We've lost the Crocodile Hunter.
I must admit, I never thought of crocodiles as "beauuuuutiful" until I saw them through Steve Irwin's eyes. I don't know if Steve was a religious man, but his unabashed love of God's creatures was ... dare I say ... spiritually uplifting.
Rest in peace, Steve.
UPDATE: I've been perusing various news items and blog posts this morning about Irwin's death, and I'm getting a little bugged by suggestions that Irwin's death was the result of unnecessary risk-taking. If he'd been eaten by a crocodile, I might be inclined to agree, but this was a freakish and extremely rare event caused by a normally placid animal. Could've happened to anyone snorkeling in shallow waters where stingrays live. Irwin was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Rich and I listened to interviews about him on Hannity & Colmes and On the Record on Fox News last night via XM Radio on the way home from Atlanta. (More on that trip later.) Jack Hanna and Jim Fowler (of Wild Kingdom fame) said repeatedly that many of Irwin's stunts looked more dangerous to the layman than they actually were and that Irwin was extremely professional and knowledgable about how to deal with wild animals. (Granted, they would've been reluctant to criticize a recently-deceased friend, but they sounded sincere.)
I hope the Irwin family opts for that state funeral that the Howard administration has offered. Irwin, by all accounts I've read, was a true Aussie patriot and a beloved ambassador for Down Under. God bless his family and his nation.