Earth Day: For Whom the Bell Tolls?

 

Today we’re marking the 49th Earth Day after it’s inception in 1970.  Celebrations?!  It should be a wake up call, an urgent clarion call to action right round the globe!  Let us not kid ourselves the environment is in a deteriorating state and we’re killing Earth’s creatures.

Scenes are pictured at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve where beaches are littered with plastic and storm strewn fishing gear from nets to piles of rope, fish traps.  Recent whale carcasses washed up near Buffels Bay and another on the Atlantic side near the Tommy T Tucker shipwreck.

Southern Right whales: nomads of the southern seas

They’re back!  The gentle giants – the Southern Right (Eubalaena australis) whales ply the seas from the Antarctic visiting the Cape shores between June and November.  Despite their size they have gymnastic tendencies.  Through leaping, tail lobbing and spy hopping they create fantastic shows with tremendous splash down .  They’re easily recognised by their callosities (sometimes mistaken for barnacles) that cover their heads and blowholes.  These patterns are like unique fingerprints particular to each individual.

They’re welcomed with joyful spirit by the many spectators who enjoy their exuberant antics.

WPC: Transient

Southern Right Whales

Southern Right Whale_DSC3855It’s always a thrill to see the first of the Southern right whales as they return to the Cape Peninsula shores to mate and calve at this time of the year.  Their V-shaped water spout is their signature mark distinguishing them from the bushy-shaped blow of the Bryde and humpbacks.

Hope you find the post interesting as it’s inspired by this week’s photo challenge:  Split-second story – playing documentary photographer.