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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Parc de la Ciutadella #2

Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.

When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.

Last morning lockdown ride to the park

Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.

Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!

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Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Covid-19 cases have risen in Catalunya and Barcelona with the regional government closing gyms, amusement parks, clubs, cinemas, leaving open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, libraries and museums for 2 weeks to stem the spike. My gym and climbing gym rebelled as long as they could arguing that health and fitness are vital essentials that need to remain open. Even the city council was on their side. Sadly they lost and most gyms are now closed until further notice. The zoo held out for as long as possible too, closing on Monday and reopening this Saturday after petitioning to remain open. They say it’s for 15 days, but I think it’ll be longer. Thankfully it’s not a full lockdown, we’re allowed out and shops are open. The only change face masks are mandatory in all public spaces even when we can social distance. 

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

Dietes Bicolor

Dietes Bicolor Lyon Arboretum, Oahu

Scrolling back through photos to edit for Golden Gate Bridge a flower I took in Lyon Arboretum, Oahu Hawaii stood out. It was the same flower I took at the zoo a few days ealier! After a little research it’s a Dietes Bicolor, a tropical iris native to South Africa! 

Dietes Bicolor Barcelona Zoo

Aloha Collection

On holiday earlier this year in Oahu there’s a chain of shops Sandpeople which sell local art, craft and jewellery that I kept popping into. I kept being drawn to Aloha Collection, a Hawaiian and California brand that specialises in splash proof travel pouches, bags and hip/bum bags. I thought one would be be perfect for the summer stashing a wet bikini. Everything is waterproof bar the zipper and was created with stashing wet swimsuits, easy clean toiletry and make up pouches in mind when travelling that can be multipurpose and protect other items from spillages. The black with yellow hibiscus wasn’t the one I wanted, however I thought being dark coloured would be less likely to get ruined with suncream and from being thrown in a rucksack with everything else. When we got back I couldn’t stop thinking about the mini hibiscus With Love From Paradise X Aloha pouch for a purse and well, first order you get 20% off. They have designs for everyone and I’ve had to blinker myself from the new designs out (especially the new small Lei Lei Orchid prints. Like the blue and green below but in pink and purple and the mini in pink which has sold out 😦 ). None the less, if you want a pretty splash proof lightweight pouch to stashing wet bikinis, or a pouch you can wipe down easily I can’t recommend enough Aloha Collection. They are on the pricey side, but I can see them lasting a long time. The only con I have is print on the mini pouch is beginning to fade. I guess it adds to its character. 

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The Magic of Parc de la Ciutadella

The past few weeks during time slotted exercise hours I switched the coast for the park. As much as I love the sea I needed some greenery!

It was a little emotional my first ride cycling past the zoo and around Parc de la Ciutadella. After 7 weeks lockdown indoors, 2 week cycling up the coast, then being hit with greenery, birds singing and flying everywhere, I nearly burst into tears. I had missed what being outside surrounded by trees not just the sea felt like, how I missed being surrounded by nature. Now we’re in phase 2 the beaches are open to sunbathe and take a dip, exercise hours dropped save the over 70’s time slots, we’re allowed to go outside as many times as we want. That said the park only has it’s peaceful magic in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings the place gets loud with humans. When I can I’ll still take my early morning bike rides to the park for its quietness. I get to see the sea up close cycling there and back. That is until the zoo opens where when everybody’s at the beach if you time it right it’s like you have the place to yourself (my view on zoos here) when I can do both the beach and zoo. A little balance of both.

The ducks and geese early morning like to preen and sunbathe as do the turtles. Later on in the day I’ve noticed they either hang around the easy spot for food or take a nap.

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