Dec 25, 2008

Mother and child

Tom could hear a humpback mother and calf from his house. The humpbacks migrate from Alaska down to Hawaii for the winter. I always thought they were chasing food, but no. They don't eat while on winter vacation. They merely give birth and then head back up to colder waters come spring.

Tom had no photo of mother and child but I do. The above photo of a humpback mother and her calf, blowing its air hole, is from my summer vacation in Alaska in 2007. We were so lucky not only to follow this mother and calf and the calf's antics (constantly slapping the surface of the water), but we also got the rare treat of seeing humpbacks bubble net feed. You can see more whale photos from my Alaska trip here.

I find it a bit amusing and rather fitting that today of all days, I post about a mother and child. I'm not Christian, and can hardly be called sentimental when it comes to babies, but even I am moved by the beauty and tenderness of the story of the baby Jesus. The beauty and tenderness is echoed in any mother and child, including humpback whales.

Merry Christmas!

PS: Edited. There is no such thing as a hunchback whale. Thanks, Tom!


Tom said...

You asked me to keep a look out for your Xmas post and I did. I'm glad I did!

This is wonderful! I'm going to do my best to take a picture of the whales this winter, but even if I can't, it's just great to see them! Babies, mothers, fathers and all! They are always so amazing to watch.

They're called humpbacks here, I guess hunchbacks is the European or Scandinavian term, but it means the same thing!

Yes, they come here to breed and give birth and won't feed until they head back to the Arctic.

I'm so pleased you actually got to see them feeding, it's one of the most remarkable sights in the world - I've only seen it on TV so far. One day I'd love to visit the Arctic and watch my winter friends have dinner!

Have a great Christmas, Keera!


max said...

Amen. Merry Christmas Keera!

['Dark December. Sheesh.']

Keera Ann Fox said...

*slaps forehead* Gawd, how embarrassing. Thanks for catching that, Tom! Post edited. Hunchbacks are out. I blame the Christmas ale (feeble excuse, I know).

When we were off Juneau, we saw the ring of whales come up five times during bubble net fishing! A week later, on Mono Lake, CA, the biologist there guiding us told us he'd spent many years in Alaska, and saw the bubble net fishing only once. My mother and I felt quite privileged.

Merry Christmas, Max. And cheer up; the days are already getting longer.

Miz UV said...

Nice post, Keera. Merry Christmas, or happy winter festive day, whatever! If there are cookies involved, it's all good. :)

max said...

Merry Christmas, Max. And cheer up; the days are already getting longer.

Yeah, they are. Maybe I can stay conscious for more than eight hours at a time.


Beep said...

Merry Christmas, Keera, and what a wonderful photo. One of my dreams is to get to Alaska before kick the bucket. If I don't make it, at least it is one of the places I have been able to travel to vicariously through you :) I'm lucky you are such an excellent, though unpaid, travel writer :)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Paula, Happy Winter Solstice to you. And yes, there are cookies. Ginger snaps!

Max, I know the feelinzzzzzz...

Beep, I'm happy to be your vicarious traveller. :-) Merry Christmas!

Sparkling Red said...

That is both sweet and timely. Whales are amazing creatures, and very like humans in their social structures and emotional life, if I'm to believe what I've read. It's a day for love for everyone! :-)

Keera Ann Fox said...

While I have to admit that I feel no particular sentimentality for whales, I do love the fact that a Star Trek movie plot hinged on our protecting the humpbacks and not letting them go extinct.