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My wonderful wife Wendy works at Natural Habitat Adventures (they run incredible nature trips like this worldwide) and we were fortunate to be able to go on an African Safari in 1999. In 2010, we did an Africa Safari family trip with our two boys. Our trip to Africa started on May 28th, 2010 with this South African Airways A340-300 at JFK We were in seats 74/75HK ... wayyy in the back, but fortunate to have a window/aisle.

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view African Safari Family Trip as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


My wonderful wife Wendy works at Natural Habitat Adventures (they run incredible nature trips worldwide) and she had previously visited the Galapagos Islands in 1996. Fifteen years later, she returned with her family as Dirk, Kyle, and I were fortunate to join her week-long live-aboard ship to see the nifty wildlife and scenery. Here's a "few" pictures - more to come!

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view Galapagos Islands as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


While I've been fortunate to have had good health, my eyes have always been a bit of a problem. As a child, I was quite near-sighted (ending up around -7 diopters of myopia- i.e. is that an "E"? ;-) but this was correctable via glasses and (later on) contacts. Fortunately, I did not have much astigmatism (which is harder to correct, especially in contacts) and my vision was fairly stable from ~20 to age 40. One "nice" thing about being so Myopic is that without glasses/contacts, I can focus very close. I did consider having Lasik, but the combination of high Myopia and thin Cornea meant I was a borderline case. Around age 40, it started becoming more difficult to focus (when wearing correction) at close distances, especially in low light. This is a very common condition called Presbyopia which is due to your crystalline lens becoming less elastic. In 2010 (age 46), I noticed that my right eye had more difficulty seeing things. I had been told it had a "small" cataract, but these can often exist for years with no impairment of vision. Unfortunately, I had a Posterior Subcapsular Cataract - these "grow" faster, are more prevalent in younger people, and cause greater visual degradation due to the location at the rear of the visual axis. Because of the cloudiness, you are no longer able to correct to 20-20. An analogy would be a blown window that now has a permanent haze. I'm a bit of a photographer who really analyzes camera gear (and shoots through the viewfinder using my right eye - bummer!) ... so I'm aware that image quality encompasses more than just seeing "20-20" on the eye chart.

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view Cataract Surgery with Crystalens - My Experience as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


Below is a summary of the "Three Perfect Days in Wenatchee" - see the links above for even more pictures! Oh yeah, the skiing was outrageous - great base, fresh snow every night, and Kurt knows Mission Ridge like the back of his hand. We did a bit of hiking for some serious untouched powder, and even in the traffic'ed areas, Kurt knew all sorts of secret stashes.

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view Three Perfect Days in Wenatchee as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


My wonderful wife Wendy works at Natural Habitat Adventures (they run incredible nature trips like this worldwide) and since the company liked the pictures I took down South in Antarctica, they sent me up North for the Polar Bears - man, am I lucky! Churchill, Canada is aptly named the Polar Bear Capital of the World. It is pretty amazing to watch these big white animals up close ... and have them stand up to breathe on your hands through a metal grate - see links to videos at the bottom. For getting around on the Tundra, you ride in giant Polar Rover and I was fortunate to be able to stay in the very cool Great White Polar Bear Tundra Lodge surrounded by Polar Bears. Below is just a handful of the pictures that I took during the Churchill Polar Bear trip in November/2009.

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view Churchill Polar Bear Trips Tours as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


Mission Wolf is a remote wolf sanctuary located 35 miles NorthWest of Walsenburg, Colorado - read lots more at their website. This was an enjoyable (overnight) first stop on our two week Colorado vacation roadtrip. In addition to the pictures below, I have three slide shows of the wolves, wolves w/people, and other misc. pictures. As seen below, you get really close to the wolves!

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view Mission Wolf, Colorado as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


After having fun with nesting house finches on my front door, a neighbor who enjoyed that saga Email'ed me about a hummingbird nest at a nearby golf course. I have some old pictures of colorado hummingbirds, but had never seen a nest. It's amazing how well camouflaged it is - would have never seen it if it hadn't been pointed out to me - thanks Brian! Be sure to scroll down as the pictures get better ... and check out the Hi-Def videos at the bottom.

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view Baby Hummingbird Nest as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky


There are some large cottonwood trees East of our house that have had a bird nest for years. In 2005, we saw some Great Horned owls nesting there (see bottom pictures) ... but a few years later, the nest was taken over by some Red-Tailed Hawks. I didn't see any action in 2009, but in 2010, the Great Horned Owls came back to the nest - perhaps the next generation!

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view Great Horned Owl Nest as presented by: Alek Komarnitsky

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