Monday, January 12, 2009

I never thought I would see a...

Blue Whale, Dana Point, CA
Affectionately named Delta

This summer I had the opportunity to observe a Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) off of Dana Point in southern california. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen or may ever see. Our boat observed it taking several breaths before it dove and stayed under for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, at which point it would come up for several minutes before diving again.

I am currently reading a book by E.O. Wilson in which he describes these brief interactions with spectacular and rare animals- like the Blue Whale- as the Grizzly Bear Effect of environmental ethics.

"We may never personally glimpse certain rare animals but we need them as symbols. They proclaim the mystery of the world. They are the jewels in the crown of the Creation. Just to know they are out there alive and well is important to the spirit, to the wholeness of our lives. If they live, then Nature lives. Surely our world will be secure, and we will be better for it." (The Creation p. 58)
Just knowing that the Blue Whale, the largest living animal, is out there swimming in our oceans alive and well keeps my spirits high. But having that ever so brief encounter rekindled my spirit and my desire to do what I can to help converse the beauty of Nature