Goshawk vs Snake Fight — in Tokyo?!

I just saw an NHK (if you’re Canadian think CBC) clip of a snake trying to snatch a goshawk chick from a nest way up a tree — in Meiji Jingu park in Tokyo. Mom GH intervened…

I used to walk through Meiji Jingu a couple of times a week on the way to work when I lived in Tokyo. I would get off the train a few stations early to fill my lungs with somewhat naturally filtered air and enjoy this haven in a sea of concrete and pavement…

But I never imagined a goshawk/snake fight in this green oasis in a metropolitan area of some 25-30 million people!

I’m attaching this Google Earth capture, just to show how isolated this island of biodiversity is in one of the largest metropolitan centers on Earth.

The red marker is Meiji Shrine and its park. The surrounding grey area is all buildings, concrete, and pavement. The other green areas to the right are other parks, and the Imperial Palace.

Meiji Jingu Tokyo Google Maps

Keeping Emergency Water Fresh

We completed refreshing our earthquake water supply kit tonight.

Here in Burnaby on the west coast of Canada we are in an earthquake zone. We don’t get them that often, and usually when we do they are tiny. But historically there have also been temblors  that (I love this quotation, though I don’t remember where I read/heard it) have “knocked cows off their feet.”

We keep 3 X 20L containers on hand. We also rotate through them for camping, so the water gets refreshed in the course of such activities, but we haven’t been camping in awhile.

So over the last couple of days we used a container a day to water our balcony garden and some shrubbery outside the front door.

We then refreshed the containers with a baking soda solution, let them air for awhile, and refilled them.

New CPU Fan Cures Whiny Computer

Today I reached the limit of my patience with a CPU fan that had become whiny over the years. It sounded like a 1-pound mosquito, and the whine varied in pitch with the workload on the CPU, making it even more irritating.

Air blowing and vacuuming a couple of times had reduced the volume, but it always returned to distracting levels after a day or two.

new CPU fan
The new CPU fan above the old fan. The new one is huge, stands “sideways” atop the CPU like a mini-skyscraper, and has a different mounting system from the old fan. When I was buying it, the guy asked “are you sure you have a big case?” I can see why he asked :-).

After struggling with instructions for nearly two hours (!), I laid out all the parts that came with the new fan, checked my parts bag from the original motherboard, and put together my own installation solution.
new_cpu_fan_2_20150706
The new fan nearly touches the clear side of the tower.

Ah, the sounds of silence! The computer is now barely audible, knock on wood…

1963 Passport Photo

Some office cleaning today turned up a 4 X 5″ negative of a passport photo of my late Dad, taken in 1963.

Yep, in those days they still shot on 4 X 5, likely did a contact print, and then physically cropped to passport size.

Dmytro Cipywnyk passport photo

Byrne Creek Salmon Fry, Thirsty Wasps, Bees

I took a one-hour loop in Byrne Creek Ravine Park this afternoon in SE Burnaby, BC. I was happy to see lots of salmon fry, and possibly trout fry. I took water temperatures at three points in the lower ravine, and they ranged from 14.5 – 15 C, so not too bad for fish. Other volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers had recorded temps as high as 17 further downstream.

Aside from lots of fry, I also saw thirsty wasps and bees. Some wasps were rolling and collecting mud.

Byrne Creek salmon fry
Lots of fry in the pool upstream of the wooden footbridge

wasp rolling mud
Wasp rolling mud on the bank of the creek

water-seeking bees
One of several bees seeking hydration

salmon fry, dappled sun and water
I like how the sun and moving water created this dappled appearance

Closure of Church that Ancestors Built is Saddening

I’m not very religious, but it saddens me that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church out on the farm in Saskatchewan is shutting down. No more regular services — there hasn’t been a regular schedule for some time.

Donations the last few years have been going to the graveyard maintenance fund.

You’ll find several of my ancestors there, great grandparents that I never knew, grandparents that I loved and who loved me, an uncle Paul who died as a teenager whom I never knew, but who carries on in me, Paul…

I hear there will still be an annual blessing of the graves, and an occasional service, perhaps near Easter, or another key church calendar event.

I know this has been happening for decades all over the Canadian prairies.

Once-vibrant communities with a family on every quarter-section are steadily distilled into massive corporate farm-holding operations that only survive through scale of farming many square miles….

What I find really amazing is that this cycle took just a single century. “Breaking” the land and settling in the 1910s and 1920s, and now many families gone a hundred years later. Wow.

Streamkeeping, sustainability, community, business, photography, books, and animals, with occasional forays into social commentary. Text and Photos © Paul Cipywnyk