Westminster Abbey’s Lady Chapel

Submitted by Kayla Haynes on the 2024 Winter JOUR program in Australia…

Penguins on their way to find their young in the burrows

The Phillip Island Penguin Parade provided an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. Witnessing nature in such a carefully protected environment felt like a once-in-a- lifetime moment. Thanks to human intervention, predators on the island had been successfully eliminated, allowing the penguins to thrive. As the sun dipped below the horizon, over a thousand penguins emerged, all with a singular mission – reuniting with their offspring.

The area was filled with the cries of the penguin chicks, serving as a call for their parents to locate their burrows across the large field and beach. Observing these beautiful moments of reunion between two living beings left a lasting impression. Phillip Island, an example of pristine wilderness in Australia, showcased the beauty of untouched nature. Seeing the Cape Barren Goose drove that home.

These creatures exhibited no fear in the presence of humans, standing firm even in the face of our large tour bus. While it was inconvenient to find ourselves parked mid-street due to the determined bird, there was a certain charm. Unlike situations where animals flee human presence in fear, here, we felt a deep connection with nature, granted the privilege of witnessing it unfold in its unadulterated state. (Submitted on January 14, 2024)