Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Full Of Pills And Smoke And Booze...


A Black-footed Albatross glides in from someplace far, far away.

I've almost finished reading Carl Safina's "Eye Of The Albatross", and as a result I can't help but fixate on my time at Midway Atoll last year.  What a fucking awesome place.  There's no other way to describe it.  Some of the activity in the book took place there, and practically all the wildlife mentioned (aside from the epic Southern Hemisphere albatross species) is what is found on Midway.  I posted a lot of pictures here on BB&B while I was out there, but that was only a small fraction of some of the shots that I really like.  So here's a few pictures from back in Y2K9 that bear viewing today....


A Brown Booby beckons.

The book, on the whole, is pretty much on the money.  Carl lofts some vague, insightful-sounding yet dubious generalizations into what various birds are thinking and feeling at any given time.....but hey, you and I are in no better position to do this accurately, so why not?  I did not expect the book to focus so heavily on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, (he spent time at French Frigate Shoals, Laysan Island and Midway), nor did I expect large portions of the book to be dedicated to monk seals, tiger sharks, sea turtles, and an Alaskan fishing trip......but I gotta say, it's a pretty good book.  I can see why so many people who run in the Northwestern Hawaiian circle have asked me if I've read it.  I have to give him credit for teaching me a lot about species I spent months working and living with in close quarters.


What appears to be a nuclear Laysan Albatross family together at Bulky Dump, Sand Island.

My list of books I've read recently is a bet eclectic......Eye Of The Albatross, Breakfast of Champions (Vonnegut), Travels With Charley (Steinbeck), and the still yet-to-be-finished The Family (regarding the history and influence of an exceptionally powerful group of Neo-Christian politicians and businessman).  I'm going to have to score some new material soon for Buldir.....


A Bonin Petrel ponders the irony of being dwarfed by a baby......albatross.


Last year's Sangkrahn (Thai New Year) parade, which is generally the only parade going on anywhere in that part of the world.  Lots of Laysan Albatross provide quality spectators.  Photo courtesy of Scott Allen.

Jesus.  Books???  Who wants to read about that?  So much for that shit.  By Friday morning I will be rolling in to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and I'm pretty stoked.  Blue-footed Booby is one of my nemesis birds (for you nonbirders, a species I've never seen, even though I should have by now, despite repeated attempts) and I will once again going to to blue toe with this beast, which has done a remarkable job at evacuating the area whenever I am nearby.  And if Sula nebouxii doesnt want to dance, there should be plenty of frigatebirds and tequila nearby.

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