Friday, March 20, 2009

Foto Finish Fridays # 1 ~ Ursus Maritimus

Friday, March 20, 2009
A picture = 1,000 words, maybe even more. The neat thing being, each set of eyes that looks at a picture will see a different story. Pictures inspire us, with their shadows, shapes, curves, colour, depth, and of course their subjects. I have started a new challenge for myself. Each week I will choose a picture ~ featured on a popular website such as Flickr or National Geographic one that I've taken ~ and I will free write about this picture ... about whatever inspirations it stirs within me. Its sort of like I'm finishing the foto . I'm starting this to challenge my imagination and nurture my creative source. For this week, I'm cheating an using this provocative photo I found on the National Geographic website.

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

Hello, human. Let me tell you my story. The Inuit call me Anuk. Scientists call me Ursus maritimus. You likely know me as Polar Bear. I live in a dark, austere and unforgiving terrain :: bitterly cold, dark winters, and meager vegetation. Glacial ice encasses most of the landmass here, in Svalbard ~ a cluster of islands halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

I raise my babies on the archipelago's isolated islands. My home has among the highest biodensity in the circumpolar region. The energy-rich waters sustain the ecosystem. My home lies beyond the human edge of possibility. Summer brings perpetual light. Winter brings perpetual darkness. Many of us remain here throughout the year. Except the birds ~ they're carpet baggers of sorts. The sunshine nights force us out of our usual nocturnal rhythm. We eat, and eat, and eat some more. I'm twice the size of a Siberian Tiger. And, I love to swim. Did you know that I can track a scent from a mile away?

Rising temperatures mean melting glacial ice. Over the past 30 years we have witnessed a 30 % decline in sea ice areas. The melting of glacial ice threatens my survival. As you can see in the picture, we had to get pretty good at jumping across the water ~ from ice flow to ice flow. But, some of my kind don't make it to the other side of the water. And they drown. Your chemicals, your pollutants weaken me ~ compromise my immune system and my life expectancy. Fat soluble pollutants harm me the most. Well, I've adapted to changes in my habitat before ... but only time will tell if I and my kind can survive these changes.

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