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Penguin Parade

Featuring Pygoscelis antarctica

in Antarctica , Monday, September 16, 2013

Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) are almost certainly the cutest of all penguins - except for all the others, of course. But really, they’re cute. Not quite as entertaining as Adelies, not quite as exuberant as Gentoos, not quite as big as Emperors, but sweeter than all of these combined.

And here’s a selection.

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With the unflappable support of the Olympus Optical Company’s E-5 photographic apparatus and assorted, and somewhat heavy, lenses.

 

Slough of Despond

Deception Island, Antarctica

in Antarctica , Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keeping in tune with my general aura of grim despondency, the first set of non-panoramic photographs I have put together from last winter’s Antarctica jaunt features that slough of despond, Whaler’s Bay at Deception Island. In much the same way that I was drawn to decay and desolation at Pyramiden, at the other end of the planet, and indeed at Argentiero, in a very different climate, I find Deception island quite fascinating. It seems that vestiges and faded memories of human presence seem to attract me much more than the thriving activity. Deception Island, and Whaler’s Bay in particular, depresses quite a few people - there remains an aura of wanton, reckless destruction from whaling times, and the residue of the last sequence of eruptions contributes to a dark atmosphere. It’s not a happy place.

Snowhenge dot net  photography  other stuff  gallery

Whaler’s Bay has been considerably sanitised since my first visit. Although I appreciate the idea of cleaning up the environment, in particular when it comes to dangerous substances, it does seem somewhat at odds with preserving Antarctic history. I’m not sure how justified it can be to present some kind of squeaky clean vision of the past, in particular erasing Argentinian graffiti from the oil tanks.

Deception oil tanks

Whaler’s Bay oil tanks in 1987 …

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… Whaler’s Bay oil tanks in 2013.

 

Heat Treatment

ice is nice

in Antarctica , Thursday, August 01, 2013

It’s getting to the point of being very, very hot right now down in Canton Ticino, so a little bit of ice is just what we need.

Some more Antarctic rough cuts, this time various bits of ice floating around and getting in the way.

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And the technical details are, all Olympus E-5, with either the 50-200mm or 12-60mm lens.

 

Bad guys

the seal of doom

in Antarctica , Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Leopard Seal, better known as Hydrurga leptonyx, is infamous for its voracious appetite for those-poor-penguins. With a satisfyingly evil-looking appearance, it’s a strong candidate for the cartoon villain role of the Antarctic seas, rivalled only by the Orca. But Orcas are whales, and therefore cute, and therefore get a free pass. I’ve never actually seen an Orca, which is actually quite remarkable, but I’ve seen plenty of Hydrurgra leptonyxes leptonii leptonyxii leopard seals. And here, in another set of Antarctic rough cuts, are some of them.

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A daily penguin

oh they’re so cute

in Antarctica , Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another set of rough cuts from Antarctica, this time a batch of impossibly cute Adelie penguins doing penguin stuff. These particular penguins hang out at Detaille and Petermann Islands.

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He went thataway!

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Who says penguins can’t fly?

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Bye for now…

All photos courtesy of my antiquated, obsolete ... or, and rainproof, Olympus E-5. If you needed to know.

 

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