Carnivorous plants and blackcap

Last time that I blogged here about a boat in Naardermeer nature reserve, it was in fall. Now, it was in spring.

Also, last time, the boat started in the north west of the lake. This day was the first time ever that the boat started from the east.

Before the boat started, cuckoo sounds. A great cormorant. A speckled wood butterfly. A kestrel, hovering.

The canal to the lake where we started, has been dug recently. During the digging, several archaeological discoveries were made, including old pipes from Gouda, and canonballs from the many times when there had been sieges of nearby Naarden town.

There are many damselflies above the water. This time of the year is mating season, especially for blue-tailed damselflies and large red damselflies. Many of them in love tandems. Especially large red tandems sit down on the boat. Hundreds of blue-tailed damselflies, most of them in tandems, are close to the water.

A grey heron. A marsh harrier. A reed warbler‘s song.

A great crested grebe.

Then, we go to the great cormorant nesting colony. A few decades ago, five thousand couples used to nest there. That was 90% of all great cormorants of the Netherlands. Since then, the species has increased in the Netherlands as a whole, while decreasing in the Naardermeer. Today, 1000 couples nest here, 5% of the national total number. This is because there are now good nesting opportunities in Flevoland province nearby. In some great cormorant nests here, there are already chicks, in other nests not yet.

Willow warbler and chiffchaff sounds.

A buzzard in a tree.

On a bank grow lots of carnivorous plants. They are common sundew. A blue-tailed damselfly is caught by one of them.

A young edible frog hops past.

Among plant species here: common cottongrass; kingcup; and ragged robin; and water mint.

A pied wagtail on a small bridge.

Stratiotes, still underwater at this time of the year. This species is important for at least two animal species: black terns who nest on it; and Aeschna viridis dragonflies who lay their eggs on them. Someone sees a downy emerald dragonfly.

The song of the Savi’s warbler.

A grey lag goose. A common sandpiper.

A gadwall duck.

Just before the boat gets back to the beginning, little ringed plovers.

As we walk back, a blackcap in a tree.

We go to the west side of the Naardermeer.

Redshanks. Gadwalls and shelducks. A common tern, diving. Reed bunting sound. A sedge warbler in song flight.

Three lapwings driving a carrion crow away.

In a meadow: grey lag geese, escaped domestic geese, barnacle geese, and a Canada goose.

A white stork passed, flying very close to the bicycle track.

Then, two Egyptian geese, flying.

First lesbian Poet Laureate

From British daily The Independent:

Scottish woman named as Poet Laureate


Friday, 1 May 2009

Carol Ann Duffy: has surprised followers by apparently changing her mind about accepting the role of Poet Laureate

The new Poet Laureate was named today as Andrew Motion‘s 10-year tenure comes to an end, with Carol Ann Duffy becoming the first female to hold the title.

Duffy, 53, is credited as being a rarity in poetry for combining commercial and critical success. She was in the running for the prestigious role in 1999, but lost out to Motion over what British media reported were concerns about how people would react to a lesbian laureate.

Duffy was born in Glasgow and read philosophy at Liverpool University. In 2002 she was made a CBE and lectures in poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Germaine Greer on this: here.

Flemish poet Guido Gezelle: here.

Spanish investigation of Bush regime torture

This video from the USA says about itself:

TORTURE AND PRESIDENT BUSH… Andrew Sullivan tries to explain the deliberately confusing detainee bill. Then Anderson Cooper interviews — the Canadian that was detained, tortured, then found innocent.

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden:

Spanish judge launches new torture probe of Bush officials

1 May 2009

Spain’s top investigative judge, Baltasar Garzón, has launched a new criminal investigation into allegations of torture at Guantánamo Bay and other US prison camps that will target the “possible material authors, enablers and accomplices” of the illegal abuse of detainees.

In a strongly worded court order issued Wednesday, Garzón indicated that he would investigate the role of high-level Bush administration officials in what he called an “authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties.”

Guantánamo Bay, he wrote, could be seen as “a true ‘limbo’ in the legal sense which is defined by a multitude of treaties and conventions signed by the International Community.”

Garzón clearly implied that he would consider bringing charges against Bush officials who authored, directed or sanctioned the use of torture, not simply the CIA agents who carried it out or the Justice Department lawyers who provided pseudo-legal justifications. …

The attitude of the American political and media establishment to Garzón’s investigation is indicated by the virtual silence with which the media has greeted it. It has barely been reported on the television news channels and been given only the most perfunctory coverage in the print media. An article was published in the electronic edition of the New York Times Wednesday, but not in the next day’s print edition.

This response demonstrates once again the complicity of the media, both in the criminal actions perpetrated by the Bush administration and the efforts by Obama to prevent those guilty of state crimes from being held accountable.

Torture Advocates will Set the Military Back for Generations: here.

Cheney and torture: here.

The Cheney Torture Tour: What’s the Deal? Here.

Survey: The More Often You Go to Church, The More Likely You Are to Support Torture: here.

US lawyers claim they have videos implicating Abu Dhabi royal in more cases of torture, a week after outcry over his assaults on Afghan businessman: here.