October 20, 1913: Spring arrives at Commonwealth Bay

–from Douglas Mawson’s account “The Home of the Blizzard”–

“The winds were very high for the ensuing two days, and on the 17th (October) the horizon was clearer and more water-sky was visible. Before lunch on that day there was not a living thing along the steep, overhanging ice-foot, but by late afternoon thirteen birds [Adelie penguins] had effected a landing, and those who were not resting after their long swim were hopping about making a survey of the nearest rookeries. One always has a “soft spot” for these game little creatures–there is always something irresistibly human about them–and, situated as we were to be populated by the penguins–our harbingers of summer and the good times to be. Three days later, at the call of the season, a skua gull came flapping over the hut.”

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