Grey-seal

i’ve mentioned rion enjoys writing before, but, what i didn’t tell you is he writes letters;

tens, hundreds over a year, almost one every day, sometimes two or three. and they’re all to different people, for all different reasons.

some are scribbles on random scraps of parchment he’s found, some are well-scripted formal drafts, signed with a grey warden seal.

some are crumpled and left scattered over the floor of his office, angry ink stains and jagged lines where his quill has torn the parchment.

some are neatly folded and stacked between his books on the shelf, not hidden but not in plain sight - if someone wants to find them, they will. he doesn’t mind.

he writes more and more as he gets older, as his days grow shorter and the nights seem endless. he writes when he can’t sleep, he writes when he forgets to eat, he writes, and writes, and writes. his hands are heavily calloused, marked by the quillpoint, ink-stained fingers. but he refuses to stop.

and then, of a sudden, his letters are tear-stained and bitter, shaky writing as the taint grows stronger in him, shatters his confidence and turns his roar to a whisper in the shadows where nobody can see him. his words are faltering, sentences abrupt and falling short of all the things he wanted to say. they lead nowhere, an open end to a destination he never quite reaches.

rion never gets to finish those ones.

5

New Year Brings a Grey Seal Pup to Brookfield Zoo

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, has announced its first birth of 2014: a Grey Seal pup that also happens to be the first of its species ever born at the zoo. The male pup was born on New Year’s Day around 7:00 a.m. He and his mother, ten-year-old Lily, will remain off exhibit for several weeks to allow them time to bond with one another.

See more photos and learn more at Zooborns.

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Grey Seal pups - Halichoerus grypus

The Grey seals, Halichoerus grypus (Carnivora - Phocidae), occur in temperate and subarctic waters of the North Atlantic ocean and in the Baltic Sea. The breeding season of the grey seal varies greatly, occurring anywhere from mid-December to October, depending upon the location of the population.

The lovely pups are born with white coats and suckle from their mother for about 2 to 3 weeks. The mother then leaves the pup. She will mate again before leaving the beach. After one week’s development, the foetus stops growing for about 100 days, after which it continues to develop and is born the following November. The deserted pup sheds its white coat. After a while, hunger drives it to make its way to the sea to look for its own food.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credits: [Top: ©Alan Hill | Locality: Donna Nook National Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire, England, 2012] - [Bottom: ©Vince Burton | Locality: not indicated, 2010]