Florida Panhandle

These photos were taken in March, just East of Apalachicola on the Gulf coast in the Florida panhandle.  When we were there we had the beach to ourselves.  It was almost white sand and surprisingly clean.  The fact that it was dog friendly was an added bonus.

Current predictions show the oil spill washing ashore here in about 4 days…

It is a pretty disgusting situation.

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Debacle in the Gulf, Day 42

With over 33 million gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico, we are now being told that the spill may continue till August.

The amount of oil already leaked is equal to the volume of more than 50 Olympic sized pools. (That could triple by August [it could also triple due to simple re-calculations of the flow rate, remember it has already grown from 1000 barrels a day to 5000 and now to 19000])

If the oil magically stopped right now, we are still looking at massive fouling of beaches and wetlands from Galveston to Naples. And if when a hurricane comes it will be up the rivers and esturaries and into wetlands (hurricane season officially starts tomorrow).

Edit: I see that I missed a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a heavier than usual hurricane season.  To sum it up, it looks like this:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms, the average is 11
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes, the average is 6
  • 3 to 7 Major Hurricanes, the average is 2

Birds disappearing faster than thought

Birds disappearing faster than thought

The above article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer gives a gloomy outlook for the world’s bird species.

First the amphibians are going, going, on their way out. Now we learn that the birds, too, are going.  Perhaps as many as 1200 by century’s end.
12% of today’s species may be gone by 2100.

Scientists had thought that 120 bird species had gone extinct since 1500. Now we learn it has probably been more like 500. As much as 100 times faster than would occur naturally. And accelerating.

The sad part is that few will even notice….there will still be rock doves, European starlings, grackles, and cowbirds. But gone will be the gems; the warblers, the canaries, the finchs, the hummingbirds, the chickadees…

The world will be absent the morning melodies that we take for granted. If our grandchildren were born into a black and white world,how would we explain color to them? In the same way, how will we explain the quick flicker of color, the melodic aires, and the joy at their behaviours that we now take for granted?  For each loss we, too, become diminished.

Habitat destruction is listed as the primary cause, while chemical pollution, invasive species, climate change, and other factors contribute.

Still, the bulldozers roll onward…

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