Today’s posts from our featured Port Elizabeth Blogger:
David Tennant Wants to Bottle Catherine Tate by Keep Passing the Open Windows:
So….apparently we’re getting a Tenth Doctor Donna spin off…. I actually can’t breathe….
Read more here: Keep Passing the Open Windows
Bird Brained by Keep Passing the Open Windows:
One of the many reasons that I love social media is that it often keeps me informed of what is happening both directly and indirectly around me. Yesterday someone posted a few photographs of nets that had been secured over some of the trees inside the Aeropark grounds next to the airport. These trees have recently become home to probably hundreds of egrets in the area. I imagine it was done because the birds were considered a hazard to the planes. Unfortunately no one seems to give much thought to how much of a hazard we humans might be to the birds. It in currently springtime in South Africa. It’s nesting season. And suddenly hundreds of mommy and daddy birds were unable to get to their babies. Barbara Giddy was having none of this so she took to Facebook and quickly found herself at the head of a volunteer rescue mission. (Just a side note: we love the Barbaras of the world. What a treasure!)
Of course, I somehow stumbled on the fact that volunteers were needed to go and help rescue these birds. I was reluctant at first but had to admit to myself that myself and my 3 children could certainly spare the time (home schooling is kind of awesome like that) and that even though it might make them very sad to see this kind of destruction, they could certainly learn from it if I was careful to put more emphasis on “it’s important to help” than on “look how evil the world is”.
So, after convincing my husband and brother to come with us for just a little while we toddled off this morning to see if we could be of any service. Well…my son husband and brother (along with others of course) were up those trees like it was nothing. No time wasting, they just got on with it. They rescued the tiniest birds from abandoned nests. They rescued juveniles who were not yet able to fly. They helped adult birds escape from the horrible net that had trapped them. And all the while hacking at this net to loosen it enough to take it down. It’s funny how proud you can feel sometimes. I myself didn’t do much on the ground except loosen a few net ties and make sure boxes were where they needed to be as the babies were handed down out of the trees, but I was so glad to have asked these helpful boys to come with me. (Shame, poor Bridgette would have been up in those trees in a second if she didn’t currently have four stitches in her leg.)
By the end of it all we pretty much had all of them which is way more than we expected to achieve. We’d gone in with a “we’ll do what we can” attitude and yet we somehow managed to do everything. I can’t quite express how amazing that felt.
The remaining question is, of course: why did this happen?
Now I do very much understand that egrets flying into jet engines is probably not good. But surely there must have been another way to deal with this? How long have these egrets been roosting in those trees? I know that before they used to live in the trees in 1st Avenue Walmer. That tree was chopped down. Apparently they were somewhere else after that (I forget where…my apologies) and then those trees were chopped down too. These airport trees seem to be a new nesting place. But how new? Did they have this problem last year? Or did it suddenly crop up now? Were they there last year but in fewer numbers (due to massive losses from all the previous chopping down of trees perhaps?) and then this year the numbers just became too big to ignore? Really: what happened?
If you go to Aeropark right now you will see that there are huge branches just lying in a big pile on the ground. That pile of branches is filled with nests and dead babies. How can ANY company think that doing such a thing is ok? Is there really so little integrity left in the business world? If you are in the business of tree felling/maintenance/whatever, surely you make it your business to go about your business in the least destructive way possible. I am just trying to wrap my head around the idea that some human was up in those trees happily cheopping down branches that were teeming with life. How? How were you ok with doing that? How did no one stop and say maybe we need to get some sort of conservationist involved here and get some advice. Now maybe there isn’t someone who can offer advice in PE. I know we have penguin experts and raptor experts (who are incredible people just by the way) but surely there must be someone somewhere who is able to shed some light on this problem and help come up with a solution where everyone wins.
This gross disregard for sentient life is unacceptable though and companies who cause this kind of damage should be held accountable. As satisfying as it was to be a part of the group who cleaned up this mess today, it goes without saying that it should never have happened in the first place.
Read more here: Keep Passing the Open Windows
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