The world has been amid tough times in the recent years with natural calamities striking in different corners of the globe. We thought that instead on focusing on all the negativities, we try to remind ourselves how beautiful our world is.
We created a list to remind us of natural wonders that we can look forward to every month as we go through this year.
January – Monarch butterflies in Mexico
We featured the flight of the monarch butterflies before as they journey from the very cold northeastern portion of the United States and Canada to a sunnier central Mexico. The journey takes the butterflies 2,000 miles to flap their wings but how the butterflies navigate to a place where they have never been before fascinates experts. Generation after generation of these orange, wing flapping insects do not miss the 215 square mile spot in Mexico.
You can catch the monarch butterflies turning Angangueo, a small town in Mexico, orange. The rocks, the trees, and anyone can be practically be covered by the butterflies.
Catch the magic at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. You can book a room at Rancho San Cayetano just 40 minutes away from all the monarch butterfly action.
February– Pororoca in Brazil
Pororoca or the longest wave known to us hits the coastline of Rio Araguari in Brazil just off the Amazon Basin. The surf rolls every February and March. The resistance of the narrow waterway of Rio Araguas against the strong flow from the Atlantic Ocean creates a tidal bore as high as 15 feet that rolls for about 40 minutes. The poroc-poroc as Tupi Indians call it literally means great roar, and truly seeing the wave can be amazing and terrifying.
The power of the wave is overwhelming and only surfers with a death wish will brave. You will see trees, snakes, piranhas, alligators being swashed to the shore.
It is not advisable to get very close to the waves. It will be safe to rent a room overlooking Rio Negro along the Amazon Basin.
March – Denmark’s Black Sun
The sun is not changing colors nor is it not a title to a Danish horror film. Black Sun refers to Sort Sol or when starlings, about a million of them, cover the skies of western Denmark. This happens from March through April and around September through October. You can see the biggest flocks in the southern Jotland just above the Tonder Marsh. Wait for the starlings before sunset and watch the sky blocked for about 20 minutes. Aside from the number of the birds, how they move back and forth is really impressive.
April – Whale Migration in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The big boys of the sea converge in Cape Cod between April and October to feast on the rich waters near the Stellwagen Bank. They take a break from their 4,000 mile journey traveling from their winter and summer homes. Most commonly seen are the humpbacks and you can join a cruise from Pymouth, Barnstable, or Provincetown in Massachusetts to watch the whales. I can recommend you a nice Provincetown Inn for traveler in Cape Cod or a cozy Bed & Breakfast in Provincetown.
You can rent rustic lodges along the beach of Chatham for a classic Cape Cod escape. If you are looking for Ptown accommodation or just a nice guest house in Provincetown make sure you check the White Porch Inn. It is in the centre of Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which is only 116 miles from Boston.
May – World’s biggest colony of bats in Mexico
We hope bats don’t freak you out but we understand how you will find it unnerving to see about 100 million of them. Between May through October, free tailed bats of Mexico enjoy feeding on the insects and nourish their young in the caves of the Texas Hill Country.
Checkout the Bracken Cave which serves home to about 20 million bats, and that wont them the label as the biggest single colony of bats in the whole world. If you don’t want to hear them hurling and squeaking in the air from near the caves, you can go to Austin and see around 1.5 million bats hanging out (well literally hanging) under the Congress Bridge. This one is the biggest urban colony of bats in the globe.
From March to November locals and tourists flock to this corner of Texas at dusk to watch the winged night creatures take flight.
June – Elephant Migration in Botswana
The biggest herds of elephants in the world live in the Okavango Delta near the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The big animals move from their home to the Kalahari Desert in search of water when the delta starts to dry up between June through November.
The elephants move with their families and the herd can go as big as 500 elephants. The older female elephants lead the herd to the oases using over 50 years of its experience. When the rainy season starts, the elephants go back home.
If you are going with your special someone, you can get a romantic, luxury ten at the Zarafa Camp in Chobe National Park. Yes, that is fine dining right under the canvas.
July – Sardine Run in South Africa
The unassuming sardines get together near the coast of South Africa from June and July to start their migration to the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. The swirling schools of sardines are really an amazing sight. It is not smooth sailing for these small swimmers though since they have to deal with dolphins, sharks, whales, seals, and gannets which also come to the area to feast on them.
Experienced divers are able to come close to see the predator-prey action but it might be more sensible to snorkel just above the going on feeding frenzy.
August 12 to 14, 2010 – Perseid Meteor Shower in California
It is worth the neck muscles to look up the sky when you wait for the Perseid meteor shower happening between August 12 and 14 this year. You need to get out of the city to enjoy the real wonder of specks of ice and dust falling off the trail of the Swift-Turtle comet.
During the peak of the meteor shower, you will be able to see around 80 shooting stars in an hour. Look up the Perseus constellation and you might just witness an earthgrazer or shooting stars which skim the sky and giving off a really good trail of color.
All you need to pack is some clothes, water, food, your MP3 player and head to the Joshua Tree National Park for the ideal pitch black foreground.
September – Migration of the Cownose ray in Florida and Mexico
You don’t want to mess with the stingrays so judgment call says it is safe to be seeing this migration from a boat. The cownose rays, so called because of the two lobes in front of their heads, travel from the coastline of Florida to their feeding grounds in Yucatan, Mexico.
It is an amazing sight to see the glow from the big numbers of cownose rays as they skim under the water. You will be able to see thousands of these sea creatures traveling in groups or fevers as they call it. These are shy animals (is it because of their looks?) but you should not really test the theory knowing they have 15-inch poisonous stings with them.
October – Wildebeest and zebra migration in Tanzania and Kenya
Some of us spend most of our lives going in circles. Wildebeests and zebras create art while they run around 1,800 miles from the plains of Masai Mara to the savannas of Serengeti. About 1.5 million hairy wildebeests joined by zebras and chased by lions, tigers, hyenas, and leopards disturb the dusty landscape.
You can go to Tanzania around October or November to catch the animals covering the Serengeti Plain. You can also try to see the corrsin go the Grumeti in Tanzania and Mara (Kenya) rivers between July and September.
Book a lodge in the Singita Grumeti Sasakwa located right in the path of the migration.
November – Red Crabs come marching in Australia
When the calendar hits late October through November, and monsoon rains start pouring in Australia, about 130 million crabs walk from the lush green of the Christmas Island. They literally turn the town red since it takes them 18 days to complete the 5-mile journey towards the sea.
They will be everywhere from gardens, to houses, golf courses, and rail roads. Some roads are also declared closed to traffic while the crabs’ crusade goes on. Some bridges are specially built so crabs will not be messing with the highway traffic. What triggers the migration? Mating, of course. Now ask why they walk sideways?
If you want to witness this amazing event, rent a bungalow on the Christmas Island. Just make sure you check the pool for nipping crab claws when you take a dip.
December – Aurora Borealis in Norway
You probably heard of the breathtaking Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. The best time to see it is from December through January. The purple, green, reddish glow is actually caused by the solar wind colliding with the magnetic field of our planet. The southern hemisphere on the other end boasts of the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights.
Whether you are a science junky or not, the display of lights is just purely spectacular. In Norway, you can get a guide or join a tour so you can click away with your camera.
You can book a room at Juvet Hotel in Burtgard on the west coast of Norway. The room has a panoramic view of the skyline. The surrounding is very dramatic.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)