Winter Ducks and Geese

Due to recent covid-19 restrictions in Cataluna, aka gyms closed, to get my bike ride that would have been to the gym I cycled to Parc Ciutadella to see the ducks.

Cataluna for most of January closed gyms, shopping malls, restricted bar and restaurant hours amongst other covid-19 measures. As infection levels are dropping in Cataluna they’re easing restrictions this week (although I’m sure this has something to do with Catalan elections next week). I’m just happy gyms have reopened. I don’t always have the same motivation to workout at home as I do going to a gym. I’m happy too I can indoor climb again! Sometimes it was dark, other times I made it out in daylight hours to the park. Most of the time the ducks and geese were around for snacks. I was happy the park was open and I’ll for sure continue to drop by to say hi to the ducks and feed them now gyms are open!

I started around the end of December taking bread to feed them and the geese. A few geese were so polite, making sure they got front row seats with gentle sweet tiny honks asking for more. Any ducks that got close they just did a neck sweep. The ducks make a ton noise swimming across the pond as if to tell everyone there’s bread. When they get close a few chase away others but I’ve noticed the younger females are a little timid (can tell by size) and swim away if it’s too busy. I make sure to throw bread in their direction. When the seagulls are around it get crazy. Seagulls have amazing vertical aerial take off skills, are up in the air as soon as you raise your hand. They seem to know exactly where the bread is going to land, loads diving down at the same time. Both the geese and ducks close their eyes and duck out of the way as if to avoid getting stabbed in the eye. As the seagulls are so quick you can kinda fool them for a moment to give the ducks and geese an opportunity for bread by raising your hand as if to throw in one direction which the seagulls follow and then throwing it in the other direction. This only works a few times as the seagulls learn quick. 

I swear the few times I visited the ducks without food, they bitched at each other she has nothing. Both the ducks and geese turned towards each other, swam away quacking as if to say, nothing this time, puh!

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Flamingos, Calpe

I can’t believe I haven’t shared before seeing wild flamingos from a few years ago! Real life flamingos not zoo flamingos. 

This flock lives on an old Roman salt mine now a lagoon, Las Salines de Calpe a Nature Park and Reserve in Calpe, Alicante, Spain. I was surprised that weren’t as pink as I’d thought they be and by how much larger and taller they were than the ones at Barcelona Zoo. Their necks appear longer than the American and Chilean flamingos at the zoo. Sometimes I feel sad for the ones at the zoo. Their flight feathers are removed and when they try to get air I feel bad for them. It’s always different to see them free. I have spilt views on zoos here.

Please excuse the quality of the photos. They were taken a few years ago before I understood more depth of field, light etc. 

Only handful were pink. Maybe they knew the best brine shrimp, algae and larvae spots!

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August Corn/Fruit/Sturgeon Moon

I started this week on Netflix season 1 of The Universe. Episode 1 was the Sun. It’s kinda disturbing when you think about how the sun’s only got 5 billion years left before it red giant’s itself to a white dwarf. Bye bye Earth. The changes will started to happen before 5 billions years is up. Is that the when the Milky Way, our galaxy will reach the black hole, Sagittarius A in the centre of it or any others in it? According to this article the sun is half way through it’s stable stage. Will humans still be around? Will animals still be around. Will humans have moved planets and all wildlife as we know it too?

It’s crazy thinking like this looking around seeing all the politics, day to day drama that really doesn’t matter but it does. We forget we’re floating in space held by gravity to the largest object in our solar system the sun. Maybe it’s already happened before and Earth is the planet ‘we’ moved to but forgot when we got here and had to start over with apes. Maybe the alien theories are right. Maybe we are just a freak of nature in evolution or Earth is an anomaly in the universe. Maybe water is the alien that kickstarted everything.

Fruit Moon Rise

One thing that has been constant is the moon. August’s moon’s is the Sturgeon Moon (USA when the sturgeon arrived in the lakes), Corn Moon (UK), Lightening Moon or my favourite Fruit Moon! Full list of names in different cultures, here. August already feels lifetime ago, the warm days a far away dream as winter approaches, the layers being to be layered to keep out the cold. That’s why I like summer, easy dressing.

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City Wildlife #2

I started watching on Netflix this week a documentary film Chasing Coral. Chasing coral to witness its death. Out of sight out of mind is how the documentary describes how most people see under the oceans and seas and they want this to change. The oceans and seas are taking a massive hit from climate change by absorbing the heat trapped in our atmosphere from rising CO2 levels mostly due from burning fossil fuels. If they didn’t our surface temperature would be unbearable. The corals are the first to take the hit with bleaching as sea temperatures rise due to the heat absorption.

The bleaching occurs when the coral dies leaving only a white skeleton behind. Shortly after algae takes over leaving an underwater wispy moss like mound of shapes. If the water coral live in goes up by 2 degrees they die in mass coral bleaching. The fish which live in the coral die, people who depend on the corals are out of work. About 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food and work. I won’t lie, I cried at the corals dying in the time lapses. The magical, mysterious underwater cities gone in a few weeks or even a few days.

It’s not just corals under threat from climate change. All animals, insects, fish, crops are under threat from climate change. Even butterflies you see in the summer to birds you hear singing out. Some will adapt and thrive, others won’t survive. It’s not too late to save those we can. Little acts make a bigger impact. This winter you can set the heating not as high or the air con as low if winter is your summer. Imagine a world without polar bears who have less sea ice every year or a world without penguins, lions, elephants or parrots. It’s morbid, but it’s happening. I’m nerdy and geeky with animals. They make me smile minus the killing they do. Seeing butterflies and dragonflies make me smile, even the mice and rats who sprint across the path in front of me at night while I’m cycling make me smile.

Anyways August wildlife mostly spotted as the zoo, Parc de la Ciutadella or on holiday in Mallorca.

Mallorca sea ducks

Ducks I learnt this year sleep while floating, head tucked under a wing, are semi nocturnal and can swim in both fresh and salt water!

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Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend! I can’t believe that we’re half way through November! While I’m in a puffer jacket and only just started layering in the evenings a jumper underneath out, the cold hasn’t started here yet. In fact it’s still a little warmer than usual. November’s usually around 16C in BCN with this year midday temps 19-20C. I’m still running in shorts!

Mid autumn fall light

Anyway this week’s Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently. 

Light

One thing I do like and perhaps the only thing I like about the chiller shorter days is the light. If you’re wrapped up warm the light’s magical.

Halloween Eve Blue Hunter Full Moon Rise

Birds Song

Catalunya from 06.00 Friday to 06.00 Monday has placed municipal weekend confinements to slow the pace of Covid-19. We’re only allowed to leave said towns and villages for work, medical, essential shopping if we can’t get in it in the said town or village, exceptional travel reasons. However we can walk, run, cycle across municipals. Stores are still open. It’s actually in effect from Thursdays 22.00 as Spain is under a nation wide curfew from 23.00-06.00 with regions able to change it an hour each side. It’s a pain at the weekends more so as the Zoo reopened this weekend and I can’t go. I can cycle around it, not visit. Monday I can! Anyway a bonus is before traffic picks up Sunday mornings you can hear birds singing. 

Hanhan Official Scrunchies

A new store opened in the centre selling Miin Cosmetics. A new Miin store I didn’t know about?! It’s in fact Miin’s sister opening her own shop, Hanhan Official selling contemporary Asian costume jewellery and accessories as well a selection of Miin Cosmetics. The large jar of scrunchies at check out caught my eye. I needed to replace mine and was after ones that wouldn’t snag my hair. The material has to be smooth enough to do so without getting tangled up and pulling out hair. These looked perfect and they were. So much so I went back and got 2 more before they sold out! 

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