Doubt is a quality that separates us from the rest of the animals. Can’t prove it, but I believe it.
Our resident photographer, Sue Flood, who has a great reputation as a wildlife photographer, did a fine presentation that inspired me to take the time to change settings while shooting. You can see one of the results to the right. Foreground in focus, background out of focus. Avant-garde for me. Really, really ordinary for photographers as experienced as Sue.
The day I went ashore on Petermann Island, the sky was overcast overhead. In the distance, the sun broke through, illuminating the continental mountains. Primordial. Other-wordly. Ethereal. Breath-taking. And I found red snow!
Algae inhabit polar snow. For reasons still undiscovered the algae bloom in certain areas, while leaving other stretches of snow pristine. Most often the algae are green, but in rare instances they are red. They stain the snow, as you can see in this photo. This phenonmenon is best seen in February or March, as fall approaches in the southern polar region.
On Petermann is a Gentoo Penguin rookery – the most southerly in all the world. Adelie’s share the island with the Gentoo. When I was there, only moulting Adelie remained – their natural dapperness in disarray as the old feathers were replaced by the new. They do not eat during the process, losing large amounts of body fat as the transformation requires a great deal of energy.
One day I am going to produce an excellent water colour from my photos of Petermann. In the far distant future, as my skills are not up to the task yet.