Compassion For Extinction #1000Speak

AND Five Day Photo Challenge #2

Five Day Photo Challenge

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.

Unidentified Tree.....

Unidentified Tree…..

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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:

  1. Bumblebees are the fat round, often black and yellow ones, whereas honeybees are the thinner more waspy looking bees.
  2. Bumblebees can actually sting you more than once, whilst it is actually the honeybees that die if they sting you.
  3. There’s only one species of honeybee in Europe, but 24 species of bumblebee in the UK alone.
  4. Bumblebees live in nests of only 50 to 500 bees, whereas honeybees live in nest of 50-60,000 bees.
  5. The queen bumblebee only lives for a year, the honeybee queen can live for 3-4 years.
  6. Bumblebees only make a small amount of honey, its the aptly named honeybees that do all the honey making!
  7. 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.

#1000speak

***

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.

29 comments

  1. Beautiful pictures, Sacha. I worry that we humans are gearing up for our own extinction and in terrible denial as we do so. How can we destroy nature and somehow believe we are immune to destruction? We are interdependent. Compassion for the planet is compassion for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😀 I wasn’t sure I had managed to get a good one, my hands were all shaky! I have to say that I am also fearful that we will end up driving ourselves to extinction. I agree with you 100% – we ‘meaning society at large’ seem to have a bit of a god complex, in that we do whatever we want including destroying the earth and think we are immune.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a bumble bee nest once again; lovely if rather intimidating. Based in our garden there are no problems with bees but of course it is in the countryside where the populations are dwindling. Your post is very on point and I’m wholly with you that we need to do more and more and not give up. And you make a great point about extinctions being a common event. It is hard to imagine our species falling over but then there isn’t a reason why not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeh, I’ll be honest, I shit myself a little bit getting that close, bumble or not, it still has a stinger!

      Do you not get bees in London?

      I agree, it IS hard to imagine our species falling over, but that is what makes it all the more scary, ignorance and denial are whats going to kill us. If not another mass extinction through ice age (which is long over due) or volcanic eruption (major one also long over due) or asteroid or any one of a number of things….. actually you know what, I reckon even without our own persistent raping and pillaging of the Earth I think we are a ticking time bomb. Sad really. Happy Monday! :p lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t believe you took those photos with your phone. They are gorgeous.

    I read about that article as well and the first thing that came to my mind was Mad Max.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ula, ok, so cheating a little bit, I have a clip on lens I can attach to my phone which makes the iPhone camera lens macro!

      Haha, great minds think alike – it really did make me think of mad max, its a terrifying thought, but I am convinced give it a couple hundred years we will be in some fucked up dystopia….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bumblebees are very interesting. They will leave you alone, if you leave them alone. Honeybees, however, can be much more aggressive. If bumblebees are buzzing around my flower garden, I will go ahead and garden, being careful not to disturb the bumblebees. Not so, if there are honeybees around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michelle, it’s funny because I never knew that before I did some research, I had always just been afraid of all of them – my ignorance I suppose! – I guess its not surprising really that the honeybees are more aggressive – they are even shaped like wasps!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. All this talk of extinction makes me so sad, but I know it’s something we need to address. Thanks for bringing it up and making us think about this situation. I loved the pictures!
    I saw Jurassic World this weekend and loved it too. Great movie! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those statistics are very scary. Interesting that the bumble bees are dying out because there’s not enough plants. Plants will die out if there are no bees to pollinate them. We just might go this time. But I’m not ready! I think your post is very important, including its message, a call to action. Well done.
    Love the pics. I can’t help with the plant. It is beautiful though. I understand why the pollinators are attracted to it.
    The bumblebee reminds me of one I saw at a market when I was in London last year. It flew into a bread stall and totally frightened the woman who was serving customers. She gave a loud scream. And then we all laughed! But stayed out of the way of the bee just the same! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if its a bit of a vicious circle for the bumblebees, either way its scary. what is going to be left for out grandchildren and great grandchildren. I hope though, that we will survive it, fingers crossed we are adaptable enough to survive.

      hahaha, that poor lady! to be fair, if anything flies at you its fairly scary! I’d probably scream and bat it away! Im terrible when it comes to spiders! The other evening when we had a room full of friends a moth landed on my arm and i screamed like a right girl then too!! so embarrassing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to think that if we were “clever” enough to get ourselves into this mess, that we are “clever” enough to get ourselves out!
        I’m not averse to a scream at a little insect or spider myself! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful post, Sacha! Can’t believe I missed it! I only get wasps and bumbles in my garden, and I live in the country… Shocking isn’t it? A fantastic subject for #1000speak, and once again you have cracked it with some stunning photography!

    Liked by 1 person

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