We have a friend who has spent most of the last half-dozen years living in Siberia. She is a fun and funny observer of Russian culture who also has an eye for unusual stories and photos from around the world. She sent us several post-earthquake images from China, where powerful earthquakes have struck this week. These come from a panda-breeding center located near the earthquake zone.
Pamelia and I have been to a part of China not far from where the highly endangered giant pandas live (Sichuan province). Having seen the severe environmental problems of that country first-hand on three visits (you can see an environmentally-themed magazine story we did at http://www.viamagazine.com/top_stories/articles/yangtze01.asp), I'm relieved that the Chinese have set up panda preserves and increased their efforts to protect the animals. Not without pressure, mind you: A lot of credit needs to be given to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund. Sad to say—as we will examine further at The Naturalist's Notebook this summer in our extinction room—so many species are in trouble because of habitat loss, pollution, climate change and human appetites that the pandas might have a better chance of survival than most. Pandas, after all, are adorable, and people don't like bad things to happen to cute creatures. Lots of luck to less cuddly endangered animals like the slimy purple burrowing frog.
But let me close with a few shots from this morning. Oddly, though this is the season of green, I kept encountering purples and blues—and not just in the cerulean sky and the deep, almost navy tones of Western Bay.
We encountered four stunning light blue moths--teeny guys--but they were too elusive to photograph as they flew. When they landed to pose, I realized that the blue side of their wings was hidden from view. They looked brown.
...that Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is on again Friday night from 9 to 10. We aren't big TV watchers but the importance of what Oliver is doing—trying to get Americans to eat food that's fresher, less fattening and free of preservatives and pesticides—makes this a significant piece of television.