26.8 C
Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

Mary Gardner

Showing content from:Mary Gardner

Slaughtering ourselves out of a future

Think of the mighty North American Buffalo Nation! Once, the peoples numbered in tens of millions and the herbivores some 60 million. The herds ranged from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Northwest.

The tides of history on our sands

Clarkes Beach, like many other east Australian beaches, is much changed, again. The sand is swept away, exposing reefs and riffles of round rocks.

Time to act for all the people

Early afternoon on the 14 May, 2020 means this is a changing tide. The moon is in the last quarter. It is weeks into the pandemic lockdown, months since the last wildfire and drought here, and years into climate change.

Time to change or expect a seven metre sea rise

Each of us is an individual world maintained within a larger collective world. So are all the other living things.

There is no life without water: time to save

Yes, the recent rain is wonderful, but acting on water use restrictions must become our usual way of life, at least until the drought is over.

Priceless books at your fingertips to inspire citizen science

The young lemon tree’s future is at risk. I find this stout caterpillar, a deep green with short sharp spines. It sports three very small legs in front, four stumpy prolegs behind and a clasper at the rear. I watch the monster eat an entire leaf as big as itself in under a minute.

Creating spaces for nature

With the closing of the Byron sewage treatment plant, people minimised their industrial presence. In these conditions, nature’s healing processes took over.

Another take on ticks: ’tis the season

Without my friend noticing, a creature smaller than a little fingernail was perched on a stem of grass and leapt to the safety of his sock.

What to do NOW after climate change march?

Children, teens and all their supporters, what do you do after the excitement of the recent climate change marches? There’s no quick fix.

The small fry in a world of baleen giants

Like others that day at the Cape Byron lighthouse, David Bryant saw this small whale ride a wave. Skilled photographer that he is, he had his camera to the ready and took this photo that has flashed its way through media around the world.

Protocols, process, and system failures

In the lagoon, the pace of winter life during the long dry seems pretty settled. The growth of small estuarine prawns slows down. Bream now five years old are grown up, itching for saltwater and their winter spawn.

Will the ‘Ozzie otter’ vanish along with the other 1,000,000 threatened species?

The Australian otter is not otter an at all and while there were once plenty, loss of habitat through development and roads means their numbers are falling.

Long lost relative or ‘exotic’ plant?

The Heliconia started their spectacular annual display of red and gold in late November. What is so compelling about them?

Coastal squeeze and preparing for a future of climate change

Development in floodplains and on shores means walls, roads, residences, and every kind of construction are built. As the sea levels rise, the low-water mark marches landward to meet these barriers. The space between is shrinking or disappearing.

Should we feel free to pee in the sea?

As the holiday season gets underway, this toilet block, as does every other near the beach, becomes one of the busiest places in Byron Shire.

Bird’s eye view of our parklands

Although many municipal plans aim to cool off hot towns, improve waterways and protect human health, they can also support wildlife. Plans in Byron Shire can become exercises in empathy.

Trees or biotechnological genetic rescue?

We peered through the branches amazed to see this colourful bird, resting one wing awkwardly. By the next day it would be dead.

Death of a platypus leaves unanswered questions

We found it dead on the sand near the mouth of the Tallow’ the woman said. The corpse stunk a little but I hardly noticed. I was so astonished. What was this platypus doing here? Who knew there were any around this side of Byron Bay? How did it live? As importantly, how did it die?

The trouble with lichen

What lichens truly are is still startling. One apparently global species turns out to be made of one species of fungi with a different species of algae depending which hemisphere it finds itself.

Will species synchronicity lead to ecological collapse?

Parrots are often called the primates of the bird world. They are intelligent, playful and determined, grasping and changing their world using their feet and beaks like hands holding scissors.

Batting for bats: their vital role in forestry

Flying foxes live life large across the landscape. They are the chief pollinators and seed carriers for many species of forest trees.

Slaughtering ourselves out of a future

Think of the mighty North American Buffalo Nation! Once, the peoples numbered in tens of millions and the herbivores some 60 million. The herds ranged from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Northwest.

The tides of history on our sands

Clarkes Beach, like many other east Australian beaches, is much changed, again. The sand is swept away, exposing reefs and riffles of round rocks.

Time to act for all the people

Early afternoon on the 14 May, 2020 means this is a changing tide. The moon is in the last quarter. It is weeks into the pandemic lockdown, months since the last wildfire and drought here, and years into climate change.

Time to change or expect a seven metre sea rise

Each of us is an individual world maintained within a larger collective world. So are all the other living things.

There is no life without water: time to save

Yes, the recent rain is wonderful, but acting on water use restrictions must become our usual way of life, at least until the drought is over.

Priceless books at your fingertips to inspire citizen science

The young lemon tree’s future is at risk. I find this stout caterpillar, a deep green with short sharp spines. It sports three very small legs in front, four stumpy prolegs behind and a clasper at the rear. I watch the monster eat an entire leaf as big as itself in under a minute.

Creating spaces for nature

With the closing of the Byron sewage treatment plant, people minimised their industrial presence. In these conditions, nature’s healing processes took over.

Another take on ticks: ’tis the season

Without my friend noticing, a creature smaller than a little fingernail was perched on a stem of grass and leapt to the safety of his sock.

What to do NOW after climate change march?

Children, teens and all their supporters, what do you do after the excitement of the recent climate change marches? There’s no quick fix.

The small fry in a world of baleen giants

Like others that day at the Cape Byron lighthouse, David Bryant saw this small whale ride a wave. Skilled photographer that he is, he had his camera to the ready and took this photo that has flashed its way through media around the world.

Protocols, process, and system failures

In the lagoon, the pace of winter life during the long dry seems pretty settled. The growth of small estuarine prawns slows down. Bream now five years old are grown up, itching for saltwater and their winter spawn.

Will the ‘Ozzie otter’ vanish along with the other 1,000,000 threatened species?

The Australian otter is not otter an at all and while there were once plenty, loss of habitat through development and roads means their numbers are falling.

Long lost relative or ‘exotic’ plant?

The Heliconia started their spectacular annual display of red and gold in late November. What is so compelling about them?

Coastal squeeze and preparing for a future of climate change

Development in floodplains and on shores means walls, roads, residences, and every kind of construction are built. As the sea levels rise, the low-water mark marches landward to meet these barriers. The space between is shrinking or disappearing.

Should we feel free to pee in the sea?

As the holiday season gets underway, this toilet block, as does every other near the beach, becomes one of the busiest places in Byron Shire.

Bird’s eye view of our parklands

Although many municipal plans aim to cool off hot towns, improve waterways and protect human health, they can also support wildlife. Plans in Byron Shire can become exercises in empathy.

Trees or biotechnological genetic rescue?

We peered through the branches amazed to see this colourful bird, resting one wing awkwardly. By the next day it would be dead.

Death of a platypus leaves unanswered questions

We found it dead on the sand near the mouth of the Tallow’ the woman said. The corpse stunk a little but I hardly noticed. I was so astonished. What was this platypus doing here? Who knew there were any around this side of Byron Bay? How did it live? As importantly, how did it die?

The trouble with lichen

What lichens truly are is still startling. One apparently global species turns out to be made of one species of fungi with a different species of algae depending which hemisphere it finds itself.

Will species synchronicity lead to ecological collapse?

Parrots are often called the primates of the bird world. They are intelligent, playful and determined, grasping and changing their world using their feet and beaks like hands holding scissors.

Batting for bats: their vital role in forestry

Flying foxes live life large across the landscape. They are the chief pollinators and seed carriers for many species of forest trees.
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