This is the inaugural post in a new “Travel Photo of the Week” series.
This lovely little fellow is a land iguana, is a native to the Galapagos Islands. According to a Wikipedia entry, Charles Darwin described the Galapagos Land Iguana as “ugly animals, of a yellowish orange beneath, and of a brownish-red colour above: from their low facial angle they have a singularly stupid appearance.”
Contrary to Darwin’s thoughts, I think that land iguanas are spectacularly beautiful creatures. I took this photo while on an excursion to one of the many islands in the Galapagos (I don’t recall which one!) back in May 2007. I like how the ocean is sparkling in the background and makes for an interesting contrast.
The daily excursions to each of the little islands leave you speechless with awe and wonder. You are so touched by the natural beauty and seeing the animals in their natural habit. I remember while walking along one of the trails, our group came across a land iguana sitting right in our path. (During the excursions, no one is permitted to venture off the guided paths in order to help preserve the environment.) Our guide instructed us to leap over the iguana and continue on our way. As each of us did just that, the iguana remained frozen in position as if oblivious to our movements. It was a great moment – they are not scared of humans at all!