Since the day our daughter came home from the hospital, her world has been virtually overrun with wild things: Gorillas, tigers, lions, chimps, bears, giraffes and whales lead an endless parade of anthropomorphized beasts in the form of books or toys, all focused on helping her get to sleep, learn to read, learn share, play, pee, poop, you name it. My unscientific guess would be that 9 out of ten of people shepherding her to adulthood, one way or another, aren’t people at all, but kindly charismatic mega-fauna, lovingly doling out life’s big lessons. The irony of course, is that nearly all of the cuddly critters populating the pages and injection molded toys of her world are scarce-to-long-gone in reality. And it’s precisely this irony that compelled journalist-and anxious father-Jon Mooallem, to take this brilliant, sometimes disheartening journey into the world of animal conservation. “Wild Ones” is the story of precisely what lengths some people will go to in their attempts to the save the last of God’s great creatures.
Shot mostly in our backyard, here’s a little movie about the amazing Monarch Butterfly, why you should care, and what you can do save it from extinction.
Caught this late-season Monarch caterpillar as he wandered along our retaining wall, into the brush, making his pilgrimage to his final transformation…Of course Sian named him “Charles”.
For reasons no one really knows, Monarch caterpillars often travel fairly vast distances away from the milkweed to pupate. Charles here was about 10 feet from the milkweed plant he had been feeding and living on.
Spend 15 minutes researching global pollinator decline and the ensuing economic impact, and I think you’ll agree the Red States and Blue States are all facing a staggering economic tsunami if we don’t take a tip from the UK, fast. So, dig: Inspiring move by the British government in the BBC News today. Thanks, in no small part to the efforts of the good people at Friends of The Earth and an organization called BUGLIFE, the UK has passed a $900 million dollar, 10 year strategy to increase pollinator habitat in the UK. Interestingly, Europe is way ahead of the US on this issue, and is taking big strides to help, that’s right, bugs, knowing that pollinators are responsible for $207 billion in agriculture, world-wide, annually. That’s something our Republican majority, those protectors of the heartland, should see as a real throwdown. Let’s get ‘er done, boys and girls!
Read about it here:
A little while back, I wrote about the decimation of the Monarch butterfly population in my garden at the hands of a Chinese Mantis. Well, behold the lady in question, all three inches of her. With huge spiked claws 1/3 her body length and wide-set eyes with a binocular field of vision, this non-native, invasive lady is built to kill.
And so, as much as I hate her for her impact on the already struggling Monarch migration, I must admit, she’s terrifyingly cool to stare at…especially given the hair raising way she stares back.
Earlier this week, I spent two hours in mid-town Manhattan, wandering Sebastio Salgado’s moving and inspiring, GENESIS EXHIBITION at the ICP. Salgado, if you don’t know him, is a renowned documentary photographer who left the hallowed roster at Magnum Photos in 1994 to hang his own shingle, alongside his wife, Lélia Wanick Salgado, at Amazonas Images in France. GENESIS is the third in a series of major, multi year projects Salgado has produced, starting with WORKERS in 1993. Prior to now, Salgado’s work has largely focused on the lives and working conditions of people in 3rd world countries. Continue reading SEBASTIO SALGADO- “GENESIS” PHOTO EXHIBITION – A POWERFUL AND URGENT CALL TO ACTION