Tag Archives: Wildlife

Sima bog near Moscow

Initially you wouldn’t think of a bog to spent your day but it really looks like fun.

Active Naturists

 Русский

naturist 0000 Sima, Moscow oblast, Russia

There is a very pretty bog not too far from Moscow, and it was one of the most interesting places where I’ve enjoyed outdoors the natural way, naked. It is a peat bog called Sima at the Zvenigorod Biological Station of Moscow State University, where I spent quite a lot of time during summer practices in my student year. It was so nice to come back there a few years later. Student excursions aside, it’s an ideal place to find oneself at peace with nature.

view 0000 Sima, Moscow oblast, Russia

Sima is a relatively small peat moss bog surrounded by fir-tree forest.
view 0001 Sima, Moscow oblast, Russia

The bog is outlined by a stretch of smaller-than-usual birches and pines, as well as blueberries and rhododendron. There were no berries of course, when I visited in May, but rhododendron bush was in full bloom.
Rhododendron 0000 Sima, Moscow oblast, Russia

Though transition between the forest and the bog appears relatively smooth, there’s no transition between…

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Hiking near oasis at the Dead Sea in Israel

Always amazed by The Active Naturist adventures.

Active Naturists

After spending 2 days of snorkeling at the Red Sea, I had to move further, and the next stop on my trip through Israel was the Dead Sea. I stayed at a friend of my new friend who brought me to Ga’ash beach in Tel Aviv. He lived in Ein Gedi kibbutz, which is a part of luscious Ein Gedi oasis off the shores of the Dead Sea. The sea-lake itself is of course the major attraction in the area, and I will talk about it in my next post, but there is also a nice opportunity to see local flora and fauna on a daily hiking trip. Ein Gedi nature reserve has two spring-fed streams with flowing water year-round: Nahal David and Nahal Arugot. The former is much more popular, and I was advised not to go there, as tourists pour in big portions coming with organized…

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Rainforest of tree ferns: prehistoric scenery on a forbidden trail

What a great hike!

Active Naturists

The last (for now!) blogpost of our Hawaiian adventures is about a pretty but also somewhat uncanny rainforest on Puna side of the Big Island that we explored using Ka-hau-a-Le’a trail, which is no longer recommended for visits by authorities and is officially closed. However, it is definitely among the most interesting hikes that I’ve done in my life thanks to a combination of several factors. The guidebook ‘Hawaii, the Big Island Revealed‘ was our inspiration again.

The day was rainy but very warm, appropriately for a tropical rainforest and that part of the island of Hawaii particularly, so the most appropriate attire was just our bare skin – you know it’s my favorite one anyways!

naturist 0000 Ka-hau-a-Le'a tree fern trail, Hawaii, USA

So, I kept my clothes (i.e., only shorts on that day) dry in the backpack for later 🙂

naturist 0001 Ka-hau-a-Le'a tree fern trail, Hawaii, USA

Given that the trail is formally closed and conditions were muddy, we didn’t expect to see many hikers (and we…

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Kalani resort, tide pools and black sand beach (Hawaii)

Active Naturists

Kalani retreat center was our base on Puna side of Hawaii island . Tod had been there before and loved it.

The painting in our room set our mood for another naturist adventure 🙂

painting 0000 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

As we arrived late in the evening, we were welcomed by a chorus of coquí frogs.

It’s an invasive species introduced from Puerto Rico, but I loved the ambient sound they provided (and to their defense, they haven’t really brought any harm to local ecology as far as I know). I managed to track down one of coquí frogs near the pool, which was impossible according to Tod – not if you’re a zoologist like me 😀

coqui frog 0000 Kalani resort, Hawaii, USA

After that, we relaxed in the sauna, and then Tod did a Watsu session for me (“a form of aquatic bodywork used for deep relaxation and passive aquatic therapy… in which a practitioner gently cradles, moves, stretches, and massages a…

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Beach #67, much more interesting than it sounds (Hawaii)

Great place. I was there some years ago.

Active Naturists

view 0004 beach 67, Hawaii, USA Hope you didn’t think that my story about the Big Island, Hawaii, ended at the beach next to Kona airport 😉 The island is indeed big and very diverse. Even this beach at Kona side of the island looked totally different from Makalawena. It’s a cozy cove with yellow sand surrounded by black rocks and trees.

view 0003 beach 67, Hawaii, USA

It’s called after the electric pole #67 by Old Puako Road where you’d have to stop to get to the beach. I doubt you could find a label that would wholly reflect the atmosphere of this spot in any case, so never mind the numeric name of the beach.

view 0002 beach 67, Hawaii, USA

Upon arrival, I first had a short walk, enjoying the views from the rocks.

view 0000 beach 67, Hawaii, USA

Meanwhile, my friend Tod started snorkeling already.

naturist 0000 beach 67, Hawaii, USA

He saw a turtle pass by next to him, and although I’d seen a few sea turtles before, I was looking forward to seeing…

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Makalawena beach by Kona airport, welcome to Hawaii

I went to the big island on 2007 but didn’t make it to this beach. Looks like a great place. Spectacular sunset by the way.

Active Naturists

view 0000 Makalawena beach, Hawaii, USA

After Maui, I headed to the island of Hawaii aka Big Island. It was a real pleasure to see my first destination on the island – a beautiful secluded beach called Makalawena – from the airplane upon approach to Kona airport. It came highly recommended by two friends, and my guidebook (‘Hawaii, the Big Island Revealed‘) said that it was “the choicest beach on the island [to many who]… don’t mind walking to it”.

view 0001 Makalawena beach, Hawaii, USA

It looked very pretty from the air, with its clear turquoise water, white sand and coconut palm-trees… but I could also see a pretty long road and trails going through black lava field that lead to it! The book certainly had the point, but there was another promising note, which I have to cite here, as it’s quite funny:

By the way, because it’s so isolated, people sometimes travel light to this beach, omitting…

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canoeing in the Everglades

Another great post from Active Naturists

Active Naturists

You might have been surprised to hear about a hiking trail in South Florida in my previous blogpost, but did you know that you could go canoeing in the Everglades for a week or so without seeing any settlements? That is the largest continuous mangrove forest in western hemisphere for you! On our latest trip to Florida, Tam and I didn’t have quite as much time, but we ventured out to explore the southern part of the Everglades National Park for 3 days on a canoe. That’s where the “river of grass” I was talking about in my previous post meets the sea, but at this point it is no longer dominated by sawgrass but mangroves, a unique group of trees that can grow in brackish and even sea water (I wrote more about them previously). The canoe trail goes from Flamingo Visitor Center in the south to Everglades city, and there…

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Scenic trail in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Active Naturists

naturist 0000 Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, USA

South Florida is one the most popular tourist destinations, but it’s not known for its hiking. In this blogpost, I invite you to join me on a scenic trail that proves that hiking in South Florida is exciting even though it’s as flat as it gets.

Florida trail view 0003 Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, USA

This 8-mile section of Florida trail goes through various landscapes of Big Cypress National Preserve. About a year ago, I went to Florida with my sister, and we stayed at the same CouchSurfing hosts, as in my first visit to Florida with Joe; Peter already knew we would love the idea of hiking in the swamp, so he got in touch with his friend Dave from Florida Great Outdoors group. Dave was an excellent guide, he knew every corner of the trail and told us a lot about the wildlife, of which we saw plenty!

cormorant 0000 Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, USA

Just on the way to the southern trailhead, we…

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Rattling around in Harriman State Park woods

Great article from Active Naturists. Entertaining and informative.

Active Naturists

I though I had seen all what Harriman State Park near NYC provided, but a week ago, I saw something there that gave me goosebumps… and the urge to post about it, as a warning to other hikers in the area. So, this is what awaited me at the white trail right by the Pine Meadow Lake:

rattlesnake 0000 Harriman State Park, NY, USA

Yes, a rattlesnake! Curiously enough, when we were hiking towards the lake the day before, Sergei wondered if we should watch out for snakes. None of us had seen venomous snakes in the area (but I did report on non-venomous snakes in the previous blogpost about Harriman), and I noted they were actually pretty rare in New York State. But I was lucky to see one on the way back.

rattlesnake 0001 Harriman State Park, NY, USA

Well, when I said  I was ‘lucky’ to see it, I really meant it and for two reasons. First of all…

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