16/03/19 Life Updates: biodiversity and beyond

So long, my friends! πŸ™‚ It has been one month since I posted an article, and almost two months since I wrote a blogpost that is biodiversity-related. The graduating year of high school has been hectic for me, and striking the fine balance amongst all my commitments — schoolwork, scientific research, biodiversity, friendships, college application, etc. etc. — is an arduous quest.

Thankfully, Spring Break’s here (YAYYY!!!!!), and hopefully I will spare a day or two to truly re-immerse myself in the miraculous healing power of nature again, and share some biodiversity with you on this platform! I am considering the central/Northern region. Stay tuned for this next nature watch experience!

More importantly, some updates about my biodiversity journey: my friend and I launched an Instagram account @nature.bio.philo about 1.5 months ago! We have daily posts (at least we try to haha) on amazing fauna around the world, mostly birds and occasionally butterflies and dragonflies. Some of you might have come from our IG, so hi and welcome! (Sorry about vanishing on this blog for one month πŸ™ btw)

It’s a wonderful experience appreciating the amazing captures you have tagged us #treslittlebird with! It’s particularly interesting to see different nature photography styles. Photographers from Japan never fail to capture fluffy tits with snow-white plumage, while those from India and SEA capture vibrantly coloured birds; some focus on portraying the details on the birds, while others show birds in their surrounding habitats. We are forever grateful for your amazing shots! If you have just started on nature photography, cannot afford a DSLR, or have little time to spare for your passion in biodiversity, we totally feel you! Tag us with your pictures anyway! Our motto is “to celebrate amateur nature photography”!

Besides pictures, I really had fun writing posts about the distribution, behaviours and fun facts about these birds (and lepidopteras)! How else would I have known that almost all blue colours that appear on birds’ plumages and butterflies’ wings are just tricks to our eyes? The iridescence 🌈 (change in colour when viewed from different angles) on the brown-throated sunbird’s feathers below, for example, gives that away. They are amazing structures designed by nature to scatter light in a way that reflects blue into our eyes.

A typical feed of @nature.bio.philo

We are always proud to celebrate the works of our friends and teachers, and of course our own. As students, we currently make do with an iPhone X and a monocular that can be set up attached to phone camera lens, which actually works amazingly (low-budget production woohoo!). But still, my first goal in life is to save/earn enough to buy a decent DSLR with good lenses. Any recommendations for cheaper but trushworthy sources?

A yellow-vented bulbul captured by my friend using iPhone X and a monocular πŸ˜‰ Taken on our school compound.

We are also working in a team of science students on something exciting in celebration of our school’s biodiversity! A website and a mobile app to educate our schoolmates, alumni, visitors about flora and fauna on campus! With increasing number of things on our to-do lists, sometimes a stroll through campus is sufficient to make us forget about all else and enjoy nature!

Like an infant still dependent on the milk of Mother Earth, my spirit wanes and heart drains dry when I’m further away from the nectar of nature. Yesterday (15 March) was student strike day worldwide for action on climate change. Yuval Noah Harari said in his famous book “Sapiens: A brief history of mankind” (which I am reading now) that it is questionable whether humans can live for another thousand years. The ascend of Homo Sapiens occured so fast and sudden that nature simply cannot keep up. It is the foremost duty of our generation to conserve our only Planet Earth. No matter whether you think global warming is a conspiracy theory, the facts and statistics are out there, and we must deal with the reality. Turn a blind eye, and the end of human civilisation (on Earth at least) would approach ever nearer.

Okay this took a sharp turn haha… It feels so liberating and empowering at the same time to be typing out a blog post again! Till next time (soon..?) !

Islina x

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