Thursday 28 October 2021

Great Southern Bioblitz 2021 - Garden Route

I went tramping around the trails above George to observe and log flowers and fungi for the Great Southern Bioblitz Challenge 2021 - Garden Route.

While I appreciate the flowering plants, I do not usually photograph them as I prefer to keep my focus on fungi. In 2.5hrs I captured 85 items (only 3 of them the same in different areas), which took me a few hours to log. My total had been on about 115 observations over the six months that I've been on iNaturalist (an item or two every few days), so Sunday's sightings bumped my total considerably.

On Monday evening, I bagged another bunch of observations on a dog walk to land a tally of 104 observations contributed to the challenge. I've got a number of observations that still need clarity on Genus and species identification or confirmation. I have also delighted in actually being able to help other people confirm their identifications or to suggest an identification. I'm learning.

Thank goodness for the feature recognition and classification suggestions of - I would not otherwise have a clue what to name many of the flowers or where to classify them.
The Bioblitz window was only open for four days. There is a time limit (maybe 10 days) for people to log and label their observations and then the results from the participating regions will be out.

Here are some of my observations for the challenge:

Business road tripping with my dog

In the week of 11 October 2021, I took Rusty with me on a working road trip. Until late June this year, Rusty and I were together all day, every day from the day she came into my life 4.5 years ago. 

Almost four months ago my office at the factory was ready. My plan was to spend half day there and half day working from home with my dog. Instead, I spend the whole day at the office and Rusty hangs with granny. 

I miss my dog. I needed to spend sometime with her and Rusty needed to spend time with me. Rusty is an amazing road tripping companion. In towns, she sat up a lot to look around - very cute. On the open road she snoozed on her cushion. There was lots of smiling from this sweet girl. This four day trip with lots of driving and many stops was a very special experience to share with my Rusty girl.

Dog and owner lookalike

 At dog school this evening, our teacher Nicola asked us all to get our dogs at heel and she snapped quick photos. This one is a gem and it is now my favourite-favourite photo of me and Rusty together.

When you look at us two grinning monkeys, you have to ask whether I'm looking more like my dog or is she looking more like me?

Rusty really loves going to school - she smiles a lot there. We love hanging out together and when we're at school we have an hour of time dedicated to being with each other and where she has my undivided attention. It is wonderful for both of us.

Will it still matter a year from now?

 October's calendar from 'Action For Happiness' is themed 'Optomistic October'. It has some gems.

Today's one is a goodie: "Ask yourself, will this still matter a year from now?".

Over the past 18-months there are many things that I deal with every day that three years, five years, 10 years ago would have stressed me out completely. And now I take the "it is what it is" approach.

There are very few things that will matter a year from now. Thank goodness.

These calendars are really good. They hit the mark so many times each month. 

The entry on the 25th was spot-on too. I've been taking days or chunks of hours the past two weeks, ignoring other tasks, just to be able to focus and make headway on some big tasks. The 27th follows from this.

I wonder what November holds.

COVID cases graphs

 I haven't looked at COVID stats or graphs for months. I thought I'd take a look today to see how we're doing in terms of infection waves. While I was at it, I took a look at the graphs of a few other countries. The discrepancy in the infection profiles between the countries is incredible. The relative extent of peaks and troughs, timing (even accounting for seasons), duration of peaks and sheer numbers.

I dropped a note to my friend in the know, mentioning how we have proper lows and proper spikes, while other graphs have less distinction. 

She replied, "We do things properly here (laughing emoticon). I think they have maybe controlled the spikes better than us and that’s why there is less variation, but it is interesting seeing the differences between countries".

Here are the southern and northern hemisphere countries that I took a look at (in no specific order except to place South Africa first for reference.


Thursday 21 October 2021

Blood donations save lives, BUT

 Blood donation time again. I'm a bit off schedule but this logs my 3rd for the year (and 3rd for Western Cape Blood Service), maintaining my regular blood donor status. I'll get in a 4th around Xmas-New year, which fits in with my annual habit.

Blood is always in demand and it does save lives. BUT, only donate if you intend to donate at least THREE TIMES a year. Once-off donations and those done only once a year ARE NOT USED. You have to go back a second and a third time for just your plasma to be used. Continue donating blood 3 to 6 times a year to maintain your regular blood donor status.

Look online at the SANBS and WCBS websites for details on bloods drives, mobile and permanent clinics in your area. If you're outside of South Africa, you'll have a donor organization on your side.