Spring Is Sprung

spring is sprung
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

Spring Is Here!

Having spring arrive is a wonderful occasion. It is a time to celebrate.

It is in spring that Mother Nature truly comes to life and works wonders. We see new growth on our trees. There is an abundance of flowers. In Australia, it is Wildflower season. Travel through the mid-west to see vistas resplendent en-mass in full colour.

The Feast Of Beltane will arrive on November the first.  You can read about it here.

Your local pharmacy will be doing a booming trade on anti-histamine medication for all the hayfever sufferers. 

If you haven’t done so yet, you should test your reticulation. For one thing that Spring brings to Australia is heat and dry weather. The Perth forecast for today is a top of 26°. Even here in the southwest, we are expecting 24°.

No complaints here though!

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The Plight Of The Honey Bee

honey bee

The Humble Honey Bee and Why We Need It

Since its discovery in 2006, CCD or Colony  Collapse Disorder, has decimated the population of the Honey Bee by over 40%. That is massive.

Implications

The loss of these industrious little insects would be devastating for us. We rely on the bees to pollinate crops. The loss of the honey bee would have a profound effect on our food supply not to mention the damage to the ecology of the planet.

The cause of the population loss is still under investigation. It could be that the new more effective pesticides used to control rodents on farms is also affecting the bees. Perhaps we will find out that it is climate change affecting the bees. Maybe it is the messing around with the genetics of crops that is causing the loss.

So today on World Honey Bee Day, remember this when you next see one. Bees are friends, not pests.

Celebrate World Lizard Day

world lizard day

August 14th Is World Lizard Day

There are some 5,600 species of lizard alive in the world today. World lizard day is a day when enthusiasts get to celebrate their unique pets as a world-wide event.

There are only two known poisonous lizards, the Gila Monster and the Mexican Beaded Lizard. And no I haven’t missed a letter “r” in the spelling :-).

Some say there is a third poisonous lizard, the Komodo Dragon, but, according to sources, that has not yet been proven.

Two of the most popular lizards as pets are the Leopard Gecko and the Bearded Dragon.

At a mere half inch long excluding the tail, the smallest lizard known is the Brookesia Micra from Madagascar. Lizards can be found on all continents with the exception of Antartica.

lizard day

Why is the Leopard Gecko popular?

The Leopard Gecko is a popular choice for a number of reasons.

  1. It only needs feeding every second day.
  2. Newspaper is OK for the base (easy cleaning).
  3. They are active at night.
  4. They usually go to the toilet in one corner of their habitat.
  5. They eat their own shedded skin.
  6. The cage is a simply a glass house with a wire lid and a heat source at one side.
  7. A large plastic tub can be used instead.

Full details of keeping these interesting pets can be found at the website of the Reptiles Magazine.

Australian Park Ranger – World Ranger Day

australian park ranger

Australian Park Rangers, and What They Do

More often referred to as Australian Council Rangers, the Australia Park Ranger has a very diversified list of duties to carry out. Not all of them pleasant.

In some States or Territories of Australia, the Park Ranger is also a Special Constable with extra powers, such as giving out traffic infringement notices.

In Western Australia for example, the minimum requirement for a Ranger is to study (and pass) the Municipal Law Enforcement Units A and B at Tafe.

The Australian Park Ranger is authorised to take action under the Animal Welfare Act, looking out for animals being mistreated by their owners. One of the less glamorous roles is the cleaning up of “roadkill.”

council rangers

Further Duties

The Rangers duties may also include looking after recreational park area, maintaining paths for example. Getting rid of weeds. A weed is any plant not native to the environment.

He is also responsible for the protection of native animals and assisting with fighting bushfires and fire suppression.

Any businesses operating with a park are monitored by the Park Ranger too. He might even be called upon to carry out maintenance on the toilet facilities in National Parks.

All in all, your Park Ranger is a busy person who looks after all sorts of stuff that make the Australian outdoors a great experience for locals and tourists alike.

You could celebrate World Ranger Day and bring a smile to their faces by sending a short thank you email to your local Ranger office.

Today Is Turtle Day

Today Is Turtle Day. No not The Mutant Ninja Variety

turtle day

Every body loves cute things, and Turtle Day is a lovely celebration of these lovable marine beauties.

Turtles have lived in our waters for some 100 million years (will be as resilient?). In Australia we have the Green Turtle, the Flatback Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, The Leatherback Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle and the Olive Ridley turtle.

The turtles life starts in a very hard way. After  digging their way to the surface they make the perilous journey to the water. More than 90% of hatchlings are eaten by predators.

If they make it past the seabirds at the beach they have to contend with large fish, ghost crabs and even Killer Whales.

All six species found in Australia are protected. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in coastal areas of northern Australia are, however, allowed to hunt them as they represent important social and cultural values for them.

The Green Turtles that nest along the Western Australian coast migrate from feeding grounds as far flung as Indonesia, Queensland, the Northern Territory. Plus Shark Bay in Western Australia.

 

Turtles come on shore to nest between mid-late October and late March-early April with a peak in late December-early January.

While immature animals can be carnivorous, Green Turtles adults feed mostly on seagrasses and algae. Shark Bay is the most southerly area for turtles hunting food sources.

turtle day

Hatching Loggerhead Turtles can be seen on the beaches of Dirk Hartog Island off the coast of Denham, Shark Bay. Loggerheads are carnivorous.

Travel to Shark Bay is limited to car or tourist coach.

Today is also Title Track day. We have all been guilty of buying an album/CD based on one song so I guess this day is for all the one hit wonders.

Today is also Luck Penny day.