Tag Archives: turtles

Another world…Aquarium des Lagons

Hands up if, like me, one of your earliest career choices was Marine Biologist… Let’s take a trip back to the future in New Caledonia, where fascinating marine life thrives in a pristine environment…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

New Caledonian is surrounded by a barrier reef, the second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’s created a perfect environment for marine life to survive and thrive.

I usually avoid stats like the plague, but these are pretty impressive:

  • 454 marine plant species
  • 1,965 fish species
  • 2,150 mollusc species
  • 4,000 crustacean species
  • 150 types of coral formations.

And that’s not all… There are major nesting sites here for marine turtles, as well as breeding areas for dugong, humpback whales and seabirds.

Of course, the best way to see it is diving or snorkelling. But you can get up close and personal with this mindblowing diversity, without getting your feet wet, at the Aquarium des Lagons…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

It’s not often you get an underwater perspective of critical habitats like these mangroves…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Fishy colour and movement – including eye makeup apparently

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Things that make you go…awww (now anyway) – a baby black-tipped reef shark…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

There are 150 types of coral in the New Caledonia lagoon…some that glows in the dark!

I felt like a kid hanging over the re-created rock pools, full of all sorts of marine wonders…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Copyright: Louise Ralph Copyright: Louise Ralph

No doubt I also looked like a kid with my face pressed against the glass of the huge aquariums, pretending I was back scuba diving – something I haven’t done for at least 20 years.

Now that’s what I call relaxation therapy…


Take a walk on the wild side…in Central Park

Copyright: Louise RalphThere may have been flash flooding in New York City last night, but today the sun is out in full force – and so are the people. Everywhere.

Definitely time to escape the seething sidewalks and get back to nature in Central Park.

Yep, there are a lot of people here too, but it’s not as frenetic (well, except for the joggers and cyclists and power walkers).

If you want a break from the touristy stuff and the crowds, head to the northern end of the park where there’s a little more breathing space and plenty of wild creatures out and about.

Which suits me, since I am a certified freak for nature! Here’s a sneak peak at the wild side of the city…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Catching some rays, turtle style

 

Copyright: Louise Ralph

This clever American Robin built a nest right over the path about two feet above eye level – but nobody (except us) looked up.

 

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Hollows make cozy nesting places. Some wildlife won’t breed without suitable hollows to nest in…

 

Copyright: Louise Ralph

And after all that action, it’s time for some R&R…