20 November 2011

Fairy penguin observations

This Eudyptula minor commonly known as a Fairy Penguin (but authorities today prefer, if we insist on being common, "Little Blue Penguin") was on the beach south of Ulladulla early this morning, rigor mortis not quite set in. I couldn't find any injury, so won't speculate on why it died.

Its oily feathers smelt remarkably unfishy—and even more surprisingly, as if it had bathed with Sunlight soap. Why a penguin would smell like a sheep beats me, and the comparison makes me cringe to have stated it, so if anyone can shed light on the composition of its fats, I would appreciate learning.


  1. Can't help you with lanolin, I'm afraid, though I have the feeling the smell of it would remind me of my mother!

    The feathers are beautiful.

  2. Lucy, is that because of her personal washing, clothes washing, cooking, or ?

    And do you classify the smell as Horror or ?

    You might enjoy (ha ha) the scary poem by C.J. Dennis, Mutton.

    What other smells remind you of someone or -place?

    Smell is so undertalkedabout but is probably our first discriminatory sense, and is so much a part of memories and identification of a person, time, place. As a former scent designer, I do find scent fascinating in a social sense, but also, in the role it plays in memories and impetus. To people like me who have better scent memories than visual ones, actions might be more associated with smell than has been recorded. The web, internet, whatever you want to call the cloud that is ethereal publication, has a strong smell that assaults my senses whenever I contemplate posting something. It isn't fresh breeze or ozonic, but surprisingly dusty, like an abandoned house a year after being half burnt down — so maybe that smell is a primal warning? That, however, is the reek of the whole World of Onlinity. Individual sites have their own smell. Your Box Elder smells (to me) like gently rotting kelp--one of the best smells in the world.