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Windsmith bat Gaia 07-01-12 04:50 PM

Re: What did you observe?
Last week my life was absolutely inundated with fireflies. I took my weekly walk to the Mississippi River, and a little swarm of them was flying in front of me—in the middle of the day! I'd never noticed fireflies doing their thing in daylight before. Two days later, I was cycling home from a friend's house at around sunset, and the path almost the whole way home was alive with those little lights. Amazing.

ffetcher 07-11-12 05:14 AM

Re: What did you observe?
This could have gone into several different threads here: it's partly 'connecting to nature in a city', but it'll fit here quite nicely.

Camping at the weekend, even if the trip from the tent to the shower block was like the Somme battlefields, brought it home to me how different the morning sounds were. I've posted before about how for me the relationship between birdsong and dawn forms a cycle, so this morning I lay in bed and listened to the sequence (it's still too wet and unpleasant to do any of my favourite walks as meditations):

Blackbirds without juveniles;
High pitched chirrups that I think are coal tits but I'm not sure;
HeliMed-five-six (the engine noise is distinctive, controlled airspace can't be open yet so it's a genuine emergency);
More high pitched chirrups;
Van arriving to unlock the compound for the patient transport ambulances (airspace will now be open);
Blackbirds with juveniles (they must be close to flying the nest now, so we can get the tree lopped before it takes out the 'phone line);
Manchester flight departing (so wind is from the south-west-ish);
Helimed-five-six departing;
More pigeons;
Final squawks from blackbirds;
Hot water cutting in, so time to get up, make tea and assemble beloved's packed lunch;
Robin on windowsill.

Edit: later, lying in the bath, the sun came out. Just for a few minutes and it's raining again now, but it's astounding how much better I feel all of a sudden.


Fethenwen 07-12-12 03:42 AM

Re: What did you observe?
I don't think I've ever observed nature so much as this year, I have been practically observing my eyes out :p

A very interesting journey, starting from early spring. I have been living in three different parts of Finland so I have had the opportunity to compare these places. It's really fantastic to open up ones senses and really tune into the environment.

I have finally started to identify with ease our most common birds and some less common ones. I don't really know the names of these in English but I could name one bird that I noticed last week, I had to take out by binoculars to actually identify this little bugger. Common Rosefinch, not that common at these parts and it makes such cute sounds.

We have had a lot of rain this summer, and the weather has been mostly on the cooler side. We had a few really hot days, and during those the mosquito population exploded. I was practically eaten alive when I was harvesting plantain leaves. And also I have been bitten by a tick and other unidentified bugs. Fortunately my thick bite seems to be uninfected with borrelia, and plantain really took away the rash and itchiness.

I have been harvesting more plants then usual too, I've made the most awesome teas, dried plants for infusions, some oils are on the way, vinegars and tinctures. Plantain is something I have been most acquainted with, it has helped my with my thousand mosquito bites, the tick bite and healed up my belly button piercing. What an awesome and so underestimated plant it is. Most of my harvesting days I have spent in more northern parts around the villages of my moms house, most of the plants had yet to start blooming so I had plenty of time to harvest.

Here in southern Finland I have observed how HUUUGE plants can grow, some taller than a full grown man. I wonder if they are more huge this year than the last. Especially Woolly Burdock is huge, I wonder if it can be used medicinally in the same way as Burdock? It looks very similar, especially the leaves. Burdock as in Arctium Lappa doesn't seem to grow here wild, unless it's some remnant from old plantations. Talking about remnants, the area in and around my home town Turku is very interesting because one can find really peculiar remnants of cultivated plants, trees and bushes. People have been living here since early medieval times.

Yeah, what else is worth of mentioning? Well yesterday I had a wind observation day while I was in the city centre and outside, yes I did now notice the difference on how the wind feels and behaves according to what micro climate I was in. In the city where the buildings rose a little higher, the wind felt quite harsh like blowing through a tunnel, funny how I never took much notice of that before. And when I went through a park that had thick areas of threes and bushes the wind behaved very differently, the feel was mellow and nice almost lulling.

Aah :)

LarkWahya 07-21-12 11:04 AM

Re: What did you observe?
I took these pics in a small nature preserve near my house last night when my parents and i went for an evening walk

theres a frog in this one

this is a video of a duck eating grass off the bottom in a shallow part of the pond, he looked like he was going to flip over, its not good quality cuz i had to zoom but you can see the shape of him as his back end goes straight up lol. I wish you could see his little feet kick around

Windsmith bat Gaia 08-06-12 11:00 AM

Re: What did you observe?
We're in the middle of having our yard landscaped, and the grass has been smothered with mulch in preparation for a couple hundred native wildflowers. The mulch seems prone to a certain type of mushroom--I don't know what it is, but they're small and gray and every time it rains about a hundred pop up and then disappear by day's end. It's fantastic.

DonelleBeira 12-08-12 06:24 PM

Re: What did you observe?
The Crow Tree -

The Crow come in every night to roost in this tree then fly off with the morning light.

DonelleBeira 12-10-12 12:56 PM

Re: What did you observe?
This is a Christmas Cactus that my maternal Grandmother grew. My mom started one from a cutting of hers then after many years, got tired of messing with it and threw it out in the yard. I salvaged it. That was about 30 years ago. It has died back and regrown countless times and I am always amazed when it blooms.

The last picture looks like a little Fairy to me. ;)

David_2010 12-10-12 07:24 PM

Re: What did you observe?
Very cool, the seeker, and the last one does look like a small Fairie.

Windsmith bat Gaia 12-17-12 10:22 AM

Re: What did you observe?
One thing I love about the leaves falling in Autumn is getting to see how many birds have nested in the trees on my block. This morning on my way to my car, I paused and just took in as many as I could see. Such a wonderful reminder of the vast community we're part of.

DonelleBeira 12-28-12 11:13 AM

Re: What did you observe?
The winter storm that tore through Arkansas has damaged the Green Wall. :( I have a clear view across what last week was a thick wood into the housing division on the other side of the woods. All the tree height is gone - whether broken, pulled up, or simply bent over from the weight of the snow and ice still present, I can't tell. I can see many snapped trunks standing with the raw trunk cores exposed.

One tree I know is gone, one I called Grandfather Tree because he was so huge at the base and so tall. He looked like three saplings had started growing together then blended into one trunk that split into three again as it gained height. He is gone. :( Grandfather Tree is one I always spoke with when storms were coming and always thanked after it was over. His branches were heavily weighted toward the house yet he fell away from his weight, into the woods and not the house. I couldn't help but cry when I realized he had passed and that he did it in a manner to spare us. He is the second Grandparent Tree to fall since we moved here and both fell away from us when they could have crushed us easily.

The Crow Tree has sustained damage as well but he is still standing, thankfully.

My Soul hurts for all the losses I see, not only around our home but all over yet I am grateful more lives weren't lost.

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