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02-01-2018, 11:46 AM   #6526
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
there has been a reduction over time of rain fall here in Kansas in recent years compared to earlier recorded data

this site has the info from 1981 to 2010

Climate Kansas - temperature, rainfall and average


the question that is unanswered is whether this is a return to normal after a " wet " period or a change due to climate change or other factors

the underground aquifer is being depleted rapidly

Projecting the future of the Ogallala Aquifer | HPPR

If you look at things from the perspective of a paleontologist, on the timescales we use, the only thing that's "normal" is change. Trouble with humans (one among many): we don't want anything to change unless we do it. I learned that the Ogallala was doomed when I was an undergrad in the 1960's, and is there a realistic solution in place 50 years later?

02-01-2018, 11:49 AM   #6527
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Back on topic...

Here's a square-lipped rhino that we managed to get fairly close to on one of our walks.

That is a magnificent beast. Glad the aphrodisiac collectors haven't gotten to it.

OOOO! Hope that big gray guy doesn't try to steal the food I'm stealing from the birds.
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02-01-2018, 12:37 PM - 2 Likes   #6528
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Hi you all, thanks for your concern, and by all accounts it is a serious matter, but as usual, some perspectives are needed. One is that this was predicted a long time ago-nothing done to address the danger! It is a long established fact that SA is a water-scarce country, and suffers periodic droughts- a normal response dictates make plans for the future- i.ie build dams, reservoirs etc. Add to that growing populations, and the dynamics of failure are all too apparent. Desalination being attempted, but as noted, expensive and time against us. There are also reports of irresponsible water wastages happening in places, another typical response. And I have read, albeit glancingly, reports that there are underground rivers and streams that must and should be tapped into, many of them have been covered with concrete and other constructions. On the bright side there are good things happening, and water is being shipped by all kinds of people and organisations, I have come across a lot of travellers to Cape Town that will take a few liters of water with them. One lady has a drive to collect as many 5L bottles of water as possible, her yard was packed with them, but her intention is that it is for the animal shelters in Cape Town. I'll leave out commenting on that one. Still, there are others that are doing their bit. What I cannot understand is why are they not building a pipeline from the Orange River a few hundred km to the north? If we can build oil pipelines of that distance, why not for water- despite that we know the quality deteriorates as it travels, but that can be addressed with such matters as Chlorine etc. In my humble opinion, some things are not adding up here, and being the conspiratorial kind, I suspect that someone is going to make big bucks from this. Some are already on that bandwagon.

As to my flock, we are in Johannesburg, there are "mild" water restrictions, not that anybody bothers about that. We've had, and continue to have good rains, and even as I type, the Vaal Dam, our main source of municipal water, is filling up. So we are good, blessed, though I may have somewhat to say to the lawn that is growing apace around here.

I can go on about the "crisis management" philosophy but will desist, other than to say we are praying for good rains this coming rainy season. And for more besides. End of sermon
02-01-2018, 01:49 PM   #6529
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Glad to know you in Johannesburg are not facing the same problem. Outbreaks of problems are easier to deal with than epidemics of the same are easier than pandemics of the same. I'm reminded of a little tale that was read to me as a child, and later I was able to read for myself, about a troupe of monkeys who were miserable in the pouring rain, cold, soaking wet, complaining, and deciding that something must be done when they were able. Then the dry season came, they rejoiced and celebrated by basking in the sun. They enjoyed bountiful food, romped and played, and when the rain returned they had done nothing and once again were miserable and resolved to do something when the sun returned. But.....

02-01-2018, 02:03 PM   #6530
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Glad to know you in Johannesburg are not facing the same problem. Outbreaks of problems are easier to deal with than epidemics of the same are easier than pandemics of the same. I'm reminded of a little tale that was read to me as a child, and later I was able to read for myself, about a troupe of monkeys who were miserable in the pouring rain, cold, soaking wet, complaining, and deciding that something must be done when they were able. Then the dry season came, they rejoiced and celebrated by basking in the sun. They enjoyed bountiful food, romped and played, and when the rain returned they had done nothing and once again were miserable and resolved to do something when the sun returned. But.....
reminds me of this old tale

very similar lesson

Short Stories: The Ant and the Grasshopper by Aesop



that reminds me, I was supposed to do something today

well, it can wait

can't it
02-01-2018, 02:46 PM - 3 Likes   #6531
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Well, didn't seem to be any water shortages in Mpumalanga

Same walk as we saw the rhino we also encountered a magnificent rarity. First we spotted a sable buck.





Then his hareem - "only" three in this image, but there were at least 5.



Couldn't get any better images than these - those guys are rather shy.
02-02-2018, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #6532
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You lucky ... I'll leave out the word devil That's fantastic. Both the sighting and image! Though I have seen Sable in Kruger, its is indeed rare.
Coucal again


02-02-2018, 04:55 AM - 1 Like   #6533
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Female northern wheatear.
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02-02-2018, 06:11 AM - 2 Likes   #6534
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelcmn Quote
You lucky ... I'll leave out the word devil That's fantastic. Both the sighting and image! Though I have seen Sable in Kruger, its is indeed rare.
Thanks! Umm, I think?

I'll get to an image of a black rhino mother and calf a bit later. Didn't get any pictures of the dad that sent us running Our guide started calling us "the rarity group".

In the meantime, here's an old tusker in musth.

02-02-2018, 08:32 AM - 1 Like   #6535
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After all those big African critters, here's a little downy woodpecker.
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02-02-2018, 10:32 AM   #6536
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Midway between the big ones and the little ones- Goliath Heron in an unusual pose.
02-02-2018, 11:02 AM   #6537
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In Yellowstone east of Roosevelt Lodge

we were hoping along with a few others for a view of Wolf cubs in the distance at their den

[ we were restricted from leaving the road and trying to approach the den ]

no luck

but I did get this photo of a coyote going through the area

K 3 + D FA 150-450mm + HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
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02-02-2018, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #6538
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The beautiful Carmine Bee eater
02-02-2018, 01:02 PM   #6539
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Red-headed woodpecker on Hawaii, a place it has no business being.
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02-02-2018, 01:09 PM   #6540
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I think that's a Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata). You're right that is not native to Hawaii (it's from South America). Most of the bird species in Hawaii were introduced from other parts of the world. Most of the individual birds alive in Hawaii today are members of those introduced species. Most of the native species are extinct.

Alternatively, it might be a Yellow-billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata). That species looks very similar and was also introduced to Hawaii.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 02-02-2018 at 01:17 PM.
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