This morning I went to pick up bagels and two seagulls launched from a power line and flew down the road in front of me – hovering about a hundred feet ahead of me leading the way through the fog for several blocks.
I’m sure that this kind of thing has always happened. But I’ve become cued to observe birds more closely recently. Part of it is the boardgame Wingspan, and I’m spending more time out-of-doors during Covid-19.
Similarly, I’ve spent a lot of time connecting with the Melvin’s catalog recently. Like seeing squirrels, birds and neighborhood cats who come into relief when you are paying attention, the Melvins grow in importance and meaning the more you look for them.
Here are the Melvins in 1993 playing in all their glory at UCLA. Buzz with a savage sound and performance energy. The weirded out passers-by. Dale’s gardening gloves? The drama-stage drum riser that seems to be set up in a car park or something. All captured on VHS glory.
But the winner of the video is Lorax or Lori Black the bass player. Disinterestedly smoking a cigarette, playing that drone string with a herky-jerky chop – fuzzed out bass chords that stop on a dime. Worth a listen.
National Geographic videographer Paul Nicklen gets an incredible story and series of images from his time with an instructive leopard seal. A few thoughts:
1. Nicklen could have moved on after the first day when it was obvious that the Leopard Seal was taking care of him. The choice to stay suggests that Nickelen was overjoyed to get this particular interaction with the seal — as a means of telling a story.
2. It is cool that we get a contrast to the usual story of brutal nature, but the cute nature is just as toxic to the animals that live out there. Global warming, pesticides, chemical run-off, garbage, and general intrusion into a low-human area are all recent human contributions to the arctic. I sincerely love the video and the suggestion of care from a predator is distinctive. It seemed like there was a lot of food around for the seal. I wonder if the leopard seal would be as generous when food is scarce.
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