I missed the whales breaching !

Whale tail. Antarctica.

We had tannoys in our rooms on board the Antarctic expedition boat. I was lying in bed dozing to the rocking motion of the sea when the announcement came from the ship’s bridge that there were whales breaching. This, I had to see. I donned all my layers in double quick time and ran up on deck. Alas, I had missed the acrobatics. I did, however, manage to burn through over 100 pictures of their humps and tails going in and out of the water.

~ Spotted Cow

Four whale humpsWhale tailWhale tail with barnaclesWhale spotting

Seals in Antarctica

Seal on ice

Penguins get all the hype, but my favourite creatures in Antarctica are the seals. They have wonderfully enigmatic expressions on their dog-like faces.

Seals are usually quite lazy. Mostly, I saw them lying around on the ice floes, watching the world go by. They’re attracted to the sound of the outboard motor and sometimes, they find enough energy to heave their blubber into water and swim up to say hello.

~ Spotted Cow

Seal swimming Seal of approval Seal and tourists

Did you see penguins in Antarctica?

Penguins on ice floe

Following on from the Snap Chat post about photographing in very white conditions, I’ve decided to do a series of posts on Antarctica.

I did an Antarctic trip several years ago and it was so bewilderingly beautiful that I almost never wanted to travel again because I thought that nothing could surpass it. The trip had a striking effect on me in more ways than one because I quit my job when I got home, having decided that I had to look down other routes. But that is a story for another time.

The most popular question I got when I returned from the trip was “did you see any penguins?”

The answer is a definitive yes. I saw penguins everyday. I smelt them every day too! Their poo – or guano, if you want to use the technical term – has a strong, sharp, pungent smell, which alerts you to their whereabouts. However, it doesn’t take away from how delightful and affable these little tuxedoed gentlemen are, waddling around on the ice and snow. Plus, you have the added bonus of getting up close and personal with them, if you can bear the smell.

~ Spotted Cow

Lone penguin in snow shower Penguins looking out to sea Solitary penguinClose-up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

Half-in, half-out.  A red hairy hermit crab climbing out of its shell to get a different perspective of the world.  Do you know that hermit crabs can bully another hermit crab whom they believe to have a better shell ?

As seen on a beach in southern Tasmania.

~ Spotted Cow

red hermit crab

Malaysian butterflies

There’s a butterfly farm up in the Cameron Highlands hills in Malaysia, where you can walk through a garden of freely roaming butterflies. It’s either a mini-magical experience or a nightmare, depending on your disposition towards these winged insects.

For those of you in the Love Is Like A Butterfly camp – technically, a lepidopterist – you’ll be able to see the protected Raja Brookes Birdwing, Malaysia’s national butterfly.  My father pointed it out to me. It has a bright red head, and black wings decorated with leaf-green triangles.

~ Spotted Cow

Rajah Brookes Butterfly Farm Butterfly Farm 2