“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth
– Sir David Attenborough
Ah, Mother Nature. How we adore thee, even though often we don’t show it in a straight forward and simple way. Chile is a country that is surrounded and covered in natural beauty and wonder. Everywhere you turn it seems you’ll happen across a large volcanoe, an impressive valley, sprawling ocean, fjords full of marine life, or some beautiful wildlife living in its naturally exquisite habitat. It’s also a country that is full of protected national parks! And opportunities to experience them (through camping, hiking, immersing yourself in the wilderness).
This post is about one particular winged creature. The cute, charming, and somewhat humorous penguins of Chiloe.
I visited the impressive penguin colonies of Puñihuil in Chiloe on a beautifully warm day. The summer sun made the water glitter, and the penguins seemed happy enough, soaking up the sunshine on the side of the islands, sitting on the warm rocks as the salty water sprayed them playfully.
They seem to be such carefree creatures, lazing around the place, occasionally diving into the water maybe to catch a small fish.
What worries me is that although they appear happy and carefree, their environment appearing pristine and clean on the surface, they are actually living in one of the most polluted oceans on the planet; the great Pacific. And let’s face it, it’s not likely they’re going to just fly away to a new location anytime soon…
These cute little guys are a collection of Humboldt and Magellanic penguins that breed together on the small islands (islets). It would be easy enough to just ooo and ahhh at their cuteness, take some happy snaps and continue on my merry way, but the truth is, the reality of pollution needs to be addressed and acknowledged. Maybe some pictures of these penguins will encourage humans to take more responsibility in protecting the oceans they live in…. (imagine these pictures without the birds and penguins, bare rocks covered instead in plastics and rubbish washed up). There isn’t really much one blog post can do, but maybe it will make you think twice about whether you throw out that empty milk carton, or recycle it. Whether you take your own reusable bags to the supermarket, or take more plastic bags. It can start with little things.
I also encourage you to immerse yourself in nature, natural areas, listen to the buzz of birds and the wind in the trees. Soak up the beauty of those wildflowers.
And finally, another quote from the insightful Sir David Attenborough “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experiened” – so go and experience it!