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Rainbow Dragon's Dares

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    I'm sorry they made that decision after all your hard work. I hope that you at least get a decent amount of time to continuing enjoying the area before work starts.


      Amirsh Colin sleep_twitch Fremen Zastria Thank you.

      Our species, I think, is waking up to the fact that we cannot keep on destroying nature as we have been doing. Sometimes it feels like we're backsliding, whenever a government with a less environmentally friendly agenda than its predecessor gets elected. But these are just blips (albeit damaging ones) in a larger trend which is shifting in the right direction. The tide will turn--I think soon, and I hope before it is too late. Though I was unsuccessful in turning the tide yesterday, my efforts were still a part of the groundswell of actions all over our planet which will, eventually, succeed.


        Thursday, April 23 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 1

        Baseline - Day 5: 9:00 - Level III with my mother.

        Total Abs - Day 18: 9:00 - Level III

        Xpress Tone - Day 15: 13:47 - doing this immediately after plank day in Total Abs sure made fatigue happen more quickly. (Which was fine, because it meant I still had time left afterward to do some yoga.)

        yoga flow: 29:00 - I get a lot out of Carling's classes. She really prevents me from being lazy in this work. But when she starts talking about "Pez-dispensing" a yoga block out from between my legs, she quickly becomes the yoga teacher I love to hate.

        Total: 60 minutes

        Other stuff:

        4 km hiking
        5 minutes restorative yoga

        Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 113/113
        A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 103/103
        No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 134
        No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 53
        GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 41/71
        GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 54/71 - I needed the sleep.


          Wow, very much respect for your fight for the foxsnakes and other species on that land ​​​​​​
          I hate it that money and politics always seem to win..

          In my village there was a beautiful old classic house. The supermarket bought it to expand their shop and wanted to bulldozing it down, but the basement was marked as historic, so they can't demolish that. So they bulldozed around the basement. I don't understand it, the house is part of the basement, without the house, the basement has no context and to me no historical value.


            April 24 Daily Dose of Nature

            Saw two pairs of Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors) this morning in the little marsh that's adjacent to the storm water pond for our neighbourhood.

            blue-winged teal pair in breeding plumage, swimming in a marsh

            Do those big bills remind you of anyone? Though their bills are not quite as impressive, blue-winged teals are members of the same Genus (Spatula) as the Northern Shovelers we met last week.

            Here is one of the boys:

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            And here is his lady friend:

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            Blue-winged teals are "dabbling" ducks, meaning that they do not swim underwater like "diving" ducks but rather feed at the surface, tipping their butts up in the air to push their heads underwater to find food.

            male and female blue-winged teals dabbling with their butts tipped up in the air and their heads underwater

            Here is a video of one of the males, dabbling in the marsh, frantically paddling his little feet in the effort to keep his butt up and his head down:

            Most blue-winged teals breed on the Canadian prairies. They are long-distance migrants who winter primarily in South America and are one of the last duck species to arrive on their breeding grounds in the spring. So it's likely the ducks I saw this morning will all be moving on again soon. But some blue-winged teals do breed in my area, and this marsh and surrounding fields are good habitat for them. It will be great if we see some little blue-winged teal chicks in the neighbourhood a month or two from now!


              Thank you NancyTree .

              I'm sorry about that historic house in your village. The decision makers where you live sound similar to the decision makers here: so long as they are obeying the letter of the law, they simply don't care what effect their decisions have.

              The municipal council here is pretty much frothing at the mouth to encourage any business enterprise at any cost. In this case, the business is a bowling alley. A bowling alley which already exists. The new owner just wants to expand it. There's no new business here. There are no new jobs. (The existing staff will no doubt simply be expected to service the increased clientele--if there even is new clientele. This town has a population of less than 5000 people, and a bowling alley is not exactly a tourist attraction that will bring in out-of-towners.) And what few jobs do exist there are crappy ones in any case. This particular business owner, however, is basically a god in the eyes of the Municipality. They will never deny him anything. (There was a feature about him in a national newspaper a few years back, in which the article writer tells the story of this guy taking them for a drive in his mega-expensive car, driving way over the speed limit--in a location where it's extra dangerous to speed, no less--and shouting to be heard over the wind, "Don't worry. I know most of the cops around here.")

              We have to keep fighting the good fight though. Otherwise, what is the point?


                I guess it's the same pretty much everywhere.
                They started extracting natural gas from Med. here. The Platform they are using is located less than 10K from one of the most beautiful beaches around here. And the portfolio run exhausted about 10 times more than the safe amount of toxic pollutants. People spend about 2 days away from homes to demonstrate in tel aviv so they wouldn't be near it... And to add insult to injury, money from the gas that would be sold will not make its way for the public's benefit. It belongs (most of it) to the private company that explored for it. Some parliament members tried to fight it, saying that it's a natural resource but in the end business won.


                  Sometimes I'm just tired of fighting. In my job I'm fighting a lot for the good, but after a few years I felt defeated, because I kept fighting the same fights, over and over again. Even though I win most of the time, it's the fact that I have to fight it again. Nothing changed.
                  With my mom it's the same, I have to fight for her so she gets the right care, because our healthcare system is so fragmented, the doctors stopped thinking about the whole picture. And my mom isn't able to ask the right questions. So I have to fight for her.


                    Those Blue-winged Teals are adorable! ❤️


                      Aren't they pretty, lapedrina ? I think pretty much all of our ducks have really beautiful feathers. But usually when I see a duck it is far away and/or the lighting conditions are terrible, and the fine details of the birds' plumage are not visible. In the locations where I am able to bird at present, the ponds are very small, and I am able to walk quite close to them. So I'm not seeing as great a variety of birds as I would see if I was able to access my favourite park right now. But I'm getting some really nice views of what I am seeing.


                        I am sorry that happened where you are, Amirsh . I hope our species will wake up soon. All of this fretting over money. Money is a fantasy. It has no intrinsic value. The planet on which we all live, however? That's pretty freaking valuable. Slowly, slowly, humans are coming to realize this.


                          Rainbow Dragon They're lovely! ❤️ The pictures that you were able to take are very good and the video is fun! Thanks for sharing ❤️
                          I hope that you will be able to go to your favourite park as soon as possible...In any case, Canadian nature is incredible and I'm happy that you can still enjoy some of it!

                          I don't think I have ever seen a blue-winged teal duck or I don't recall it... I read that it's pretty rare in Europe. I think that the most common water bird in Italy is the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, in Italian Germano reale), I miss watching and hearing them 😞 The little grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis, in Italian Tuffetto) are super cute too! They look so fluffy and I love watching them diving in the water and pop out suddenly farther


                            NancyTree you are a true warrior there on both fronts. I understand why you would feel tired. But I don't think it's true that "nothing" has changed. The changes have been smaller and slower than what you would like (and this slow pace of change can be so frustrating for the people who are fighting for it), but things are changing.

                            Last year, my local Provincial Park, Rondeau, celebrated its 125th anniversary. It was a challenging year for the park, because the provincial government that came to power the year before is not an environmentally friendly one by modern Canadian standards, and they made cuts to the publicly funded portion of Provincial Park financing that resulted in parks having to reduce and cancel some important programs. But when Rondeau was founded, 125 years ago, the first park superintendent did all sorts of environmentally horrible things--not the least of which being cutting down a significant portion of the forest to build a mini-golf course. (I seem to recall there were plans for a full golf course too at one point, but these, thankfully, were not carried out.) The first superintendent also divided up portions of the park into lots to be leased to private individuals to build cottages there. Then the cottagers brought all kinds of non-native plants into the park for their cottage gardens, many of which escaped the cottage lots and have become invasive species in the park. One of the early park supers also kept wild animals in the park in some kind of petting zoo. To my modern sensibilities, it is appalling what went on during the early days of the park--but humans really didn't have much of a clue back then that those things were harmful.

                            Each time one of us steps up to fight for good, we are changing the world. You have had many successes in your efforts. Which is awesome! But even when we fail in the moment, we are still changing the world by making our voices heard, by saying, "Doing the right thing, right here, right now, matters to me." Every time one of us fights for good, it gives other people the opportunity to see what we are doing and think about it and maybe come to the decision that what we are asking for matters to them too.


                              lapedrina sadly the Ontario government just announced today that the closure of our Provincial Parks has been extended until the end of May. This eliminates warbler season in Rondeau for this year. I will still get to see some warblers in town where I live though.

                              We don't have Little Grebe in North America. The related Least Grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus) is found in South and Central America and North America as far north as Texas--but not in Canada. Our smallest grebe in Canada is the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps). I will do a post about grebes one day soon.


                                April 25 Daily Dose of Nature

                                Saw this little guy (or gal) on my hike this morning:

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                                This is a Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius). I don't know if this bird is a male or a female. Vireos are not sexually dimorphic, and the bird was not singing when I saw it. (Only male vireos sing.) Today's sighting was a first-of-season for me, eight days earlier than my first blue-headed vireo sighting last year.

                                Vireos and warblers are both small, colourful, songbirds that migrate through my area each spring. It can be challenging to tell them apart sometimes. One key identifying field mark of a blue-headed vireo is its white "spectacles":

                                blue-headed vireo, showing it's bold white "spectacles"

                                We have a number of warbler species with white eyerings, but none of them have the white loral stripe that connects the white of the eyerings together across the bill, giving blue-headed vireos their spectacled look.

                                Another key field mark, which helps to distinguish between a vireo and a new world warbler, is the bill. Vireos have a little hook on the tips of the bills, which new world warblers lack.

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                                Both vireos and new world warblers are primarily insectivorous. That little hook on the bill helps the vireo to hold onto its prey while it's eating it. Warblers tend to eat tiny insects and so do not need to spear their dinner, but vireos go for larger game. Blue-headed vireos are only 12-15 cm in length and weigh only 13-17 g, but they are known to eat butterflies and moths, dragonflies, crickets, and even grasshoppers. It can take a while for such a tiny bird to consume such a large feast!

                                Here is a photo of the backside of this morning's bird, showing the blue-headed vireo's olive-green back and dark wings with two white wingbars:

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                                Even though it's not a warbler (the big excitement of the birding community in my part of the world each spring), and blue-headed vireos are fairly common migrants through my area, I think they are interesting and beautiful birds, and I'm always happy to see one.