Under The Mediterranean Sea. July 2021

Late July new fish started appearing just off the city beaches!

Baby seabass or mullets near the shoreline

The visibility was still cloudy and I was still figuring out camera settings, hence some photos are grainy. I think the saddled sea breams were getting used to me, often coming up to swim with me. I noticed that when the pompanos arrived, a lot of the baby fish used to swim close by so as not to be eaten by them. I think too it was around this time I started noticing clingfish but as I’m not good at diving down any photos aren’t worth posting.

A cloud of I think white sea breams
Saddled sea bream
Baby striped sea bream (I think!)
Baby seabass I think near the shoreline

I think these are mullets. So elusive and fast swimmers! While sea breams swim in clouds, these guys swim in lanes.

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Project Light: Spring’s Finally Here! Baby Geese and Spring Storms 2022

Happy Spring! 

Nothing says spring more than baby chicks, flowers, rain and waves, no?! 

These cuties stop foot traffic! Everybody seems to stop and cry out awe when they see the baby goslings in Parc de la Ciutadella!

Sadly one of them the last time I saw them hasn’t made it. Down from 5 to 4. The adults are always checking in on them where they are, swim with one in front and one behind with the chicks in-between. One adult has an injured wing which I thought happened when I saw they were down to 4 chicks. However editing I noticed that already one has feathers missing on its wing. They’re so cute as they follow along copying Mama goose. Without their wings fully grown, little dinosaurs are still here! 

Waaaay to cute! 

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World Wildlife Day 2022

Happy World Wildlife Day! 

Official poster for World Wildlife Day 2022 – English
created by Despina Kannaourou

World Wildlife Day was created in 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year’s theme’s ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration’. According to the IUCN or International Union for Conservation of Nature, data on the Red list of Threatened Species: 

‘…over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction.

Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including us. People everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities.

In 2022, World Wildlife Day will therefore drive the debate towards the imperative need to reverse the fate of the most critically endangered species, to support the restoration of their habitats and ecosystems and to promote their sustainable use by humanity.

World Wildlife Day isn’t just the 3rd of March. Everyday is World Wildlife Day! Everybody’s actions affect the environment around us big or small. In Spain alone according to the Spanish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Environment there are about 150 species that are threatened or endangered. Among them the Iberia lynx, Cantabrian brown bear, Iberian wolf, Northern bald Ibis just to name a few. In Catalunya there’s a tiny newt, the Monsteny Brook newt, that’s only found only in Montseny, Catalunya. Barcelona Zoo is part of its conservation due to threat of climate change and human encroachment. This is just one of the many conservation projects Barcelona Zoo has.

Jackdaw. Least Concern on the threatened species list

My teenage years didn’t appreciate it much, I was fortunate to grow up in the countryside. My Dad purchased a huge plot of land in the Suffolk countryside when I was about 3. We had badger sets (I never saw them apart from one, that decided one night they were going to curl up under a garden tree never to wake again), rabbits (sadly my Dad hunted them as they had myxomatosis. That’s what he said. I think stress management was also involved), blackbirds, sparrow hawks, robins, sparrows, grey squirrels, water voles (or shrew. I only saw it a few times!), frogs, toads, butterflies, moths, massive spiders, so much more along the neighbours peacocks and muntjac deers that liked to visit. Moving to more urban areas, hedgehogs and in London a family of foxes living in or under the garden shed. I felt honoured they choose that shed!

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Manoa Falls Trail , Oahu, Hawaii

One of the best things about Manoa Falls are the parking security guards. Semi wild chickens who have the run of the car park! 

Nestled in the Manoa Valley mountains, the Na Ala Hele (trail for walking) Manoa Falls Trail is a 2.6km/1.6mi hike up into the mountains. Starting at the car park the trail takes you into the rainforest. I think admission was about $5 if arriving by car otherwise it’s free. Trees start out tall with canopies reaching fanning out to the sky. Looking up they gently give each other breathing space while almost matching each others outline just like looking at world maps seeing where continents once connected, like a jigsaw puzzle or tropical coral fanning out. As you get higher up the path becomes narrower, steeper. Plants you don’t notice unless you use a branch to help you up. Tree trunks become skinner, the leaves become bigger as they compete for light, the forest becomes more dense, the path narrower and rockier. When we went it had been raining earlier so the path was muddy. Muddy! If you do this hike, wear something more than sandals as several people met the mud in style. Also do the hike earlier in the day if you want to avoid people. The hike takes around 1-2 hours there and back. No photos I’m sure it can be done in just over an hour. I think the trial during the initial covid-19 lockdowns was closed for maintenance to widen the path and make it more user friendly. It’s since reopened however I’m so grateful I got to visit before the covid-19 pandemic took hold. I’d love one day to go back to explore more trails that connect to it and those from the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum located near the start of the trail. This girl can visit in her dreams!

The security guards. Don’t mess with them

The path ends at Manoa Falls, a beautiful waterfall that I swear has ledges cut out each side for shampoo. Only joking, the ledges are filled with plants, but maybe just maybe shampoo. I wanted to get closer but the good positions were taken up with selfies. Take 100, delete all, take another 100 selfies. Another reason to get there early. I felt for the people that hiked up with 2 people with loudspeakers. Why? The epic soundtrack. In a city I get it, but in nature, please leave the music behind if anything to let others who for many it’s once in a lifetime experience to enjoy it. Man, I sound so old! Looking back I didn’t hear many birds. Maybe they avoid the area due to people. There were moments on the path to myself which was cool against the day’s heat.

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October’s Blue Harvest and Hunter Moons

October 2020 full moons were a little extra special as one was a blue moon!

Halloween Eve almost full Hunters Moon

Blue moons are when a full moon occurs twice in one month. Maybe it was All Souls Day magic or Samhain magic in pre Christian Celtic celebrations marking the end of the harvest and start of winter that gave October 2 blue moons or the autumn fall equinox working it’s magic. Or just how the Earth’s orbit did it’s thing.     

Waning Harvest Moon
Dawn waning Harvest Moon

October’s first full moon, Harvest Moon was on the 1st. It’s 2nd, the 31st a Halloween Blue Hunters Moon which was also 2020’s smallest moon. Some name origins are the Harvest moon clears the fields for hunters to see prey in the now clearer fields under Hunters moon which can be in November. Other names for Hunters moon are Sanguine or Blood moon which can again be associated with hunting or leaves turning colour. For me it’s one of the sadder moons as the days are getting shorter and colder weather’s coming. 

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