|The Antarctic summer has begun: the sun makes a complete circuit above our head every day, never dipping below the horizon. The light effects on the edge of the photo are called sundogs, formed from ice crystals in the air.|
|Adelie penguins chillaxin' on the sea-ice edge. Royal Society Range in the background.|
|Adelie penguins on nesting site at Cape Royds.|
|These are the early arrivals, getting the primo nesting spots. There was endless squabbling over pebbles and stones as one penguin would steal a stone from someone else's nest to build up its nest. Lots of emphatic displays, gesturing, and guffawing.|
Further inland (or "inice," as the case is here), vast stretches of flat frozen ocean still lay firm and strong. As the summer slowly sneaks forward, the tidal cracks along the edges of the islands like Big Razorback and Tent Island, and along the coast of Ross Island at Turks Head and Hutton Cliffs, begin to widen. Mush pools form, areas of...well...mush. The melting ice gathers in depressions creating these pools of thick porridge of ice and water, much like the consistency of a tropical fruit smoothie. And in these mush pools and tidal cracks, the Weddell seal pups are learning to swim.
|Mom and pup in slush pool...they often just lay there for hours.|
To be continued...