The challenges and rewards are greatest where two systems meet.

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day

We are drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank.  We can thank them for not destroying our habitat. We are still flushing our waste with pure drinking water. What is wrong with this picture.

My wife and I have traveled to many countries.  I always ask: "Where do you get your water?" and "Where does your waste go?"  From the answers I can pretty much decide the local priorities.

The most upsetting comparisons were three different trips we took to tributaries of the mighty Amazon River:  The Tahuayo in the NW part of Peru was our first trip.

People lived on, in, and around the Tahuayo. They relied on food from it and traveled to school by canoe.

On the Manu River in the SW part of Peru, the scene was  similar. People used the river sustainably.  They fished and farmed.  They brought cows to drink at the water's edge.

Yet on the Tambopata River, also a tributary to the Amazon, life was very different . Most of the communities were far removed from the river's banks. There were still a considerable number of boats, but all motorized. We only saw a few people in the water, usually washing clothes.

There were very few turtles and virtually no one fishing. The big difference here is GOLD DREDGING using MERCURY . We passed at least 12 operations in our four hour boat ride to the Tambopata Research center.

It's so easy to blame these countries that are so impoverished for making  obviously unsustainable decisions -- and now of all times Gold is very desirable. But, then I read a recent article in the LA Times:  It is here, in my country, too.

"Researchers found mercury in every fish tested in a nationwide stream survey, with some of the higher concentrations showing up in mining areas of the West."
Please think before putting anything in or on the ground, or even in the trash.

It all affects our water.  We need to make the difference!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Springtail Spring

 Today is March 21 2010 . It is a super time to observe changes around you in New Hampshire . On my morning walk I found snowfleas of two species . One large and pink . I could probably fit seven of these on my little fingernail . The others tiny and black . These were much more active jumping so fast and high they seemed to be disappearing with no visible movement . They can do this because they possess a spring like appendage under their abdomen which is held in place by a trigger . When the trigger is released they are catapulted 50 times their own  height around 4'' .

  Along my walk I spotted wild leeks or ramps just unfolding .The pussy willow like catkins of the poplars are also opening . That's what the solitary bees have been feeding on . As I was looking up 12 Canada geese flew over heading North. Robins are foraging for food around the garden and woodpeckers are doing their mating flights . Life abounds whether we take the time to see it or not .