Beluga Whales and Wallowa Lake
Today has been one in deep thought, remembering times past with heartfelt loving memories and then too memories that bring a twinge of angst as you read the words and look at the pictures. We live in such a small world, smaller than what we think sometimes.
This first thing I do each morning with cup of tea in hand is read the front page of the news on the computer and then head on to my emails. I usually do not answer or make my comments from my emails in the a.m., but I do take a quick look-in hopeful maybe that some grand thing has happened… I can always dream can’t I?
Today was a double-sided news day one of pure joy and of loving memories and the other side of the double-sided news was actually a double-edge sword in the words of two blog posts back to back that have rattled me and touch my soul with sorrow and pang of remorse at what is happening with our world and too the loss of some of what we once knew and not that long ago.
I think I will start with the rattle – the unnerving information I received from Sandy at writing in faith blog. I like reading Sandy’s blog and followed from my email subscription to her blog about My World Tuesday: The Nameless Tornado That Was Not (that followed the story about Beluga Whales Face Extinction… I had not made it last week to her blog when it was posted and was surprised to find out what she had posted.)
My world felt crushed as I read the headlines. The words about the nameless tornado that was not touched my soul. As a child that was raised in the Midwest I lived through several tornado’s over the years with enough damage and pure raw disconcerted fright to the core of my soul that I made a promise to myself at a very young age. When I was old enough I was going to move and never live in tornado country again and most certainly not in an area that people called ‘tornado alley!’ I often wondered why my parents would plant us in ‘tornado alley?’
There are no easy answers and I will not go that route this day, only to say that it changed my thought processes for my life’s concerns of knowing what was in an area before deciding to set up my home. That being said I think Sandy will realize that my heart goes out to them and the alarm and anxiety that came with the nameless tornado that was not, which caused damage in the area where she lives. I lived in Connecticut for several years and did not think they had tornado’s, snow blizzards yes, tornadoes no.
I in no way want to minimize this news with the news in her previous blog. The other side of this double-edge sword was the news about the Belugas.
She had a YouTube video about Beluga Whales facing extinction. My heart ached as I read the words and then watched the video. Where I live now we have whales from several species. As a child I had put seeing a whale on my list of things to do when I grew up. Having seen several species now I can tell you it is no less exciting than it was when seeing one for the first time. It is pure elation, an invigoration of your mind, body and spirit all at once. Experiencing my first whale sighting is something that I felt to the very core and is something that I will never forget. The thrill is almost unexplainable. I want to share something with you that I wrote several years ago about my experience with the whales:
What Takes My Breath Away
I love walking along a quiet beach, feeling the breezes as they are carried over the water it is a peace that I have not been able to duplicate anywhere else. One of my favorite places to be is on the beach hearing the waves as they lap the shore counting each minute of the day and seeing different birds calling out to one another as they dive for the next meal.
The thing that breaks my hypnotic state, my rhythmic status is something I hold very dear to my soul. The first notice is usually the water shooting skyward up from the blowhole. When the wind is blowing just right, you can feel the salt-water mist being carried on the breeze as it caresses your face. The blast from the blowhole is sudden and dramatic and can be heard from great distances, and is distinguished by the variety of whale.
Over the years, I have been blessed with several whale sightings of my own just walking on my beach. I have on several occasions seen different kinds of whales. Watching the whale’s breach the water leaves you feeling a mixture of awe and wonder, the display of the whales at play is so enthralling. I am always captivated by the sight and sounds of these special creatures.
Nothing can mesmerize me like seeing a whale and the one thing that takes my breath away is when the whale brings it fluke (tail) high, high, extending higher above the water when going for a deep dive, this massive creature with such grace an eloquence I have not seen repeated. The impressive enormous size of the fluke gives one the true scope of how very large the whale truly is.
I will never tire of watching whales; I get no less excited than from my very first sighting. My emotions running hard and fast, the anticipation of the whale at play and then the fluke crowning, dramatic the mammoth size of the whale, a spectacular sight as it submerges.
I have one sighting that so captivated me, I will never leave it behind; it will be with me until the day I pass on. I was flying into Anchorage, Alaska several years ago. The weather was very clear and sunny. I had a window seat and was watching the Alaska Mountains, looking at them, you could see where the tree level stopped and the mountains were still being forced towards the heavens. I remember they had a fresh dusting of snow. It looked like our Maker had taken a paintbrush with white paint and had done a quick stroke of the brush over the tips of the mountains.
It was beautiful and then something else caught my eye, even more breathtaking. There in Cook’s Inlet I saw around a dozen or so Beluga Whales in Ballet. There quite gracefulness, and eloquent moves around the inlet sharing this water with so many sisters and calves was so smooth and with such dignity, like someone was choreographing this whole scene. I could not get over how poised the whole scene was. I wanted to just stay right there in time and watch the wondrous sight. I love the Ballet, but this is the best show by far I have ever witnessed.
When I think about it now it is like it is right in front of me again. I now often wonder at all the things I have seen, in the short minute of time I have had here on this earth, what will we see when we move on? How blessed that must be. When I see the whales, it not only takes my breath away I am enchanted in ways that have never been replicated.
I now wonder how many souls have not yet been captivated by the whales, how many have not been able to put to memory the pure raw grace, the abnormally of their size. Getting to hear their communiqué between one another, when I hear them the degrees of tones and notes they make makes my thoughts quiver. How could man kill this creature of wonderment, a mammal, how can a few cause the Beluga and so many other creations of God to go extinct.
(I am running behind posting again, this was a couple of days ago and the weather changed and took me outside taking long walks around our property and too on the beach. I was able to take some pictures (will be sharing some of these pictures with you) while letting go of winter stress while the sun was shining, I find it very relaxing. But do take the time to go to this article… the Russian’s are taming Beluga’s Whales to not fear humans for their different water shows. The way they are doing it is out of the ordinary, a female scientist dives naked into the Arctic waters (see the pictures) and can hold her breath up to 10 minutes, she is an expert in yoga training/breathing methods. It is an amazing story but heart-breaking to know these Beluga’s will be leaving their open sea world for entertaining people from tanks. Let me know what you think! )
Actually, I am without words and my thoughts are still as to what I can do, what we can do to make a difference. Everyone should have the chance encounter of this creature of wonderment. I would not want anything less than what I have experienced for anyone of you or our future children. Words are just not enough. I would love to hear your comments on this subject, any ideas?
The other side of the of my double-sided news day brought remembrance of times past with heartfelt loving memories. Remembering times past came with my email subscription to Pat at Dancing in the Kitchen. It truly is a small world that we live in.
She has posted a wonderful recipe for Blueberry Shortcake (I will be trying very soon.) With it came her memories from time spent with her family each summer at Wallowa Lake. Her summers at Wallowa Lake brought to memory, loving memories of all the time I too spent at Wallowa Lake with my family.
It is such a small world. We made the trek down from my peninsula here in Washington State each summer for many summer seasons. Her words brought to mind all of our visits to Wallowa Lake and set my mind to the first sighting of our arrival… at the end of the road when you first set eyes on Wallowa Lake it surprises you about how green it is, and how the mountains seem to be at least 200 degree around the lake as you arrive. It is breath-taking.
The Wallowa River that runs through is so loud you cannot talk, you just fish and take in the scenery, and too, it is a place for lots of thought and deep contemplation. It seems for some all you have to do is back your backside up to a large rock (some are large boulder is size) and make yourself comfortable then cast your line and hook out and then reel her in with a perfect Rainbow Trout. At least one meal a day was of fresh cooked trout from the loud running river that can be heard for some distance.
Nature puts on a show like no-show from the time you get there and until time to leave, then it is slow going as slow as you can make it. What an amazing wilderness… the whole area in itself is remarkable, incredible everywhere you look. The hiking is out of this world. Hiking up to the waterfalls is without description. From eagles to chipmunks there is life everywhere. Nothing has compared to hearing the rushing water of the river over all of the river rocks (large and small) at night when you go to bed, it lulls you to sleep.
The only drawback that bothered me was that the deer are to tame because campers and such are constantly feeding them and I too wonder about their health eating so much garbage, I too wonder what their teeth must be like. It is not natural to tame what should be wild. I wish us two-footers would think before we feed the four-footers and the wing ones in nature, it is a crime when this sort of thing happens.
It makes me think about how small our world is, and too I wonder did I meet Pat while we both were there at Wallowa Lake and not know it, did we stand in line side by side, or did we hike together and not know it. Maybe we fished together, I am sure that our paths probably crossed at some point, spending summers there with our families. I like to think we did….
It has been a few years now since my last trek to Wallowa Lake, but I think I will put some thought into making a trip sometime this year. That would be good….