Amazing wildlife

I don’t know about you but there’s something about wildlife that just thrills me. It’s one of the things I love most about ATVing. Coming up on a massive wild moose enjoying a drink by a stream or seeing a mama black bear and her cubs meandering across the road. It’s thrilling and awe inspiring. Being so close to nature like that takes my breath away by the beauty and power of it.

Natalie swimming with dolphins

When we traveled to the Dominican Republic for our wedding, we went swimming with the dolphins, a wow-factor adventure. I was terrified as we walked into their pen and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But soaring across the ocean on the nose of two dolphins was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life!

When I saw this video about an amazing chance encounter with a troop of wild mountain gorillas near Bwindi National Park, Uganda, my jaw dropped. I can only imagine how intense the experience must have been. Takes my dolphin experience to a whole new level. I am not sure I could have sat as still as the man in the video did?!?!?!

What about you, what are some of your favorite experiences with mother nature? Or up and close adventures with wildlife? Do you think you could have sat still with a silverback gorilla not 2 or 3 feet from you?

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

P.S. In case you missed Monday’s post where I spotlight author Elena Aitken, you should definitely check it out. There’s a great giveaway! Squeeee….



  1. I wish I was as brave as you. Wildlife is not something I am good with. I have a respect and fear for wild animals that mostly makes me want to stay away. When I was swimming in the ocean in the Galapagos (where I know sharks NEVER bite) I still freaked out and swam back to the boat as fast as my legs would go. I just couldn’t stop the Jaws theme music from playing in my head. But, howler monkeys in the trees above me that I can hear and only see in a flash of fur, that’s cool.

    • LOL!! Too cute Emma. I am not brave by any measure. When I was swimming with the Dolphins, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!!
      Howler monkeys would have been soooo cool!! 🙂

  2. Wow, what an amazing video! And how cool to swim with dolphins?! I don’t know if I could have done it, but it looks really neat.

    • I near tore hubby’s arm off I was so scared. I was shaking and to this day I have no idea how I actually stepped into the pen. But with hubby by my side, it helped. In the end, I’ve always been grateful that I took the chance and did it. It was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Once I got over my fear and let go….LOL!!!
      Now…sit with a silverback nearby while its children check me out – I don’t think so!! LOL!

  3. Well done, Natalie! Swimming with dolphins is on my bucket list and your picture is great! I love nature, but would’ve been staining my shorts if I was that man. Can you imagine? Those little critters looking through your hair, a ginormous silver back a yard away from you? Um, yikes! Monkeys terrify me. Like, give me shakes and make me want to vomit terrify me. Dolphins? Not so much.

  4. Oh gosh, I want to swim with dolphins at some point in my life. I just saw a few frolicking in the ocean when I was at the beach over the weekend, and I just wanted to dive in so badly. They seem like such genuinely playful and gentle creatures, too.

    Not so sure if I’d want to get up-close-and-personal with gorillas, however, but I have encountered animals that are smaller, cuter, and less deadly. My favorite walking trail back home doubles as a county fish and game preserve, so there are lots of deer, bunnies, and beautiful birds. Still, the ultimate on my list has definitely got to be the sloth. One day I will hold one, and I will weep with happiness. 😉

    • LOVE LOVE LOVE the Sloth! Thanks for the intro by the way. LOL!! They are the most adorable things I’ve ever seen and I agree, much weeping will be done if I ever get to hold one.
      Swimming with the dolphins was incredible. It had never really been on my to-do list because I am not crazy about deep water etc. But it was our wedding trip and hubby wanted to do something insane so off we went. Incredible. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I hope anyone who has the desire goes and does.
      Your walking trail sounds fahhhhbulous!!!! How much fun is that!

  5. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing the video. I loved watching animal vids on youtube, and some of my faves are at the wolf sanctuaries, where you can interact with them. I WILL take that vacation some day.

    And totally jealous of your dolphin encounter!

    • Wolf sanctuaries?!?! OMG I am totally going to search that on YouTube – sounds incredible! You must take a million photos when you go on that vacay!!!
      I had no idea people were so into dolphins. I’ll have to post the rest of the pics sometime. 🙂

  6. Wildlife is so incredible… Every time I feel stressed or overwhelmed, or simply need a break, I go up into the Los Angeles forest to hike or run or explore with my bull dog. Animals take my breath away. Other than my dog, Zoe, one of my favorite animal adventures took place in the countryside of France while I was living in Paris. I rode around with a friend, giraffes, monkeys, elephants – you name it – walking up to or near the car. It was a tough time in my life and that day was probably the one time I felt utterly peaceful and happy. Okay, now I’m tearing up. Thanks for this beautiful post!

    • I feel the same way August – there’s something about wildlife and nature that just puts me at peace.
      You have a bull dog – how adorable!!! I love bull dogs…you’ll have to do a post on him sometime and post some pictures.
      The trip in Paris sounds absolutely thrilling. I would have loved that. It’s amazing to know that such a place brought you peace during a turbulent time in your life. That is the gift of mother nature for sure!

  7. That’s such a cool video! I would have loved to be there. I’ve been swimming with dolphins too and, like you, wasn’t sure about it as we approached the area. I had to pretend to be very cool for our kids though, who were super-excited. Again like you, it turned out to be an amazingly exhilarating and touching experience. The gentle power of the dolphins was unforgettable.

    • Had to pretend to be cool – love that Patricia. I couldn’t agree more, the gentle power of the dolphins is unforgettable and awe inspiring. It was an adventure I won’t soon forget, that’s for sure. 🙂

  8. No kidding. I would have needed a clean pair of shorts because this would have literally scared the shiza out of me. Holy cow!

  9. Animals can sense your fear. I would hope I could have sat still. What an amazing experience. On the other hand, I don’t go out of my way to encounter wildlife. Swimming with dolphins, however, IS on my bucket list, you lucky duck 🙂

  10. Wow–*wiping tears* This is incredibly moving. Such trust. And so much COULD have gone wrong. What an awesome experience.

    I love up close encounters with wildlife but haven’t had too many. This was a treat!

  11. Elena Aitken says:

    LOVE it! There is nothing better than seeing animals in the wild. I’ve never had a swim with the dolphins, although it’s amazing to see them swim alongside the sailboat when we’re on the water. It’s my dream to swim with them in the wild one day.
    Every summer I love visiting my parents where they live on the coast of Washington. Right outside their home is this little cove where the seals hang out. I could sit and glide in the kayak for hours watching them.

    • OMG I love seals!!!! Aren’t they just amazing and you get to kayak and watch them up close. I am sooo jealous! I took a deep sea fishing cruise once and we got to boat past a couple islands that were inhabited by hundreds of seals and it was awesome!!!
      Yes, there’s something about wildlife that is just incredible!!

  12. I think I could handle dolphins.. gorillas??? I am breaking out just drumming the scenario up in my mind. omg – when the baby was by the man… and then the big gorilla pushed him ahead.
    Very, very cool.

  13. Coleen Patrick says:

    We did one of those drive thru safari things in Ohio. A drooling buffalo stuck his head right inside our car—we were all screaming and laughing. So fun. 🙂

  14. Amazing video Natalie. I was in Boston a year ago and had an amazing whale watching tour. saw a few last week in Maui, but not many. they’re amazing. some day I’m going to swim with the dolphins.

  15. Holy cow!! I would have been shaking in fear. Silverbacks are huge! Not to mention not knowing exactly how to seem nonthreatening, though that guy seemed to do a great job. WOW! That’s all I can say, is wow.

    • Yeah, I was super impressed with how the guy seemed to know exactly how to look and behave to be non-threatening. Amazing….definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him and the others with him! 🙂

  16. To see the intelligence and love in the actions and behavior of that silverback was just incredible. THANK YOU for sharing.

    • My pleasure Karen. When I saw the video, I knew I had to post it here.
      I couldn’t believe the “family” feeling I got from the silverback, Mom, and children….it was incredible!!!

  17. Natalie, one of my first blogs a couple of months ago, a newbie post, was on Gorillas. I wrote about their sense of community and how similiar they are to us as humans in the way they take care of one another. I was fasinated by the information that I read on this subject as I prepared the post. I looked up info on Diane Fossey who the movie “Gorillas in the Midst” was made about. They are an amazing animal. 🙂

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