Friday, July 6, 2012

Geese, Guanacos and Glacier Grey

Gadzooks, I'm late for Alphabe-Thursday! That's because I had a gazillion photos to sort through and edit, not to mention that I actually have a life too. But, here I am, better late than never (at least, from my perspective, that is). And, if you haven't guessed, it's glorious G at which we're gazing this week. Come along with me on my continuing journey through Patagonian Chile.

First off, this is our favorite goose. The hubs and I call them "mop geese", because of their curly feathers, which when wet, look like a dirty mop. We've seen quite a few of them in southern Chile, although, from what I gathered, they are called Sebastapol Geese and are not indigenous.

Next, if you've never met a guanaco,  you haven't been to Patagonia. Members of the llama family, they are indigenous and wild and cute as can be.

And finally (for this week), no trip to Chilean Patagonia would be complete with seeing glaciers. In face, you'd pretty much have to have your eyes closed to not see them. If you go to the far enough south to  Torres del Paine National Park, you can get pretty up close and personal with them if you're willing to hike or take a boat ride.

Welcome to Lago Grey (Grey Lake), at the top of which sits Grey Glacier. When the glacier calves (chunks break off), the bergs get blown across the lake some 17 kilometers (approx. 10.5 miles), and wash up on the lake shore. (If you're like my hubs, you'll want to pick up a small chunk and taste the ice that might be 10s of thousands of years old. He's kind of funny like that. If you're like the rest of us,  you'll be happy to just ooh and ah at the amazing blue color of the huge pieces of ice).

To give you a little perspective, the glacier is approximately 2.5 miles wide where it flows into the lake. As with many other glaciers in the world, it is shrinking. It's receded visibly in the 10 years that I've been going there. 

Here you can see the glacier from above after a steep 1.5 hour hike. It was worth it for the views!

And seen from a boat...the front edge of the glacier is between 100 and 300 feet high. Hard to imagine from looking at a photo.

Yes, it really is that blue. It's from thousands of years worth of snow being layered on top of the glacier and then being compressed with each successive winter's snow falls. (And it helps to see it on a slightly overcast day...not so much that there's no sun, but just enough to filter the sunlight...we definitely hit pay dirt with the weather on our last trip)!

Be sure to get on over to Mrs. Jenny's and see what the other Alphabetarians have got going with the letter G this week by clicking HERE


Tina´s PicStory said...

what a wonderful photo shooting! :)

Lola said...

Great captures as always!

Visiting from A-Thursday!

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

Gorgeous series of photos! The first two critters are just the most adorable ones that I haven't seen!

Beautiful weekend to you..

The Poet said...

My lovely Anita,
I can honestly say I have learned something here today. Thanks for sharing my friend.
Just don't be beautiful from your head to your ankles...but rather, be beautiful from your head to your painted

Judie said...

Anita, once again you have provided us with more excellent photos of your vacation! Just wonderful! Please tell me that those geese are moulting!

H said...

I would definitely be a taster! Imagine licking something that many years old!

As for the guanacos, they are beautiful! I'd love to spend a little time with them.

Susan Anderson said...

Not only have I never met a guanaco, I've never even heard of one!

Those glaciers are out of this world...


Splendid Little Stars said...

You have a life?!
lovely photos!
actually no words to describe your wonderful photos!
Aren't glaciers amazing up close?! I've hiked to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park twice.

Pondside said...

I remember being stunned at the colour of the glaciers - other-worldly, somehow.
Great G's!

Jim said...

Anita, I like a lot your "G" words and the post with all the pictures.

Start with Gadzooks! Shucks I should have thought of that one!

I can take or leave Geese because I am not a big lover of birds. Thank you though, these are definitely different from any I've ever seen.

I love those guanacos! When they lay back their ears they remind me of the camel. In the same family, I wonder?

Glaciers are very fine with with Me. Mrs. Jim and I took an excursion from our Alaskan tour at Juno and flew out (via helicopter) and got dropped off on a glacier. We stayed out there all morning, five of us and a guide.

Keep it up with the Chile. For me, I doubt we will ever get there although I would like to go.

Oh yes, watch out for snakes. The rattler you found might have relatives around. Rrrr.

EG CameraGirl said...

You have such fabulous photos to go through! I'm jealous!

KDL said...

Incredible glacier photos! We saw similar in Alaska, but they were more white as I recall. Very cool photos.

Nikki Nichols said...

Take me with you next time!!!!!

Jenny said...

Gosh, I think you need to become a tour guide for this grand place!

Those mop geese are welcome at my house any time!

I wonder if they complain less than my husband about helping clean the floors - ha!

Thanks for a great link for the letter "G".


PS. I went to answer your previous e-mails but somehow they have disappeared off this new e-mail service! So sorry!