Monday, November 3, 2008

A Cold In The Cold

Sorry for the delay in the blog. I came down with a cold that progressed to bronchitis. For four days, all I could do was cough and sleep – very boring. I’m still coughing and hacking, but it is so good to be up and about again.

The second and third batch of penguins arrived at the ranch. We now have 11 birds and in a few hours we may have a few more.

Paul and the troops have gone to the ice edge by helo once more in search of birds. He hopes to bring back four penguins, giving us 15 birds, in all.

I’m penguin-sitting, if that’s the right term for it. The dive holes have been closed for the evening and the birds are sacked out, looking like penguin pillows.

penguin pillows

The night is so calm. It struck me that I would be hard-pressed to prove that I’m still on the Planet Earth. The landscape, which now seems so familiar, really is so alien.

And then, there is the profound quiet. It is a palpable presence. There is little wind tonight and the only sound I can hear is my own heart beating. Really, I suppose to be more accurate, it is the rush of blood pulsing past my ears, but that doesn’t sound as poetic. (Sigh….sometimes, being a scientist can spoil a good line.)

Here’s a shot looking across McMurdo Sound towards the Royal Society Mountains.


Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

Matsu Bashō