Penguins at Cape Royds, Antarctica

The southernmost rookery of Aledie Penguins is on a little outcropping of rock in the Ross Sea called Cape Royds.  It was named by Ernest Shackelton, who spent the winter there during the British Antarctic Expedition in 1908.   The hut built by him and his crew still stands across a small pond from the rookery.  The penguins' territory is an Antarctic Specially Protected Area, so the sounds and smells can only be experienced from a distance.  

 

  Adelie penguins at Cape Royds rookery.

Adelie penguins at Cape Royds rookery.

Gamelan in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Balinese gamelan performance.  Gamelan is an ensemble of musicians playing percussion instruments, including metallophones and hand drums.  Gamelan is traditional in Java, Bali and some other parts of Indonesia, and has been featured by groups as hip as Sonic Youth and Xiu Xiu.  Sounds like a Four Tet song, if you ask me.

  A daily offering to ancestral spirits on the sidewalk in Bali.

A daily offering to ancestral spirits on the sidewalk in Bali.

Singing in Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

I was taking an evening stroll around the streets of Tuk Tuk, on the shores of Lake Toba, Sumatra, when I came upon a group of eight or ten men with guitars.  They were happily singing local songs and drinking local palm wine, called tuak, which is a thick opaque alcoholic beverage that smells like rotten eggs (to me, anyway).  They were so engaged in their singing, I don't know if they ever noticed me.