Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom (and the Circle of Life)

I was watching a programme on BBC this evening feeling very sorry for myself as all the office germs have finally caught up with me.  Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I wasn’t feeling very sorry for myself, maybe just a little bit.  I am just very uncomfortable, full of a head cold and the general aches and pains you get with such germs – all this on top of my “normal” medical issues, which when added together means that I eventually “fall over” when others with a heavy cold would be able to carry on.   

I find if I lie around being poorly and feeling sorry for myself I get 10 times worse, whereas if I get up and do stuff or mess around on the laptop or my phone it takes my mind off of it.  A bit like the distraction techniques I use every day to take the focus away from my pain.  So this weekend I have still gone out with my husband – went shopping for a couple of things yesterday and ended up down on a friends boat relaxing in the marina whilst the men talked about rewiring the electrics on board. Then today I was out exchanging something I bought yesterday and had a lovely browse around Lakeland looking at all the kitchen bits and pieces – they do some great stuff there.  When I got home I was feeling so unwell, I just lay on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon – it was at this point I was feeling sorry for myself.  Before then it was just another challenge I had to push my body through.

As I was flicking through the channels on the TV I came across Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom on the BBC.  What a totally mesmerising programme.  I was completely gripped from the start.  There were a few parts of the programme (in fact most of it really) that I was in awe with, especially the bits about:

The fishermen taking part in the Herring Run can earn a year’s salary in a very short space of time, it is a timed event and they are only allowed to fish for a small period of time, I can’t remember the exact time however I don’t think it was much more than 15 minutes!

The way Humpback Whales work as a team to feed on the Herring Run – this was amazing as the whales create a huge net of bubbles that enclose the Herring, then they swim up to the surface with their mouths open to catch them.

The black bear and her cubs who climbed down from their den high up in the trees – the way the mother bear went back up to gently coax one of the cubs down because he was not quite sure how to do it

The shots taken under a glacier and the ginormous waterfalls generated by the glacial melt

These are just a few of the highlights of the programme which contained some fantastic scenery and great camera shots of the wildlife.  There were two particular parts that really struck me the most – one being the Sperm Whales and the other being the Sea Otters.

Sperm Whales

The 50 tonne Sperm Whales are very crafty, and extremely clever.  They have learnt an easy way to fish that saves them diving to the bottom of the ocean for the Black Cod.  They steal the fish from the fishermen’s lines!  It really is extraordinary and shows how these fantastic mammals have adjusted to their environment and what goes on around them, they have learnt the sound of the fishing boats and they are now making their feeding trips just that little bit easier by stealing direct from the hard work of the fishermen.  Quite appropriate really considering humans have fished the seas stealing the food from other sea living animals, and now the whales are getting their own back on the humans.

Sea Otters

The Sea Otters are the cutest things you have ever seen.  It was amazing to hear how the mother Sea Otter would spend hours preening her little baby to keep it dry and warm – even blowing air into its fur!  The mother “fluffs” the baby up so that she can leave it to float whilst she goes fishing before coming back to scoop the baby back up.  She looks after the baby like this for 6 months, swimming around on her back with her baby on her tummy

Watching programmes like this make you realise how fantastic nature is, how clever animals are, and the harsh environments that exist on our blue and green ball.  There were several times during the programme that the song “Circle of Life” popped into my head, so I could not go without including it here – enjoy!

Circle of Life Lyrics:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

(Chorus)
In the Circle of Life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle, the Circle of Life

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps the great and small on the endless round

(Chorus repeats)

On the path unwinding
In the Circle, the Circle of Life.

  • Music

    • “Circle Of Life (From “The Lion King”)” by Elton John
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