Hunting

The hunting scenes in this book are some of the best. They remind self somewhat of the scenes in Eddie’s Boy where the hit man main character stalks his targets. Anyhoo, Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic has been a very exciting read.

It’s been particularly exciting since Nanu has become a mother. So now she’s hunting, not just for herself, but for her two cubs.

Nanu glides to a small pressure ridge in the ice, out of direct sight of the seals, and lies down to nurse. When the cubs have had their fill, they bundle in beside her, one on top of the other, and nod off to sleep. Effortlessly, Nanu slips into the lead. She surfaces silently like a slow-moving ice floe and begins closing the distance between herself and the sleeping prey.

When Nanu is within one hundred yards of the seal, he lifts his head. Nanu stops. All that shows in the water is a white forehead with black eyes and nose, and a line of dry fur along her back, all of which could easily be patterns in the ice itself.

Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan, Chapter 6 (“Learning”)

Suspense!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Ice Walker

So that the author does not have to keep repeating Ice Walker ad infinitum, he has given the subject of this book a name: Nanu.

Nice! Has echoes of Nanook of the North, the groundbreaking 1922 documentary by Robert Flaherty.

Without further ado, the Sentence:

  • Nanu jams her feet onto the floor of the aglu, snatches the seal and flings it out onto the surface of the ice, where blood belches into the new snow. (Chapter 1: Circling)

This is a very vivid book.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Ice Walker!

The beginning of Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic is so captivating, just as The Butterfly Effect‘s opening chapters were. Hope author James Raffan is able to keep the focus on polar bears, not drift into a depiction of human activity — all self wants is nature, all the time.

What she loved so much about Eddie’s Boy, which she blazed through a few days ago, was how relentless it was. The book was about a hitman, and he stayed hitman to the very end, no apologies. She appreciates Thomas Perry’s singular focus. You would think a reader would find all the killing pretty rote by the end — but no, it stayed fresh. Again, kudos to Thomas Perry.

Chapter One of Ice Walkers (“Circling”) is gripping:

  • She stops and sniffs the frigid air, with almost no vapor trail from her mouth or nose. In a frozen world where liquid freshwater for drinking is absent, she draws on metabolic water created by the burning of seal fat, her main food source. The outside air is desert dry, but the air in her lungs is humid. Somehow she is able to conserve moisture and stay sufficiently hydrated, even when running or exerting herself physically in the hunt, when a human would soon die from winter dehydration. Every one of these adaptations is a marvel that has taken untold generations to evolve. These are not physiological changes that can respond to seasonal or even annual environmental shifts.

Self Learns New Things Every Day!

from the Introduction to The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World:

  • The father of chaos theory — “small causes can have large, wide-ranging effects” — was “Edward N. Lorenz, who addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Dec. 29, 1972. Lorenz’s talk: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas.”
  • “In 2017, scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for using Drosophila to understand the molecular gene responsible for controlling circadian rhythm, the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle.” (Drosophila is the humble fruit fly)

Onward!

Eddie’s Boy was a very satisfying read. So fleet of foot! No anguished moralizing! Only kill, kill, kill!

Next: Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan.

Opening Sentence:

  • “Imagine you are in the International Space Station, curving over North America.

Love it!

But oh no, coming from behind is a book about insects, The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World, by Edward D. Melillo.

Self may wind up going for the insect book.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Hellooo, February! (Tweaking the Reading List)

Since High as the Waters Rise turned out to be a novel about the environment (who knew!), self decided to continue the theme with her next book, Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Mama’s Last Hug, pp. 243 – 244

This has been a most interesting read. She’s almost to the end, she thought author Frans de Waal could say nothing more that would surprise her, but she was wrong.

  • Attraction to meat has shaped our social evolution. The gathering of fruits, which are small and dispersed, is mostly an individual job, but the hunting of large game demands teamwork. One man alone doesn’t bring home a giraffe or mammoth. Our ancestors deviated from the apes by hunting animals larger than themselves, which required the sort of camaraderie and mutual dependence that is at the root of complex societies. We owe our cooperative nature, our food-sharing tendencies, our sense of fairness, and even our morality to the subsistence hunting of our ancestors. Furthermore, since carnivores are on average larger-brained than herbivores and since brains require a great deal of energy to grow and operate, the consumption of animal protein along with effective food processing (such as fermentation and cooking) are seen as driving forces behind our ancestors’ neural expansion. Animal protein provided them with the optimal mix of calories, lipids, proteins, and essential B12 vitamins to grown large brains.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

In Honor of the Book Self Is Currently Reading: MAMA’S LAST HUG

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, p. 80:

  • This was how I first learned this species’ typical sounds and other forms of communication, and also how to act like an ape, which is really not that hard given that humans are essentially apes.

Just for fun, a picture of self at the San Diego Zoo, probably circa 1980?

DSCN0171

The bag she’s toting is a Louis Vuitton knockoff from the Philippines.

She had a number of those, if she recalls correctly.

Stay tuned.

Emotions: Language Descriptors For

Mama’s Last Hug is fascinating, how well it points out the limits of human understanding (i.e., Man is always front and center and human emotional behavior is always the benchmark for analyzing other species)

Self can’t help continuously drawing comparisons with . . . never mind.

p. 54:

  • If it is true that the environment shapes facial expressions, then children who are born blind and deaf should show no expressions at all, or only strange ones, because they’ve never seen the faces of people around them. Yet in studies of these children, they laugh, smile, and cry in the same way and under the same circumstances as any typical child. Since their situation excludes learning from models, how could anyone doubt that emotional expressions are part of biology?

Stay tuned.

Poetry Monday: T’ao Ch’ien

On Returning to My Garden and Field

— translated by Wu-chi Liu

(1)

When I was young, I did not fit into the common mold,
By instinct I love mountains and hills.

(2)

I plant beans at the foot of the southern hill;
The grass is thick and bean sprouts are sparse.
At dawn, I rise and go out to weed the field;
Shouldering the hoe, I walk home with the moon.

DSCN0430

Side yard: Self placed the Chinese character for longevity beside the gate.


Self studied Chinese poetry under Prof. James J. Y. Liu at Stanford University, who became her advisor.

T’ao Chi’en (365-427)

Popularly known as Tao Yuan-ming, he was born the son of an official’s family near what is modern-day Kiangsi. During his youth, the family fortunes declined, and after several frustrating attempts to find an appointment, he gave up all worldly ambitions and retired to his home and gardens while he was still in his early forties.

« Older entries

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through fashion and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other