Friday, November 15, 2013

So, why the silence?

 Believe it or not, we owe our lives to these things:
 Which are found here (and in very few other places these days):
 This is Lake Clifton, and it's just a short drive away from my house in a national park called Yalgorup.
We owe these guys, because they made the first oxygen 
needed for life on land.

 Here's an article worth thinking about, from The Atlantic, Nov. 11th, 2013.
It's inspired by the tragedy of the latest natural disaster, in the Philippines, but it was the final paragraphs that really got to me, about how countries "ought to spend less figuring out how to kill one another and more trying to stop nature from prematurely killing us"... and  "the high probability that advanced civilisations destroy themselves."   
Which is why
 we never hear any intelligent life out there speaking  us. 
The universe is silent.

"In other words, 
this silent universe is conveying 
not a flattering lesson about our uniqueness 
but a tragic story about our destiny. 
It is telling us that intelligence may be 
the most cursed faculty in the entire universe—
an endowment not just ultimately fatal but, 
on the scale of cosmic time, 
near instantly so."

And we in Australia have blithely and selfishly elected a government which seems to believe that anything that makes the rich richer benefits all (in spite of all proof to the contrary) 
and that there's no such thing as global warming and climate change (also in spite of massive evidence to the contrary.)

So this is a five minute verse from me:
without thrombolites and stromatolites 
we wouldn't be here
life is fragile
this planet is just cotton candy 
in the universe
and greenies aren't 
just tree-huggers
they are scientists too
trying to tell us
we need to take care
--of ourselves,
of our planet:

it's all we've got,
mr abbott

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some Wildlife Where I Live

Grey Kangaroo-not very grey...
Bob-tailed Goanna, actually a skink which gives birth to live young

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Looking back at Spring in Western Australia

We are in Summer now. Warm days of endless sun...

As those of you know me well, or who have been reading this blog over the years will realise -- I have loved the tropical rainforest. Its grandeur, its wild exuberance, its overstated, overpowering, magnificent fecundity. I've tramped and camped in places that appear so wild and lonely you can imagine yourself to be the only human being ever to have come that way (you'd probably be wrong, of course, but that's the way it feels.)

But one thing it hasn't got much of, at least not noticeably, are the flowering plants like these (although a single tropical forest tree may have -- quite literally -- millions of individual blooms...). To find wild flowers in adundance you must come to Australia, specifically Western Australia. No other place has so many varieties in such a small area -- an abundance of epidemics that is staggering. And in Spring, well, everywhere you look.

Like the following:

Eucalyptus woody fruits: we used to call then honky or gum nuts


Banksia tree with 3 stages of flower/seed

Wax matches
Mixed wild flowers in King's Park
Kangaroo Paws and Leschenualtia
Eggs and Bacon