Sparkly Puffins, the horizon and evolutionary hairpin bends
The west coast of Westray is by far the most beautiful and magnificent. It’s largely empty of buildings apart from ruins. Here and there are geos with a Kittiwake colony here and a rocky home to Puffins and Razorbills there.
This Razorbill and Puffin landed close to me as I sat on the rocks gazing out into the Atlantic.
I like to sit here and wonder how far down the angle into the sea America as. Just how far out would a boat have to sail for me to disappear under the horizon from where I am now? One of my favourite Shetland dialect songs is Rowin Foula Doon, which sings of rowing away from the island of Foula and seeing it gradually disappear behind the horizon.
We are tiny against the forces of nature; and so are Puffins. It’s over 320 million years since Puffins and humans were the same species. We’ve been ever more distant cousins since that momentous hairpin bend of evolution. If I traced my mother’s mother and so on into evolutionary history and this Puffin did the same, we would share a many-times-great grandmother. That’s a grand thing.
We still share our vulnerability to the elements as well as much of our genetics and subsequent biology.
We now have the fate of all life on Earth in our hands. Will we care enough about it to change and save it?
Humans and Puffins. We share a love of sunlight on turquoise ocean. And sparkles. We both love sparkles.
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