Let’s talk penguins today, since most of us are experiencing an “arctic” state of mind.

I will begin with some silly jokes…What do penguins eat for lunch? Ice berg-ers. What do penguins sing at a  birthday party? Freeze a jolly good fellow. Who is the penguin’s favorite Aunt? Aunt-Arctica, of course!

Please don’t think I’m penguin-ist. On the contrary, I love penguins, in fact I’ve adopted one – yes I am a penguin mama. Believe it or not penguins are on the WWF‘s endangered species list. Climate change is disrupting their access to sea ice, (I know, hard to imagine this winter). As a former teacher, environmental health was always one of my favorite units to teach. Sharing the planet with other species and protecting our fragile ecosystem is everyone’s responsibility. Together, my students and I would view and discuss the  movie Happy Feet,  not only did we laugh and learn, we all fell in love with penguins.

So…besides being so darn cute, and starring in a couple of movies about feet, what do penguins have to do with a walking blog?

Well, ever notice how penguins waddle when they walk?  Penguins waddle to keep their balance. Especially when they walk on frozen, icy, snowy surfaces.

Gentoo Penguins | by The Wandering Fowl on Flickr

I  recently viewed a walking tip that caught my eye. (What can I say – as a penguin mama, I now have a responsibility to read stuff that has to do with penguins.)

When a person has to walk across a frozen, icy surface it might be helpful to try and walk like a penguin.

How to walk on ice without falling on your butt! Walk like a penguin! This is why one of my brothers and my dad walk like penguins....

Of course I had to try this (purely in the interest of understanding my new penguin baby) and guess what? I think it works pretty well, so I am sharing.
     Ahhh, but there is another way penguins travel, and this is called “tobogganing” – when they slide on their bellies over the ice, propelled by their wings and feet. This looks like a lot more fun to me!
     Oh wait a minute… I’ve done this!  Just last week, Phoebe decided to run and she completely caught me off guard. These days, I’m all bundled up in my snowsuit for our walks, which means there are times I can’t see or move very well. If she gets it in her head to take off running,  and I don’t “read” the signs ahead of time, well, let’s just say I’ve no time to react and hunker down. Once it happens…all I can do is hang on to the leash for dear life. As I fly through the air, I close my eyes and the next thing you know I am tobogganing…on my belly across the snow field of our park, propelled by a 125 pound teenage Saint Bernard!

        Oh little penguin, we bond from afar!

Penguin tobagganing in Antarctica

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