Photographer persecuted for photography in Bahrain


This 11 August 2014 video is about photographer Hussain Hubail from Bahrain, arrested by the regime for photography, and sentenced to five years in jail.

Business Interests Are More Valuable to Bahrain’s Western Allies Than Democracy and Human Rights: here.

Save animals of Ecuador


This video about Ecuador is called Give these amazing species an opportunity.

From PRWEB:

Company Seeks Funding to Protect Wildlife Through Photography

Ecuadorian image bank Ecuastock.com seeks crowdfunding to promote its efforts to save South American animal species

Amazonia, ECUADOR, August 15, 2014

Ecuador is home to thousands of animal species living in the jungle, mountains, coastal regions, and the Galápagos Islands, but many of these animal species are in danger of extinction. Ecuastock.com is a company hoping to raise awareness of the plight of these animals by selling professional photographs and using the proceeds to fund animal-saving programs. Ecuastock has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $150,000 by October 3, to help boost their sales and protect as many animals as possible.

Ecuador’s biodiversity is so extensive that just one portion of the country, the Yasuni National Park, has more native species than the whole of North America. Due to human behavior like petroleum exploitation, indiscriminate forest logging, trafficking of exotic animals, unauthorized fishing, and expansion of civilization, the multiplicity of animal species is in danger. “What we need in order to protect these animals is support from local communities and awareness around the globe of what is going on here in Ecuador,” said Ecuastock Co-Founder Daniel Silva. “We need to raise money to put an end to thoughtless practices that are eliminating entire species.”

Ecuastock’s business plan is simple. Professional photographers working together capture images of thousands of animal species in the wild and make them available for purchase. The proceeds from image sales help to improve resources, infrastructure, and equipment in the Amazon region and create a global awareness campaign through social media. Money from sales also helps document wildlife and share data worldwide as well as help support the acquisition of land for wildlife protection areas.

Supporters of the crowdfunding campaign will receive striking images of South American animal species, including printed postcards and souvenirs. Starting at the $5 contribution level, supporters will receive one full-color digital postcard. Those contributing $25 can download a high-resolution image of their choice, while those contributing $50 can download three images and those contributing $100 can download five images. Contributors giving $250 will receive a collection of images in a digital book, and those contributing $500 will receive that collection in a printed book.

Some of the larger giving level perks include a two-night visit to Ecuador, a guided tour to meet the native species. Contributors will also have the opportunity to plant a tree in the Amazon, and have a protected area where trees planted are named after them.

About Ecuastock:

Ecuastock is a part of a digital marketing business that has created and developed several brands and projects over the past four years based on social media, digital communication, and online publicity. For more information or to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, visit igg.me/at/buyamazingspecies/x.

Carnivorous water plants, dragonflies, birds and grass snake


Common bladderwort flowers, 4 August 2014

On 4 August 2014, again to Gooilust. In a ditch there, many yellow common bladderwort flowers.

Common bladderwort, 4 August 2014

This is a carnivorous water plant, feeding on small crustaceans and insects.

Common bladderwort yellow flowers, 4 August 2014

Himalayan balsam flowers on the bank.

Near the Gooilust mansion, a male black-tailed skimmer dragonfly flying.

Ruddy darter female, 4 August 2014

At the dragonfly pond, another dragonfly. A female ruddy darter?

On land near that pond, a baby common frog. Many wild strawberry plants with fruits.

Nuthatch sound.

Wood mouse, 4 August 2014

Then, a small rodent. A wood mouse.

A robin on a lawn.

Blackbird male and rowan berries, 4 August 2014

A flock of blackbirds, feeding on rowan berries.

Speckled wood, 4 August 2014

A speckled wood butterfly on a blackberry bush.

Finally, a grass snake swimming in a broad ditch.

Spotted flycatchers, mistle thrushes, damselflies and butterflies


Blue-tailed damselfly, 2 August 2014

On 2 August 2014, to Gooilust nature reserve. Home, to, eg, this blue-tailed damselfly.

In a ditch marking the border of Gooilust, a grey heron spreading its wings because of the heat. Minutes later, it cleaned its feathers.

Nuthatch sound. A great tit.

A bit further, an Egyptian goose flies, calling.

At the ‘dragonfly pond’, an emperor dragonfly flies around.

Blue-tailed damselflies, 2 August 2014

Many blue-tailed damselflies; like this couple in love.

Far above them, swifts flying. Soon, they will be on autumn migration to Africa.

Near the Gooilust mansion: two spotted flycatchers on a fence. Every now and then, they take off to catch insects. One of them sits down on a leafless branch; the usual resting spot for flycatchers, before humans made fences.

We arrive at the Gooilust garden. A buzzard flies past.

A recently fledged young mistle thrush is fed by a parent.

A bit further, a blackbird and a song thrush cross the footpath.

Willow emerald damselfly, 2 August 2014

Willow emerald damselflies on the plants along a pond.

Willow emerald damselfly on plant, 2 August 2014

Red admiral, 2 August 2014

On a flower, a red admiral butterfly.

Small tortoiseshell and peacock, 2 August 2014

A bit further, a small tortoiseshell and a peacock butterfly on the same butterfly-bush flower; with a red admiral in the background.

Peacock butterfly, 2 August 2014

Brimstone butterfly, 2 August 2014

Other butterflies: whitish with a bit of greenish: brimstone butterflies.

This is a brimstone butterfly video.

Edible frog sound.

The weather changes fast: from hot and sunny to thunderstorm. We go back. First, we hear the thunder and see the lightning. Then, rain starts. A little rain. Then, very much more rain.

A song thrush on the forest floor.

As thunder, lighting and rain continued, a buzzard took off from Corversbos field.

Photograph a rose-ringed parakeet, get right to name it


Ring-necked parakeet A28 in Leiden with number

Translated from Sleutelstad radio in Leiden, the Netherlands:

Leiden parakeets get names and numbers

Leiden – Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:02

Chris de Waard

Already 85 wild parakeets in Leiden have recently received medals around their necks. Researcher Roland Jonker of the Center for Environmental Sciences of Leiden University wants the ‘Parakeets by numbers‘ project to map how the Leiden parakeet population evolves: “We would really like to know where the birds go, we are also curious about the size of the population and how long the Leiden parakeets live.”

The parakeets’ medals have unique letters and numbers, so the parakeets are easily recognizable. It is estimated that in and around Leiden approximately 850 ring-necked parakeets live. So by now about ten percent have clearly visible badges. Jonker hopes that from now on Leiden people will report back massively parakeets with medals by making pictures of them and posting these to the research project’s Facebook page. As a reward, people who rediscover a parakeet may name that bird.

The medals do not hinder the ring-necked parakeets, according to Jonker. Last year a few parakeets got ‘collars’ and when they were caught again later, it turned out they had not been harmed by them.

“Parakeets by numbers” is a joint project of the Center for Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University and City Parrots in collaboration with the Bird Migration Station and Waarneming.nl.

This research project chose medals, not leg bands, for parakeets; as with the numbers, the birds do not have to be caught again to read letters and numbers, causing less stress for the birds.

United States woman jailed for photographing pro-peace protest


This 11 July 2014 video from the USA is called Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base.

From Alternet in the USA:

By Alyssa Figueroa

Woman Sentenced to Prison for Photographing a War Protest

‘We are losing a generation because of drones’ says activist Mary Anne Grady Flores.

July 26, 2014

Warplanes have long been based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, NY. But in 2009, something new arrived: MQ-9 Reaper drones that were flown remotely over Afghanistan, dropping missiles and bombs and unleashing terror.

Organizers in Upstate New York started protests soon after the drones arrived and founded Upstate Drone Action in 2010. In 2011, one longtime activist and member of the Catholic Worker movement, Mary Anne Grady Flores, 57, joined the struggle. As part of the “Hancock 38” in April that year, she was arrested for protesting at the base’s main entrance by participating in a die-in to illustrate the indiscriminate killing of civilians overseas by drones.

She was arrested again in October 2012 for another act of “civil resistance,” as she puts it, not “civil disobedience,” to uphold the U.S. Constitution and international treaties the U.S. signed. That led to Grady Flores and the 16 others being placed under court orders restricting their protest rights. Frustrated by the protesters’ persistence, a base commander, Col. Earl Evans, sought and received an orders of protection — usually reserved for domestic violence victims — which was used over time to bar approximately 50 protesters from the base’s grounds.

In February 2013, Grady Flores stood in the public intersection beyond the driveway leading to the air base taking pictures of the eight protesters participating in an Ash Wednesday action. Those witnessing were asking for forgiveness for what we as American citizens are doing with killer drones. She was later arrested across the street and down the road for “violating the order of protection.” A higher court has found the use of the order invalid.

But on July 10, DeWitt Town Court Judge David Gideon gave Grady Flores the maximum sentence of one year in jail for a second-degree criminal contempt charge, leaving a courtroom of supporters in shock. He defended his harsh sentence by claiming that she “would simply thumb her nose at the law once again.” DeWitt Town judges are planning on holding 20 upcoming trials from August 2014 through 2015, threatening to send each activist to one year in jail.

On Wednesday, July 23, eight protesters went back to the air base to issue their own “people’s order of protection” on behalf of drone victims around the world. Seven were arrested and charged with trespass. Two of the protesters — Grady Flores’ sister Clare and Martha Hennessey, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker — were charged with violating their orders of protection and are being held on $10,000 bail. All of them refuse to post bail and remain in jail pending their Aug. 6 court dates.

“These judges are out to try to stop the protests on behalf of the base,” Grady Flores said, who is out on $5,000 bail pending her appeal.

Grady Flores spoke to AlterNet about what motivates her to protest against drones, the connections she sees between our foreign and domestic policies, and what gives her hope.

Alyssa Figueroa: You joined these anti-drone protests in 2011. What made you start?

Mary Anne Grady Flores: Drones are a critical issue for people in the countries that are under attack, and it’s important for those of us in the States to make the connections between poverty, racism and colonialism. As many black and Native feminists have pointed out, the violence that has historically and continues to be perpetrated inside the so-called borders of the United States sustains American imperialism abroad.

Great crested grebe and chicks


Great crested grebe and chicks, The Hague 2014

Lizia was so kind to send me this beautiful photo of a great crested grebe with chicks; photo taken from the Houtrustbrug bridge in the Hague. On 19 July 2014, cloudy weather.

Blue-crowned motmot and white-eared ground sparrows in Costa Rica


This is a video about a blue-crowned motmot; recorded in Alajuela in Costa Rica.

After the Escher art in the botanical garden in Heredia, Costa Rica on 30 March 2014, there were, of course, birds.

First, a black vulture flying overhead.

Blue-crowned motmot, 30 March 2014

Then, much closer, a blue-crowned motmot. First, on the lawn just before our feet; then in a nearby bush.

Twenty minutes later, at 11:55, two motmots.

A Hoffmann’s woodpecker.

Hours later, at 16:43, a female Baltimore oriole.

This video is from Costa Rica is about a clay-coloured thrush. Called yigüirro, it is the national bird of Costa Rica. It occurs in this garden as well.

Clay-coloured thrush, 30 March 2014

A clay-coloured thrush washed itself in a birdbath.

White-eared ground sparrows, 30 March 2014

Then, late in the afternoon, two special birds at another birdbath: white-eared ground sparrows. In Costa Rica, they live only in the Central Valley. Because of their skulking habits, and ‘best seen at near … dusk’, many people don’t see them there.

White-eared ground sparrow, 30 March 2014

So, a fine end to our last full day in Costa Rica.

Stay tuned for the blog post on our last Costa Rican early morning, 31 March!

Escher art in Costa Rica


Metamorphosis III, 30 March 2014

Still 30 March 2014, in the botanical garden of Heredia in Costa Rica. Not just birds in that garden; art as well. This art, based on the woodcut print Metamorphosis III by Dutch artist M.C. Escher, was in one of the garden buildings; a round gazebo.

Escher, Metamorphosis III reptiles, 30 March 2014

In Escher’s work, reptile forms slowly morph into other forms.

Escher, Metamorphosis III more reptiles, 30 March 2014

Escher, Metamorphosis III bees, 30 March 2014

And bees morph into other insects.

Escher, Metamorphosis III birds, 30 March 2014

And birds into fish.

Escher, Metamorphosis III birds and mammals, 30 March 2014

And birds into mammals.

Escher, Metamorphosis III yet more reptiles, 30 March 2014

Until we were back at the reptiles again.