Wednesday, August 25, 2010


A semi-complete background painting for the film. Not many more backgrounds to paint now. I think the film's animation and rendering will be finished by next Friday, God willin' (as the Newfies say).

Today I learned that a small posse of 6 killer whales was spotted swimming in the same area I swim last Wednesday. I got the people to point out where they saw the whales, and what time. An hour later I swam over that exact same spot.

Apparently these six killer whales hang out in this area. Great. Someone took a photo of them, it's going to be in the newspaper, and I'll post it when I get the paper.

Killer whales are smart animals, and, like every other animal, the more I read about them the more fascinating and ingenious they are. They're the only other animal besides humans have observable cultural differences. They have different family "clans", which speak different dialects of language and have different diets. One type only eats fish (sockeye salmon preferably), the other only eats marine mammals. My local posse is a transient pod, which means they swim silently (don't communicate much), and eat marine mammals. Great.

I've been told that there are no documented cases of a human death by killer whales in the wild. That eases my mind - I'd like to think that they're smart enough to tell I would taste different and be semi-covered in cloth that's hard to unwrap and digest. Maybe they even think we're kindred spirits. Maybe one day I'll ride a fucking killer whale into battle against the salmon farmers...

In the survival-centric area of my brain, however, I wonder if there are no deaths because few humans are stupid enough to be swimming when killer whales are around. I read about one case where a swimmer in Alaska was "bumped" by an Orca who likely mistook him for a seal. I've reserved some books from the library, and I'm looking forward to learning more about these creatures.

Not so afraid of the seals any more, in comparison.

When I first moved to this island, I was a bit turned off because the ecosystem seemed so tame. The largest natural predator is a raccoon - deers roam around like bunnies and sleep in your lawn.

But I'm starting to realize that the real wildness is in the water. I really appreciate that I'm able to skim along the upper surface of that mysterious world and explore it, in my own way.

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