It has been a couple of weeks since returning from South America, where I led two separate, wildlife photography workshops - one in the Ecuadorian cloud forests of Tandayapa Valley, followed by an 8-day cruise in the magical Galapagos archipelago.
The above images were made during these adventures. The first depicts a Sparkling Violetear photographed in the Tandayapa Valley, two hours north of Quito, while the second portrays a Galapagos Penguin, wings out-stretched while perched atop one of the numerous volcanic rocks encircling Bartolome Island.
One of those magical moments. many of which Nature has shared with me over the years, occurred as my group and I worked the shoreline of Bartolome from a dingy, or panga as the natives call the small, wooden boats.
It took place between two Galapagos Penguins. One, an adult that I assumed to be a female, stood on one of the volcanic rocks. Next to her stood a juvenile, which appeared to be her offspring. After interacting for some time with the adult, the youngster dove into the water and swam away. When this occurred, the female spread her short wings, raised her head to the heavens and began squalling at its departure. In no time, another penguin, which I assumed to be her mate and previously hidden behind the rock upon which she stood, waddled-up behind her, placed his arms (wings) around her and stood there comforting her as she lay her head on his arm while bathing in his compassion.