Sometimes, the world is full of surprises even when we are not specifically looking at or for birds.
It sure is the nature of a surprise to come unexpectedly, but this surprise was so much of a surprise that I can truly state here that it was an unexpected surprise and that this is not an exaggeration.
This surprise also gave me an insight into the effectiveness of global bird blogging and how it enlarges our view of the world by turning it into a smaller place.
Last Saturday, I bought the weekend edition of our local newspaper, the "Ostseezeitung" (Baltic Sea Newspaper) at my local bakery. Of course my son LBJ - though only approaching his fourth month - is incredibly cunning and effective when it comes to spotting and eliminating any spare time spent with anything different than attending to him, but nevertheless, I bought the newspaper in good hope of finding a few minutes to read parts of it.
And when - surprise, surprise, but not the surprise I am talking about here - I actually did find a few minutes to read it, I rushed to the "Travel Pages" that are - to me - a vital and the most interesting part of the weekend edition.
And now, finally, we get to the surprise that was the inspiration to this post:
The picture of an Inuit lady caught my attention, I checked the article and there it was, the mentioning of Arctic Bay!
Can you believe it?
Here's the story in short:
"Visiting the Inuit in the Arctic by Ship"
The story starts by telling how Emily Emudluk and her friend Mae Ningiuruvik entertain some guests on board the cruise ship "MV Lyubov Orlova" by performing a Katajjaq. They belong to an Inuit-run company called Cruise North Expeditions that specializes in introducing tourists to Inuit culture. Then, the author Ole Helmhausen goes on by describing the route between Kuujjuaq and Resolute and finally gets to the most significant part:
"At Arctic Bay, a settlement on the northern shores of Baffin Island rarely visited by ships, half the village gathers at the beach to take a look at the Hallunaq - the White Men. And the tourists get to see the problems of the Arctic, unemployment, population growth, global warming. The glacier in the recently proclaimed Sermilik National Park on Bylot Island for example retreated by 10 metres within the last three years. Joseph, the ranger, doesn't hide his worries: "Back then, the bay was full of Icebergs"."
Here is a photo of the article for those few readers who understand German (anyone?). Heck, I know I am touching a few copy right issues here, but come on, this is a non-commercial site, I couldn't find the article on the home page of the Ostseezeitung and I have linked to both the author - a freelance journalist - and the newspaper, so have mercy on my soul.
Anyway, I was only able to spot a single but significant flaw in the whole article: no mentioning of Clare's blog or his bed & breakfast! And - for crying out loud - not a single raven is featured in the article!
Surely, Ole Helmhausen is not a birder (although he does mention the bird colony on Akpatok Island) and I am sure Clare has a few things to say about that, but possibly Anna, the Inuit lady depicted in the article, will feel flattered when she learns that roughly 160,000 readers along the Baltic coast of Germany have seen her picture while having their Sunday breakfast.