Saturday, March 13, 2010

International Year of Biodiversity

Above: Mimetes hirtus, Cape Point

The University of British Columbia's Botanic Garden (UBCBG)'s Botany Photo of the Day Flickr group is honouring the theme of biodiversity by dedicating each month's photographic contributions to a certain aspect of biodiversity. I intend to be active in April: Urban Biodiversity!

If you are a plant geek and/or like taking pictures, it's a very interesting group (and the plant forums of the UBCBG are incredibly helpful for all sorts of botanical questions). You can also subscribe to the daily photo from them and have it pop up on your blog in the sidebar, or receive it in email. It's not that user-friendly at the moment and I'll post a link if I can figure one out.

Back to Flickr: administrator Daniel Mosquin says:

To help celebrate 2010's Int'l Year of Biodiversity (IYB), we've set up thematic months for educational programming at UBC Botanical Garden. We'd like that to spill over into BPotD as well, so to that end, here are the monthly themes and suggested tags if you want to make things really easy for us as we put together week-long series for each theme:

J: Resolutions for Biodiversity - iybjan

F: Biodiversity and Sports - iybfeb

M: Biodiversity and the North - iybmar

A: Urban Biodiversity - iybapr

M: Biodiversity & Botanical Gardens - iybmay

J: Biodiversity and Culture - iybjun

J: Biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest - iybjul

A: Biodiversity of China - iybaug

S: Tropical Biodiversity - iybsep

O: Biodiversity and Food -iyboct

N: Biodiversity and Health - iybnov

D: Biodiversity Inspirations - iybdec

You'll find some discussion and clarification here.

This month's theme is Northern Biodiversity, but here I think I have an example of Southern Biodiversity:

Interestingly, I had never seen a mimetes in bloom before. I caught a glimpse of this one's flame colour as we drove through Cape Point back from Dias Beach one day. Some people look for animals. I look for flowers. A bit of careful bundu bashing (or bending in this case) led us to a little seep area, then pond, and there were these two huge, flourishing, gorgeous shrubs. Frogs clicked and krieked from the water, grasses waved and a sugar bird darted past. A tourist bus buzzed by, oblivious, racing to the Point itself, to disgorge its occupants to point and shoot, and buzz back again.

I think they miss the point entirely. The point is to stand still and listen. And look. Because then you see.


  1. Are you really sure it's a PLANT? It's spectacular. I have so enjoyed your plant photos on this trip. I know it's your home, so the plants seem "normal", but for this girl from the US south it has been like a botanical visit to another planet.

    You lesson today is an important one. When I first started scuba diving, I would rush here and there wanted to see everything. I learned, tho, to choose one spot and just settle down and let everything come to me. Looking for the detail in nature is the same way. The view from the point will be just as spectacular, but look at what else you saw - and shared with us - by taking it slowly.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You put me on to the Botany Photo of the Day some time ago, and I've been so glad you did; such wonders are posted there, and such interesting facts about plants we either don't notice or would never know about. I pass it on to others too.

    Your photos are pretty spectacular too, especially your posh picnic shots!

  3. Webb - I think the plants are pretty spectacular, too. That bush was as tall as I am, which is just under 6'...Actually, your lesson is the good one. Letting things come to you, by being still. Or instead, allowing things to go on happening, as they did, before we got there :-)

    Thanks, Rachel - you know, the picnic wasn't that posh. But I think candles have an immediate poshifying effect. Also, I ban plastic.

    PS Sigh...I will post about the elderflower jelly. I overcooked it :-(


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