Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day! WATER!

Water is everywhere. It sustains life. It makes our planet livable.

We drink it, we cook with it, we swim in it.

We sail on it.

But water is endangered! We threaten our own lives, our children and grandchildren, by polluting our water.

Yet there is HOPE!

Five facts about water:

  1. Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it's no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.
  2. More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease.
  3. Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.
  4. It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That 6.3 gallons covers everything from watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow to cooking the patty and baking the bun. And that's just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.
  5. The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.
Water is essential to nature, clean clear water!|Start Petition

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Anti-Homage to the Emerald Ash Borer

This is a "finger-painting" in "brushes" on my iPad of the view from the window of my studio. The tree in the foreground is a white ash which is dying as a result of the emerald ash borer. The painting was made at night, and the lower dead branches appeared bright, whereas the upper ones were dark. Click image to view larger.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Voracious Predatory Chipmunk

While We were at Bay Furnace Campground Near Pictured Rocks, and Keith was absent from the campsite, Mary watched a drama unfold. A chipmunk who had been nosing around the campsite all morning suddenly aroused the ire of a little chipping sparrow, who chipped madly and fluttered around sort of like a killdeer trying to lead a predator away from it's nest. The chipmunk paid no attention to it and began nosing around the area of open piney woods where the chipping sparrow was.

The sparrow then began attacking the chipmunk, pecking vigorously at its head. Then, Mary spotted a baby chipping sparrow fluttering about in the tall weeds and sparse tall grass. The chipmunk spotted it, too, and rushed after it and there was some furious scuffling where the baby was trying to flutter away, the chipmunk was trying to catch it, and the mother was pecking the chipmunk vigorously. Then, the chipmunk grabbed the baby by the throat and killed it and ran off about 20 feet and started eating it. Mary, who was trying to reposition herself to see better, accidentally scared off the chipmunk, who left the dead baby under a pine and never came back for it while we were still at camp. The mother chipping sparrow kept
searching and calling and searching and calling up until we left.

When we got back from our expeditions, hours later, we both checked, and the dead baby bird was gone from where the chipmunk left it. Since the chipmunk had already killed the bird, we hope he ate it.

This is not the first time that Mary has observed a chipmunk being predacious. She has also seen a chipmunk kill and eat a large water snake, big enough to have eaten it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Tortured Killdeer

Back when school was in session and it was cooler and quieter at the
marina, a killeer built its nest under a tree. Then one hot Saturday
when all the kiddies were out of school and picnics were in full
swing, someone occupied the cooker next to the bird's nest and the
people coming and going kept scaring the Mom off the nest. She'd run
back and try to get settled and get scared away again. I yelled at
one guy for scaring her. But we had to leave--I coudln't guard the
nest--I hope the nest, the eggs, the babies, the parents all survive.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

wild mushrooms

Last year, we found morels at the Pinery.  This year, things were
farther along, and though we searched, we found none.  We did find
wild mushrooms though, and ate them.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

In Every Yard

I think there is a robin's nest in EVERY YARD, at least one--I can't
beleive how many robis you see walking down the street.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Wildflowers

Hurray! Spring is HERE! Woohoo! It's still early, but there are
lots of wildflowers out.

Chickweed, Vernoica, Dutchman's breeches, cut-leaved toothwort, more
Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, trout lily, spring beauty, trillium, in

Click the images to view them larger.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

les petits fleurs

FLOWERS! The red and silver maples are in flower!  YAY!

flowers and buds

It's coming!!!  aconites, tulips, snowdrops, hellebore!  Woohoo!