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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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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City Wildlife #1

It’s no surprise on Instagram most accounts I follow are nature based. Lots of animals, rescue centres, shelters and organisations, landscapes, the seas and oceans. I get a little envious of golden misty foggy wood scenes as I grew up in the countryside. However I equally get envious, maybe more of beautiful seas and oceans waves and shorelines. 

Get that itch! Heron

This year when out, more so at the zoo I tried to take less non zoo resident photos otherwise my photos are almost the same repeat each week. I look for the light, parrots, ducks at the park, birds flying, trees, nature cityscapes while trying to avoid taking photos of humans. Sometimes I don’t mind humans in them. If I can I like the focus on nature. She’s the star of this planet. Anyways, wildlife from July at the Barcelona Zoo, at the park: Parc de la Ciutadella , in the city.

Wrong camera speed. Wherever Mama duck went, they went. It was so cute when they started diving with their bums sticking up out the water
I think a crane nesting above an enclosure
I watched him/her land on the leaf and as soon as I said thank you silently for letting me take their photo, it flew away
Ducks at dusk
Zoo cat
Zoo cat

This summer I saw so many butterflies! Colourful ones at the zoo. White ones while running along with dragonflies. A few moths too and hardly any mosquitos!!! I think mosquitos only bite me when they’re desperate however this year the apartment was almost free of them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t escape not being bit by bugs this summer. It’s almost as if the mosquitoes knew and let the other bug have its go. On holiday I got bite by a tick which got infected, ending up in ER as it wasn’t clearing up. The night before going in the skin around it started to swell up. The doctors were closed and I didn’t want to chance it over the weekend. A course of antibiotics cleared it up and I’ll be left once the redness has gone down another white patch of non pigmented skin to join the other assorted bites and cuts white patches.

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Mr D AKA Diesel

Today would have been Mr D’s, aka happy go lucky, ray of sunshine, loves life, Diesel’s 16th birthday. It’s been nearly 10 months since he said his last see you later, joining his brother Mr Aj aka Angleous. Everyday I miss him. I miss both of the them. 

Everyday he made me laugh. Whether it was up to no good, answering me back, demanding food, hugs, exploring he was always full of life. I always say he chose me. After moving to Spain we decided to to get AJ a friend. He’d gone from a garden to an apartment, didn’t have next door’s cat to invite over to nap on the sofa. The first Sunday we went to the shelter it was closed due to a festivo. This was to be fate. We went back the following weekend which was around this time of year. He’d only ‘checked in’ the week previous or was just up for adoption. I can’t remember. Thankfully a British girl was volunteering. AJ and I had only been in the country less than 2 month, I spoke hardly any Spanish. P was drawn to a grey tabby in the neutering recover enclosure. She kept hissing and batting any other cat that came to the fence. I thought she’d be too strong a cat for AJ. Even though he came home with blood on him sometimes, shed claws in his head, he was a sweet gentle cat. The volunteer suggested going in the main cat enclosure. 

D in one of his many paper filled boxes

One little black cat about a year old up high on the short pylons kept pawing at me. Head to one side as he did, which he never stopped doing when about to do something naughty or play. I think he thought she looks stupid enough to take me in. The pawing worked. I picked him up, hugged him in my arms and he never stopped purring. That’s how he go his name Diesel for the non stop purring. He knew was he was doing. 20 minutes and €14.20 later, he was off to his new life. He kept putting his paw through the transport box to get my attention. It was also the easiest car journey with him ever. All subsequence car journeys if you went over 70kmph he sang, he needed to pee, he needed the car cool, he needed to be out the box (illegal in Spain, but for your ears, he was), he needed to poo and he let you know loudly. 

Neither of us had a clue how to introduce cats to each other. AJ was more concerned a door was shut. Open it please. D was just happy to be in a house. We left them to it and went out. Thankfully they didn’t fight blood. They never drew blood. I knew they wouldn’t! They’d play fight. Chasing each other through the apartment(s) from the sofa to the bed and back wrestling. Aj hated it if he lost and would want to continue the fight. D walked away. I never knew who was top cat. D would try to get him to play but it was only when AJ wanted to. That didn’t matter. D would happily chase and play with toy mice, balls, play fetch, hunt and jump for feathers and mice on strings. AJ looked down on them. When Aj played on his own you watched in surprise. Catnip time D always wanted AJ’s! 

Brush time. He’d nearly always after a pee, run out the bathroom to crash skid on his scratcher, scratching away in a happy dance

He brought with him cat flu, which aggravated AJ’s born with it strain. While he didn’t have as many vet trips as AJ, he was still expensive. I always wondered why his blood test bills were more than AJ’s. In France they were the same price. Returning to Spain and the same vet, it clicked. If I was there he was cool to have blood tests. If I wasn’t he had to go under. I mentioned this to the vet, he was keen to test the theory out if I was there. He couldn’t believe it was the same cat! D liked his Mama with him at the vets. 

Sundazing. He loved the sun so much his fur would go a reddish brown

Everyday day he made me laugh. Always up to something. He taught himself to pee in the toilet. Later drink from it. He let you know if the litter box wasn’t up to his standard. If he wanted to wake you up, he’d start making noises. Meowing or knocking things off surfaces. If that didn’t work he’s paw at my mouth. I’d wake to a face with large eyes, as if to say I’m hungry, paw pointing to his mouth. He even jumped front paws first to wake me up once. It worked. The hairdryer he hated. I had to wash his fur once attempting to dry it with the hairdryer. I gave up. The next time he saw the hairdryer he swiped it hard and ran off. I didn’t use it much. When I did he gave me side eye and ran away. His first poo he did the day we got him was in the bath. A runny one directly above the plug hole as he didn’t know where the litter box was.

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Summer

Long time no see! How’s your summer? 

Mine got a little busy with everyday life, holiday in Mallorca, Mac iPhoto misbehaving and something had to take back seat for a while. Sadly natjtan. It got a little frustrating, but like an old Chinese proverb I saved from an Li BingBing Instyle Magazine Interview back when I used to read it: Time is like water in a sponge. You can always find it if you squeeze hard enough. Another way of saying if you want it, you’ll make time or find a way. I always feel I can never commit myself to things 100% as there’s always something else calling me or needs doing in a house of chores. Forget the evenings. My eyes are so heavy they just want to close. 

Castelldefels

P was here for a while so I couldn’t do as much as usual (he knows that), gyms closed for a local recommneded stay at home ‘lockdown’ for a few weeks due to a raise in covid-19 cases along with the zoo, cinemas, bars and restaurants back to reduced capacity. My gym and the city council along with a few other gyms petitioned against the regional government’s decision to close the gyms under the hastag #deporteessalud: sport is health rebelling initially against the closure. The Justice court overturned the gym closure decision. I was getting more demotivated everyday to workout at home, putting off for later. After 3 months working out at home then back at the gym for a month, then at home again I really missed the gym. Even if I don’t talk to anyone there, I concentrate better, it’s air conditioned, I get out the house. The zoo petitioned to stay open, reopening 5 days later after joining both my gym, climbing gym in being rebels staying open. The zoo on its initial reopening after the end of lockdown already had a Covid-19 Global Safe Site certificate and a Safe Tourism Certified seal, yet they had to reclose again too.

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