"I am an animal" - Nature Notes

A few nights ago, as rain hammered down, I saw this frog, skulking under the outside wall framing my front door. I think unseasonably mild weather may have messed up its biorhythms. Shouldn't they be hibernating? Frost's been rare; strawberries are still flowering, and Gaza's missiles come thick and fast, roasting all in their path.

2023 Winter frog at door.jpg
A few days ago I visited the flood fields around the Shannon river outside Birr in a quite remote location. Walking off-road for some time along gorse-walled trails, we came to a bird hide, as if set in a moat because to reach it, the water was so high that it trickled into wellington boots, leaving a mugful swilling over each foot once we reached the little building!

But it was worth it because first of all, despite heavy drizzle, we sat facing an expanse of water on which sailed swans, geese, duck and other birds rarely if ever spotted inland. The icing on the cake was catching sight of a white-tailed sea eagle gliding overhead for ten minutes, consistent with the fact which we later learned, that chicks were released in the area earlier this year - https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/...with-24-new-chicks-released-into-irish-skies/

Not as mature a specimen as this one but well on the way

We were glued to our binoculars and didn't take photos of any substance but there's a good account given here of the current Irish breeding programme, with a video - https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2022/0805/1314119-eagle-chicks-release/
Another study confirming health benefits of plant based diets

Many type 2 diabetes cases could be avoided by adopting a healthy plant-based diet, according to a study by scientists at Queen’s University Belfast...More than 113,000 people were observed over a 12-year period for the research, of whom 2,600 developed type 2 diabetes.


Bugs deserve a second thought too!

no bugs, no humans, no economy. Our modern market economy is not some abstraction that exists beyond the context of humans, or independent of the ecological foundation in which we are embedded. Our entire economy therefore owes its very existence to bugs.
Of course, humans are unique, in many ways, but so are many other species. They all have special qualities and abilities that can’t be found in other species, or only in a very limited number of other species. But in the essential attributes of a species, humans are identical to all other species. Consequently, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Maximum Power Principle, MORT and other attempts to figure out why humans act like we do, are simply consequences of our being a species. It can’t be any other way. I’m afraid that there really is no way out. The unique human ability to understand stuff should make these realisations hard to take. We can’t even think, “what if we had done something different at that point in history,” because almost nothing would have changed except the timeline. Other species are largely employed at staying alive, as are some members of our species, but most of us have the luxury of spare time to contemplate other stuff and, to some extent, to enjoy living.

- https://un-denial.com/2023/12/25/by-mike-roberts-humans-are-a-species/

This is a lovely short film about an abandoned newborn squirrel that is taken in, cared for and reared by a kind lady - https://aeon.co/videos/what-happened-when-one-woman-raised-an-abandoned-squirrel-as-her-own

There is a fox that likes to sleep on our roof, I try to chuck him some food sometimes but when I do he always runs away.
I’ve named him Frank. He’s our Frank.
Not a lot of wilderness in central London unfortunately. They’re urban foxes, I think they mainly survive on discarded kfc and kebabs hence why he’s so fat.

And how anyone can dislike otters is beyond me, they’re basically water cats.
Not a lot of wilderness in central London unfortunately. They’re urban foxes, I think they mainly survive on discarded kfc and kebabs hence why he’s so fat.

And how anyone can dislike otters is beyond me, they’re basically water cats.
Poor foxie!! 😞

I love sea otters, but river otters are awful and stupid looking.

Panoramic view from 'Tower of Heaven' (Menara Kayangan) on Mount Silam over Darvel Bay, Lahad Datu
Panoramic view from 'Tower of Heaven' (Menara Kayangan) on Mount Silam over Darvel Bay, Lahad Datu District, Sabah, Malaysia. By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It is impossible to exaggerate the extent of this natural-capital rush, now being promoted by global speculative finance, which since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–10 has sought to acquire real assets in the physical environment to underpin continuing debt expansion. The transmutation of so-called natural capital into tradable exchange value over the last decade is seen as opening up almost unlimited opportunities for corporations and money managers. In 2012, the Corporate EcoForum, a group of twenty-four multinational corporations including Alcoa, Coca-Cola, Dell, Disney, Dow, Duke Energy, Nike, Unilever, and Weyerhaeuser, published The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, insisting that the then “estimated $72 trillion of ‘free’ goods and services” associated with global natural capital and ecosystem services be monetized for the purpose of more sustainable growth.” The report emphasized the enormous debt “leverage” opportunities represented by “emerging natural capital markets such as water-quality trading, wetland banking and threatened species banking, and natural carbon sequestration.” As a result, it was imperative to “put a price on nature’s value,” or, stated differently, “a monetary value on what nature does for…businesses.” The future of the capitalist economy lay in ensuring that the market pay “for once-free ecosystem services,” which could thereby generate new economic value for those corporations able to convert titles to natural capital into financial assets.

'The diet of factory-farmed animals is linked to environmental destruction around the globe.' All about how so.
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Alleluia! There is hope! Froggie is back, leaving spawn on display in the pond. Any tips on keeping inquiring birds at a distance (bar getting a cat) most welcome!

2402 frogspawn.jpg

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Founder of XR mocks the Guardian for glibly failing to face facts - https://rogerhallam.com/the-guardian-facilitates-genocide/?ref=roger-hallam-newsletter

Marina Hyde was really vulgar in her smearing of Assange as well. You'd wonder if she occasionally comments on Solo!

Hallam also told the BBC that the rich are killing 1 billion people and countless members of other species through environmental irresponsibility

Here is a nice little song with the line, "you are an animal/ you are not alone"

R U Happy, Everything Everything

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