Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More About Wetlands from the Canadian Wildlife Federation

Here is an update from CWF about wetlands on the west coast: Cleaning Up

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Migration Time in Southwestern Ontario

Our autumn skies are filling with birds on their way south for the winter. These tiny creatures are undertaking long and difficult journeys. Is there any way we humans can help? Nature Canada offers some precautionary tips.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Turtles in the News Again

Another unfortunate oil spill incident. Read the BBC article.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Plight of the Honey Bee

Being away from the Wetlands for the past few weeks has been difficult. There is something to the old adage "home is where the heart is." I would say home is where the head is too, and indeed my wetlands are never far from my mind ... or my heart.

That said, inspiration can be derived from other sources, and no less so from the Toronto International Film Festival, affectionately known as TIFF. On Saturday I felt privileged to be able to attend the screening of an important new documentary about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Simply titled Colony, this is a very up close and personal film that follows the double whammy of vanishing honey bee populations and last year's economic crisis on the lives of the people severely impacted by both - the keepers of the bees.

I hope this documentary receives wide distribution. Here are some details about Colony.

For an earlier look at CCD, you can visit PBS's Nature site to read more about Silence of the Bees, which aired in October, 2007.

It's wise to point out, however, that CCD is not manifesting in Canada. And while this film was funded in Ireland, the focus is on the current American honey bee situation.

Regardless, this is a very serious situation and the loss of honey bee populations anywhere in the world would and will affect the well-being of the entire planet. We are all inextricably linked and connected to our natural world and to one another. The reason for the disappearance of millions of bees, not just in the United States but around the world, needs to be determined and remedied as soon as possible.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More About Turtles

Sea turtles this time. Namely, the Loggerhead.

Turtle: The Incredible Journey is a beautiful documentary that follows the extraordinary life of a plucky little loggerhead turtle. Screening now at the Toronto International Film Festival, it is a must-see film for children and adults alike. When it is eventually released in theatres, go see it!

In the meantime, however, you can take a sneak peek at: Save Our Seas Foundation.

This is an uplifting, inspiring film. The story of this amazing, ancient species encourages a profound respect for all ocean life. We must value their lives as we do our own. There is no other way forward if we too want to survive.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ecology and Education

Education has been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps because another academic year is about to begin. I don't know.

But in the spirit of this new season of learning, I would like to share this passage with you. From Lewis Thomas, the eminent science writer:

"Teach ecology early on. Let it be understood that the earth's life is a system of interliving, interdependent creatures, and that we do not understand at all how it works. The earth's environment, from the range of atmospheric gases to the chemical constituents of the sea, has been held in an almost unbelievably improbable state of regulated balance since life began, and the regulation of stability and balance is accomplished solely by the life itself, like the internal environment of an immense organism, and we do not know how that one works, even less what it means.
Teach that."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Departure of the Barn Swallows

The soundtrack of summer has changed: the barn swallows are gone. And so begin the migrations. September! Such a bittersweet month. Sun and warmth, but all is changing…

For more about barn swallows and their migratory patterns visit The National Wildlife Federation site.

You can learn how global warming is affecting migratory patterns.

"Birds that depend on wetlands are suddenly without habitat as
global warming dries up their homes."