Category: Climate

Lessons

Nothing to do with dogs but everything to do with the future!

An item in The Conversation recently was not only interesting from a scientific point-of-view but also it had real lessons for the way that we humans are interfering with the planet.

As The Conversation introduced the article:

A mile below the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, an ancient Arctic ecosystem is preserved in the frozen soil. How scientists discovered its leaves, twigs and mosses is a story in itself. It starts with a secret military base built into the northern Greenland ice.

Scientists Andrew Christ and Paul Bierman describe the discovery as something of a Rosetta stone for understanding how well the ice sheet stood up to global warming in the past – and how it might respond in the future.

So, for a change, read something that has nothing to do with our furry friends.

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Ancient leaves preserved under a mile of Greenland’s ice – and lost in a freezer for years – hold lessons about climate change

Remnants of ancient Greenland tundra were preserved in soil beneath the ice sheet. Andrew Christ and Dorothy Peteet, CC BY-ND

Andrew Christ, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, University of Vermont

In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else – 12 feet of frozen soil.

The ice told a story of Earth’s climate history. The frozen soil was examined, set aside and then forgotten.

Half a century later, scientists rediscovered that soil in a Danish freezer. It is now revealing its secrets.

Using lab techniques unimaginable in the 1960s when the core was drilled, we and an international team of fellow scientists were able to show that Greenland’s massive ice sheet had melted to the ground there within the past million years. Radiocarbon dating shows that it would have happened more than 50,000 years ago. It most likely happened during times when the climate was warm and sea level was high, possibly 400,000 years ago.

And there was more. As we explored the soil under a microscope, we were stunned to discover the remnants of a tundra ecosystem – twigs, leaves and moss. We were looking at northern Greenland as it existed the last time the region was ice-free. Our peer-reviewed study was published on March 15 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Two men with the ice core
Engineers pull up a section of the 4,560-foot-long ice core at Camp Century in the 1960s. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Paul Bierman, a geomorphologist and geochemist, describes what he and his colleagues found in the soil.

With no ice sheet, sunlight would have warmed the soil enough for tundra vegetation to cover the landscape. The oceans around the globe would have been more than 10 feet higher, and maybe even 20 feet. The land on which Boston, London and Shanghai sit today would have been under the ocean waves.

All of this happened before humans began warming the Earth’s climate. The atmosphere at that time contained far less carbon dioxide than it does today, and it wasn’t rising as quickly. The ice core and the soil below are something of a Rosetta Stone for understanding how durable the Greenland ice sheet has been during past warm periods – and how quickly it might melt again as the climate heats up.

Secret military bases and Danish freezers

The story of the ice core begins during the Cold War with a military mission dubbed Project Iceworm. Starting around 1959, the U.S. Army hauled hundreds of soldiers, heavy equipment and even a nuclear reactor across the ice sheet in northwest Greenland and dug a base of tunnels inside the ice. They called it Camp Century.

It was part of a secret plan to hide nuclear weapons from the Soviets. The public knew it as an Arctic research laboratory. Walter Cronkite even paid a visit and filed a report.

Workers cover a trench to build the under-ice military base
Workers build the snow tunnels at the Camp Century research base in 1960. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Camp Century didn’t last long. The snow and ice began slowly crushing the buildings inside the tunnels below, forcing the military to abandon it in 1966. During its short life, however, scientists were able to extract the ice core and begin analyzing Greenland’s climate history. As ice builds up year by year, it captures layers of volcanic ash and changes in precipitation over time, and it traps air bubbles that reveal the past composition of the atmosphere.

One of the original scientists, glaciologist Chester Langway, kept the core and soil samples frozen at the University at Buffalo for years, then he shipped them to a Danish archive in the 1990s, where the soil was soon forgotten.

A few years ago, our Danish colleagues found the soil samples in a box of glass cookie jars with faded labels: “Camp Century Sub-Ice.”

Scientists look at the sediment in jars
Geomorphologist Paul Bierman (right) and geochemist Joerg Schaefer of Columbia University examine the jars holding Camp Century sediment for the first time. They were in a Danish freezer set at -17 F. Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

A surprise under the microscope

On a hot July day in 2019, two samples of soil arrived at our lab at the University of Vermont frozen solid. We began the painstaking process of splitting the precious few ounces of frozen mud and sand for different analyses.

First, we photographed the layering in the soil before it was lost forever. Then we chiseled off small bits to examine under the microscope. We melted the rest and saved the ancient water.

Then came the biggest surprise. While we were washing the soil, we spotted something floating in the rinse water. Paul grabbed a pipette and some filter paper, Drew grabbed tweezers and turned on the microscope. We were absolutely stunned as we looked down the eyepiece.

Staring back at us were leaves, twigs and mosses. This wasn’t just soil. This was an ancient ecosystem perfectly preserved in Greenland’s natural deep freeze.

One of the authors looking excited
Glacial geomorphologist Andrew Christ (right), with geology student Landon Williamson, holds up the first twig spotted as they washed a sediment sample from Camp Century. Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

Dating million-year-old moss

How old were these plants?

Over the last million years, Earth’s climate was punctuated by relatively short warm periods, typically lasting about 10,000 years, called interglacials, when there was less ice at the poles and sea level was higher. The Greenland ice sheet survived through all of human history during the Holocene, the present interglacial period of the last 12,000 years, and most of the interglacials in the last million years.

But our research shows that at least one of these interglacial periods was warm enough for a long enough period of time to melt large portions of the Greenland ice sheet, allowing a tundra ecosystem to emerge in northwestern Greenland.

We used two techniques to determine the age of the soil and the plants. First, we used clean room chemistry and a particle accelerator to count atoms that form in rocks and sediment when exposed to natural radiation that bombards Earth. Then, a colleague used an ultra-sensitive method for measuring light emitted from grains of sand to determine the last time they were exposed to sunlight.

Maps of Greenland Ice Sheet speed and bedrock elevation
Maps of Greenland show the speed of the ice sheet as it flows (left) and the landscape hidden beneath it (right). BedMachine v3; Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), CC BY-ND

Chart of CO2 concentrations over time
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is well beyond past levels determined from ice cores. On March 14, 2021, the CO2 level was about 417 ppm. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CC BY-ND

The million-year time frame is important. Previous work on another ice core, GISP2, extracted from central Greenland in the 1990s, showed that the ice had also been absent there within the last million years, perhaps about 400,000 years ago.

Lessons for a world facing rapid climate change

Losing the Greenland ice sheet would be catastrophic to humanity today. The melted ice would raise sea level by more than 20 feet. That would redraw coastlines worldwide.

About 40% of the global population lives within 60 miles of a coast, and 600 million people live within 30 feet of sea level. If warming continues, ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica will pour more water into the oceans. Communities will be forced to relocate, climate refugees will become more common, and costly infrastructure will be abandoned. Already, sea level rise has amplified flooding from coastal storms, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage every year.

A rock and tundra with a glacier in the background
Tundra near the Greenland ice sheet today. Is this what Camp Century looked like before the ice came back sometime in the last million years? Paul Bierman, CC BY-ND

The story of Camp Century spans two critical moments in modern history. An Arctic military base built in response to the existential threat of nuclear war inadvertently led us to discover another threat from ice cores – the threat of sea level rise from human-caused climate change. Now, its legacy is helping scientists understand how the Earth responds to a changing climate.

Andrew Christ, Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Geology, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, Fellow of the Gund Institute for Environment, Professor of Geology and Natural Resources, University of Vermont

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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The article is republished with the full permission of The Conversation.

I hope you read it because the way the climate is changing is affecting all of us now and sooner rather than later we have all got to amend our ways. Indeed, when I look at anyone who has potentially thirty or more years of life in them I ponder what their future is going to be like. And, of course, it won’t be a drastic change in thirty years it is already happening now albeit at times difficult to see.

But there is not one scintilla of doubt that we humans are the cause and we humans have to be the solution!

Across the world people care for dogs!

This is a marvellous story from Turkey.

It is an account of how a young girl went to seek help for a dog.

It is on The Dodo website and just shows how the caring for a dog crosses all boundaries.

Yet this young girl is just one of millions, literally, who care for our precious dogs.

Here’s the story:

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Little Girl Trudges Through Heavy Snow To Get Help For Her Sick Dog

By Stephen Messenger
Published on 2/26/2021

“She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back” ❤️

The other day, Ogün Öztürk was called to a small village in Turkey to attend to a client’s cow. He hadn’t planned on staying long.

But what began as just a routine visit ended as one Ogün won’t soon forget.

Ogün Öztürk

After wrapping up the job he’d come for, Ogün was about to leave the village. Before he did, however, something in the distance caught his eye.

There, trudging toward him on a path thick with snow, was a little girl. And she was not alone.

On her back was a pup.

Ogün Öztürk

Evidently, word had gotten around that a vet was in town — and that presented an opportunity which the girl, 8-year-old Cemre Su Türköz, refused to pass up.

Cemre’s dog, named Pamuk, had fallen sick. Desperate to get him help, she decided to carry Pamuk more than a mile from her home to the spot she’d heard that Ogün would be.

“When I first saw them, I was very surprised and touched,” Ogün told The Dodo. “She’d wrapped her dog up and brought him to me on her back.”

Ogün Öztürk

Ogün, of course, couldn’t turn Cemre and Pamuk away. While the little girl looked on, concerned, Ogün performed a checkup.

Fortunately, the dog’s sickness wasn’t all too serious. Ogün found Pamuk just had some minor skin issues that were making him uncomfortable, but which could easily be treated.

“When Cemre heard that her dog would be fine, she was very happy,” Ogün said. “I applied external parasite medications to Pamuk. He is now enjoying himself again, healthy and happily.”

Ogün Öztürk

The little girl and her dog had gotten help. But they also got a friend.

Ogün has been back to the village to check in on Cemre and Pamuk, ensuring that they never need to brave the snow again to get whatever help he can provide. It’s the least he could do, considering the effort she’d put in to find him.

“It made me very happy that an 8-year-old girl behaved in this way with such a loving heart,” Ogün said.

Ogün Öztürk

Ogün didn’t charge Cemre for his services that day. Just seeing her love and devotion to Pamuk was the best payment he could ask for.

“The fact that a person at such a young age exhibits this behavior gives hope to humanity,” Ogün said. “With all that’s going on in the world, there’s still hope. Cemre showed us that the only truth in the world is love.”

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Let me pick up on that last paragraph for it is so full of things that we know in our hearts are correct.

The first thing is that this eight-year-old girl, Cemre, knows what is right. To be honest, most young people of either gender more often than not know the right thing to do. Then Ogün was reported as saying: “With all that’s going on in the world …”. But there has always been so much going on. It is just that modern communications makes the world’s news to come in at us; wherever we are!

But the most important observation is that the only truth in the world is love!

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.”  Victor Hugo.

or

Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”  Franklin P. Jones

The above two quotes are just a fraction of what may be seen if one Googles love quotes!

Ancient North American beginnings.

And early humans also came with their dogs!

Gary, aka Nimbushopper, sent me an item that appeared on Newsmax.

It was all about the early settlers. I very much would like to share it with you.

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Study: Dogs Came to N. America With Earliest Humans

Wednesday, 24 February 2021.

A Siberian husky enjoys the snow during a training session in Huy, eastern Germany, on February 11, 2021. – Musher Kerstin Galisch is a multiple participant of national and international competitions and takes care of a pack of fifteen Siberian Husky sled dogs, that live in and around a former and rebuilt feedlot premises administration building. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann / AFP) (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists said Wednesday they had discovered the oldest remains of a domestic dog in the Americas dating back more than 10,000 years, suggesting the animals accompanied the first waves of human settlers.

Humans are thought to have migrated to North America from Siberia over what is today the Bering Strait at the end of the last Ice Age — between 30,000 and 11,000 years ago.

The history of dogs has been intertwined with man since ancient times, and studying canine DNA can provide a good timeline for human settlement.

A new study led by the University at Buffalo analysed the mitochondrial DNA of a bone fragment found in Southeast Alaska.

The team initially thought the fragment belonged to a bear.

But closer examination revealed it to be part of a femur of a dog that lived in the region around 10,150 years ago, and that shared a genetic lineage with American dogs that lived before the arrival of European breeds.

“Because dogs are a proxy for human occupation, our data help provide not only a timing but also a location for the entry of dogs and people into the Americas,” said Charlotte Lindqvist, an evolutionary biologist from the University at Buffalo and the University of South Dakota.

She said the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, supports the theory that humans arrived in North America from Siberia.

“Southeast Alaska might have served as an ice-free stopping point of sorts, and now — with our dog — we think that early human migration through the region might be much more important than some previously suspected,” said Lindqvist.

Older Migrations

A carbon isotope analysis of the bone fragment showed that the ancient Southeast Alaskan dog likely had a marine diet that consisted of fish and seal and whale scraps.

Lindqvist said dogs did not arrive in North America all at once. Some arrived later from East Asia with the Thule people, while Siberian huskies were imported to Alaska during the Gold Rush in the 19th century.

There is a long-standing contention about whether the first humans entered North America through a continental corridor that formed as the ice sheets receded, or along the North Pacific coast thousands of years earlier.

Previous age estimates of dog remains were younger than the fragment found by Lindqvist and the team, suggesting that dogs arrived in the continent during the later, continental migrations.

Lindqvist said her findings supported the theory that dogs in fact arrived in North America among the first waves of humans settlers.

“We also have evidence that the coastal edge of the ice sheet started melting at least around 17,000 years ago, whereas the inland corridor was not viable until around 13,000 years ago,” she told AFP.

“And genetic evidence that a coastal route for the first Americans over 16,000 years ago seems most likely. Our study supports that our coastal dog is a descendant of dogs that participated in this initial migration.”

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I have said it before and no doubt will say it again many times in the future: The bond that dogs have with us humans and, in return, the thanks and love that we have for our dogs goes back a very, very long time indeed.

This is just another article that confirms this.

Just want to repeat the amazing news that Charlotte Lindqvist reported:

But closer examination revealed it to be part of a femur of a dog that lived in the region around 10,150 years ago, and that shared a genetic lineage with American dogs that lived before the arrival of European breeds.

I do hope you read the full article as presented here.

Thank you, Gary!

A Romanian sledride!

There’s no limit to the joy that we get from our dogs!

This article was recently seen on The Dodo and features a Romanian tale.

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Boy Takes His Dog Out For The Most Adorable Sled Ride

They’re best buddies ❤️️

By Lily Feinn   Published on 2/10/2021

The streets were empty during a recent snowstorm in Romania.

But, while most people were staying warm at home, one little boy and his dog decided to go for a “walk.”

FACEBOOK/ALIN SI GINA ABRUDAN

To make the most of the snow, 12-year-old Andrei attached a sled to his bicycle and his dog Pufi hopped on. True to Pufi’s name, the dog’s fluffy coat protects him from inclement weather, but the little pup seemed grateful to play with his human and not have to get his paws wet.

As Andrei started to cycle home, Pufi was a very good boy, balancing on the sled like a pro.

“Andrei and Pufi puppy conquered us hopelessly and reminded us of childhood when the simple things brought us the greatest joys: snow, a sled and a reliable friend next to you,” CERT Transilvania wrote on Facebook. “Today we also gave Andrei joy by giving him a brand-new bike, equipped with everything he needs for many years to come on the road to school or racing with Pufi.”

Now, Andrei and Pufi can safely sled and bike wherever they want together, through whatever weather comes their way.

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We just adore stories such as this one.

P.S. The above video doesn’t want to play!

The Wapiti wolves

Stunning photographs.

I subscribe to Ugly Hedgehog, a forum about all things photographic.

It is a mine of information, people share incredible photographs, and much more.

On February 17th this year Photolady2014 published a set of photographs of wolves that were just gorgeous.

This is how she introduced the pictures:

So I am still on cloud 9 seeing wolfs rather close. They were about 150 feet away. Not the quality that the pros were getting who were there. I have seen their photos and well I still have a lot to learn. But, for someone who just started wildlife a couple of years ago, I will take these! If you do the download you will see they are not all bad. I have had to do some sharpening and noise reduction. The pros were all using the 600mm F4 with 2x extenders.
Me: Canon R5, 100-500 & 1.4 extender. All are at 700mm.

I asked if I could share them on Learning from Dogs and said Photolady2014 of South West Colorado said ‘Yes’.

Here they are:

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Photolady went on to report:

This is the Wapiti pack in Yellowstone.

We sat in below 0 weather for about 4 hours watching them and the coyotes who were patiently waiting their turn to eat!

Fabulous pictures and one can’t help thinking that some 23,000 years ago there started the long journey of domestication, and the bonding between humans and wolves brought about the dog.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

The most common human infrastructure.

Is the fence!

I saw this article yesterday on The Conversation and thought it was very significant and, as a result, worthy of sharing with you.

But first a picture of the Australian dingo.

By Henry Whitehead – Original photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Taken from an article on WikiPedia.

Here is that article from The Conversation.

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Fences have big effects on land and wildlife around the world that are rarely measured

November 30, 2020

By , Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California Santa Barbara,

and

, Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley,

and

, PhD Candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley.

What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet’s fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.

On every continent, from cities to rural areas and from ancient to modern times, humans have built fences. But we know almost nothing about their ecological effects. Border fences are often in the news, but other fences are so ubiquitous that they disappear into the landscape, becoming scenery rather than subject.

In a recently published study, our team sought to change this situation by offering a set of findings, frameworks and questions that can form the basis of a new discipline: fence ecology. By compiling studies from ecosystems around the world, our research shows that fences produce a complex range of ecological effects.

Some of them influence small-scale processes like the building of spider webs. Others have much broader effects, such as hastening the collapse of Kenya’s Mara ecosystem. Our findings reveal a world that has been utterly reorganized by a rapidly growing latticework of fences.

Connecting the dots

If fences seem like an odd thing for ecologists to study, consider that until recently no one thought much about how roads affected the places around them. Then, in a burst of research in the 1990s, scientists showed that roads – which also have been part of human civilization for millennia – had narrow footprints but produced enormous environmental effects.

For example, roads can destroy or fragment habitats that wild species rely on to survive. They also can promote air and water pollution and vehicle collisions with wildlife. This work generated a new scientific discipline, road ecology, that offers unique insights into the startling extent of humanity’s reach.

Our research team became interested in fences by watching animals. In California, Kenya, China and Mongolia, we had all observed animals behaving oddly around fences – gazelles taking long detours around them, for example, or predators following “highways” along fence lines.

We reviewed a large body of academic literature looking for explanations. There were many studies of individual species, but each of them told us only a little on its own. Research had not yet connected the dots between many disparate findings. By linking all these studies together, we uncovered important new discoveries about our fenced world.

Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society, CC BY-ND

Remaking ecosystems

Perhaps the most striking pattern we found was that fences rarely are unambiguously good or bad for an ecosystem. Instead, they have myriad ecological effects that produce winners and losers, helping to dictate the rules of the ecosystems where they occur.

Even “good” fences that are designed to protect threatened species or restore sensitive habitats can still fragment and isolate ecosystems. For example, fences constructed in Botswana to prevent disease transmission between wildlife and livestock have stopped migrating wildebeests in their tracks, producing haunting images of injured and dead animals strewn along fencelines.

Enclosing an area to protect one species may injure or kill others, or create entry pathways for invasive species.

One finding that we believe is critical is that for every winner, fences typically produce multiple losers. As a result, they can create ecological “no man’s lands” where only species and ecosystems with a narrow range of traits can survive and thrive.

Altering regions and continents

Examples from around the world demonstrate fences’ powerful and often unintended consequences. The U.S.-Mexico border wall – most of which fits our definition of a fence – has genetically isolated populations of large mammals such as bighorn sheep, leading to population declines and genetic isolation. It has even had surprising effects on birds, like ferruginous pygmy owls, that fly low to the ground.

Australia’s dingo fences, built to protect livestock from the nation’s iconic canines, are among the world’s longest man-made structures, stretching thousands of kilometers each. These fences have started ecological chain reactions called trophic cascades that have affected an entire continent’s ecology.

The absence of dingoes, a top predator, from one side of the fence means that populations of prey species like kangaroos can explode, causing categorical shifts in plant composition and even depleting the soil of nutrients. On either side of the fence there now are two distinct “ecological universes.”

Our review shows that fences affect ecosystems at every scale, leading to cascades of change that may, in the worst cases, culminate in what some conservation biologists have described as total “ecological meltdown.” But this peril often is overlooked.

The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020, CC BY-ND

To demonstrate this point, we looked more closely at the western U.S., which is known for huge open spaces but also is the homeland of barbed wire fencing. Our analysis shows that vast areas viewed by researchers as relatively untrodden by the human footprint are silently entangled in dense networks of fences.

Do less harm

Fences clearly are here to stay. As fence ecology develops into a discipline, its practitioners should consider the complex roles fences play in human social, economic and political systems. Even now, however, there is enough evidence to identify actions that could reduce their harmful impacts.

There are many ways to change fence design and construction without affecting their functionality. For example, in Wyoming and Montana, federal land managers have experimented with wildlife-friendly designs that allow species like pronghorn antelope to pass through fences with fewer obstacles and injuries. This kind of modification shows great promise for wildlife and may produce broader ecological benefits.

Another option is aligning fences along natural ecological boundaries, like watercourses or topographical features. This approach can help minimize their effects on ecosystems at low cost. And land agencies or nonprofit organizations could offer incentives for land owners to remove fences that are derelict and no longer serve a purpose.

Nonetheless, once a fence is built its effects are long lasting. Even after removal, “ghost fences” can live on, with species continuing to behave as if a fence were still present for generations.

Knowing this, we believe that policymakers and landowners should be more cautious about installing fences in the first place. Instead of considering only a fence’s short-term purpose and the landscape nearby, we would like to see people view a new fence as yet another permanent link in a chain encircling the planet many times over.

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This is something that I hadn’t hitherto thought about. I suspect that I am not alone.

There are many aspects of the fence that warrant more careful thought. I will close by repeating what was said just a few paragraphs above:

There are many ways to change fence design and construction without affecting their functionality. For example, in Wyoming and Montana, federal land managers have experimented with wildlife-friendly designs that allow species like pronghorn antelope to pass through fences with fewer obstacles and injuries. This kind of modification shows great promise for wildlife and may produce broader ecological benefits.

Another option is aligning fences along natural ecological boundaries, like watercourses or topographical features. This approach can help minimize their effects on ecosystems at low cost. And land agencies or nonprofit organizations could offer incentives for land owners to remove fences that are derelict and no longer serve a purpose.

We are never too old to learn!

 

On your bike!

Some videos of Alex, my son, and others taking a bike tour.

Now I would be the first to admit that the following videos will not be to everyone’s taste.

But there is a strong link to my son and his bike riding, and to my own bike riding. For over 5 years ago Alex persuaded me to get a better cycle than I already had. I chose the Specialized Sirrus and have been delighted with it ever since. I purchased it from the local Don’s Bike Center. There is a photograph of the bike below.

To be honest, riding the bike more or less every other day has been crucial in me staying as fit and healthy as I am.

On to the videos.

I was speaking to Alex recently and he was talking about the tour of the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England that he and friends took. That was Alex and Darren and Claire and their 14-year-old son Tom.

He mentioned the YouTube videos that had been taken and I asked Alex to forward them to me.

I reckoned that a few of you would be interested!

They are a total of 26 minutes spread across the 4 videos

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Enjoy!

Finally, Alex and I still stay connected with our riding courtesy of Strava.

This uses a small GPS, in my case a Garmin EDGE 20, to upload and show the route to the Strava dashboard. We each give each other what is known as Kudos for our respective rides.

The following is my afternoon ride of a little under 13 miles around the local roads, grabbed when the rain ceased for a while. It shows me taking our driveway, a quarter-mile long, to Hugo Rd; about 10 o’clock in the diagram below. I then turned left and two miles later turned right into Three Pines Rd. then a further right into Russell Rd. and down to Pleasant Valley Rd. and back home with a small diversion along Robertson Bridge Rd. and Azalea Dr. and to the bottom of Hugo Rd. Precisely 3 miles up Hugo Rd. and back to our driveway.

That will be shared automatically with Alex when he wakes in the morning.

And this below was Alex’s recent ride; all 83.78 miles!

Technology, eh!

Want a few more dogs? Try 300!

Another wonderful account!

The one thing that goes on forever and, incidentally, has been going on for a long, long time, is the human devotion to dogs. Whether it is one or two dogs being walked every day without fail or, in this case, a Mexican who opened his heart and his house to a tad more than a couple of dogs.

Read it, it is a fabulous story.

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Man Brings 300 Dogs Into His House To Protect Them From Hurricane

“I would do it again one million more times if necessary” ❤️

By Lily Feinn
Published on 10/23/2020

In early October, Hurricane Delta roared toward the shores of Cancun, Mexico, leaving Ricardo Pimentel with few options.

Pimentel runs Tierra de Animales, an animal sanctuary on the outskirts of Cancun, surrounded by jungle. For nine years, he has cared for over 500 animals — including stray cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, horses, sheep, pigs, cows and donkeys.

INSTAGRAM/TIERRADEANIMALES

He knew the dog shelters weren’t strong enough to stand up to a Category 4 storm, so he did what any animal lover would do — he invited the pups into his home for a sleepover.

“We have two bedrooms, one kitchen and one bathroom available for volunteers who want to come and stay here to help us with all the things that we have to do,” Pimentel told The Dodo. “We decided to put almost all the dogs inside the house, simply because we don’t fully trust in the shelters that we currently have because they aren’t hurricane-proof.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

But bringing 300 dogs inside was no easy feat. For five hours, Pimentel and his volunteers rounded up the pups and helped them inside before the hurricane made landfall.

“We had to bring them in on leash two by two,” Pimentel said. “Some of them are afraid or don’t know how to walk on a leash, so we had to carry them to the house, but in the end, it was worth it because they are all safe.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

With so many animals in such a small house, Pimentel expected that they’d make a bit of a mess. But he was pleased when everyone seemed to get along.

“They were actually very well-behaved all night,” he said.

Luckily, by the time the hurricane reached the sanctuary, it was only a Category 2 storm — though the strong winds still damaged the property.

“The next morning when the hurricane finished, we had to do a lot of repairs and clean all [the animals’] areas from trees and branches,” Pimentel said. “So they stayed in the house the next day until 5 or 6 p.m.”

“Of course, there was a horrible smell in the house and they broke a few things, but there’s nothing to regret,” he added. “I would do it again one million more times if necessary.”

FACEBOOK/TIERRA DE ANIMALES

Pimentel is now working to build hurricane-proof shelters on his 10-acre property so all the animals can have adequate protection. And he hopes to take in even more animals so that no one has to spend another night on the streets.

To help Tierra De Animales build their hurricane-proof shelters, you can make a donation here.

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Here’s a YouTube video. Even if you don’t understand the vocabulary the pictures are inspiring!

I find this story both amazing and wonderful. For Ricardo to offer such protection from the weather and to do it in his home is staggering. Hats off to Ricardo and if a few of you can make a donation that would be perfect.

Purple Mountains

This is a film that all should watch!

Now again this has nothing to do with dogs and I would be the first person to say that there are still some people out there who are not convinced that global warming is a major result of human activity.. But none other than the Union of Concerned Scientists are persuaded that humans are the major cause. See their website here. (From which the following is taken.)

Every single year since 1977 has been warmer than the 20th century average, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001, and 2016 being the warmest year on recorded history. A study from 2016 found that without the emissions from burning coal and oil, there is very little likelihood that 13 out of the 15 warmest years on record would all have happened.

And further on in the article, this:

Scientists agree that today’s warming is primarily caused by humans putting too much carbon in the atmosphere, like when we choose to extract and burn coal, oil, and gas, or cut down and burn forests.

Today’s carbon dioxide levels haven’t been seen in at least the last 800,000 years. Data assembled from Antarctic ice core samples and modern atmospheric observations.

So on to the film.

My son, Alex, sent me the following email on the 7th October.

Hi Dad

This is a really interesting film about climate change in the west coast mountains, USA.  A bit skiing related but a good watch !

Lots of love

Alex

Included in the email was a link to the film available on YouTube.

The film is just under one hour in length and a great film to watch as well as having a clear, fundamental message: All of us must act in whatever ways we can if our children and grandchildren are to have a future. Indeed, do you believe you have another twenty or more years to live? Then include yourself as well.

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About The Film
Professional snowboarder and mountaineer Jeremy Jones has an intimate relationship with the outdoors. It’s his escape, his identity, and his legacy. But over the course of his 45 years in the mountains, he’s seen many things change: more extreme weather, fewer snow days, and economic strain on mountain towns.
Motivated by an urge to protect the places he loves, Jeremy sets out on a physical and philosophical journey to find common ground with fellow outdoor people across diverse political backgrounds. He learns their hopes and fears while walking a mile in their shoes on the mountain and in the snow.
With intimacy and emotion set against breathtaking backdrops, Purple Mountains navigates America’s divide with a refreshing perspective: even though we may disagree about climate policy, our shared values can unite us.

Please, please watch the film!

Thank you!