Notes from the Field

The Lost Bird Blues

October 30th, 2017 by Eric Lindstrom

There is something about being at sea, totally surrounded by blue sea and blue sky that demands blogging about blue.  I’ve done it before (see: The Moods of Sea and Sky; Shades of Blue) and from the looks of today’s blog, I’ve doing it again. Darn it.

A Great Egret on the R/V Revelle at 10N, 125W.

It started this time with me thinking about blue birds – not literally a blue bird, but birds feeling lost and blue. Yes, that is probably stupid anthropomorphism, but it is the kind of conversation that gets going after weeks at sea. We have not one, but two, Great Egrets on the ship right now. I am sure they are very blue, even though they are perfectly white in color. Their usual home is possibly some cushy Florida suburban swamp stalking frogs and small fish. The summer is ending so they decide to head off to the other summer home in the Amazon, where you can snack on frogs and small fish. Then, bam! Some big wind comes along and all you can see day after blue day is blue sky and blue water. And this is likely some kind of Alice in Wonderland experience for a lost freshwater fowl – the fish are flying and the frogs look like sharks, and all of a sudden the water is 2 miles deep instead of 2 inches deep! Those long slim legs for wading are way too short now.

Now we have a tally of two “lost” species this voyage. The other, the Peruvian Booby, has “Boobied Up” and joined some sexy Blue-Footed Boobies for some hybrid action out over the horizon. Hey, that is a real thing, look it up!

I’m afraid there nothing we can do on Revelle for the Great Egret blues. I suppose they might tough out the steel decks and weird humans until San Diego and find some cousins at the Sea World ponds? Kinda depressing!

Really readers, blue is the color of oceanography! Well, at least when it is sunny. At night it is just black. If it is totally cloudy we might call the ocean “steely blue.” The sky then is, well, totally cloudy, and you guessed it, shades of gray. Isolated clouds are white, of course. How all the white clouds together become gray is a mystery (not really, but we are talking blue here today).

Rather than bore you with pictures of blue sea and blue sky today, I am sharing some more artsy photos in the blue theme. Its not hard to find such photos on a ship that is painted blue. I swear, a contrasting color would have been easier on the eyes! Take note UCSD. Could you go for a nice shade of puce?

Happy blues to all!

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