Travel Memories: All Creatures are Beautiful

Recently I met a woman in a pub and we started talking about pets. I mentioned my dog, Miles, and she asked to see a photo. I showed her one on my cell phone and she instantly scrunched her face in disgust and then said, “Sorry, I only like dogs with soft hair and floppy ears.” This made me laugh. For those of you who haven’t seen a photo of Miles, this is what he looks like

Happy Miles

I think he’s adorable. The woman’s comment made me think about all the creatures I’ve seen on my travels that may not get the love and attention they deserve since they aren’t soft and cuddling looking. Personally, I think all creatures, no matter how odd, are wonderful. Here are some examples from our time in Malaysia. Have a great weekend!



About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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87 Responses to Travel Memories: All Creatures are Beautiful

  1. Wow – some distinctly unique insects you have captured there! But what is that famous quote again?? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” 😉

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I guess we’re all different, but I’m with you. Miles is lovely 🙂

  3. Miles is cute, looks like he’s smiling.
    Great photos, I’m always fascinated by animal life, the green of the praying mantis, the agility of the squirrel, the beautiful pattern on a snake skin, even the round pink ears of the small rat who loved to eat my croissants. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      My parents would get mad when I was a kid since I kept feeding the mice that “moved” into our house. I thought they were adorable. And rats amaze me–such intelligent creatures.

  4. Miles is always such a ham for the camera. I love it :). As for your creature at the top right, we got to hold one of those at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. It’s a great science centre because there are so many “hands on” experiences which kids love. Also, if I could pick a wild animal to have as a pet, I’ve always wanted a monkey!!

  5. Novroz says:

    Hahahaha I know exactly how you feel!!
    I have heard sooo many times people saying “euw … turtles?? disgusting!” or “What’s so cute about turtles?” or people running away when my turtles got closer. But whatever they think, my turtles are the cutest…and so does Miles 🙂

  6. Colline says:

    I think Miles is cute – he seems to have a bit of character and that would make him fun. As for the other creatures you have shown, I don’t think I would like them as my pet (even though the leech would always be by my side 🙂 )

  7. Beth Ann says:

    I love Miles!!! I don’t think animals have to but soft and snuggly to be cute but i guess it helps. Love your pictures today, TBM. They are wonderful examples of the loveliness and uniqueness of our animal kingdom.

    • TBM says:

      Traveling has really opened my eyes about how cool this planet is. I’m not saying I’m a huge leech fan, but it was fascinating to see them. Luckily they only got on my shoes and not on my skin.

  8. hilary says:

    I love miles!
    some of those other creatures though…

  9. Miles is adorable and looks ready to play. I’m glad the woman in the pub made you laugh. She certainly is frank and open with her opinions as Europeans are, and she did include “sorry.” Her comment presents a mystery. Can we guess what kind of pet she has or has had? I would guess an English cocker or springer spaniel from the clues she gave.
    The photos of your creatures are all very interesting. I never came home from abroad with photos of any of these creatures, but I did come home with the memory of what they are called. Once by a pool in Spain the “zapateros” were buzzing around. “Shoemakers” they are called. I much prefer that over “dragonfly.” Another fun post, TBM.

    • TBM says:

      Her dog is soft and cuddly with floppy ears, but it wasn’t a spaniel. She told me the breed, but I can’t remember now. I had to look it up on Wiki at the time to get a visual.

      Shoemakers–haven’t heard of them. Maybe I’ll run into some if I visit Spain again. I adored Spain.

  10. pets are like babies in that there’s no such thing as an ugly one. she may like a certain type, but that’s no excuse for running down the others. humph! i’ve had millipedes & hermit crabs and a snake as a pet. i wonder what she would say to that! 😉

  11. bocafrau says:

    I think Miles is adorable – he has the cutest doggie smile! And yes, there are many fascinating creatures out there, even if they aren’t cute. I love learning about different species and their surroundings – I find it all so interesting! Nature is pretty amazing.

    • TBM says:

      Nature is astounding and when you start to learn about how we’re all connected, it’s even more amazing. Bet you see some good creatures in Florida.

  12. Rorybore says:

    Hm, how rude of her. I;m offended on your behalf, but maybe that’s the Canadian in me. how could you not think Miles was adorable and sweet!? I am definitely with you: all creatures, great and small are glorious! Nature is Awesome.

  13. I hope you kicked her shins 😉

  14. poppytump says:

    Miles is cute and full of character ! Hurrumph to that woman 😉
    Nice to put that selection of other creatures together TBM I bet you have plenty more too .

    • TBM says:

      I started selecting photos from all my trips, but then decided to focus on Malaysia since there were so many. Hopefully I’ll meet more. Love seeing new things.

  15. liz2you says:

    I think….mmm I think, never mind what she said. No really, I am sure even the smallest ant has a mirror in his bedroom, and he hopes Miss Ant will notice how he did his hair and shaved his face! Everything is beautiful, in its own way, as is Miles!!! Liz

  16. Letizia says:

    Miles is the cutest! This woman is clearly out of her mind!

  17. Well, Reggie and I think Miles is the bees knees. All creatures are beautiful and valuable no matter if they have fur or fins or feathers. Or spiky pinschers on their heads. 🙂

  18. Miles is so cute and precious! It’s hard for me to imagine anyone thinking otherwise. And it’s a shame that woman has a thing against non-floppy ears. My current dog has ears like Miles, and it’s always fun to see how she twitches them!

  19. My best friend brought her Boston Terrier to lunch on Saturday and I couldn’t get over how cute she is. They always look like they’re smiling!
    I think I could love a dog no matter what they looked like.

  20. NH says:

    Miles is adorable, that woman does not know what she is talking about!
    It always surprises when people automatically think a creature can’t be cute or beautiful. I grew up with having Anoles as pets, they had such beautiful soft skin & when they ate refrigerated meal worms it looked like they were smoking cigars. They all had different personalities and expressions, they were as awesome as my cat. I thought this was a wide held belief, but when I brought them in for Show & Tell-two girls literally ran out of the room screaming. I think they were the soft and floppy-eared dog types too. Though I feel most of the creatures featured in your beautiful photos should be admired from a distance, I think they are beautiful for how unique and how perfectly structured they are for what they do in their environment.

    • TBM says:

      They actually ran from the room? Well I guess that’s okay, but kinda surprising. I bet the reptile house at the zoo was out of the question for them on school outings. I’m with you, there’s a beauty in every creature and it’s important to learn how they contribute instead of just getting rid of them.

  21. As a previous reader commented, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. You captured some amazing insects, though I think I will admire them from afar. 🙂 But, we are lucky to live on a planet with such a diversity of animals, landscapes, and people. Thank you for the reminder.

  22. Miles is a real cutie-pie. 🙂 I have to admit that I’m not really that fond of insects. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I admire insects from afar. But I find myself watching a lot of documentaries on them. Fascinating how they influence and affect our lives all over the world

  23. Jo Bryant says:

    Miles IS adorable. The leech is beautiful.

    • TBM says:

      I was really surprised by how beautiful the leech was. I figured something like a leech would look more leechy I guess. I drove everyone crazy since I kept trying to photos of them when they were on someone’s shoe or trousers.

      • Jo Bryant says:

        I can just see that in my head…makes me smile. Now please tell Miles there are lots of out here who think that dogs with soft fur and floppy ears are overrated…he is a star among dogs.

      • TBM says:

        I will tell him that, but I think he’s been sensing all the love on the blog. Lately, he’s been really happy and wanting to say hi to everyone he sees, even if the person doesn’t want to say hi back. It’s amusing and sometimes embarrassing.

      • Jo Bryant says:

        Awwww…that is sooo cute. tell him to keep it up. The one’s who don’t want to say hi…they need it the most.

      • TBM says:

        Yes they do, but they don’t see it. it’s sad really.

  24. That was such an unbelievably thoughtless remark to make after seeing a picture of Miles. As for all creatures being beautiful … Hm. I think that some people, like this woman in particular who is so narrow minded about dogs, are rather ugly. But at least her rudeness inspired your post and something positive came out of the encounter.

    • TBM says:

      It’s not a remark I would make about someones pet or loved one, but hey, it’s hard for me to judge others. I’m sure I’ve said many thoughtless things without knowing it. And since we were at the pub. I’ll blame the beer, not her.

      How are you doing after being freshly pressed? Have you recovered yet?

      • I find that alcohol has the same effect as truth serum on some people. I appreciated that WP emailed me a heads up this time that I was getting FP’ed. It went much better this time. As our mutual friend, A Frank Angle, astutely pointed out most of those in the onslaught are types I’ll never hear from again. The validation is a welcome ego massage but I know well who are my real friends in the blogosphere.

      • TBM says:

        I was FP’ed once and I was so new to blogging I didn’t know about it and had no clue as to why all these random people were commenting. It was nice, but yes, most leave very quickly. I did make some good blogging friends because of it so that’s nice.

  25. Well a great big fat raspberry to her from me, Luna and Alfi!

  26. Caroline says:

    I’m glad that reaction didn’t hurt you. I never take it lightly when people say “I don’t like black cats” or some such thing. It’s like looking at someone’s partner and making a face.
    Whatever. We love Miles and your Atticus as well. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      You know I love black cats, even though mine is miffed with me this morning. he’s not getting his way. I was surprised by her reaction since I would never respond that way, but it caught me off guard and I had to laugh.

  27. cupitonians says:

    I do believe the same thing – they are all beautiful and I don’t just say that cause I live in a country where we breed them in the backyard.

  28. aFrankAngle says:

    Cheers to Miles … just don’t forget his ball!

  29. Anna says:

    I agree with you 100%! I think one of the most misunderstood living creature is the snake. Miles looks so friendly!

    • TBM says:

      I would have to say snakes and spiders. I’m not saying I rush out to meet them, but I am fascinated by them.

      • Anna says:

        Oh yes, spiders! I feel so sorry for those creatures. They are harmless and yet people kill them and make them seem like monsters. I have nothing against creepy crawlies – they are great and important!

      • TBM says:

        People at my work in Colorado used to tease me when I would capture spiders and let them go outside.

  30. nrlymrtl says:

    Well, Miles is still the cutest of the bunch, followed closely by the leech in nature (and not on a screaming human).

    • TBM says:

      You know, no one really screamed when they got a leech on them. Most of the time, the leech was already gone and they just noticed they were bleeding. Everyone said they didn’t feel it. I think they numb you when they bite you.

  31. Miles is so adorable! However, I have a thing for bugs.. I just have a hard time with them…so if one of your creatures you photographed came upon me I might freak out a tad bit. 😀

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

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