Nature Watch.

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I've swum in the Rhone as it empties from the lake in Geneva. That was pretty cool, although the current was fierce. I could just about stay level with the bank by swimming as hard as I could. Wasn't naked. I've also swum in the Cherwell, which was impromptu so I was in boxer shorts. It's a fucking filthy river so I was probably lucky not to get about five different strains of amoebic dysentery.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
It's not even midsummer and I've picked well over two kilos of mushrooms already. Mostly really choice species too.
 

sufi

lala
tunis - kairoane - dissensus special correspondent trip report

a buzzard, a few storks nested on pylons and a couple on the wing, not really seeming to make headway, overtaken by the traffic on the road
plenty of LBJs no crows or herons, some egrets
some other small wading birdies sandpipers or something leaving tracks on salt flats, vast salty marshy plains stretching out in the distance like mirages - didn't realise but the road was not that far inland until about 50k or so from the destination
lush agriculture, farms and scrubby scrub, no rivers to speak of, brown craggy hills as the road turns slightly upwards off the littoral, when we stop to buy almonds at the roadside - which all the passengers spend the rest of the journey remonstrating with the driver and the front seat passenger about, i'm back seat passenger side both there and back
olives and vines, plots bounded by prickly pear cacti, some in flower & big agaves. scattered patches of purple thistles
no palms particularly. occasional smashed watermelons on the side of the road at bends, and the smell of melons drifting through the minibus from the heavily loaded pickups in front on the way back to the capital, til we overtake. no aircon, all the windows open - really hot when we slow down, too noisy when we pick up speed to hear the autotuned pop on the radio
a few lonely donkeys, one with a little bird on it's back, some faraway horses, a couple of unhappy camels tethered outside a roadside butchers small and light coloured, plenty of road dogs, plenty of goats, some being herded, not a cow in sight
clouds getting dark behind us brought just a few drops of dusty rain on the way back, lightening over the sea in the evening and the heat broke for a few hours
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i was in a little allotment garden of a friend of mine yesterday and i was shocked how much temperature difference there was between the city and these gardens (which are situated in the middle of the city). we were getting a bit chilly half an hour after sunset or so and so decided to go back home, upon leaving the plot it felt like stepping into an oven. i knew that stones and concrete absorb heat and radiate it long after sunset but i never knew it was this strong.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I watched a bee jump from flower to flower in the garden earlier. It didn't seem to dither at all, just straight to the next instantly, except when this small insect kept trying to land on the same one and it would hop off, buzz around in front of it until it backed off then get back to work.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well, I can't get the pictures my dad got online for some reason but it seems that seeing his wildlife pics has reminded my girlfriend's brother of his childhood love of photography and birds and he's started sending the results to us. It's kinda like there is some kind of competition going on between Dad and him with us as simply a medium between them.
In Russia I think that a lot of - even most - families have a "summer house" (or dacha) which although it sounds grand is often just really a garden shed that isn't in your garden but is instead in the countryside just outside the town where your real house (or usually Kruschchev flat) is - or, actually, quite sadly, seeing as a lot of towns have grown over the years, a number of them have been swallowed up by the outskirts and end up being a shed in an estate or by a motorway or whatever.
Anyway, I've not actually been to their summer house but I believe it's still outside the town as of yet, here are some photos he captured from it of what I understand is a redstart - perhaps not a massively exciting bird but a nice one and really impressively snapped I think (by my standards anyhow)

RedStart1.jpg

RedStart2.jpg

RedStart4.jpg

RedStart6.jpg
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i fell prey to the oak processionary and i feel like burning down every inch of nature there is
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I'm rarely a victim of it tbh...

That looks beautiful, must get to know Pembrokeshire better. I can heartily recommend Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia and the Basque Country, not sure I've seen better coastline anywhere.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Saw a big bird of prey - either a buzzard or a kite, I'm guessing, it had those 'fingers' at the ends of its wings - hovering just a few metres above the ground and just a few metres from the side of the road this morning. Pretty cool.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
We were driving to the beach today and by the side of the road halfway up an electricity pylon I saw a massive nest with what looked like (as far as I could tell while trying not to hit the car in front) a couple of storks in it, maybe one young. Then a bit further on we saw another huge nest right at the top of a pylon, but empty this time... but it didn't matter cos as we were being slowed down by a queue of traffic we saw this absolutely huge bird fly overhead, really quite low, then another from the other side and another in the distance... I reckon basically five or six storks either right over our heads or in the middle distance in that five minute period. I guess they are not rare at all here, this is the second time where we've seen one and then suddenly a few more in quick succession, it seems that they kinda come in groups like that and I suppose if you live here a long time you see your fill of them. In fact I think they are quite common across large parts of the world, but the UK is one of the places where you just don't see them at all so to me they are really exciting things to see, they are fucking massive and with the long "fingers" on their wings they look something like a cross between some sort of giant mega-heron and a buzzard or whatever.
My girlfriend tried to get a photo with her phone but it kept fucking up cos we were using it to direct us at the same time and that kept overruling her as she tried to get the shot. Shame cos it would have been spectacular. She did get one shot of the nest though which is... ok, somewhat less interesting.

StorkNest.jpg

And while we're doing pictures of nature here is a shot we took while driving along the coast just before arriving at the beach, the scenery in Setubal is really spectacular

BeachView.jpg
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Saw a big bird of prey - either a buzzard or a kite, I'm guessing, it had those 'fingers' at the ends of its wings - hovering just a few metres above the ground and just a few metres from the side of the road this morning. Pretty cool.
Kites, certainly red kites which we get quite a lot of in the UK nowadays, are very distinctive because a) They're massive, a lot bigger than buzzards and b) They have this so-called "wedge-shaped" tail which really marks them out. The finger things suggest maybe a buzzard though.
 
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