The road wound through a forest of spruce, birch and larch trees.
Birch trees felled across a river.
It looked like a lumber-jack site.
Wood shavings littered the forest ground.
A beavers’ lodge
A beaver is a small innocuous looking aquatic creature.
Travelling through Sweden last summer, a back road through a forest took us through an unexpected landscape. It looked as though a storm had cast it’s devastation striking down trees which lay hapzardly across a water course. On closer inspection it turned out to be a piece of skillful engineering accomplished by a rather innocuous looking creature. It was my first encounter with the extraordinary feats of a beaver family’s industrious accomplishments.
Their ability to physically alter habitats by cutting down trees, building dams, digging canals and building lodges has resulted in their recognition as ecosystem engineers. The resulting change to the environment is far reaching, benefitting and altering the distribution and abundance of many organisms.
WPC: “The Road Taken”.
Ocean pollution is a huge concern worldwide, but head way up to 71*N in the extreme northern hemisphere to the remote village of Honningsvåg, on the island of Magerøya in the North Cape of Norway and meet Erica Haugli through her blog – Experience North Cape and Once Upon a Dream and be aware of how bad the problem is there. Her campaign “One Step at a Time” to clean up the environment along the coastal stretches in this far flung spot on the map can be read here.
Her idea was to create colourful art collages out the odd shoes, boots and plastic to raise awareness to the mass of flotsam and rubbish deposited by the ocean currents on the once pristine shores. What an eye-opener to learn that there is so much waste in the ocean so far north. She achieved her aim and by 2014 her gallery was opened to the public.
I was fortunate to travel with my husband to these remote parts on a journey aboard ship to see the northern lights and other magnificent wonders. The day we stopped in Honningsvåg the wind was so ferocious that the trip to the North Cape was cancelled. Happily we did get to ‘walk’ the village without being blown back out to sea. Although I never got to meet Erica, as at the time she was down with a bad dose of flu, I was in awe of the hardy inhabitants who live at the edge of this inhospitable but hauntingly beautiful landscape. Her artwork reflects these local scenes and topics, perhaps you’d like to check her online galleries.
Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose
The throb of the helicopter rotors cut through the air early on Thursday morning and alerted the anxious residents to news that the fire continued to burn on the mountain slopes above Simon’s Town. In the clear light of day, the scene of devastation in the immediate vicinity was sobering let alone the full extent of it. The fire is believed to have started over the mountains in Kommetjie and it’s path of destruction has consumed many hectacres across the Southern Peninsula including the Wildland Urban Interface affecting Da Gama Park, Red Hill, Glencairn having reached Simon’s Town on Wednesday afternoon (11 January).
A change in the wind direction was expected and there is a worry that flare-ups will occur. Up to this point, one house and a garden shed were destroyed while six other homes, partially damaged. Considering the terrible conditions and the driving force of the wind it is remarkable that more homes weren’t lost and a credit of the City’s Emergency services as well as the volunteer fire-fighting crews for their vigilance and tenacity (see note below).
For more information – http://bit.ly/2inuPf6
The following noted in the above link:
“The NSRI also listed the emergency services who were deployed to fight the fires along with the NSRI teams:
- Community services
- Neighbourhood watch teams
- SA National Parks rangers
- Table Mountain National Park rangers
- City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management
- Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services
- Working on Fire
- Volunteer Wild Fire Services
- Fire helicopters
- 22 Squadron of the SA Air Force with 2 Oryx helicopters
- The SA Navy (including the Navy’s ships fire fighting teams)
- Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services
- Cape Medical Response
- Community Medics
- ER24 ambulance services
- Law enforcement
- Cape Town Traffic Services
- SA Police Services
- Scores of members of the public who joined in todays effort and the fantastic community response.”
A pall of thick, acrid smoke hangs over the neighbourhood today as a rampant fire engulfs the mountains and threatens homes and wildlife.
Acrid smoke engulfs the area.
Guinea fowl family take to safety.
The vegetation is tinder dry.
The helicopter pilots must battle tricky conditions, without them the battle would be lost.
A baboon troop scale the slopes to outrun the advancing fire.
The scene below the cliffs.
The naval barracks area.
The helicopter pilots water bombing.
Water versus flames.
Tireless helicopter pilots are the heroes of the day.
The dockyard and harbour.
Fearful scenes make the adrenalin rush.
It’s a little over a year since the wildfires raged down the mountains in the Simon’s Town area. Time heals and the vegetation restores: resprouts and also regenerates from seed.
The scenes of desolation_2015
The watsonias bloom_2016
Many homes were at risk and we pause to think of those who lost everthing.
The mountain is greening up _2016