Photos from Prague

I’m ashamed at how little I have written this year, even though I have had several ideas for blog posts. To help assuage some of my guilt, I will share a few photographs I have taken.

I’m rather lucky to be living near the Krč forest where I can, regularly, go walking. At the beginning of the year it was still winter and most of the trees were bare.

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Photos: New plants in the burned field

This is a short follow up to my previous post on the role of fire in the environment. I went back to the field about a month after the previous visit and after some good rainfall. While there had previously been only grasses where the field was burned, during this latest visit I saw a large variety of different plants had emerged.

This is how the unburned parts of the field looked during the latest visit. While there were a few sections of green growth, the majority was still yellow, dry and dead.

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The Sagrada Família and why we need beautiful buildings

One of the highlights of my Mediterranean cruise at the end of last year was visiting the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. It was something I wanted to see because it always looked like an absolutely beautiful building in pictures and, it turns out, it is even better in person. I thought I would just share a few pictures that I took and some thoughts.

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Schönbrunn Tiergarten

A few weeks ago, some members of my lab planned a trip to the Schönbrunn Tiergarten (Schönbrunn Zoo) in Vienna, the oldest zoo in the world, and I went with them. In this post I’ll just share some of the better photos from the day. I should also note that I have not forgotten that zoos are seldom ideal. I take some solace in that, according to Wikipedia:

Today, Tiergarten Schönbrunn is considered and regards itself as a scientifically administered zoo which sees its main purpose as a centre for species conservation and general nature conservation as well as in the fulfillment of the education mandate given to it by the legislation.

Regarding that, I did, from time to time, keep an eye out for environmental enrichments. Obviously a brief visit is not going to give a great overview but I did see enrichment in some enclosures, so I assume that such considerations are taken into account. Continue reading

Wolves in South Africa

Male Coywolf (Wolf X Coyote)

Male coywolf (wolf X coyote)

When I was in Port Elizabeth last week, I went, with friends, to the Tsitsikama Wolf Sanctuary. It is currently the only wolf sanctuary in South Africa and houses a number of wolves from zoos or that were originally kept as pets. Because of how they were raised, they can no longer be released into the wild. Even if they could be, they are not a native species to South Africa. It’s nice to know that there are people that are looking after these beautiful animals and, if you are in the area (It’s about an hour and forty minutes drive outside of Port Elizabeth), I would recommend a visit to support them. You can see some of my own pictures from the day below. Continue reading

Photo break

Rain-covered spider web

Rain-covered spider web

One morning this month, as I left for university, I saw a spider-web hanging between two poles in my fence. There was a soft drizzle and the web was heavy with rain drops. I almost went past it but changed my mind, went back and took a photograph before leaving. It’s lucky I did as the web was gone by the time I returned, presumably torn apart by the wind and rain. Ideally, I would’ve liked to have focused only on the web and had everything else blurred but I only had my phone available. In addition, I’m also not sure which settings adjust the depth, just that it can be done. Continue reading

Quicklinks: Amazing planet

I’ll share two collections of images that are quite impressive. The first is a collection of .gifs from Google showing Earth over time. My favourite shows the retreat of the Columbia glacier.

Columbia Glacier Retreat (Source: Google)

Perhaps even more impressive are these photos of natural phenomena on Yahoo!. Time to start making a list of cool places to go see.

Lightning strike at the Grand Canyon (Source: Yahoo!)