Friday, 19 July 2019

Bearly Adequate?

The Bristol zoo proposal to put both Brown bears and wolves into an area of ancient British woodland for the first time in hundreds of years, clearly has soon issues (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/19/the-risk-to-woodland-of-putting-wolves-and-bears-back-together). The area designated is tiny in comparison with the required ranges of both species (they need thousands of square kilometres) and both species (with rather different dietary requirements) will need to be fed in humane ways. This is more Longleat than Ancient Briton.

Painted Ladies Pop Over

Appeals have been made to help count a large influx of migratory Painted lady (Cynthia cardui) into the UK (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/19/britons-urged-to-help-record-influx-of-painted-lady-butterflies). It is thought that this year may rival 2009, when an estimated 11 million butterflies arrived here from overseas. The species breeds here and late season adults make a reverse migration south before the cold sets in.

Science versus Tradition

It's problematic when commercial considerations clash with traditional cultural beliefs in a particular location. It is, however, still an issue when scientific imperatives run counter to belief systems. The latest example of this is the construction, at a cost of circa $1bn, The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island that is being picketed by some native polynesians (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/18/hawaii-mauna-key-protest-arrests-observatory). The elevated location (it's the island's highest mountain) and the lack of light pollution (it's in the middle of the Pacific) make it a perfect place for observatory (giving, it is believed, spectacular views of our universe). Some native Hawaiians, however, regard the construction as desecrating the Sky Father, Wakea. It might have been easier to resolve if earlier astronomical telescopes were not already based on the mountain and construction of the TMT had not started in 2014.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Seeing the Changes 1341

More developments in Crymlyn burrows with the flowering of Red bartsia (Odontites verma) and Traveller's joy (Clematis vitalba). Lepidoptera included the Buff footman moth (Eilemma depressa); a battered Small copper (Lyeaena phlaeas) and mating Small blues (Cupido minimus).

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Seeing the Changes 1340










More action at Crymlyn burrows with Weld (Reseda luteola) and Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia) in flower. Six-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae) pupae and adults were much in evidence and the Meadow browns (Maniola jurtina) were mating. Problems for Lepidoptera with the Shield bug (Picromerus bidens) and the crab spider (Diaea dorsata) with and without prey.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Seeing the Changes 1339


By the Loughor estuary, Good king Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) was in flower and the Dog rose (Rosa canina) went all hippy.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Tinkling the Ivories?

It has been reported that a 'gold-rush' is underway in Siberia as the melting permafrost has made it much easier to access ivory from mammoth tusks (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/permafrost-thaw-sparks-fear-of-mammoth-ivory-gold-rush-in-russia). People can, reportedly, make fortunes by selling the material as 'ethical ivory' to the Chinese market. Although removal of material is claimed to be 'regulated', the prospecting (using motor-boats and water jets) is speeding up the thawing and releasing yet more 'greenhouse' gases.

Bearly Adequate?

The Bristol zoo proposal to put both Brown bears and wolves into an area of ancient British woodland for the first time in hundreds of ye...