Last night we went out to Phillip Island to see the faerie penguins. We had wanted to go before, but now with my sister in law visiting us we had a good excuse.
Sounds a bit silly, but I was actually quite moved by the whole thing. It was dark, and lightly sprinkling, so we were a bit wet. And we waited for atleast twenty minuts. I have to admit I encouraged my wife to drive a bit faster than the speed limit, driving for almost two hours to see some birds didn't seem like a great idea, but driving almost two hours to miss them seemed even worse, but we arrived in plenty of time to wait in the rain.
A little group of maybe twenty or thirty penguins came out and made their way to safety, but it was atleast 200 meters from where we were sitting, and I hoped they would get a bit closer than that. We waited another five or ten minutes and all of a sudden these little black and white spots jumped out of the water in front of us. They started making there way around rocks, around and over seaweed towards the hills where we were sitting. It was fascinating.
What I found very cool was the way they seemed to watch out for each other. The group would gather at the start of a long patch of flat sand, and wait nervously. They would wait until every straggling member had joined the tight nit group and then brave the long exposed sand stretch as a whole.
Now maybe for you Melbournites you know all about this stuff. But for a yank like myself, I had never seen it before and was enjoying it. It made me think about our little church community in Footscray, we gather together, reassure ourselves, encourage each other, and then make a mad dash. The terrain is difficult at times, and scary, but we know we need to stay together. It is really beautiful.
Now I know nature quite often takes our analogies and does dirty nasty things to them. And for all I know they hang out in a big pack so if a predator comes along, the odds are better to not get picked if there are others around. And maybe they are thinking, I don't have to outrun the fox, I just have to outrun you!!! But I was touched none the less.
They sure are cute.