Monday, January 2, 2017

1-2-17 The Loss of Granny J-2

Monday, January 1, 2017

When Granny turned 100...I made a birthday card...(that was 5 years ago)

Granny is gone. It breaks my heart.  I loved saying (loudly) "there's Granny"...I wanted everyone on the shore to meet Granny, the most famous whale in the wild.  Because until they knew who they were seeing they were only seeing a whale.  
Often she would come in close to the shore at the lighthouse.
She sure seemed to be looking at us there on the rocks looking at her, awe struck as most were.
Granny was royalty.  As one boat operator used to say when he saw Ruffles and Granny, "his and her majesty..."

yes...the end of an era...sadly in more ways than one.

...the last image I have of Granny was on 9/22. It was almost dark (I lightened the image so she was more visible) as the whales were coming down island.

...were there enough salmon, were there clean waters, no threat of more noise or oil spills, we could sit back and watch as the next in line takes over and helps to manage their reign...
...but I am afraid that this next generation and the little ones who belong to the generation after that are in for a very rough time...I hope I am wrong.

...if the humans worked to have a better world for our next human generations there would then be a better world for the orca generations too.

Granny lived a long life. It would have been nicer if she could have left this world knowing that her kin had an abundance of salmon, healthy seas, clean air to keep them strong.
Instead you already know what the whales face.

As we move forward, after we process this loss, our energy needs to look at what is ahead for there are 78 whales we need to turn our focus to.

Here are some questions:

Who will be the leader of all three pods now?
Will they become more disjointed than they have been?

What about the K14s? Is there a role that Lea K-14 will take up? After all she and her family spent an extraordinary amount of time with Granny's group - Group A. Will she become a leader of J and K pods combined?

What about L Pod?  Do they know that Granny is gone? L Pod came into Haro Strait on the same day that there was a press conference in Seattle about the deaths of Polaris J-28 and Dipper J-54.  All of L Pod was here. Some thought they were here to pay tribute to Polaris and Dipper.  I wonder if anyone has a proof of presence image of Granny from after that date?  If not, maybe L Pod knew and they were paying tribute to Granny.

What about Onyx L-87?  So what if he is a male, will the role of this male change?...or will he find another female to attach himself to?
And Se-Yi-Chn J-45...he worries me...he lost his mother and now his first I saw him with his sisters and as time passed I was seeing him with Onyx L-87 and Mako J-39 a few times...

Will it be seamless or will we notice things that will help us understand?

A couple times I noticed Shachi J-19 by herself, not off by her self, but traveling in the middle of spread out whales and by herself.
Would she become the next matriarch?

Late this past season I noticed Granny with the J16s.  That was very curious.  It was out of the ordinary.  Slick J-16 in the lead with Granny behind her a ways, and Mike J-26, Slick's oldest male, on the offshore side...hum...highly unusual...

In the late part of the year the J Pod whales acted, to me, like they were they didn't know which way to go or they didn't know what to do...their travel also seemed unusual... 
...they have lost their will that impact this community who has not ever been without a leader?

...Will we see a big 'whale convention' where they hash it all out and 'elect' a new leader?  Is that how they do it? It doesn't seem, to me, that K Pod ever got a clear leader after Lummi K-7 and then Georgia K-11 died...but they seem to be doing least for now... we even know what their process is?

...and for now we can only watch and record what we see and hope to someday put the puzzle together, even though we will likely have to do it by working backwards.


Unknown said...

I remember last summer spending time at the lighthouse when Granny J2 came in and you were there calling "Yes, that's Granny!" I don't have a great lens so I just aimed my cameras at the whales and clicked. Later that week I got to spend time with her on the water. I feel honored and blessed - she was on my bucket list.

I think we all have our eyes on the whales now and watch them to see how things will pan out for them. I'm going to be back on the island in August. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics have changed.

Jeanne said...

Thank you Astrid for sharing your encounter with Granny, from shore and while on the boat. Brings a smile to me to know you got to meet her. See you in August!