Dance of Birth

David Strege @ Grindtv.com with First steps of baby elephant is touching scene:

Amy Attenborough of the Londolozi Game Reserve wrote that great ceremony accompanies the first steps a baby elephant makes, as the herd closes in to give support to the baby and the mother, after her 22-month pregnancy.

“We watched the elephants perform the dance of birth where they pirouetted in tight circles around themselves and waltzed around each other to the music of their rumbling,” Attenborough wrote.

The three elephants surrounding the baby helped it get up and steadied it on its feet. Attenborough said she was stressed, worrying the elephants might trample the baby elephant, though it appears the elephants were merely helping it stay upright until it found the strength to walk on its own.

“They also touched their trunks to it tenderly, taking turns to greet the new member of the family, all the while rumbling in the deeply comforting way that speaks to elephants and humans alike.”

It was, as Attenborough stated, an “incredibly touching scene.”


 

Nest


Watch. For 120 seconds.


Sunday Morning

bird-hand-gentle

It is one of the perils of our so-called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape — between our own best possibilities, and the view from our own windows. We need the world as much as it needs us, and we need it in privacy, intimacy, and surety. We need the field from which the lark rises — bird that is more than itself, that is the voice of the universe: vigorous, godly joy. Without the physical world such hope is: hacked off. Is: dried up. Without wilderness no fish could leap and flash, no deer could bound soft as eternal waters over the field; no bird could open its wings and become buoyant, adventurous, valorous beyond even the plan of nature. Nor could we.

~ Mary Oliver, Home from Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Credits: Photo - The Lilac Road

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

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Source: themetapicture

Yet…

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The snapping turtle
wore the most horrifying face I have ever seen,
yet she seemed to be enjoying
the warmth of the sun,
as thoroughly as the household cat.

~ Mary Oliver, Sand Dabs Eight, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Photo: Kerry Hood via Giraffe in a Tree

O.K., I’m going to trust you, I think, yes…

breakfast


Source: gifak

Sunday Morning: An epic spectacle on par with the annual wildebeest migration

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Charu Suri @wsj.com: Have You Ever Seen the Crane?

North America’s sandhill crane migration is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. To witness these frequent flyers on their favorite plains, head to Nebraska now.

From mid-February to mid-April (peaking during the last few weeks of March), the densest influx of migrating sandhill cranes descends on Nebraska. 80% of the planet’s crane population, 650,000 birds, have been making seasonal stopovers in the region for at least 10,000 years, an epic spectacle on par with the annual wildebeest migration in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

These slate-colored winged beauties with crimson foreheads and cream-colored cheeks gather along the sinuous, braided channels of the Platte River, which offer them protection from predators, and feast on corn left on the fields after harvest until not a kernel remains…(In a perfectly symbiotic dynamic, the cranes help the farmers by leaving them a clean field ready for planting the following year.)

I could hear the distinctive, low and throaty call of the crane — as insistent as cicada song — even through the closed windows of our car. (The song of one sandhill crane can carry well over a mile.)…It sounded as if an avian orchestra was tuning up just a few feet away, as a blend of sharp trills and lush cooing filled the air. Though the sun had not yet risen, I could make out the silhouettes of wings and of reedlike legs supporting the birds’ hefty bluish-grey frames. A few frisky, early rising males did the mating dance, flapping their wings and leaping a few feet into the air like giddy, light-footed schoolboys, while the females seemed to look on approvingly. But most of the cranes were still asleep, their heads tucked under their wings…The entire scene was accompanied by what sounded like countless chamber orchestras riffing simultaneously on Stravinsky.

Fun Facts on Sandhill Cranes: Sandhill cranes travel up to 10,000 miles, as many as 500 per day, on their annual migration from the Southern U.S. and Mexico. Their wingspan: 6.5 feet for adults. Their average height: Just under four feet for adults. Special Talent: They are known for their ability to dance. Like humans, they boogie to find a mate, relieve tension and just for fun.

Read more here: Have You Ever Seen the Crane?


Photo by Siena62 taken near Kearney, NE

It’s been a long day…

seal-surf-foam

This is one of the finalists in Smithsonian.com’s 12th Annual Photo Contest.  It was selected from over 26,500 entires by photographers from 93 different countries. This photo of a wave striking an elephant seal pup was taken by Anthony Smith on South Georgia Island in January, 2014. “Young elephant seals were sprawled all over the upper beaches in a remote sub-Antarctic region of the Atlantic, but for some reason this youngster had chose to lie down to rest right within the surf!” says Smith.

Don’t miss the other finalists here at Smithsonian.com: 12th Annual Photo Contest Finalists


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

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Source: Thank you Steve.

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

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So, you think you’ve have had a long week? Check out Mom and Dad Bald Eagles who are protecting two eggs while the snow falls and covers them. (Mom and dad will take turns sitting on the nest and usually it’s mom, while the dad hunts.)

See more unbelievable pictures and the story here: Grind TV – As snow builds, bald eagle parents endure