Happy Earth Day, every one!
Humans are assaulting Mother Earth in many ways, and single-use plastics is a killer. It can take up to one thousand years to decompose in landfills. Or it ends up in the environment or the ocean, killing animals and fish.
So please: say no to plastic. If you absolutely must use a plastic bag or bottle, be sure to do your best to reuse and then recycle it.
We’re finally getting some rain again here in the city (and 58 °F/ 14 °C).
Here’s a spectacular camellia flower that I found a few blocks from my house. I have a camellia shrub in my front yard as well, but its flowers are not quite as big these!
The spectacular – and spectacularly upsetting, it looks like to me – Our Planet series of episodes from renowned filmmaker Sir David Attenborough (he’s 92) is set to debut on Friday on Netflix in 190 countries. It may draw a total audience of one billion viewers.
The material has been four years in the making, with filming done in 50 countries and with the collaboration of the World Wildlife Fund. No bones are made about the impact that human activity has had on the planet. Humans are accelerating what is called the Sixth Extinction, of plant and animal species across the globe.
Below is a preview and a few photos from the series, that the Irish Times had published over the weekend. The octopus in the last picture is off the coast of South Africa.
Here’s 16th Avenue at 7.08 pm today. (Sunset is at 7.32 pm).
Green leaf and flower buds are starting to sprout everywhere. These big gnarly trees that have seen many winters, are a little slower to wake up from their slumber.
The sugarbush is from the protea family. The ‘flowers’ are actually flower heads with a collection of true flowers in the center, surrounded by bracts (modified leaves). In days gone by, the nectar used to be collected and cooked into a syrup.
A famous Afrikaans folk dance song goes like this: Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Suikerbossie ek wil jou hê (Sugarbush I want you so) Wat sal jou mama daarvan sê (What will your mama say of that)
Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Dan loop ons so onder deur die maan (Then we walk under the moon) Ek en my suikerbossie saam (My sugarbush and I together)
There is a report in my German newspaper of the greater horseshoe-nose bat that had made a comeback in the Hohenburg area in Germany – albeit only through sustained efforts of conservationists. They made sure the bats had suitable roosting places, and that enough cows were around to produce the dung favored by dung beetles that the bats like to catch in flight !
We are back in Perth.
My late-afternoon walk through the little green space here (the Ron Carroll reserve), was rewarded with a sighting of a black-faced cuckooshrike. (They are actually a fairly common sight in Australian cities).
Our time is running short here at the resort by Geographe Bay.
There is a nice walk & bike track that runs along the beach. For me, it’s hard to just walk, though, and not stop and investigate the sounds and glimpses of the exotic birds in the bushes.
Here’s a little black and white bird that is a long-time favorite here in Perth: the willy wagtail. They are very active (and wag their tails, of course), and voracious insect eaters – said to be able to consume their own body weight in insects in a day. The wagtails were known to the Noongar Aboriginal people as chitty chitty, because of their trademark chattering sound.
Man! I was spending way too much time scrolling through my Twitter feed today. Trump’s ‘I’m a tariff man’ tweet inflicted heavy losses on the stock market. And it’s official: Seattle is getting a new NHL (National Hockey League) franchise team.
But the tweet of the day for me, was of this cute echidna puggle, born in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. They are very unusual mammals: the young hatch out of a leathery egg in their mother’s pouch, and stay there for 45 to 55 days.
These little birds like to hop around in my backyard sometimes, looking for fallen seeds.
This morning, one was finally ready to pose for his close-up. (It’s time to get a 500 mm telephoto lens, if I’m going to be serious about shooting pictures of little birdies like these!).
It took a little searching to find it online, but now I know: it’s a dark-eyed junco.
It was sunny today, but we only got up to 52°F/ 11°C.
The sunlight we got, was gone by 4.41 pm – the time the sun now sets in the Pacific Northwest. Yikes. (On Saturday night, across the United States, we set our clocks back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time*).
*California voters approved Prop. 7 on Tuesday, a proposal to permanently stay on Daylight Saving Time. The measure still requires a two-thirds vote from the California legislature and a change in federal law before it can take effect, though.
This is the time of year for some mushrooms to sprout in urban gardens here in the Pacific Northwest, and I discovered a new type under my laurel fence this year. Maybe they’ve been coming out every year, and I just haven’t noticed before!