Bumble Bees

No surprise my Easter weekend was spent taking advantage of being able to go to the zoo a few times. I could have caught the train or gone someplace else, but no where is as green tropical green, filled with wild birds that are more used to humans to pose and is free. Free for me being a member*.

One of my favourite insects were out too, bumble bees. I like bumble bees. They happily ignore everything around them apart from flowers. By design unlike honey bees, they shouldn’t be able to fly, yet they do. Happily flying flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen, pollinating plants. Growing up I used to see loads of bumbles bees, now living in a city seeing them makes me feel warm inside. Unlike honey bees, they live in a smaller colonies. Sadly like honey bees, their populations are in decline due to pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. No bees, no human food. Bees do about 80% of pollination work on cultivated crops. No human or machine can replace their work! It’s estimated without bees humans would be able to survive just 4 years. 

Reading up this could have been a queen. In the autumn fall most of the bumbles bees die leaving only the queen hibernating until the spring

There are ways you can help these gentle giants by planting wild flowers, native flowers or bee friendly flowers in gardens or on balconies. It might not be much, bumble bees might not even come, but other pollinators will. Choosing food if possible with less pesticides so the demand for reduced pesticide food goes up and prices to the consumer down, using less or even better no pesticides gardening. Buy organic food if you can (and help the price of organic food go down!) as they usually use less pesticides. Being mindful of what type of honey you buy. Some honey the bees aren’t kept in good conditions. Support local beekeepers, build homes for native bees, put out a bee bath, plant trees in gardens for bees to rest in! More ideas here

* My views on zoo’s here.

Weekend Friday Favourites

Happy November!

I hope you’re having great weekend and welcome back to another Weekend Friday Favourites! Spain declared last week another state of alarm to combat covid-19’s 2nd wave and is in place for 6 months. Unlike back in March it’s not a total confinement. For now a nationwide curfew from 23.00-06.00. Regional governments can alter an hour each way. Catalunya had already closed all bars and restaurants for 2 weeks unless providing takeaway with group meetings to a maximum of 6 people. Regions can also stop cross region travel however Spanish borders will remain open. In addition this week the Catalan Government set the curfew 22.00-06.00 with further measures this week of weekend municipal confinements from 06.00 Friday to Monday 06.00. We’re allowed to cross town borders to exercise but not shop unless for essentials not close by. All shopping centres/malls, gyms, the zoo, cinemas are closed for initially 2 weeks apart from supermarkets with other shops limited to retail size and people capacity. Bars and restaurants unless takeaway remain closed. I’m happy it’s not a total confinement like last time. I think I’ll crazy for sure if it was. 

Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently. 

Jigsaw Puzzles

I used to do jigsaw puzzles as a kid and really enjoyed them. My Dad helped although he only did a few pieces before his patience and boredom set in. I’m hoping they’ll break up screen time in the evenings. I spend way too long on my phone particularly YouTube when I get back. Ironically it was YouTube video which gave me the idea. They’re not something I can find easily in the shops! My local supermarket has tiny selection* so it’ll be online for more. This one took me 5 days to complete. What I thought was 10 minutes was 30 minutes or more! I didn’t get much done 2 weekends ago as I was too busy ‘wasting’ time on it. But it’s a good wasting time as I’m using my brain. I felt a little proud when I completed it! I have 2 more already to start (* thank you Christmas toys board games in stock in that local supermarket). This one came with optional glue mix to keep it complete but I’m looking forward to trying it again to see if it’ll be easier, if I recognise pieces and places. Yep. Nerdy.

Crescent Moon Necklace

This is what happens when you watch Hotel Luna on Netflix. A fantasy Kdrama about an hotel that’s for ghosts, souls to rest, resolve grudges before moving onto the afterlife. Only ghosts can see it save the one human employee who helps the owner. The owner each episode wears at least one moon inspired price of jewellery and that’s how I ended up on Etsy looking at moon necklaces. I won’t lie, last week when the moon was a waning crescent to half moon I felt like I was twinning with it.

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Spitting Caves, Oahu, Hawaii

After a quick stop at Lania Lookout we headed to a sunset spot Spitting Caves, also known as China Walls. Caves in the cliff spit out the water as the waves crash into them. It’s literally a run down path between two houses that looks like it’s probably a pee alley. You go down a steepish dirt path that opens out onto amazing ocean views and rocks. It was already getting busy with sunset watchers and whale watchers when we got there. P later commented that in the USA people actually stop to watch the sunset. This was more so along the Big Sur, but then you have to stop and watch the sunset along the Big Sur. If I can I like to watch the sunrise to sunsets.

I was more incited by the rocks and the water hitting and swirling around the rock face. So many red layers that contrasted with the blues. I didn’t notice until looking at the photos there’s a rope ladder and a rope to get down to the rocks. Or for after Google images, climbing back up after cliff diving. I didn’t know at the time it was Spitting Cave. Now it clicks the beautiful swirling sea ocean patterns. I can never get used to call it the ocean. I’m used to sea. 

As I wanted some p&q I sat away from the main crowd on naturally worn away stone that was like a seat. Filled with warmth from the day and for stone comfy to sit on. It was an in memory of seat. I can see why they came to watch the ocean and light. Or perhaps he was a cliff diver who lost his life living it full cliff diving. There was also a rescue ring with Lei so I’m hoping this place has some good juju! Flowers are normally placed where people died or they are in Europe along roads. Or maybe it was an ocean offering.

Lumahai Street
Path down
The view that greets you

The houses were amazing. They must cost a bomb to run and fed up with tourists tramping everywhere for the views, but amazing nonetheless. And sh*t in a storm so close to the water. I’m sure Hawaii like everywhere else has it’s problems, high rent, high living costs, dependency on tourism (which shows in a pandemic like now), unemployment, gentrification, at times limited to what you can do but an upside must be the being on a beautiful island that has a bit of everything: wilderness, city, being able to be in the water all year round. 

The rocks and cliff face

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July 2020 Buck Moon

July’s full moon’s a Buck Moon named after bucks antlers starting to regrow. Its other name’s Thunder Moon as July can be thunder stormy crazy (this year, Barcelona was thunder stormy in September).

Full moon rise and volley ball

It was also an extra special full moon, another penumbral lunar eclipse like in June’s Strawberry moon. The moon crosses through the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow aka the penumbra making part of the Moon appearing slightly darker the usual.

I didn’t take many shots of the moon in July. The zoo where I take most of my moon shots has changed its opening hours due to Covid-19, closing at the time previous summers the ticket office was last entry. I get longer at the zoo however the light’s different with moon yet to rise or be visible at the zoo. I’ve included this month’s Moon series some summer light shots, flowers, butterflies, animals soaking up the sun enjoying one the hottest months of the year and my favourite season, summer 🙂

Moon rise
The only way too cool off in the summer. Sea lion Barcelona Zoo
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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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