11.29.2014

March of the Penguins

I find tourist attractions that involve humans observing nature to be quite gauche. Still, I went with my extended family to view the dusk arrival from the sea of the Little (aka Faerie) Penguins that roost on the southern shore of Phillip Island off the coast of Australia near Melbourne.

These penguins spend the entire day at sea, gorging on fish, and return to shore at dusk, when the risk of predation is lowest, to feed their young. After a hard day's fishing, it must be annoying for them to have to parade past a bunch of nature starved humans oohing and aahing at them.

Imagine if you came home from work each day to find hundreds of penguins scattered around your house and along your driveway and footpath, to watch you come home and do your thing. Ridiculous.

Still, the little guys were super cute, waddling up the beach to their nests on the hillside around the viewing area and penguin center (moneymaker with gift shop). When you left the place you could see even more penguins along the boardwalk, and some of their chicks. It was pretty cool. But the sheer size and scope of the tourist attraction was disheartening. I suppose there is no way around it with so many people in the world now, searching for meaning in their lives via the meaning in penguins' lives.

We were forbidden from taking pictures or videos of the little beasties, so there is nothing visual to accompany this post. You will have to google "little penguins phillip island" and see if anyone has posted pictures or videos, illicit or otherwise.

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