AND Five Day Photo Challenge #2
I went to see Jurassic Park the other day, (I loved it, if you haven’t seen it and you’re a fan of the first three then go, you’re missing out.) Anyway, the film and Monday’s post about the loss of penmanship got me thinking about extinction.
Just yesterday news broke that three Universities had been studying extinction rates and we are losing vertebrates at 114 times faster than normal. They have said we are entering the 6th mass extinction event. You can find the scientific article here if you have an athens or academic log in to read journals. The article continues to report that we have lost 400 species since the 1900’s alone, it should take 10,000 years to lose that many. The article gives shocking stats like, 41% of amphibians and 25% of all mammals are threatened with extinction. But worst of all they predict the loss of pollination of bees within three generations. Three generations? Are you kidding me? We’re all fucked! If you’re interested in what the other mass extinctions were check out the Big Five Mass Extinctions.
Do I think this is all our doing? Probably, maybe, possibly not. In part, I don’t think draining the Earth of all its oils and over harvesting, over fertilising the soil is going to have helped, neither does all the CFCs and fuels we burn help the skies. But this is the 6th extinction. Not the first, or even the third. They happened long before we came about, and they will continue to happen long after we become extinct.
I say we, because the article eludes to the fact that we humans, may just become extinct this time. So yeah, I am feeling compassionate for the dodo, for the mammoth, and for the T-Rex, cause we might be next. Maybe all those dystopian stories, or Mad Max films of desert life aren’t so far from the truth.
There’s no poignant message this month, no poetry. Just a stark reminder to do your bit. Do you recycle? One individual can’t save the world. But if we all do our bit then maybe there’s still hope. We can switch the light off, or put an extra layer on instead of turning on the heating. We can take the cardboard or plastic out to the recycling bin instead of being lazy and putting it in the rubbish bin. But more than anything we can encourage our children to learn, and study and hope that some of them become engineers, who understand the intricacies of hydrogen fuelled cars, or mechanics of harnessing ‘fusion’ energy. Or maybe a child of the future will discover how to use ‘free’ torsion energy (I’ll cover this more in a post in a few weeks time). Ok I lied – there was a message!
Who am I compassionate for? All of us, we’re all threatened by extinction right now, but none more so than the fluffy bumblebee. For the Five Day Photo Challenge Ali Isaac tagged me in, I decided to combine it with the #1000speak theme of compassion. So I picked the bumblebee specifically. I tried really hard to get different species of bumblebees, and I think I got four from my garden alone. That gave me hope that we might still be able to save the bumbles! I have a wonderful tree in front of my house – someone please identify it for me, that teems with bumblebees. So I tentatively snuck up to it with my iPhone macro lens and got as closer to the stingers as I could! Here’s what I got.
I gave an attempt at trying to identify the species, but I am not confident I got it right, but I think I have found: Early Bumblebee, Honey bee, Garden Bumblebee and a Tree bumblebee. Please do tell me if I’m wrong. No story to go with this challenge, tut tut, I know I am doing all kinds of cheating with this challenge, instead some interesting things I learned about bees:
- Bumblebees are the fat round, often black and yellow ones, whereas honeybees are the thinner more waspy looking bees.
- Bumblebees can actually sting you more than once, whilst it is actually the honeybees that die if they sting you.
- There’s only one species of honeybee in Europe, but 24 species of bumblebee in the UK alone.
- Bumblebees live in nests of only 50 to 500 bees, whereas honeybees live in nest of 50-60,000 bees.
- The queen bumblebee only lives for a year, the honeybee queen can live for 3-4 years.
- Bumblebees only make a small amount of honey, its the aptly named honeybees that do all the honey making!
- Bumblebees are dying because of a lack of plants to pollenate, honeybees are dying because of mites and diseases.
For some seriously interesting bee facts check out these 13 fascinating facts, I was actually a bit slack jawed over some of it.
The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days. (Sorry I’m cheating and going to do it once a week!)
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance! This week I nominate Rachel.