Jeff Vandermeer’s latest deserves at least a short review but it has a lot in common with Slow River, a re-issue in the SF Masterworks series, so I thought I should write about that at the same time. Slow River in turn connects to an intriguing anthology of newer short SF, so here we go.
Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff Vandermeer (2021, Harper Collins) was described on the back cover as, “An intellectual mindf*ck disguised as a thriller,” and by the time I finished it I was inclined to agree.
A couple of our resident frogs got very excited by the rain we had on the night of November 16. We didn’t see them at it but we heard a lot of ecstatic croaking in the night and discovered a large mass of eggs floating in a bucket of rain water next morning.
Part of my reason for writing about Tahune Airwalk (previous post) was its connection to a book that came my way recently, The Arbornaut by Meg Lowman (Allen & Unwin, 2021).
Lowman is a field biologist whose unique contribution to botany was to realise that trying to understand the biology of trees by looking only at their trunks was futile and developing ways of getting up into the trees’ crowns to study them – first by using a slingshot to set up climbing ropes, then by coming up with the idea of a high footbridge through the rainforest canopy.
As I was cleaning out our filing cabinet (yes, still have one of those!) I found all of our power bills back from when we first had solar installed. I crunched the numbers out of curiosity and found that in solar credits, we saved $7594 over the last 10+ years. This doesn’t include the offsetting of power (e.g. using the power off the roof during the day); that’s about $3000 worth. Given our 1.5 kW solar panels were only $3300 at the time, that’s not a bad return.
This blog has its own Facebook page, set up as an easy way of sharing news about conservation and climate change issues.
Soon after starting it, I began to include casual posts featuring animals which were special in some way – rescued baby animals, rare species turning up in new places, etc – under the heading of ‘cute critter’ (sorry, but I have a weakness for alliteration). They are reminders of why we do what we do, and often give us a lift by showing that we can indeed make a difference.