If you’re paying even a little attention to my photoblog, you know I love trees. If you know me from my other homes online or personally, you’ll also know I’m deeply concerned about depletion of natural resources, deforestation, threats to biodiversity and climate change. For me, these and the planet we live on in general, are one and the same as our spiritual pursuit, and can’t be separated.
I’m profoundly inspired by what I’m sharing here with you. The artist, Angela Palmer, is a hero!
From the project’s website GhostForest.org:
Ghost Forest is a major art installation consisting of 10 primary rainforest tree stumps which were brought to Europe from a commercially logged forest in Western Africa by the artist Angela Palmer (www.angelaspalmer.com). The work is intended to highlight the alarming depletion of the world’s natural resources, and in particular the continued rate of deforestation. Today, a tropical forest the size of a football pitch is destroyed every four seconds, impacting on climate, biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous people. The trees in Ghost Forest - most of which fell naturally in storms - are intended to represent rainforest trees worldwide; the absence of their trunks is presented as a metaphor for the removal of the world’s lungs caused through the loss of our forests.
The tree stumps were exhibited as a “ghost forest” in Trafalgar Square in London last November, and then in Copenhagen in December during the UN’s Climate Change Conference. In July this year Ghost Forest will be exhibited for a year on the lawn of Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The exhibition will coincide with the Museum of Natural History’s 150th anniversary this year, and the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity. In 2011 it is the UN’s International Year of Forests.
From the artist’s statement: “… to present a series of rainforest tree stumps as a ‘ghost forest’ – using the negative space created by the missing trunks as a metaphor for climate change, the absence representing the removal of the world’s ‘lungs’ through continued deforestation. In addition to the impact on our climate, deforestation directly affects wildlife, plants, soil through erosion and of course the livelihoods of indigenous people.” (Read all of it here.)
The project’s website has tons of information about the environmental challenges the installation draws attention to, as well as details about the seven indigenous species represented – Denya, Dahuma, Danta, Hyedua, Mahogany, Wawa and three varieties of Celtis.
Please share this generously so that many people will be moved and educated!
Sadly, Frederick/Frida has moved on with his life. He hung out on our patio plants for about two weeks. Last two times I saw him it was for about only half an hour each time. My son is fine with it, although we were both quite delighted to have Freddy with us. As a parting gift, he gave us the best lens captures so far.
My son being the herp expert he is, verified that Knight Anoles are capable of slight color changes. We’d been wondering if it was the light in some photos, but we also saw him do so with the naked eye.
He’s quite athletic too.
We also noticed that in the short time he was our guest, Freddy grew visibly. As he became more and more absent from the patio, we had the feeling that he was braving the world and making it his own.
We bless you on your way Freddy. Our patio and its plants are always available to you. You know how to find this spot and are always welcome. Journey well. We miss you, but we understand. Thank you for delighting us!
© Pamir Kiciman 2010
If you’ve never been to the Florida Everglades, seeing these pictures may leave you unmoved. The fact of the matter is that when you’re there, the vastness of the landscape creates a visceral sense of spaciousness. If you’re a meditator or explore nonordinary states of consciousness, you’ll know that ‘spaciousness’ is a quality that’s readily available in such practices, and one that leads to peace as well as other transformative states.
And there’s tons of detail over the expanse of the Everglades. There are many different kinds of habitat teeming with life; hundreds of flora and fauna, some of which can be found only in the Everglades.
At various vantage points, with the wind coming across the landscape, the total availability of the sky and the ongoing horizon, the heart opens and the mind rests in its original state.
© Pamir Kiciman 2010
On Wednesday, July 14 a little lizard stayed on one of our plants all day long. I thought it was a one shot deal, since I didn’t see it as it got dark. Next morning it was there again. Since then my son and I have figured out that he simply moves around. Photos from the first sighting are here.
On Thursday when my son was at my house, he identified it as a young Knight Anole. My son is 11 and totally loves herps (from Herpetology, the branch of zoology that studies reptiles and amphibians. His favorite are snakes of all types. Today we saw two black racers!) We weren’t sure of its gender. My son suddenly called it Frederick, and I added Frida. It became Frederick/Frida.
In the previous post I mention that on the first day he got territorial when another lizard came by, and stuck out its dewlap (skin under lower jaw). I wasn’t able to fire off a frame of that, unfortunately. We’re pretty sure only males have dewlaps. Regardless Frederick/Frida has stuck, although sometimes we say “Freddy.”
Thursday my son and I witnessed our friend leap about a foot between two branches of his favorite hangout plant! We’ve seen other types of neighborhood anoles leap quite impressively, belying their size. When we went to bed at 11 Thursday night, Freddy was still there. It was a rainy and stormy night. There were thunderclaps. In my very sleepy state I wondered how he was, since even some wind from the lake has him holding on tighter.
He was there Friday morning, all safe. After I got back from dropping my son off at day camp, it had rained and I saw Freddy on our Starburst plant which has much larger leaves. He was drinking water from the droplets of rain with very fast, almost imperceptible flicks of his tongue. Here he is on the Starburst:
We’ve been thinking about how the plants were going to get watered. Frederick/Frida is very aware of us. His eyes turn or his head shifts if we come up to the sliding glass door and when we step outside.
Today, Saturday, we had to water the plants. So gently and carefully we did. He was undisturbed by it. That was a big relief! And we sprinkled a bunch of water on the Starburst. Sure enough, he leaped his way over there and drank!!!
Here’s our bright little critter on his favorite perch, although today we’re noticing him on a lot of the plants. He’s really made our patio his universe. This one shows what a long tail he has.
He’s even got a sun umbrella!
© Pamir Kiciman 2010
This little guy kept me company from about 11:30 this morning when I first noticed, until a few minutes ago, 7:45 pm. It hung out on one of my patio plants pretty much all day, changing positions, and even getting territorial one time when another lizard showed up on the railing.
And a some headshots… Any agents out there?
© Pamir Kiciman 2010
This past winter was unseasonably cold in Florida, and the cold lasted much longer than usual. It was welcome relief to me. I’d never experienced such temperatures in twenty years of living here.
Southern Florida is also full of non-native iguanas. They’re visually striking creatures and I’m glad they’re here. We have all kinds and my son is a lover of reptiles, a regular herp freak! For him it’s a treat to see iguanas literally right outside the door. They swim well too.
The cold was extremely hard on the iguana population. They fell out of the trees and died. We were finding carcasses everywhere. So much so that in a specific area where on a single outing we had counted upwards of 80 iguanas of all sizes, and some were huge, after the cold we counted only a handful.
My son who is 11 took the carcasses in stride. We decided it was simply population control. As summer has worn on, we haven’t seen a whole lot yet.
The next two images are of the same iguana carcass in black and white. As fierce as they look, they are weary of humans and jump in the water at the first opportunity. Here’s in honor to these unique creatures!
Warning: Not for the squeamish.
© Pamir Kiciman 2010