La jícara

The jícara is a Maya ceremonial cup formed from a tree gourd. The goddesses created it in the place they met. It was dark, so they lit a candle to provide light, placing the candle in the centre of a bowl formed from splitting in half the gourd of the tree known as el jícaro. … Continue reading La jícara

Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet

Under the volcanoes, beside the snow-capped mountains, among the huge lakes, the fragrant, the silent, the tangled Chilean forest … My feet sink down into the dead leaves, a fragile twig crackles, the giant rauli trees rise in all their bristling height, a bird from the cold jungle passes over, flaps its wings, and stops … Continue reading Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet

The tawny frogmouth is a gentle bird – but beware its nastiest defence

What a treat to see a family of tawny frogmouths when we were camping last weekend. This is the first time I’ve seen more than one at a time. They were camped in a tree for the day. All four of them kept an eye on the humans passing beneath their perch. The adults, without … Continue reading The tawny frogmouth is a gentle bird – but beware its nastiest defence

The power of citizen science: 77,000 people count nearly 3 million birds in Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Birdlife Australia has released figures for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count held in late October—and it’s an impressive amount of counting. For the fifth year in a row, the rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) topped the charts. I was glad to see it was twice as numerous as the next bird, the pesky noisy miner (Manorina … Continue reading The power of citizen science: 77,000 people count nearly 3 million birds in Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Beautiful building exteriors of rural Colombia

In some of the rural towns of the Cordillera Central of Colombia, people paint wall, door and window trims in a carnival of colours. They uplift homes and hostels, shops, and cafes and restaurants. It’s a joy to walk the streets and happen across colour arrangements so imaginative and carefree they could be inspired by … Continue reading Beautiful building exteriors of rural Colombia