Back in spring 2006, Artemis got something from our backyard. It was a striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peroni), our regular spring visitors in our scrubby little pond. It was unfortunate for her that its skin was poisonous and frothed her mouth and it took a couple of times she caught it until she learned the lesson.
Death is an essential part of life. Deal with it!
Change is inevitable and it comes at a cost.
First morning light in Thailand trip revealed an empty marshland in the back of my brother’s house where I stayed for a few weeks. This property was left unoccupied quite sometime ago. I was really glad that there were many green areas remained untouched in Bangkok.
It created a nature micro ecology as an oasis in Bangkok’s urban desert. Bird’s habitats were protected by willows and plants grew organically as well as frogs and snakes in the marshland.
Then the land owner decided to develop the property and profit from this investment. The marshland has to go and give way to another housing estate. An excavator squashed the unwanted weeds down to the ground and concrete rubble from other demolition was used for filling the marshland.
A new ecology was generated from this transforming landscape. It welcomed people into once an abandoned field. Local members seized the opportunity to collect scrap metal to sell it.
The flattening made it easier for a predator to look for food on the ground since the hide was destroyed whereas some found that its dwelling had gone in a flash. However, sooner or later, there would not be any food or home left for the wildlife benefited from this vanishing green.
It was a heart-broken to witness this change. It was happening in front of my eyes and I am sure it is everywhere.
This morning, I have just received a letter from Australian Museum dated 19 July 2005. It also encloses a receipt of Up Close and Spineless competition fee and photographs (above) I sent back in the year. Obviously, they did not win anything.
It must have been stacked away somewhere in the Museum for over two years. Nevertheless, the following year submissions (below) were sent back on schedule. No luck this time either.
I have forgotten all about the long lost photographs. In fact, I thought they were shredded and did not even bother putting any picture through the competition this year. All this time, my subjects of photography have been shifted from urban wildlife to something else. Heaps of insect images, including a photo essay on backyard micro ecology, are still in the archives, waiting to be processed and published on-line.
I am still very interested in these topics. However, watching animals in their habitats is no different from observing people and documenting their impacts on our surroundings. That is my role to contribute to the world, I guess. That leads to the next project on a bush walk. Hopefully it will happen before the trip to Thailand in November.
This is literally the last shot of the day. A masked lapwing (Vanellus miles) stops wandering just on the spot that I can compose the lines.