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It is governed by the Antarctic Treaty , which was signed by twelve nations and has since been acceded to by many others. In this magnificent photo, Antarctica, an Empire of Ice, is on full display. In the foreground is a growler, a chunk of floating ice no more than three feet above the water. In the middle ground, to the right, is a bergy bit, floating ice between three to thirteen feet high above the water.

Behind it is a long and low iceberg with gouged, rotting blue cliffs and a snow-white cap. And behind it all a massive snow- and ice-covered mountain range extending as far as we could see. This was Antarctica at its most spectacular. You could stare at this vista for hours, feeling blessed to be in the presence of such astonishing natural beauty. Here, Munger captured another perspective of The Cathedral.

It sat on a massive, oval blue disk of ice that extended hundreds of feet below the water line. Inside the Cathedral was a white carpet of snow and ice where worshippers might gather.

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The blue-white walls forming the enclosure were impossibly thin. It was difficult to imagine how this natural ice sculpture could have been formed. What forces hollowed it out and crafted those slender blue cliffs in a semicircle? It was as though the hand of God had reached down to shave the ice into this remarkable formation. Whatever its origin, we saw no other ice sculptures as glorious and breathtaking as this one. Colby Munger is a passionate amateur photographer who is a retired naval officer, engineer, and inventor. He travels the world with his wife, Linda, in search of inspired moments of awe with the.

He bought his first camera, a mm SLR, and tripod as a sophomore in high school. His family lived on Treasure Island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and it was a perfect place to photograph the changing moods of the San Francisco skyline. The D4 is an outstanding multi-purpose camera with On this journey, Colby was often shooting landscapes, but he says that whatever is around him is his favorite subject.

It could be a bird, a flower, a mountain, a smiling child, or a sad street scene.

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Wherever we are there is beauty, vulnerability, awe, and pathos—all these are my favorite subjects. The photographs in this story are all the property of Colby Munger.

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Copyright Permission to use these photographs on the Reflections. This photo journey presents a collection of his photos of penguins. It is likely that this king penguin standing in the water off South Georgia Island was peering into the water looking for an easy meal, some krill, perhaps, or a small fish. Would it be curious about the bird looking back? Or would the scattered reflection in the rippling water create some angst. Am I coming apart , it might be thinking? Or Is this how others see me? Scientists would scoff at this literary conceit, but they would probably agree that what the photographer has captured is a beautiful reflection of nature.

The adult penguins have returned to the beach, and a lone oakum boy stands crying for its mother or father. Until they mature, these brown-feathered youngsters rely on their parents to feed them. The sailors who first came to South Georgia in wooden sailing ships thus named these goofy looking creatures. We think they resemble teenagers in the Roaring Twenties wearing raccoon coats. Watching the antics of penguins in their colonies is an entertaining pastime for visitors to the Antarctic.

Or the leaper may just have been enjoying a moment of free flight. Up in the sky! Penguin life is normally much more uncoordinated and chaotic. Either these five were transfixed by something overhead, or they were caroling simultaneously, like a penguin choir. Large colonies of penguins are perpetually noisy as they purr, clack, and warble at each other—like people in a large, busy restaurant.

To the question, What kinds of penguins are there? One answer is that there are white penguins and black penguins. The Sheathbills will steal her eggs if they can. Like Skuas, another Antarctic bird, sheathbills forage among penguin colonies, making away with eggs or small chicks when the parent penguin is distracted, or stealing food dropped when parent penguins are regurgitating food for their chicks. These two sheathbills are trying to be nonchalant.

These penguins sing to their own tunes and likely follow whoever moves first. This is a great shot of a Rockhopper Penguin face on. With their spiky black feathers on their head, blonde accents above their eyes and on either side of their head, and those deep red eyes and orange beaks, Rockhoppers are the punks of the Antarctic Convergence.

These birds are the smallest of the Antarctic penguins. They breed on rocky ground, scree slopes, lava fields, and rocky shores, and often intermingle their nests with those of albatrosses.

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The females lay two eggs, one smaller than the other. The larger egg usually hatches, but the smaller one typically does not. When Rockhoppers walk, they sometimes scrunch their heads down and skulk forward, like the little guy at the head of this pack.

Manual Just Iceberg Photos! Big Book of Photographs & Pictures of Icebergs, Vol. 1

He looks like major bad attitude. Rockhoppers are the most widespread of all the South Atlantic penguin species. The photographer discovered these five on The Falkland Islands, where they were walking on a field of low grass. The grass on South Georgia Island is mainly tussock, a type of grass that grows in large clumps or tufts. Grass does not grow in Antarctica. The penguins nest on the ice between large boulders and rock outcrops.

They congregate lower right near a ledge above the sea, waiting for the bravest of them to take the plunge. Above them, some sit on their nests while others waddle about in seemingly random motion. On the open white slope in the top middle some penguins make their way uphill and occasionally, one plops onto its belly and slides down. Penguin colonies like this one are a riot of motion accompanied by a cacophonous din of chirps, squawks, and caws. Very likely, a leopard seal or two lurk in the waters just off-shore waiting for penguins to enter the water or return to the colony from feeding in the ocean.

In the water, they can reshape their bodies according to how fast they need to swim.

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They may have spotted a leopard seal in the area or they may be conserving their energy before continuing to feed or returning to their colony. This photo captures the vast expense of the ice and the bleakness of parts of Antarctica. Pack ice, seen in the lower right, is ice that has broken away from fast ice or a glacier and is floating in a large mass.

Seven of the penguins shown here are tobogganing—sliding across the ice on their bellies, propelled by their wings and feet. Walking is cumbersome for penguins because their short, thick legs and webbed feet are designed for swimming, not walking. While walking, penguins can reach about two mph; they may reach six mph while tobogganing. However, tobogganing is hard on their belly feathers, so they must preen them more often to keep those feathers in peak condition.

It has a silver-gray back and a white front demarked by a crisp black border. On either side of its ebony black head are tadpole-shaped orange spots that seem to bleed down to the orange fan on the front of its neck and upper chest. An accent of orange on either side of its bill points toward its black, slightly downturned beak. King penguins average about three feet in height; their taller cousins, the Emperor Penguin, average closer to four feet.

In prehistoric times, some penguin species were closer to five feet high. King Penguins are abundant throughout the Antarctic Convergence, and 1. They have no crown but carry themselves regally, as shown here. Photographer Debra Parmenter shot nearly five thousand images while on a three-week excursion in the South Atlantic and Antarctica.

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This photo odyssey presents an eclectic mix of some of her favorite images. For Debra, photography is more than an avocation; it is a compulsion. The camera is an extension of her soul, of the beauty she sees in nature. These massive triangular peaks stood like sentinels guarding the entrance to the southern continent.