September 1, 2011

Good Thursday. Grayish here. A little rain now and then.

We watched a good BBC documentary on the Galapagos Islands, which lie 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in South America. I spent 10 days there in 1980 boating between the islands, and this film brought it all back. Darwin spent five weeks there in 1835 and noticed that the same species of birds had different characteristics on different islands. There are several endemic bird species there, including flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, lava gulls, and others. If you like gorgeous photography of geological features and animal behavior, this is an excellent pick, similar to the sequences in Planet Earth. The islands are named for the huge tortoises there, which live 150 years and weigh up to 550 pounds. They can survive without food or water for as long as a year. The colliding ocean currents around the islands, which sit on the equator, result in extremely rich and diverse ocean life as well. The series is three programs long, well worth watching. Available from Netflix.

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