Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birds and the Bees

Spring, especially in an area where the seasons are so pronounced, is a time to get into the act of reproduction while the food sources and climate support the raising offspring.
These pictures below are of Reproduction of two sorts.
The insects are male and female, requiring sperm from the male to fertilise eggs within the female.....whereas the snails are asexual (each being effectively male and female ).
This means that they supply 1/2 of the genetic material needed and both produce young (lay eggs).
The snail below is of the same species, though shows colour differences to those above.
It is redder in appearance and, if I had the time, would be interested to cross snails of both colours.
It would be interesting to see the ratio of light to dark snails, and mixed shells, through this method of reproduction.
...and if you have ever wondered what a bumble bee looks like compared to a regular bee....wonder no longer
....of course, all the regular predators are out taking advantage of the increased food sources.
...and even a little fungi.
This bracket fungi is similar to its Australian counterpart, though was very white and seemed of much denser composition. This is possibly due, in part, to differing climatic conditions from those I have observed in detail in places like Robertson Nature Reserve ( see previous posts).
I would like to wish Denis Wilson and his colleagues much success with their fungi exhibition being held at Robertson NSW Australia. Perhaps a few pics of the exhibition Denis?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trip to Bergisches Land

A trip to a nature reserve in Bergisches Land, Germany, proved to be of interest with panoramic scenery as pictured below.
The patchwork of mixed colours a visual treat as new foliage erupts.

The fields are alive with flowers, and trees have regained their leaves... with a sunny 25 degree C day making for a pleasant walk in the Wald.
Although the water was still icy it made for a refreshing dip after a long hike.

I promised Denis a few bird shots and, with the warmth of the day, it didn't take long to fulfil his request.
More shots are on the way, with some interesting observations on springtime behavioural pattens.
( if I can just photograph the quick little avian I am after) :)

Even the Bumblebees were out and about

With a trip to the North Sea planned next week, it will be interesting to observe the local fauna and flora there in relation to this area that lies some 600Km south.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Many changes afoot

A recent trip to the Black Forest was an eye opener, with many trees on the fringes of the great forest suffering from the ravages of acid rain. The trees seemed wilted somewhat, though as I travelled deeper within the wald things seemed to improve greatly.
The German government is fighting this problem with a massive replanting scheme.
Damaged trees are removed and are replaced with farm grown trees.
This is done while migratory birds are away in Africa so as not to disturb breeding season.
This shot was taken deep in the forest and, although the trees are healthy, altered weather patterns that cause mini cyclones have taken their toll even here.

Things have been warmer of late.
The following shots taken at 2 areas 500km apart from each other, illustrating that all but the highest altitudes feel spring in the air.