Their Nests Are
So Abundant That One Cannot Avoid Treading On Them.
When the duck
is driven by a hungry fox to leave her eggs, she covers them with
down, in order that they may not cool during her absence, and,
moreover, glues the down into a case with a secretion supplied to
her by Nature for that purpose.
The deserted eggs are safe, for
that secretion has an odour very disagreeable to the intruder's
We still sail northward, among sheets of ice, whose boundaries are
not beyond our vision from the masthead - these are "floes;" between
them we find easy way, it is fair "sailing ice." In the clear sky
to the north a streak of lucid white light is the reflection from an
icy surface; that is, "ice-blink," in the language of these seas.
The glare from snow is yellow, while open water gives a dark
Northward still; but now we are in fog the ice is troublesome; a
gale is rising. Now, if our ship had timbers they would crack, and
if she had a bell it would be tolling; if we were shouting to each
other we should not hear, the sea is in a fury. With wild force its
breakers dash against a heaped-up wall of broken ice, that grinds
and strains and battles fiercely with the water. This is "the
pack," the edge of a great ice-field broken by the swell. It is a
perilous and an exciting thing to push through pack ice in a gale.
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