If you're like me, it seems that people are just shoveling shit into fans all over the world, these days. And avidly looking for more fans to shovel into, and bigger shovels. Faster and faster.
I find the ongoing disaster in Japan mesmerizing; a horror it is hard to look away from.
So; I'm going to share something with you; which illustrates- well, something.
Life goes on, maybe. Life can be good, maybe. Something, in any case, to hang on to, in the radioactive winds of climate change.
Here's the albatross:
Photo: Pete Leary; US Fish & Wildlife Service.
And here's the story. You're looking, there, at the oldest documented wild bird in the world. She is "Wisdom", a Laysan albatross; and she is known to be at least 60 years old - biologists have been watching her that long.
That's her chick. At 60. That was sufficiently astonishing news for the world to get her into the New York Times. It's certainly exceptional for any wild bird to live so very long; but it was really unknown that birds of that age were still capable of laying eggs- and raising chicks.
But they are. Pretty doggone cool.
Wisdom, and her chick, live on Midway Atoll; a very remote islet in the Pacific. Millions of seabirds nest there; it's a wildlife refuge now, littered of course with the reminders of World War II. The average elevation of the atoll is - 4 feet above sea level. Four.
The tsunami following the quake in Japan swept over Midway, very thoroughly. It was a catastrophe; enormous. The estimates are over 100,000 albatross chicks were killed; and 2,000 adults.
But that photo? Is from AFTER the tsunami. That's Wisdom. And that's her chick.
You know; I think I can live a long time on that.
Thanks. To Wisdom; and to the Fish & Wildlife folks. It's a big deal.
More Wisdom pics, if you need them.