A Couple of Important Nature Links

Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.

THOUGHTS ON NATURE

My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…

A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY

A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.
NH GCSE

My next major link is to a…

THUNDERCLAP

To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclap please do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.

BJBthunderclap

Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported. 

A COUPLE OF FURTHER LINKS

Miles King over at anewnatureblog has today produced a splendid piece titled “Time to rename Defra the Ministry of Agriculture and Fieldsports” in which he reveals the extent to which our government is failing in its duties as regards the environment. Below is a screenshot of the section of the post dealing with the downright dishonourable Andrea Leadsom by way of introduction.

ALfail

Now it is time for…

A NOD TO NEW ZEALAND

Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blog named after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:

It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…

ANNA’S NATURE MEME

This wonderful creation was formed around words that were originally submitted by me as a comment on one of her blog posts.
Nature Meme

PHOTOGRAPHS

birdmootcorvidscysbbirdmootDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5763DSCN5771Goose1ducklngs x 5Goose2gull on jettyHGSquirrelStarling in grassbirdmootcorvidscysbDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5762DSCN5763DSCN5771DSCN5772ducklngs x 5Goose1Goose2gull on jettySquirrelHGStarling in grass

Too Much Information and Autism Acceptance

As Autism Acceptance/ Appreciation Month gets underway I share some of the best autism related pieces of the moment, some thoughts of my own and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I have a number of autism related links to share. Some of you will notice that the heading of this section of the blog is a different colour from usual. One of the links I shall be sharing gives more detail on this. For the moment suffice it to say that for the month of April save when it features in photographs the colour blue will not feature in this blog. As for the second half of this post’s title, I refer you to my last post, accessible by way of the graphic below:

AUA

TOO MUCH INFORMATION

Last year the National Autistic Society released a video entitled Too Much Information. This year they have produced a second, which has already had approximately a million views. As I cannot embed this particular video I link to it by way of the screenshot below and this link to the original.

TMI

SOME OTHER AUTISM RELATED LINKS

My first two links both come from a site I have recently come across called “A Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism“. 

  1. We start with a post titled “Autism Science to Watch Out For”, which you can visit by clicking the screenshot below.
    ASW
  2. My second selection from this site, titled “An Open Letter from an Autistic Child in Meltdown, Written by an Autistic Adult Who Still Melts Down From Time to Time”
    does precisely what it says on the tin. Again the link is by way of a screenshot:
    Meltdownletter

The Art of Autism site have put up a post titled “APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH – WE PREFER AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH“, which can be viewed by clicking their lovely graphic below:
AutismRainbow

My next link comes from a recent follower of this blog, americanbadassadvocates, who this morning, having very generously reblogged my previous post, came up with this splendid offering titled “#NORMALAUTISTICHERE | SESAME STREET’S JULIA HUMANIZES AUTISTICS, AND SOME FOLKS HATE THAT“, which I link to by way of the image below.

This brings this section to a close because although I have a couple more links to share they are on the same theme and I have chosen to give them a section to themselves…

LOOKING AHEAD –
ACCEPTANCE TO APPRECIATION

Autism Acceptance Month is a better title than the old title for this month. Some however, and I fully sympathise with their reasoning, consider that even this is inadequate, and have introduced another title, Autism Appreciation Month. This appeals greatly to me, as an extension of the principle by which the title Autism Acceptance Month was arrived at. I have two superb posts to link to which between them make a good case for Autism Appreciation Month:

  1. Eclectic Autistic, whose post titled “Autism Appreciation” appeared not long after my own post of yesterday. Click on the screenshot below to read this excellent post in full:
    AutismAppreciation
  2. Finally, no post of this nature would be complete without something from thesilentwaveblog. This post, titled “#RedInstead ~ Autism Acceptance / Appreciation Month” both fills out the case for Autism Appreciation Month, and provides some detail as to why I am not using blue in the text sections of this blog during April, and why with blue ruled out I made red the first colour to appear. To read it in full please click on the picture below.

SOME FINAL WORDS

At some point in the near future I will be putting up a general sharing post, and a post about public transport specifically. Also, this afternoon I will be attending a Musical Keys session, and I will take plenty of photographs there for sharing – this session will definitely feature in a blog post as well. I have no doubt that I will also find plenty more excellent autism related posts to share. My final words before the photo section are these:

“DIFFERENT” AND “LESSER” ARE NOT SYNONYMS

and

ENJOY AUTISM ACCEPTANCE/ APPRECIATION MONTH!!

PHOTOGRAPHS

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The first five pictures in this selection were taken on Sunday.

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These last two pictures were taken on Thursday.

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A Walk and Some Links

A walk in and around King’s Lynn and a number of interesting and important links.

INTRODUCTION

I am making the walk the centrepiece of this post, with some links either side of it, starting with some general links, and then following the walk with some science and nature themed links.

SOME GENERAL LINKS

First up, Heather Hastie has produced this post titled “Betsy Devos Doesn’t Inspire Confidence in the Future of US Education”

From The Mighty comes this piece, titled “17 Things Not to Say to People on the Autism Spectrum” 

Steve Rotheram has put out a call for Jeremy Hunt to end the NHS crisis. The link is here.

Courtesy of Disability News Service, here is an article about how one of  Britain’s biggest bus companies is attempting to weasel out of a supreme court discrimination ruling.

THE WALK

Yesterday was bright and sunny, so I went out for a walk. The sun was shining on to the Lower Purfleet, revealing that the surface still had a thin covering of ice…

lower-purfleet

When posting about a walk in King’s Lynn I always like to showcase at least one of our historic buildings, and today I have this picture showing Hanse House and the Rathskeller with the towers of King’s Lynn Minster in the background:

hanse-house-and-rathskeller

There was nothing else of note until I reached the Nar outfall, where I have often observed cormorants. This time there were no cormorants, but there was a small wading bird which I had not seen before and which consultation of my bird book suggested was a Common Sandpiper…

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I left the river by way of Hardings Pits, taking a couple of shots (one each way) at that moment.

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The view towards town
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The view away from town

Crossing the Nar on my towards the parkland I took a picture from the bridge…

nar-bank

Passing through the Vancouver Garden I spied a squirrel. It eluded my first attempt to photograph it, but…

squirrel

I then decided to make it a long walk and headed for Lynn Sport, to then go back into town by way of Bawsey Drain. Along the way I got a shot of the railway station as seen from Tennyson Road level crossing…

station

At Lynnsport I stopped to photograph a decorated signpost…

sign

The Bawsey Drain segment of the walk provided a number of pictures, including a raven and some moorhens…

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Unfortunately Bawsey Drain is used as a dumping ground by people who cannot be bothered to dispose of their rubbish properly.

miaow

While walking a,long John Kennedy Road I took this picture of the back of St Nicholas’ Chapel…

st-nicholas

Right at the end of the walk I spotted a pied wagtail..

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NATURE THEMED LINKS

The first link in this section is to a piece that appeared as part of WEIT’s Hili Dialogue series. The star of the series is a cat, the eponymous Hili, also known as the Princess of Poland. Hili has a staff of two, Andrej and Malgorzata and graciously permits a dog named Cyrus to share in this. The pieces always feature something about that particular date, and apparently yesterday was Penguin Awareness Day. While I do not object to a day being designated Penguin Awareness Day, surely we should be aware of them and the rest of the natural world every day. To read the piece in full, click on the graphic below which is extracted from it:

image002

This leads neatly on to two recent pieces from Anna, the first of which is titled “This can never be wrong”, the ‘this’  being taking care of our planet. The other piece from Anna that I am sharing here is about the Save Trosa Nature campaign.

Rationalising the Universe’s latest offering is about Newton’s Laws of Motion.

WEIT get another mention, for this piece about a new species of moth which has been named after Donald Trump.

I started the ‘general links’ section of this post with a piece by Heather Hastie. I now finish the piece with another piece, the title of which, “Huge Crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica Grows” is sufficient introduction. I ‘pressed’ a link to this yesterday, but it is so important that I choose to share it again.

 

 

 

Hydrogen Powered Buses and Clean Air for London

Some environmental news and some pictures – enjoy.

INTRODUCTION

Having recently shared the latest of Anna’s posts about her campaign to prevent a big new road from being built through an area of outstanding natural beauty I thought a couple of stories showing a more sensible approach were appropriate (and I have some new pictures to share and was looking for something else to put in the post).

HYDROGEN BUSES AND A CLEAN AIR PLAN FOR LONDON

Hydrogen buses are already a feature of the streets of the city of Aberdeen, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan intends them to be in service in the capital by 2020. Buses are less damagaing than cars anyway because they carry more people, but hydrogen buses have an extra plus point – zero emissions. To read an excellent article on this theme click the picture below:

hydrogen-powered-buses
A hydrogen powered bus.

Councillor and London Assembly member Caroline Russell has produced a very detailed plan for making London’s streets healthier, backed up with evidence of a successful scheme in Walthanstow. To read the whole document click on the infographic giving details of the Walthamstow success that appears below:

walthamstow

PICTURES

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A Brunel £2 received in change
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Next to uncirculated coin.
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The next four pictures show ice on the surface of the lower Purfleet (yes folks, here in the north of the world it is winter)

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A Good Day for Birds

An account of a walk that was dominated by sightings of birds.

INTRODUCTION

I have been out walking again today. The temperature has risen sufficiently of late that I was able to do so without donning a coat (until a few weeks ago, one’s thickest coat was absolutely mandatory for venturing outside).

PART 1: HOME TO HARDINGS PITS

I set off as so often by following the Purfleet to the Great Ouse. The Lower Purfleet provided me with the first ducklings of 2016…

The river was at fairly low tide, so plenty of mud was exposed, which is clearly what attracted this bird (bear in mind that I was shooting across the Great Ouse, as I was walking along the east bank of the river while the bird was prospecting the mud on the west side)…

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The long bill tells me that this one digs for food
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My second effort.

Leaving the river bank to skirt round old Boal Quay I bagged a couple of long range shots of a cormorant with wings extended and a closer up shot of a magpie…

It was just before leaving the river that I bagged my second new species of the day (not dissimilar in size and shape to the first, but different colouring and a different type of bill)…

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As with my first new species I was capturing these from the opposite side of the Great Ouse.

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My last shots of this section feature some Caspian gulls, and a couple of non-avian pics…

PART TWO: HARDINGS PITS TO
GAYWOOD & THE ROOKERY

This was, as expected the least notable part of the walk, but I did get some photographs…

PART THREE: GAYWOOD & THE ROOKERY

Just a few photographs of this little patch of woodland for you…

HOMEWARD BOUND

I headed back the way I had not come, and was rewarded by my third new species of the day…

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Three shots starting with this one.
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A better effort
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My best effort. I felt that the feature image should be one of the newbies and chose this.

During the last few moments of the walk I bagged a few more shots of some older acquaintances…

 

@aspitweets One Year On – and Other Stuff

Marking my first year on twitter, also mentioning autism advocated Robyn Steward and Kevin Healey and livened up with plenty of pictures.

INTRODUCTION

As well as marking one year since I set up my personal twitter account I have a few other things to cover, and of course have some pictures to liven things up.

TWITTER ONE YEAR ON

A year ago (plus half an hour for the seriously pedantic among you) I set up a personal twitter account, @aspitweets. Here is a link to the first tweet I posted back then:

And here is a screen dump as well.
And here is a screen dump as well.

It has been an amazing year, as I am closing on 3,000 followers. It has also been very beneficial to this blog, reaching people that I would never have reached without twitter.

TWO AUTISM RELATED THINGS

On Thursday Robyn Steward, an internationally renowned autism advocate gave a talk at Churchill Park Complex Needs School, half a mile from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn which I was lucky enough to attend, having been invited by West Norfolk National Autistic Society branch chair Karan MacKerrow. The talk was exceedingly interesting, but rather than regurgitate it here I direct you to Robyn’s website so you can see it in her own words. Although one has to be careful about taking pictures in a school, I have some photos from the evening…

As stated in the body text I respect the need for care about taking pictures in a school, but I thought that this excellent display board deserved sharing and carried no risk of causing offence.
As stated in the body text I respect the need for care about taking pictures in a school, but I thought that this excellent display board deserved sharing and carried no risk of causing offence.
The first of two slides that I photographed before the talk started.
The first of two slides that I photographed before the talk started.

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Robyn herself. The hat and the pink shoes are tthere because she cannot recognise faces and therefore needs to wear something distinctive to recognise herself in photos.
Robyn herself. The hat and the pink shoes are tthere because she cannot recognise faces and therefore needs to wear something distinctive to recognise herself in photos.

My second Autism related piece is less happy. Kevin Healey recently contacted his MP, Paul Farrelly, about the bullying he was suffering. Unfortunately, rather than helping or offering any sort of support all this MuPpet came up with was a suggestion that Kevin should get off twitter, failing to note that for Kevin twitter is a vital communication tool. Kevin has responded by launching another petition, directed specifically at Mr Farrelly, which I urge to you to sign and share.

A BRIEF UPDATE FROM JAMES AND SONS

Yesterday was devoted to imaging for our sale on November 25th at Fakenham Racecourse. The last lots will be catalogued and ready for imaging by November 8th, and the plan is for the catalogue to be available by the 15th (i.e ten days before the auction). Assuming that the lotting is done promptly the imaging will be no problem…

300 304 307 313 503 504 505 531-a 531-b 531-c 531-d 556 559 594 595

I scanned the four prints that make up this lot individually and then assembled those scans to make this image - the next four are of the individual scans.
I scanned the four prints that make up this lot individually and then assembled those scans to make this image – the next four are of the individual scans.

A FEW FINAL PICTURES

Sunrise on Thursday morning.
Sunrise on Thursday morning.
A small side window, King's Lynn Museum.
A small side window, King’s Lynn Museum.
The same window with the entire surround in shot.
The same window with the entire surround in shot.
The fountain in the walks.
The fountain in the walks.
The plaque detailing the history of the fountain.
The plaque detailing the history of the fountain.

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Emails and Cameras

An account of a day at James and Sons, including my first public mention of a new project, some important links and some photographs from in and around King’s Lynn.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post about yesterday at James and Sons. I also have some pictures from King’s Lynn and a few links to share.

EMAILS

Today there were two bulk emails to dispatch., The first was a straight forward email to everyone living within a sensible distance of the locations concerned about the two fairs that James and Sons take part in every month. The second, following instructions relayed by a colleague was a targeted email about our auction for buyers of Medals and Militaria. I chose as well as altering the strapline of the email to create a new graphic featuring military themed items only , and as a matter of necessity I very carefully made sure that the list of recipients for this email did not include any of those who had received the one I sent out on Friday. Here are the images involved…

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This was the image I decided to use.
This was the image I decided to use.

Militaria IMG2 Militaria IMG 499 451 448 447 440

CAMERAS

As well as my usual duties connected with an auction, and my role running the database, and my role doing press releases and my unofficial role as in-house “Gordianus” (Gordianus is Stephen Saylor’s central character in his Roma Sub Rosa series and has the nickname “the finder”) I have yet another area os responsibility relating to our 28th October auction – we have received a car load of vintage cameras, and I will be responsible for catalogiuing them, as well as for producing the images. I have made a start on this new project, and the images will give you an idea of my approach…

This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
Camera open and ready for action.
Camera open and ready for action.
Closed case - ready for carrying
Closed case – ready for carrying
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so - I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 - there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so – I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 – there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.

point and click Kodak Mixed EKF EKF -b

A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.
A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.

EFV

Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.
Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.

Coronet Rapide

This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.
This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.

boxed mixed BN2b BN2a

This image and the next two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.
This image and the previous two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.

LINKS

I have three things to share in this section, starting with…

WARWICK’S WOBBLY WEEK

The title of this subsection refers to the actions of the Student’s Union at Warwick University. An ex-Muslim named Maryam Namazie had been invited to speak at the university about why she had abandoned her religious faith and other related matters. Some idiot within the Students Union then decided that there was “a danger of her inciting hatred” and barred her from coming. A petition was quickly organised on change.org to get the S.U to reverse this appalling decision, and with strong international support, notably from the team at whyevolutionisttrue it has duly been overturned. I have three links for you to gain further information…

  1. The original petition
  2. The official declaration of victory.
  3. A final word on the case from whyevolutionistrue.

VOTING REFORM

This is an update on a long running campaign. Apparently many MPs who have been contacted about this (and I did not deem it worth my while to contact my own MP given how obvious it is where he will stand) have been sending form replies about the vote in favour of retaining FPTP at the last referendum. This is calculatedly dishonest, since at that referendum FPTP was not being tested against PR, but against a system called AV (although I made a point of voting for the latter so that my opposition to FPTP was a matter of record). Thus, I have two links and, courtesy of George Aylett on twitter, a splendid infographic to share with you:

VR

A MUST-SEE VIDEO

This is a three-and-a-half minute you-tube video created by Autism-Mom and her son, the Navigator (it is more hearing than seeing, as neither are ever actually in shot, but there is some good text accompaniment to the voices). Please view this video by clicking here.

KING’S LYNN

I finish this post by sharing some of my recent pictures from around King’s Lynn…

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These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.
These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.

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This pumpkin field is near Knight's Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre - I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
This pumpkin field is near Knight’s Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre – I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King's Lynn Minster.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King’s Lynn Minster.