In 2019, photographer Tobias Baumgaertner snapped a romantic shot of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia. He shared the photograph on his Instagram during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help lift people’s spirits, and it quickly went viral, garnering thousands of likes, comments, and shares. So, it’s only fitting that Baumgaertner’s photo, nominated for the Community Choice Award in the 2020 Ocean Photography Awards, won the title by popular vote.
“I posted this image of these two Fairy penguins a little more than half a year ago, and since then it has circled the globe, it has been seen by millions, and I have received thousands of messages and comments of how these two little guys have touched and mended broken hearts, brought joy, hope, and love into your lives,” Baumgaertner said on his Instagram. “It has become a symbol of togetherness and love. Times are still not easy for many of us, [so] I repeat what I wrote back then. During times like this, the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most.”
The German wildlife photographer spent three nights with the Fairy penguin colony in St. Kilda in hopes of attaining the perfect picture. Although the conditions were difficult, and he wasn’t able to use any lights, his patience finally paid off when he captured two penguins comforting each other in front of the pier. “A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left,” Baumgaertner wrote. “Since then, they meet regularly, comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city.”
Today’s JohnKu talks about Christmas Eve. A very Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.
Christmas Eve by John W. Howell.
Tis the day before,
We celebrate Christ’s birthday . . .
Peace on Earth to All.