Monday, 22 September 2014

World Rhino Day

While I lived in Malawi, I took a trip to nearby Zimbabwe and visited among other places, the wonderful Matopos National Park. One of the many amazing things we saw there was a rhino that came very close to our truck. Sadly its horn had been surgically removed to protect it from poachers, so it wasn't fully itself, but it was still a magnificent creature and back then there seemed to be a real sense of hope that by surgically removing their horns, rhinos could be saved. Unfortunately poaching has continued, and has in fact increased in recent years. Some rhinos who have had their horns surgically removed have then been killed for the small bit of horn that still remains.

It is tragic that humans seem intent on hunting magnificent creatures such as rhinos, elephants and the big cats to an inevitable extinction.

Wearing a t-shirt is never enough in these sorts of cases, but just as going on a protest march can be, it can be a way of spreading the message.

World Rhino Day is 22 September.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

People's Climate March, Edinburgh

Today was the sort of unseasonably warm, still and sunny day that might have residents of Edinburgh tempted to believe that global warming might be a good thing..... However climate change is already leading to increased extreme weather events and has the potential to disrupt many aspects of life as we know it. So, on this, the weekend before the UN climate change summit in New York City on 23 September, people have been gathering across the world as part of the People's Climate March. Here are photos from the Edinburgh march earlier today.

It was great to see so many people marching to raise awareness of climate change, many people had brought along their families and their dogs, some people were singing, some were playing hand-bells, some were dancing (and some dancing with hula hoops!). Some people were dressed as polar bears (and must have been feeling the heat in their costumes, just as the real polar bears are feeling the heat as the arctic ice melts round them). I hope that, now the Scottish Referendum for Independence is over, we will see people using their newly activated political engagement in campaigning on climate change and other issues.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Herons and Hoverflies

We had a lovely walk along the River Almond at Cramond this morning. We were very happy that this grey heron groomed itself in front of us.

We were also happy to see loads of wasps and hoverflies gathered round this patch of ivy. I just caught this one hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis) on camera.

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the People's Climate March with events happening across the globe. You can find out what's happening local to you here and how to get involved here, but if your local area doesn't feature on that site, then a quick internet search will probably find something closer to you.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

People's Climate March

This month, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. To co-incide with this people across the world will be joining the People's Climate March.

The March calls for Action, Not Words. We need to take action NOW to create a world safe from the risks and ravages of climate change.

There are marches taking place across the world, you can find the one closest to you on this map

Marches in Scotland are happening in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Inverness. (There may be others too!). 

And if there's one thing we can predict about how Scotland will look after the results of tomorrow's independence referendum, it's that we'll still be facing climate change!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


 Autumn is definitely here! The rosebay willow herb is beautiful in its reddening foliage and draped in spiders webs too, though the webs didn't come out in the photo you can see the spider under a leaf on the right hand side of the stem...

 raindrops on elderberries
and toadstools, anyone recognise which species this is?

Monday, 15 September 2014