The snow was blowing horizontally – biting and cutting my face. With my camera in hand, I laid on the snowy beach among the muck of animal feces and dead seal pups — crushed by testosterone laden males who were fighting to fornicate with the ladies of their earned harem.
We had traveled the rough seas of the Drake Passage, the graveyard of countless ships and their sailors – whose souls were gently guarded by the Wandering Albatross. Near South Georgia’s abandoned Stromness whaling station, the shore boat traversed the rough, sharp, brackish ice as it struggled to a snowy beach that greeted us with a cacophony of shrieks, trumpeting, and roars of life, of death, and the ecstasy of fornicating three ton bull elephant seals as they manhandled their harem.
Through all of this, among the mass of scat, I was in resonance with a wild nature now devoid of man. A far different kind of life and death struggle than that rendered by man’s killing and processing of the right whale at this place.
I was at the old (and now defunct) Stromness whaling station on South Georgia Island where the beached catcher boats were rotting away. I was watching not man’s brand of death that is never followed by life. Instead, through the driving elements, I was a privileged guest witnessing Nature’s dynamic web of life. A way of death that kindles new birth – new life.
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