ecology wtf


The weather is lovely: all sunny with crisp air. I went shopping for Christmas presents today and am almost finished buying for the Danish side of the family. Almost. On my way home from town, I met up with Other Half and we went for a walk through autumnal woodlands. And we saw this little cutie just a three-minute walk away from Dumbarton Road, one of the busiest roads in our part of town:

Ghost Tree

The other day we went for a stroll along the river and saw a ghostly tree. It stood out like a sore thumb around the rich, green foliage: it was completely white with no leaves.

We walked closer trying to find out what it was: was it an art statement or maybe an act of vandalism? We were busy discussing various possibilities but as we got closer, we fell completely silent.

The tree was covered in a web of white silky strands. And it was alive.

It was alive in more than one sense of the word. It was alive with tiny caterpillars crawling all over it. The grass area surrounding the tree was yellow - that is, the part of the lawn which was infected by caterpillars. Tent caterpillars, to be precise.

The local birds were quite enamoured by this tree and happily swooped down for an extra juicy caterpillar or two whilst completely ignoring the two foolish humans below. One bullfinch even posed for a photo or two whilst enjoying the caterpillar buffet.

And at home the internet provided us with answers and I realised that things could be a lot creepier than just a single ghost tree down by the river.

Saturday Linkage

This week I rummaged around on the net and almost accidentally joined a book club based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Thankfully the members correspond with each other online. The idea is that you set yourself up for reading 20 books within a set time (which is very achievable) and some of these books have to be books recommend to you (which is admittedly the only thing I struggle with a bit because I am set in my ways, I am). I have always had a natural distrust of book clubs but let's see how this one works out.

Famous SciFi films as Woodcuts? Yes, and they are beautiful. I have always had a soft spot for Russian woodcuts - this probably stems from my childhood when I'd read Eastern European fairy tales illustrated with amazingly visceral woodcuts (I'm still amazed that my parental unit never took them away from me - some of the woodcuts were brutal). Now I'm not entirely sure whether the linked pictures are actual woodcuts or illustrations deliberately designed to recall woodcuts (I suspect the latter) - but I do know it's fun trying to suss out just which film they are referring to. And The Matrix one is just damn cool.

I have also looked at Seven Proposed Futuristic Cities. Funny how modern architecture tends towards towers/tall structures (and has done so for about a century). I would be much more interested in futuristic cities preoccupied with ecology, sustainable energy and fabulous architecture. Surely these things are not mutually exclusive?

Finally, as I have had nasty migraines all throughout, I have spent most of my time crocheting. Yeah, I've rediscovered my crafty roots (I used to be really creative and crafty when I was in my teens) thanks to surfing Etsy and thinking: "You want $35 for that?! Dream on.."

So, let me know if you want a hat or a scarf. I promise I won't crochet anything too heinous (plus you could always go for an iPod cover).