These emperor penguin chicks are just chillin’ on a warm summer’s day (*) on the sea ice. As close as they were to each other last November when this image was taken, they’re probably much closer together now. In winter, as temperatures plummet to -60 F, they press tightly against each other in a mass huddle to maximize warmth.
(*) “Warm” is relative, of course. Here, 25 F is considered pretty warm.
Of the wildlife images in this series, this one is probably as close as it gets to the topic of social distancing. The bear on the right was preparing to dive towards a group of salmon and didn’t seem to notice the other bear until she was just a couple of feet away. She stopped her run very suddenly when she noticed. The other bear whirled around and began growling, and the two bears trash talked for a few moments before turning around and going their separate ways.
An emperor penguin chick leans against its parent and looks up, expecting a bill full of fish. The parent remained calm and unperturbed.
Guillemots crowd the cliffs on the eastern coast of Spitsbergen in summer. Subtle shades of red, green, and blue visible. The red is from the birds’ guano; green is from the vegatation that results from the guano; and blue is the cliff rock reflecting the sky. Most of these birds are not six feet apart …
The berry bears make a return appearance. In this black and white rendition, you can see how much cleaner one bear is than the other. That one remained upright throughout the wrestling match.
Brown bear cubs engage in paw-to-paw combat in the river.
These two brown bear cubs approached the water cautiously and then had a drink.
Two polar bears spar and wrestle among berry shrubs in late autumn. Despite appearances to the contrary, this was neither a violent nor bloody affair. The bigger bear kept pushing the smaller one over. The latter would fall on her back, crushing the shrubs and getting berry stains all over her back. Then she’d get up and do it all over again!
An emperor penguin chick spreads its fuzzy flippers while exploring the colony. As the chicks grow bigger and stronger during spring, their parents leave them temporarily to go feed at sea. This leaves the chicks plenty of time to hang out with other chicks in a highly social anti-distant manner.
At home, 2009
I’ve had this blue chair for years. I used to sit in it myself, but over time it became a favorite nap spot for Buddha and Otto. Especially together, like this. I kept this chair next to me in my home office and like to think my cats napped their because they wanted to hang out with me. The more likely reason is that the chair was right in front of the heater.