a great place for biking, golf and hiking as well.

New England is a great idea for couples and families alike with many warm and friendly hotels and B&Bs. The Americans pride themselves on their hospitality and it somewhere I would definitely recommend over just lying on a beach towel for two weeks.