Saturday, November 15, 2014

Learning to appreciate the silence

I started writing this blog seven years ago. Life with Dylan has been a wonderful creative outlet for me and has served as a platform from where I could share Dylan's conservation work with people all over the world. This blog has brought much joy to my life and has changed Dylan's life in ways I can't even begin to explain. However, as with all good things, there comes a time to scale back. A time to move on.

Dylan is getting older and the intention of this blog was never to make him feel uncomfortable or that he was on some sort of public display. Yes, he is proud of his accomplishments and the conservation work he has done with San Diego Zoo Global - I don't see this part of his life stopping, ever. Despite that, privacy is becoming more important. The anonymity of our conservation work has a very alluring appeal for both of us.

On a recent weekend getaway I had the opportunity to relax in the evenings. No computer. Just me and a book and little knitting time. I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet. My brain was not spinning in 10 different directions. I was not thinking about how long it had been since I wrote a post here or shared new photos on my Flickr account; in other words, I wasn't feeling guilty.

I was, dare I say it, Relaxed.

As I get older (and wiser) I am learning to appreciate the silence and live in the moment. Sitting in the hotel room, I thought to myself "Could it be time to move on?" Back in August I said good-bye to part of my virtual world when I realized that there was a Life After Social Media. Now, three months later I'm wondering if it might be time to say good-bye to the virtual Life with Dylan and concentrate more on the real Life with Dylan.

Sure, I want to continue creating awareness and spreading the word about conservation issues that we believe in, but do I really need this blog to do that? Blogging is not the only platform out there. I can use Twitter and Instagram ... and maybe a few shares here and there on Facebook. (I'm still teetering on leaving Facebook)

I recently re-launched my own website,, as a photography site. A place where I can share my photos and use photojournalism to share my passion about conservation and nature. Photographs are a wonderful way to create awareness and tell stories, a simpler way, a way that better fits my changing lifestyle.

So is this really good-bye?
Will this be my final post on Life with Dylan?

That is a question I cannot answer.
This blog is a part of me - it has been for the past seven years.

For now let's just end with you can still find me actively taking part here ...

Twitter     @mlynnfryer
Instagram     michellefryer

As always, Life with Dylan inspires me to see the world a little differently than I did before.

Fallen leaves become art. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

And Then There Were Six ...

Today our world changed.
Not just the world for Dylan and myself, but "our world" in a sense of all mankind.

I knew this day would come sooner or later, but I wasn't expecting it so soon.
While scrolling through my twitter feed this morning I saw this "We are one step closer to the extinction of the northern white rhino. The remaining 6 animals are older as well."

What? There must be a typo because I know for a fact that there are 7 northern white rhinos left. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Opened them and clicked the link that accompanied these words. 

Tears began to roll down my face. "Damn it. No. Damn it." I said these words over and over out loud. As if saying them would make it all go away. 

There was no typo in the tweet from my friend.
There are now only six remaining northern white rhinos on the Earth. 

The heading read ... Breaking News: Ol Pejeta Conservancy loses one of its northern white rhinos - It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our northern white rhinos, Suni.

Rest In Peace Suni ... you are now eternally free from any harm.

According to the press release, rangers found him on the morning of October 17th, 2014, dead in his boma. Suni was not a victim of poaching and we have yet to establish the cause of his sudden death. The Kenya Wildlife Service vets will conduct a post mortem as soon as possible. In 2006, his father Saút died in the Dvur Kralove Zoo by natural causes at the same age as Suni was now.

Through the tears and the sadness I read aloud the entire press release to Dylan. All I could say when I finished reading was, "at least he didn't die from poachers". Dylan dealt with the situation better than I thought he would; however, I knew what we were both thinking. Thankful this wasn't Nola. One day this would be Nola though and that is a day I am not looking forward to.

When Dylan and I met Dr. Ryder earlier this year, he told us of plans using genetics and frozen DNA from his lab to possibly help save the northern white rhinos from extinction. These animals are truly on the brink of extinction and will most likely go extinct in our lifetime.

Last year I symbolically adopted one of the northern white rhinos living at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy for Dylan. Adopting Fatu was different from our other animal adoptions because these animals are so critically endangered. I hear people talking about extinction and how they don't think it will ever happen because "Science" will step in and save the day. Well, people ... it is happening.

Nola, resting by the waters edge at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

With only six left in the world, two (Nola and Angilfu) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, one (Nabire) at the Dvůr Králové Zoo, and three (Sudan, Najin, and Fatu) living at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya where they are protected from poachers, this subspecies is tragically coming to an end.

Although it is difficult to write about these subjects, it is my hope that sharing Suni's story with others will help create more awareness about the plight of the northern white rhino.

*Photo of Suni courtesy of Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Compassion and Determination of a Child

There are times when Dylan makes me proud and then there are times when he leaves me speechless. Like when he writes something for a school assignment that brings tears to my eyes.Today was one of those times.


I am compassionate and determined
I wonder will poaching ever stop
I hear animal calls
I see me saving animals
I want to stop all poaching
I am compassionate and determined

I pretend animals will always live in peace
I feel for animals losses
I touch the hands of many future conservationists
I worry poaching may never stop
I cry for the animals faced with poachers
I am compassionate and determined

I understand I’m going against the odds
I say I’m doing what's right
I dream of a better world
I try to stop the madness
I hope I will reach my goals
I am compassionate and determined

“I am”

By: Dylan Fryer, age 11

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mother and Child Relationships in the Animal Kingdom

One of the things I love about watching the animals is how they interact with each other. No matter what species of animal, one thing remains the same, the bond between a mother and child is simply undeniable.  The teaching moments as well as the times of utter frustration that all mom's feel at one time or another are universal. After watching two different animal species interact a few weeks ago, I was reminded that humans are not the only species to share this special bond.

Joanne and Imani
Western Lowland Gorillas

Hold my hand Joanne, let Mom help you ...

Like this Mom? Is this how we eat the leaves?

Oshana with her cubs Ernest, Evelyn, Marion and Miss Ellen
African Lions

Oshana calling to Izu, most likely for reinforcement

Really kids, you want to eat again?

And just like all moms, as much as we love our children, sometimes we just need to walk away and have 5 minutes to ourselves.

The next time you are visiting a zoo pay close attention to how the animals are interacting with one another. Animal behavior is quite fascinating if you ask me.

To visit these featured moms and their babies, you can visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tiga's Day Outside

Tiga is becoming quite the adventurer. She is now a little over a year old and exploring new areas of the apartment. Much like a teenager, she is also testing her boundaries with me. We have large trees outside the apartment that are often a resting spot for the local birds of prey and a nature preserve with coyotes and bobcats is basically our backyard. That being said, Tiga is strictly an indoor cat. However, she made a run for it a few weeks ago when I opened the screen door and decided to soak up some sun on the balcony.

The morning light was perfect and I decided to take advantage of the situation.

I think she liked the warmth of the ground and the texture made an excellent scratching surface for her back. Somebody wants to play.

Visiting the balcony has now become a special occasion for Tiga. Every now and then we go outside together and enjoy the stillness of the morning. Always under my watchful eye though, so nothing swoops down from above.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sometimes you just need a sign from above

Change is never easy and questioning your decisions will only make the changes more difficult to accept. A good friend once told me to have faith and to follow the signs that were shown to me. Well, if this isn't a sign from above then I don't know what is.

A sign like this can only mean one thing - I made the right decision and I am walking down the path that is right for me at this time in my life.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Life After Social Media

In a world driven by technology and the internet, it seems almost impossible for a person to not be connected in some way or another to social media. Smartphones, tablets, iPads, laptops ... you name it, there is a way to connect and share with others through a virtual web that has become second nature to the human race. Social media can be fun, but social media can also consume your life if you let it.

I currently have 2 Instagram accounts, 2 Twitter accounts, 1 Pinterest account, 2 Google+ pages, 1 personal Facebook account, and 2 Facebook pages ... wow, that's just crazy! Although I use some social media accounts more than others, it is time to break some ties.

I am tired of looking down all the time. Looking down to see how many people "liked" something or how well a post did on Facebook. Are people reading my blog? How many hits did a story get? Did anyone retweet me? This past month I have taken a little hiatus of sorts from social media, spending less time looking down and more time looking up. Looking up at the world around me and seeing so many things for what seems like the first time in years. I have started living my life for me and not my "friends" on Facebook.

Do I hate social media? No.
Do I love social media? No.

There is definitely a place in this world for social media. I depend on social media to stay current on conservation topics that interest me and causes that I want to help create awareness for. Social media helps readers find this blog and helps teach others about making a difference no matter how old you are. However, at this time in my life, that place is not very high on my list of priorities. Social media is not my job and does not need to consume my life.

I started this blog six years ago with a post entitled, A New Chapter, as a creative outlet and as a way to let out-of-town friends and family know what Dylan was doing. After a few years of blogging, I got caught up in the "blogger" lifestyle and did some sponsored posts. This was very short-lived because the lifestyle just wasn't who I was, nor who I am now ... I can't sell myself out to a brand ... no matter how much swag they give me. In April 2012, I finally saw the big picture and things took a dramatic change. I learned who my friends were and were not.

As Dylan became older and his life more focused, it was apparent to me that his path had been chosen and was not changing anytime soon. His love of animals had become his passion in life and Life with Dylan became more focused on conservation and Dylan's philanthropy work. My love of photography combined with his desire to save endangered species and change the world has made this blog something we are both proud of. Ironically, that first post in 2008 was just a glimpse of what our future had to offer. Looking back, maybe it was foreshadowing of the many changes and growing pains we would encounter as a family.

Social media will always be a part of Life with Dylan, but my real life with Dylan shouldn't have to suffer because of it. If I wouldn't have a cup of coffee in real life with someone, why should I be "friends" with them on Facebook?
I much prefer real conversations to "likes" and comments.

Time to say goodbye to some virtual friends and reconnect with the real ones.

As always, Life with Dylan inspires me to see the world a little differently than I did before.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Photographing Apes: Spotlight Chimpanzees

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a wonderful troop of chimpanzees. This particular troop was very animated and had me laughing at the similarities I could see from the human species. Like humans, chimpanzees are very curious and social animals - they are also highly intelligent. So intelligent, that they share 95-98% of our DNA, making chimpanzees one of the closet living relatives to humans.

Chimpanzees develop strong family bonds that can last a lifetime, especially between mother and child.

Watching the babies play and interact with each other was so much fun. The way they used sticks as tools and communicated with each other through hand gestures and body language was truly fascinating. It was like I was watching kids play at a park. The facial expressions completely melted my heart.

I believe the same characteristics that drew me to watching the chimpanzees play and interact for so long are the very traits that are causing these animals to disappear from their habitats. Chimpanzees are intelligent; therefore, it is easy to train them to do tricks and become performers or in some cases, a household pet. Chimpanzees are neither performers or pets - Chimpanzees are wild animals and should be treated as such. We need to be respectful of their natural habitats and support organizations like the Jane Goodall Institute to help save these highly intelligent primates.

Even though chimpanzees share close to 98% of our genetic makeup, humans are the main cause of harm to the species. As part of the great ape family, chimpanzees are endangered and live under continuous threat from habitat destruction and bushmeat hunters.

If that isn't enough to make you think about saving the chimpanzees, then maybe this statistic from the Jane Goodall Institute will at least make you want to learn more.

At the turn of the 20th Century, they numbered between 1 and 2 million . . . now there are estimated to be fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild. Incredibly—over the past 100 years—we may have lost as many as 1.7 million of the chimpanzees that roamed the forests of Africa.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Some Days You Just Need To Get Outside!

For most people summer vacation is what they look forward to all year long. Summer vacation means no school, staying up late, and sleeping in past 7 a.m. I'm just like most people, summer vacation can't get here soon enough! However, I have a love-hate relationship with summer.

Summer means keeping Dylan busy all day long.
Summer means double grocery bills because Dylan is a growing boy.
Summer means making the paycheck stretch for 2 months.

Thankfully we have some great trails within walking distance of our home and we can spend the day enjoying nature, free of charge ... because some days, you just need to get outside!

The path is paved for walkers, runners, bicyclist, and even horseback riders, but sometimes it's nice to get off the path and take one of the many hiking trails. You never know what you will find.

Like this hidden spot under a tree that let us get right next to the water and explore the biodiversity of the ecological reserve ... or the flowering buckwheat that is a beautiful shade of peach this time of year.

Getting outside is something that we all need to do more often. Connecting with nature does wonders for the mind and body ... not to mention my love-hate relationship with summer.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How One Boy Made Lots of Zoo Keepers Smile

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated every year as a way to honor the thousands of animal care professionals who dedicate their lives to animal care, conservation, and education. In the past, Dylan and I have each written open thank you letters to our zookeeper friends, but this year Dylan wanted to do something more. He wanted to be able to thank them all in person and let each zookeeper know how much he appreciated everything that they were doing for the animals.

Wow, this would require lots of brainstorming and some creativity on my part. Dylan wanted to actually give them something. How could we possibly thank all of the zookeepers in person and give them a token of appreciation?  Dylan had some great ideas, but I needed to fine tune them and figure out a way to keep the cost down. Thanks to Pinterest I found my answers and we started making some little gifts.

With mailing labels and washi tape that I had at home, we made some cute labels that we could attach to individual size m&m bags. In no time at all we had 75 gifts for zookeepers - and all for under $10.

Now the trick was getting the candy to the zookeepers. I knew we would see a few here and there, but often the keepers are behind the scenes.

Ironically, my friend Nicki let me know that there was an ice cream social planned for all the zookeepers on the same day we were planning on being at the San Diego Zoo. This was our lucky day!

When we first arrived at the zoo, we had a plan to visit some places we knew keepers would be. First stop was the Children's Zoo. The reaction I witnessed from one keeper when Dylan handed her the small bag of m&m's was priceless. She then proceeded to take us around her area, making sure that we saw each zookeeper working that day.

Soon after, another friend who was not working that day shared a Facebook post with me via twitter. It said, "So a young boy, probably 10 or 11, came to my area of the zoo and passed out personal size m&m's to all the keepers. There was a note that said happy national zookeeper week and thank you for all you do. It's amazing how something so small can cause such a big impact!! It just made me realize that we are making an impact on people. I love my job!!!"  I almost started crying right then and there.

I also found out that one of the zookeepers has a picture of her and Dylan on her locker as a reminder that she is making a difference. There were several more posts like this that I saw when I got home and some Instagram pics as well. This was not the reaction I expected.

After handing out a few more, it was time to crash the ice cream social. This was something I will never forget, nor will Dylan. He was in a room filled with zookeepers and all eyes were on him. Dylan was with "his people" and the smile on his face was just as bright as the smiles on their faces.

Nicki walked Dylan around to each table and introduced him to the zookeepers. She told them about his philanthropy work and how he wanted to be a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo when he was older. Some recognized him and gave handshakes or hugs, others simply appreciated the gift and smiled.

Aside from thanking the keepers, Dylan had the opportunity to meet some people face to face that he only knew through email. Meeting Aimee (a tiger keeper) and seeing Julian again may have been the highlight of this event for Dylan. The ice cream social was put on by the San Diego American Association of Zoo Keepers and they shared a lovely post about Dylan with some pictures on their Facebook page too.

Overall, the day was a success and we accomplished our mission of thanking as many zookeepers as possible in person. Seeing the smiles of so many zookeepers was awesome, but to be honest, it saddened me that they were so shocked by his small gift. These men and women work hard, and not in cushy offices, but out in the heat and rain, to care for the animals that we often take for granted. It made me realize that thanks need to be given more often. Dylan's wish to thank zookeepers taught both of us a valuable lesson - It really is the thought that counts and not the gift itself.

Thank you to all of the wonderful zookeepers for doing what you love!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Exploring Summer of Wonder at the Aquarium of the Pacific

This summer is all about spending time at some of our favorite places close to home. Getting outside and exploring to find new things is not only fun, but a great way to spend time together as a family. Last week Dylan and I spent the day in Long Beach at the Aquarium of the Pacific. We love living so close to one of the top aquariums in the United States. Each time we visit there is something new to see and of course old friends to see too. Like our penguin pals Avery and Kate - they are parents now! Congratulations guys!

The Aquarium of the Pacific always has wonderful exhibits to explore year round, but this visit was to celebrate the newest experience, Summer of Wonder.

Summer of Wonder gives kids of all ages (even parents) a chance to get a closer look then ever before at some animals with more interactive experiences and special behind-the-scenes look at animals feedings.

Visiting the new bonnethead shark and cownose ray touch pool in Shark Lagoon was Dylan's favorite part of the day. We learned all about target feeding during a training session and then had the opportunity to touch the sharks and rays.

Over in the Molina Animal Care Center we touched Atlantic horseshoe crabs. These guys are super unique because their blood turns blue when exposed to air due to the presence of a copper containing molecule called hemocyanin. Pretty cool if you ask me.

There is also a new exhibit at the very back (past Shark Lagoon) where you can learn all about the Southern California Steelhead fish. These endangered fish are fascinating and I will be sharing their story soon.

After seeing the outside exhibits of the aquarium we headed upstairs to see the penguins and start exploring the inside exhibits.

No matter how many times we visit Aquarium of the Pacific, the tanks never cease to amaze me.

I could sit and watch the marine life all day - especially the jellies!

Out of all the memories made this day, I think Dylan buying this squid hat topped them all. He wore it all day and got so many compliments too!

To learn more about Summer of Wonder and for general aquarium information visit

Friday, July 18, 2014

Baby Black Rhino Charges Into Our Hearts

Once again, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is doing their part to bring species back from the brink extinction. Last week a critically endangered black rhino calf was born at the Safari Park and has quickly charged into the hearts of rhino lovers all over the world.

The unnamed male calf was born on Saturday July 12, 2014. This is the fifth calf for Lembe and father Jambia and the 15th black rhino born at the Safari Park.

Last Wednesday I was at the Safari Park and knew the chances of seeing the baby rhino were slim. Lembe is very protective and has been keeping him hidden among the rocks. Nevertheless, I got on the tram  ... I just wanted a glimpse of the then 4-day-old baby rhino. Well, I got more than a glimpse.

The tram driver was just as excited as we were. She said that we were very lucky because nobody had seen Lembe walk the calf across the exhibit. All I could do was start clicking my camera in hopes of getting something that resembled a rhino. I was so honored that the Safari Park used my photo to announce the birth of the black rhino calf on social media.

In a press release from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, keepers stated that Lembe runs around her exhibit with her tail pointed up, a cue that lets her calf know she is on alert and watching over him. The young calf trots closely behind, sometimes fumbling over his footing, as he is still getting comfortable keeping up with his mother.

We have been watching Lembe has she grew bigger and bigger, anticipating the birth of this precious black rhino. Words cannot explain the excitement or the joy Dylan and I felt when we saw him running through the exhibit. Both mother and calf are visible to guests taking the Safari Park's Africa Tram tour, so get out there and see this little guy for yourself. The cuteness factor is off the charts!

Black Rhino Calf - Photo taken on July 18, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Playtime with Shadow

When most people think of a wolf, cute and cuddly are not the first words that come to mind. However, when Dylan and I met Shadow last week, the San Diego Zoo’s newest animal ambassador, those were the exact words I thought of.

This two-month old gray wolf pup is just as playful as any domestic puppy dog ... Playing with toys, waiting patiently for treats, and even chewing on shoes. 

Shadow really does love his keepers. So much, that he wants to play with them all the time - especially when they are trying to get work done!

Although Shadow would not make a good pet, he will make a wonderful animal ambassador. Even as a pup, you can already see the differences between a wolf and a domestic dog. Shadow has a long nose, large ears and huge paws - all important traits for a wolf. Shadow plays like a puppy, but it is important to remember that he is a wild animal.

After Shadow completes the 30-day quarantine period, he will move from the Children’s Zoo to his new home at Wegeforth Bowl and serve as an animal ambassador. Shadow will make appearances as part of the educational presentations and help to bring awareness to the public about the gray wolf species. Knowledge is the key to respecting animals in the wild. If we know more about the gray wolf, then maybe we will be more inclined to protect them. Educating people about wild animals is another way that San Diego Zoo Global helps to ensure the survival of endangered animals like Shadow.

If you plan on visiting the San Diego Zoo this month, I highly recommend stopping by the nursery in the Children's Zoo and meeting Shadow. The glass window can make it difficult to get pictures without a glare or reflection sometimes, but just watching him play will leave a lasting memory in your heart. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Australian Tree Huggers are the Best!

Eleven month old joey hugs a eucalyptus tree while he naps at the San Diego Zoo Australian Outback. Now this is a tree hugger that everyone can love!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 Simple Ways to Help Your Local Zoo or Aquarium

Spending the day at your local zoo or aquarium is a wonderful way to learn more about animals and the conservation efforts being made to ensure these animals are around for future generations. No matter how often you visit the animals, there is always something new to learn about them. Zoos and aquariums have so much to offer -  listening to fascinating keeper talks, seeing a new fact on an exhibit sign, or reading about progress made on a conservation issue.

Most zoos and aquariums are non-profit organizations and depend on us, the general public, to keep the doors open. Everything we purchase, whether it be admission tickets, food, or a stuffed animal, is helping to give the animals the best care possible. There are so many ways that you can make a difference and help, but not everyone knows how or where to start. 

Here are few simple things you can do to help your local zoo or aquarium:

  1. Get a membership. Instead of just buying a ticket for the day, why not buy a ticket for the entire year? Annual memberships are often the lifeblood of these organizations. If animal conservation is something you feel strongly about, why not upgrade from the basic membership? Check with your local zoo or aquarium and see what types of membership options are available. 
  2. Adopt an animal. Most animal adoptions start at only $25 and make great gifts for birthdays and holidays. Animal adoption can be done through the mail, or from my experience, many offer digital adoption certificates. This makes it very convenient when adopting an animal for someone who lives out of the area. 
  3. Give your change. That's right, give away all those loose coins that get lost in the bottom of your purse. You would be amazed at how fast those add up and every little bit helps! Next time you visit, look around for a donation spot by the exit or near your favorite animal exhibit.
  4. Support them online. Nine times out of ten, your favorite zoo or aquarium is on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumbler ... do a search and start following them, spread the word. Sharing a post or a picture goes a long way. You probably aren't the only one who thinks that baby panda is adorable!
  5. Think globally. Many zoos and aquariums are a small piece in a very big puzzle working together to end extinction. Do your research and check out their website. I bet your local zoo or aquarium is affiliated with a much larger global organization that could use your help too. For example, the Tiger Conservation Campaign was started by the Minnesota Zoo, but is supported by many other zoos.   

Whatever you decide to do, know that you are making a difference for the animals. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Exploring the Environmental Nature Center

Sometimes adventure can be in your own backyard, or in this case your neighborhood, and you didn't even know it. Getting outside is easier than you think - you just need to know where to look.

One of the things on our summer to-do list was visiting the Environmental Nature Center (ENC). We are lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from the ENC and always have fun exploring the grounds.

The ENC covers a little over five acres and has a combination of 15 native California plant communities, wildlife habitats, and walking trails. You can easily spend 2-3 hours exploring the trails. From the desert to the redwoods to the marsh, you never know what you will find.

As beautiful as everything is, don't get so lost in the trees that you forget to take a closer look. We found this little guy soaking up the sunshine near the meadow. Yes, the ENC even has a meadow!

In my opinion, the ENC is like a sanctuary - it is the perfect escape from the daily grind when you need a good dose of nature.

Dylan and I spent most of the afternoon walking the trails and exploring. Since he has attended nature camp here for several years, he knows the area well. He enjoys being the guide and letting me know where the spiders nest, where the wasps are, and of course where the poison oak is along the path. Armed with sunscreen, walking shoes and my camera, I was more than happy to follow Dylan's lead.

The ENC is more than just walking trails - It is a world filled with the simple beauty of flora.

Oh, and while your walking, don't forget to look up. 
The ENC is home to lots of little critters too!

For more information on the ENC, visit and to see more of our adventures, you can view our Exploring the ENC album on Flickr.