Midway Memories

Imagine being half way across the Pacific ocean on a tiny island with two million birds. That’s what I did in February just before the world locked down and the atoll closed to visitors. We were so lucky to have the chance to visit this amazing place. It was a chance in a life time for me,  and what a memory I now have as I sequester at home!

By Nancy Burnett, Founder of Shape of Life

Buzzed on Bees

I’ve been hanging out with my honeybees a lot lately. There are many reasons for this, including:

  • Hives are swarming like gangbusters in our neighborhood. Due to our magnificent spring season  hives have expanded beyond their ‘crib’ and need more room for new queens, brood and  food (pollen). (By the way, don’t freak out when you see honeybees swarm).
  • I’ve been beekeeping for almost nine years and remain a novice about beekeeping and these incredible creatures. I never tire of watching them. Each of my three hives have their own personality.
  • Spring is the busiest time of year for beekeepers. It’s especially important we keep their hives healthy and safe to sustain a fruitful summer and comfortable fall and winter.

By Denise Ryan

 

Acidification – Faster Than You Think

Tiny calcium carbonate shells tell us how fast the ocean is acidifying.

We were alarmed by recent headlines that said, “Waters Off California Acidifying Faster Than Rest of Oceans, Study Shows.” We live in coastal California. Acidification is a drop in the ocean’s pH that occurs when excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in seawater. The study featured in the news article examined the fossil shells of foraminifera, a simple-shelled planktonic organism that uses calcium carbonate to build its shells. Researchers found a 20% reduction in calcification in the shells of foraminifera in the last century. Shell-building marine animals need the carbonate ions from the ocean and they’re becoming scarcer with a more acid ocean.

Crisis in Australia

No one could be happier than us that Australia has finally had a reprieve from the devastating fires.

A massive dump of water - more than 400mm (15.7in) in some places - caused flooding and transport chaos, but also helped finish off many of the fires.

While we appreciate the rain, the world has endured a horrendous loss with the destruction of homes and habitats on a massive scale the likes of which we have never seen with an inestimable number of animals killed. The rescue of Australia’s charismatic megafauna, the koalas and kangaroos, have captured our hearts.