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Showing posts from September, 2010

The Butterfly Hunt: 2010

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The air now carries the remains of summer’s warmth and the early coolness of fall. It is pleasant, but the place I live in is devoid of natural woods and shrubs. Whatever grows are horticulture plants or weeds on wastelands providing ecological services to the scarce but valuable biodiversity predominated by bumble bees, bottle flies and cabbage whites. Soon the landscape will transform into myriad of colors, from violet to red, but this time it’s the leaves. Thence the diversity will drop, hitting the lowest in January as winter grips onto southwestern Ontario. By March, green shoots will sprout from bare branches. Sign of life. As days roll by, the very first butterfly will make its appearance in the open, basking in the early spring sun. It will be a tattered Mourning Cloak – one of the butterflies that overwinter for months only to greet the season of spring – and will continue its lifecycle by laying eggs for summer. It has been six months since I saw the first Mourning Cloak in…

In Conversation with Sandhill Cranes

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“I’m not sure if this is related to the [study of] environment …” said a colleague with a shrug. I was talking about the project I assisted for in the past two months. According to him, studying Sandhill Crane study is not a part of environmental studies, or I may simply say wildlife study is not related to environmental studies. So what is environmental studies – is it sitting in the labs measuring the amount of Carbon dioxide in the air, or the amount of heavy metals in the water, or environmental policies and laws that we study in our class? I never had to answer this question. Because I never separated these aspects of environmental studies from nature. A talk with the colleague revealed a great wisdom of academic knowledge, but he failed to impress me with his words I repeated above. I think, and I hope I am wrong, that he forgot what environmental studies is for – it is not for the sake of the pollutant we discover in air or water, it is for the sake of the air and water. Likewi…