Off all the things that I saw in Alaska that amazed and delighted me… and if you’ve been following this blog, you know there are many… bubble net feeding circles may be the most impressive. I’ve looked up this information several times, because what I remembered didn’t seem possible. Yet, seeing it stunned me enough that I couldn’t help but remember…
What I didn’t manage to work into the musing is that the herring (or whatever) are not high on the conceptual ladder. When they see the air bubbles rising from the circle that starts below them, they cannot tell that it is not a net. So they are doomed to stay within the confines of the circle formed by these enormous whales (who grow to be up to 52 feet long, yet feed only on tiny little herring.
These gigantic humpback whales eat for only three months out of the year and fast for nine… the nine months when they’re swimming from Alaska to Hawaii (well over 3,500 miles, which takes them about 40 days to swim), mating or birthing their babies and swimming back. It’s a good thing a few of the Matriarchs put their heads together. Who’s your Mama? The one who helps you eat the most efficiently with the least effort… What inspired them to improve on Nature?
Do I love that it’s Matriarchs? Oh, indeed I do. That there are only twelve of them who can call this circle? Magic. You go, you wise old women, move those whales from their solitary to feeding to cooperative fishing. So if Twelve Wise Whale Women can change their worlds… can we? Can we bring about Peaceful coexistence?
Today when my heart is heavy with all the news to take in about Trayvon Martin, I have to find somewhere to start hoping.