Monday, September 12, 2005

Almost 31

I just saw March of the Penguins. It's a good film, and very nice to see on the big screen. It would have been even better if I hadn't had a potent pina colada, 2+ glasses of water, and an enormous soda.

But the movie left me with lots of questions. Most notably, what happens to the other penguins? It was nice to hear about the devoted parents and horrible to hear about the lost babies. But what do the females who don't find mates do? Do they return to the sea alone? How do they survive the winter without the herd for warmth? What about the parents who crack their eggs or lose their babies?

Also, how can the trip from the ocean to the mating grounds be 70+ miles at the end of the summer, longer during the winter (that part makes sense) and only a few hundred feet at the beginning of the summer?

That movie gave me a new impression of seals. Now I won't feel so sorry for the little buggers during the shark documentaries; they have it coming. And I already knew that birds were scary.


Busy weekend this weekend, but fun. Friday night we went to a friend's housewarming party. Saturday found us braving the heat with some friends and their adorable 4-month-old at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis Walk in the Park. We flaked out in the heat and headed home for our neighborhood picnic. This morning we went to church (more on that later) and Sunday School, then to some friends' for delicious brunch. Then tonight - a date! With a babysitter and everything! There was Thai food, there was a movie, it was all very nice. I could get used to this.


Gosling said...

I had the same questions after watching the movie! I still do.

Anne said...

Don't know about the unmated penguins--I was worrying, too, but hope for them for next year, I guess. As for the journey, they're on the South Pole so the seasons are the reverse of ours: isn't that the explanation?

Mustang Sally said...

I haven't seen it yet, but part of the distance inconsistencies are likely due to the migratory nature of the ice pack. As I recall last year, for instance a huge shelf broke off from one part of Antarctica and the current moved, then crashed it into another part which so happened to be where a large penguin colony lived. So it doubled or tripled the distance they had to travel to get to the sea. There was serious concern that the entire year's population of chicks would be lost as a result :(

Sarahlynn said...

OK, Paul and my mom (who's seen the movie twice) caught something I missed. Apparently, the babies stay at the "beach" for 6 years before heading off to mate. So perhaps there's a sizable community that does not migrate, to keep each other warm when they're not in the water.

Anne, I believe that those Down Under use "winter" and "summer" to describe their seasons - rather than their months - the way we do, so they're having winter while we're having summer.

MS, good explanation. I like it. A harsher existence I cannot imagine.

genevieve said...

Make sure you keep up the movie and dinner thing, or something like it. It's a terrific stress-buster.