There was sun this afternoon, after a few days of on and off rain (64 °F/ 17 °C).
It was good to escape from the house for a bit, and take a few pictures of birds and bees and blooms.
Today is the 15th annual Endangered Species Day.
Check out this picture of the ‘ghost dog’ of the Amazon rain forest.
When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose
– first recorded by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose, lyrics by Amanda McBroom
I found these beautiful poppy flowers in a scruffy back alley here on Capitol Hill.
From Wikipedia: Ancient Egyptian doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Poppy seeds contain small quantities of both morphine and codeine, which are pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.
Here’s a tulip from my walk around the block tonight.
It might be a broken tulip: one infected with a plant virus called a potyvirus. The virus infects the bulb and breaks the single color in the petals. Bars, stripes, streaks, flames or feathers of different colors can be the result.
Unfortunately the virus is not benign — it eventually kills the bulb. The Semper Augustus with its fine red and white stripes was a broken tulip, famous for being the most expensive tulip sold during tulip mania. It is now long gone, and growing broken tulips (except under supervision) is illegal in the Netherlands.
We had gusty winds on Saturday. The wind blew a robin’s nest out of the tree in front of my house – at least I think it’s a robin’s nest. Other birds lay blue eggs as well. As far as I can tell, there were no chicks that came down with the nest.
Happy Earth Day!
Denis Hayes, who coordinated the first Earth Day 50 years ago, April 22, 1970, was a graduate student at Harvard at the time. These days he is president and C.E.O. of the Bullitt Foundation, wdenbis hayes hich funds environmental causes in Seattle. He is chairman emeritus of Earth Day 2020.
Hayes wrote in an essay in the Seattle Times, saying that ‘Covid-19 robbed us of Earth Day this year. So let’s make Election Day Earth Day.’ He wants his readers to participate in the ‘The Most Important Election of Your Lifetime’. ‘This November 3,’ he wrote, ‘vote for the Earth.’
More robin pictures. I took these on Sunday, and the tree is the Douglas fir in my backyard.
South Africa is under national lockdown orders, as is much of the world.
This pride of lions is enjoying the warmth of the quiet tar road just outside of Orpen Rest Camp. These ones are resident on neighboring Kempiana Contractual Park, and wandered over to Kruger National Park.
Pictures were taken by Section Ranger Richard Sowry, and tweeted from Kruger National Park@SANParksKNP.
There were three woodpeckers (Northern flickers/ Colaptes auratus) in the alley, at the back of my house, at dusk tonight.
One was looking for bugs in the wooden utility pole — and found one.
Nearby on the overhead power lines, a male was courting a female.
Be careful, I thought : don’t let the sparks fly between you two.
Here are the ring-tailed lemurs at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, enjoying their Easter treats (strawberries .. and ‘Was that all?’ they seem to ask).
Lemurs are classified as neither monkeys, nor apes: they belong to a group called prosimian primates. Prosimians have moist noses, and rely on their sense of smell to determine what is safe to eat — and to distinguish between individuals in their social groups.
The little bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ that I have in a pot, has produced its first flowers.
Tulips were coveted in the late 1500s in Europe, for their saturated, intense petal color — that no other cultivated plant had at the time.
At the height of Tulip Mania in the Dutch Golden Age (February of 1637), tulip bulbs sold for some 10,000 guilders: enough money to buy a mansion on the Amsterdam Grand Canal.
The market for tulip bulbs collapsed soon after that.