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Costa Rica, the turtle conservation.

I’m finally able to top up my blog after so long. I’m sorry it’s taken so long but I’ve been so busy lately and things kept getting in the way. Anyway enough of that, let me tell you about the sea turtles!

I went to Costa Rica for two weeks in early September. I had lots of fun there and saw lots of interesting animals. The best part about the trip was to help out with the sea turtle conservation which lasted for five days, the rest of the time I was busy touring. I stayed at a hostle by the sea and met loads of friendly people. Some were there for a year doing this so it was more of a job to them. I learned how to make a sea turtle nest! You have to dig out enough sand to fit your whole arm down and then round the base of it. It should like like a vase, with the big round base and then a thin neck. This is how a mum turtle digs the nest, then lays her eggs, berries them and then heads back to the sea. I built many nests this way, only to cover them back up again with sand ahaha.

We did beach patrols at all sorts of hours of the morning looking for a mum turtle laying her eggs. When we found her we waited for her to finish and then head back to the sea before collecting the eggs and counting them. After the count was done we put them in a hachery on the beach, dug a nest and put netting over it with a label on top. On the label it had a date of when the nest was dug. From here members of staff could accurately guess when the eggs would hatch out.

Members of staff could also excavate nests in the hatchery. I sadly couldn’t do this. I had to patrol the hatchery with another volunteer and just look for any movement in the sand. If we saw movement and the nest collapsed we were to inform a member of staff straight away. Once they excavted a nest they then started pulling out all the struggling baby turtles and put them in a basket on the sand. This could take awhile as there could be alot of babies. Also some had to be mesured as shown on the image on top.

dig, dig.
dig, dig.

Us volunteers racked the sand clear of any debary in the way then we’d gentley place the turtles on the sand and watch them make their way to the sea. Sadly we couldn’t just dumb the basket full of babies in the sea as that’s not a natural way of doing it. It had to be as natural as possible with them making their own way to the sea front, us humans had to just stand back and watch, that’s it! I watched many babies make their way home, some really struggled where as others were quicker. However we never left the beach until ALL babies were safely back in the ocean. Below is a picture of them making their journey across the sand.

All the baby turtles.
All the baby turtles.

I was also lucky enough to watch the sunrise come up over the beach as well. This happened when I was on patrol at the hatchery. I’ll share that picture with you at the end of this blog. When us volunteers weren’t busy with the sea turtles we cleaned the beach free of people’s garbage, built a wall around the hatchery and of course went swimming in our spare time. The five days went very quickly and I was sad to wave goodbye to the turtles. I keep wondering how they’re all doing and the fact that it was a great experince to do this. I would do something similar to this in a heartbeat. But for now it’s back to Canada and back to work.



Plastic is slowly becomming more and more of a problem for our wildlife. I’ve read that in the year 2040 we’re going to have more plactic in the ocean than fish! If you watch ‘Plastic Ocean’ on Netflix then this will give you a good insight on exactly how much of a problem it is. Plastic never really disintigrates compeletly it just works itself into smaller and smaller pieces. This then gets eaten by fish and guess who eats the fish….that’s right us! It can be toxic to eat so not only are we intoxicating the fish and other animals we are also intoxicating ourselves.

Poorer countries are unable to recycle properly. I’ve seen on TV that quieter islands are walking over the mounds of plastic that they have. It’s sad to think that they live like this along with the animals. But what about richer conutries? What’s our excuse for not recycling properly? That’s what I want to know. No I’m not here to point fingers but I have seen carborad boxes, paper and our good “friend” plastic being thrown in the trash. Maybe some people need that bit more education on exactly how important proper recycling is.

Not only is it dangerous to eat and animals have died because of it, it also creates a trapping hazard. Things like carrier bags can get tangled round anything and then whatever’s caught up in it dies a slow and painful death. Underwater carrier bags can actaully look like jellyfish and animals mistake this dangerous product as food……

If you look around I’m sure you’ll sadly see that plastic is everywhere and not just in our oceans. Its kicking about on land too and as I write this blog I’m sure that somewhere out there an animal has either eaten plastic or has got caught up in it.

My photo is meant to represent a plastic bottle flouting in a pond or river. I didn’t actaully want to phyically put it out there wrongly in an animal’s enviroment so I decided just to flout it in my kitchen sink before I recycled it. The message though I feel is still the same.

So what do we do about this ever growing plastic problem? Well as we all know it’s not going to change over night. Nothing ever does! We need to imprint this into our minds before trashing anything – THINK before you THROW! I now leave everyone with this meassage.

THINK before you THROW!
THINK before you THROW!

Dead or dying?

One morning I was driving to work and I heard on the radio that The Great Barrier Reef had died. It was on the heart radio station and the man host thought that the woman host was joking but she wasn’t. I was very saddened by this news and on my break I decided to look more into it. The internet was flooded with the news and people were even lying flowers down in respect of the beautiful reef. However a day later further news came out that The Great Barrier Reef wasn’t dead but dying. To be honest it doesn’t look very alive to me when I see the pictures. It’s gone from all these great colours and full of life to brown and nothing living there. Even if it’s dying does that mean “oh don’t worry about it” then? It’s not something to be shrugged off at all!

I’ve just watched this great documentry called ‘Before the flood’ with Leoanardo Dicaprio. Forgive my spelling by the way if this isn’t how you spell his name. He is in a movement to get the world to act on global warming. I say GOOD FOR HIM!! GO LEO!! In this they showed everything from the melting glaciers, to the burning rain forests, to the dead and dying coral. This really grabbed me because we’ve wasted so much time debating over this issue. No more talk now, just no more…..

I would love to go to The Great Barrier Reef myself. I’m starting to think you have to judge for yourself wether or not you think it’s dead. It’s on the cards for me to hopefully make this trip even though it’ll be a long flight. Although if I do go and see the state of this reef I’ll probably cry because from the pictures it looks like WW3 has arrived.

I think we have to look at The Great Barrier Reef like one of our own cities, along with other places of nature of course. How would we feel and where would we go if one of our majour cities were to die? It is the same thing really. Just because it’s at the bottom of the ocean doesn’t mean – out of sight, out of mind.

For now personally I’ll say for myself that it did unfortantly die, but that’s just my outlook. How many more reefs will suffer I wonder?

Orange and full of life.   I took this at the Seattle Aquarium.  This is how the reef probably looked like.
Orange and full of life. I took this at the Seattle Aquarium. This is how the reef probably looked like before.

Good dragonflies.

When I first moved to Canada I couldn’t believe how big the dragonflies were! In England they’re fairly small and just dance around the pond. These ones look like something out of the age of the dinosaurs. My mum hates anything flappy near her so when she came to Canada for a holiday she freaked out when these huge dragonflies would land on her. We’re told not to kill them, these insects are our friends and will chase and eat the mosquitoes. That was a big topic on the radio for awhile I remember – don’t kill the dragonflies!

On Canada day one year I remember watching the fireworks with my relatives and the dragonflies were all out in their droves. I liked watching them before the fireworks started off but I also knew that if my mum were there it would be her idea of hell. Mine is spiders and wasps.

When I was in BC for my cousins wedding I came across this dragonfly basking in the sun. I kinda joked that it was just trying to get a suntan. So I snapped this picture and afterward realized that I had not yet blogged about these insects. I haven’t seen many dragonflies this year though. But maybe I’ve just been looking in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sadly though when I drove forward and back to High River I did notice a fair few dragonflies that my car had killed along the way. They made a mess of my wind shield so I just sprayed them off with water. They’re not the most intelligent of things I know but they must have some sort of a brain in there somewhere.

I think the moral of this blog is respect all life however small and insignificant.

Seattle aquarium.

I was lucky enough to go on a five day trip to Seattle. I saw some great things but one of the biggest highlights was the Seattle aquarium. It was a fairly big place and I used my city pass to get inside. The first thing I was faced with was this huge tank probably the size of a wall on the side of a house. In this tank they had lots of varieties of fish swimming around and a lady in there with them with her snorkelling gear on. She, along with another lady outside the tank were giving a talk on how she was breathing under water and what kinds of fish were in there. This talk was mainly for children. I moved onto the touch pools section fairly quickly and it was filled with starfish and sea enemies. These things obviously don’t move around a lot and I heard a child ask their parent “are they dead?” I heard my dad collected a dead starfish one time when he was away on holiday. I think my mum told him to get rid of it *laughs.*

They had jellyfish in an archway kind of tank and they had lights in there with them to make them glow as they swam. Next was this octopus that I snapped a picture of. Did you ever hear the story of Inky the octopus? On the news they reported that an octopus on the other side of the world, New Zealand had escaped it’s tank and gone back to the ocean. It had squeezed out of its tank, crawled across the floor and managed to make his way to sweet freedom. Who’s to say that this octopus here isn’t planning his own escape? *Great escape music starts.*

I move on now to some beautiful coral scenes, they had clown fish here as well as lion fish and the famous Dory fish from ‘Finding Nemo.’ Their real name is Blue Tang. More starfish were hanging out in this section stuck to the glass of the tanks or on the rocks. Some stingrays were in there with them, along with langoustines. The coral was either bathed in a glow of yellow, purple or blue light. Very, very pretty!

I walked in a dome shaped building where the fish could swim around you and next up where things like seals and sea otters. The sea otters were my favourite! We watched them being fed by the zookeepers. You could tell they were hungry, it’s like they were shouting “food, food! Give us food!” They were slippery little suckers and they reminded me of puppies at play time. They were just too cute for words! They were playing with each other in the water after feeding time, jumping in and out and really having a whale of a time.

I walked out the Seattle aquarium with lots of pictures and a few videos. I also bought an octopus costa. If I could I would take one of the sea otters home with me. Just put it under my jacket….they’ll never know…….

Sea otter.
Sea otter.

The rodeo.

After seeing the ducks I went to the rodeo. They had to have it inside as the weather was so terrible. I saw these children participating who were only 7 or 8 years of age and hoping to become the next rodeo champion. They were doing things such as barrel racing and weaving in and out of posts. They had to do it as quickly as they could and with a lot of people watching as well. I took pictures and made some videos of this like I did with the ducks. The horses were all nice looking and had a lot of energy.

Unfortunately one poor girl fell off her horse in front of everyone. She stood up on one foot and then cried out as she tried to stand on her other one. Clearly it was sprained so someone went rushing to her. She couldn’t walk so she had to be carried off crying all the way. Her horse was caught and taken away. The judges were always really nice and gave support no matter what the consequence. They kept asking the crowd to clap and make a lot of noise.

When it got to the weaving in and out of posts I think one boy was just too nervous as I saw his gran out in the rink with him. Just by her being there helped him calm his nerves. I could tell the horses were enjoying it. The ones waiting to go in kept rearing up as they were getting impatient.

I used to go horse riding for three years when I was living in England. I remember being really good at trot but not so good at canter. A time came where I just didn’t want to go anymore but I was told I was a good rider. I know that horses spook easily so sometimes I’m surprised that they’re not spooked by the loud crowd of people. This rodeo I went to was called ‘The little britches rodeo.’ It probably went on for most of the day but I left around 4 o’ clock. I like watching rodeos so I’ll probably go to another one in the future.

Barrel racing.
Barrel racing.

Interesting ducks.

I went to High River fairly recently because I’m currently a huge fan of the show ‘Heartland.’ I decided whilst I was there to go down to the large lake and see if I could see any interesting birds. I only had my phone camera on me which could not zoom in well so I made up my mind to take a picture of the ducks in the distance and then take one of the drawings on the board. When I got to the look out point there was another man there with a rather expensive looking camera with a massive lens. He could snap really wonderful pictures. I managed to see ducks such as :- the ruddy duck, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler and buffleheads. Two ducks actually got into a fight whilst I was there. I recorded that on my phone and put it onto Facebook. I just saw a lot of splashing and one duck pushing the other under the water. It then bobbed up like a cork and swan away.

When I got back to my car I turned my head and noticed three small black birds sitting on a rock. I took a picture of them and one was doing a dance trying to impress a female. She however did not seem interested. After a couple of dances the male finally gave up and hopped down from the rock. Better luck next time pal!

The weather wasn’t the best when I was in High River but I know we need the rain so I can’t really complain. There were loads of gulls down at the lake also and they were loving the wet weather. I’ve decided if I ever was reincarnated I would come back as an eagle. It would be amazing to be able to fly around the mountains all day long.

Birds on the rock.
Birds on the rock.

Too dry!

From raging fires to drought. I think this is only the beginning. The terrible fire that started in Fort Mcmurray is still burning and is now in Alberta and Fort Saskatchewan which is the province next door. I have seen wild fires before but never this big and for not as long. Natural? Or the beginning of something terrible that us humans have created? Of course I don’t need to ask myself this question but maybe other people do.

Many animals and people have lost their homes. How many more will suffer? Watching people driving through the Fort Mcmurray fires was one of the scariest things I’d ever seen. If that would’ve been me I would’ve thought that my number was up! On one of the dash cam videos it does look like a deer or something is running out of the burning forest. You have to look carefully but I’m pretty sure I can see the poor thing running for its life. I’m so glad no one was killed but I also know that the animals were not so lucky. I’m thinking sadly this is something we’ll see more often in the future. It’s only going to get hotter and hotter.

I’m also thinking that when a thunderstorm finally does hit Alberta it will be a HUGE one. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to that thunderstorm. I’m just imagining this giant storm with lots of lighting….

I heard in the future there might be wars over drinking water and possibly food. Global warming doesn’t just affect the weather it does have a massive affect on the food and water we rely on. Water is cheap? In the future this might not be the case. It might be high in value because it’s harder to come across. So just think about that the next time you drink a glass of water. It’s highly possible that, that simple glass is so precious in the future.

We’re seeing scary changes here and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

Says it all.
Says it all.


How often do we stop and marvel at the colours of the trees? If the trees could talk I’m sure they could tell us many stories. When I was a kid I used to like wading in the leaves of the trees. They used to come up to my ankles when they fell on the ground. When I was in school I used to press a piece of paper up against a leaf and rub with a crayon. This created the leaf pattern on the paper. We then hung them up in the school classroom. There is no mistaking it trees are beautiful!

In the fall they go red, orange, purple and brown. I think this is the most beautiful part of the year for trees. I heard down east Canada is fantastic with all the colours.

Trees are obviously very important to the earth too. Without trees there would be no us, no animals, no anything really. Oak trees live 100 or so years. If you want to live a long time, come back as an oak tree. I also heard some people believe they can actaully talk to the trees. If this is true what stories are they telling you?

We must be careful with how much we build on the land. More buildings equals less trees. I think some people reading this blog will think me as a tree hugger. But what if I am? Maybe I like to hug trees. Think if we never built civilization, how different would our planet look? It would probably be more pure.

Take a day out one day and just spend time with the trees. Maybe even climb one :-). Trees have been around for longer than we have and they’ll probably still be going after us. They are beautiful and fascinating, never forget how important they are!

tree 2.
tree 2.