New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands - 2008

panorama in the form of chrysanthemum-like flowers on the Campbell Island carrot plant. And if that were not enough, the myriad greens of all the growing things were rampant and tangled and gorgeous, with broad leaves, straight and narrow ones, round and flat ones! The scene was absolutely mind- boggling and eye-popping. This magnificent “Indian blanket” of colors stretched away in every direction we could see, up hillsides and down in deeper gullies. No wonder we cared not a whit about scientific jargon then. What could have improved upon this primordial unsullied scene of Nature’s prodigal gifts? Well, we got that something else too—in the form of Southern Royal Albatross on their tussock-based nests, dotting the whole scene with purest white patches in among all the colors! These huge birds were in mid- incubation of this year ’s eggs, so they sat serenely and patiently and absolutely fearless as we tramped and tripped and fell along the path. Some were close enough to the path that we could have reached out to touch their silvery- white feathers—if only that hadn’t been forbidden. But of course we would not have wanted to take a chance of disturbing one of these dedicated parents so that it left the egg to cool and kill the chick developing inside. Albatross have enough to challenge their survival without human interference on this reserve—but more about the risks Albatross face later.

Is this still not enough to delight the most overwhelmed environmentalist?

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