domingo, 29 de março de 2009

Letter to a friend

I have just sent a reminder to a friend in Scotland, I am always asked to keep in touch, and this I try to do with friends and family, not always getting a response from folks but still hoping that they are well, if all but occupied with work, the never ending cry from those in Europe, cannot stop, have to work to pay the bills.
Here I am writing to a friend in Edinburgh, she works for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, and therefore has an interest in what I have written. Having sent the letter I thought that the general theme is of interest to all, the climate change is being seen as that, here in Brazil, and there is now a degree of concern. For the the farming industry is moving and the crops are changing, the areas of high rain fall are creating as much a problem as the areas without rainfall. The possible plan for new canals to be built to distribute water to the North of Brazil, may well be needed to create drains for the South; if Sáo Paulo is to be taken as an example, the city needs some flood protection and dry culverts to drain the rain fall, that at present, flooding large areas of the city, on a daily basis.
It is amazing how the government can let the infra-structure of a country go to ruin and still expect the country to continue on a path, to good economic growth; forget the world financial crisis, Brazil creates its own crisis on a daily basis.
Today's letter.....
Hi Susie, I guess all my friends in the UK and family, are up to their necks in work, have not heard a dicky bird from anyone for ages. talking of birds! here are some photos of an owl that has been in the garden for the last few weeks, I think it is called a Buraqueira Coruja, or a burrowing owl, the most common, if common is the word, of the species that would be in Bahia. It does not seem to mind being in the daylight, or near houses and people, I guess that it eats insects and very small rodents, it seems to be spending time in the plants that I have in the centre of the garden. When I first arrived here, the garden had been left for many years, the trees were enormous and had families of monkeys, there were eagles and vultures, lots of insects and therefore bird and animal life, but also many mosquitos. It is rare nao, not just with my cutting down the trees, but with the general build up of houses here, to see any of the wildlife that I used to see. The swarms of locust and abundance of dragonfly have also gone, as well as the different kinds of fish that you would see being caught here in the sea and the river that passes at the back of the house. This river is now so slow that it is over grown with plants, and is for all purposes a lake that is almost still water. There have been, and probably still are, enormous snakes in the lake, a few years ago a TV naturalist, who has a programme of the wildlife of South America, was almost killed by a snake that he caught a few miles north of here in the same river, he got hold of a python to show the camera, and the dear thing was bigger than he had thought, it wrapped its body around his head and arms whilst he was up to his chest in the river, the camera man continued to film him, but he was sufficiently strong enough to release the snakes grip on his wind pipe and then on his neck, but he was a bit shaken at the end of it......!!!!! I still have the humming birds in the garden, but again, very few, and do not see the fire-flies or glow worms, that I once saw, the climate in Brazil is definitely changing, the South and interior has been getting a huge amount of rainfall, a lot of serious flooding, whilst parts of the North have had little rain for a few years, places not getting rain for 10 months or so, when you see the TV news , it is like parts of the African interior, dead cattle and folks desperately trying to make do with a few grains of rice and beans, with almost no water, or having to walk miles to find some source for water.
I think this side of Brazil is lost to the foreigner, the lush valleys and tropical Amazon, cascading waterfalls and abundance of wildlife, is the normal view of life here in paradise.
Hope that all is well, and you are not all suffering from lack of sunshine.......Scotland can be so miserable if it is cold and raining for more than a month or two........ Stuart

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