Some natural supplement images:
Tonle Sap Lake K – Chong Kneas the floating village 09
Image by Daniel Mennerich
Tonlé Sap (literally large river (tonle); fresh, not salty (sap), commonly translated to "Great Lake") refers to a seasonally inundated freshwater lake, the Tonlé Sap Lake and an attached river, the 120 km (75 mi) long Tonlé Sap River, that connects the lake to the Mekong.
They form the central part of a complex hydrological system, situated in the 12,876 km2 (4,971 sq mi) Cambodian floodplain covered with a mosaic of natural and agricultural habitats that the Mekong replenishes with water and sediments annually. The central plain formation is the result of millions of years of Mekong alluvial deposition and discharge. From a geological perspective, the Tonlé Sap Lake and Tonlé Sap River are a current freeze-frame representation of the slowly, but ever shifting Lower Mekong Basin. Annual fluctuation of the Mekong’s water volume, supplemented by the Asian Monsoon regime causes the unique flow reversal of the Tonle Sap River.
The Tonlé Sap Lake occupies a geological depression (the lowest lying area) of the vast alluvial and lacustrine floodplain in the Lower Mekong Basin, which had been induced by the collision of the Indian Plate with the Eurasian Plate. The lake’s size, length and water volume varies considerably over the course of a year from an area of around 2,500 km2 (965 sq mi), a volume of 1 km3 (0 cu mi) and a length of 160 km (99 mi) at the end of the dry season in late April to an area of up to 16,000 km2 (6,178 sq mi), a volume of 80 km3 (19 cu mi) and a length of 250 km (160 mi) as the Mekong maximum and the peak of the South-West monsoon’s precipitation culminate in September and early October.
As one of the world’s most varied and productive ecosystems the region has always been of central importance for Cambodia’s food provision. It proved capable to maintain the Angkorean civilization, the largest pre-industrial settlement complex in world history. Either directly or indirectly it affects the livelihood of large numbers of a predominantly rural population to this day. With regards to a growing and migrating population, ineffective administration and widespread indifference towards environmental issues the lake and its surrounding ecosystem is coming under increasing pressure from over-exploitation and habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss. All Mekong riparian states have either announced or already implemented plans to increasingly exploit the river’s hydroelectric potential. A succession of international facilities that dam the river’s mainstream is likely to be the gravest danger yet for the entire Tonle Sap eco-region.
The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, that contains an exceptional large variety of interconnected eco-regions with a high degree of biodiversity is a biodiversity hotspot and was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1997.
Christmas Beetle – Anoplognathus species – Capital Hill – ACT – 20151210 @ 05:40
Image by MomentsForZen
Say "hello" to an Australian Christmas beetle, a member of the "scarab" beetle family. As would be expected given their common name, they are particularly abundant at this time of the year in Australia (i.e., December/January, Summer).
This is most likely Anoplognathus pallidicollis, but there are several dozen species in the Anoplognathus genus and I’m not absolutely certain of this identification.
This specimen displayed an attractive green-yellow iridescence, but unfortunately I couldn’t capture this in any of my photographs.
Capital Hill, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
iPhone 6s Plus – Photograph taken with the back-facing camera on an iPhone 6s Plus.
Camera+ – The Camera+ camera replacement app was used to capture the image using the Macro mode. The flash was used to supplement the natural light.
Handy Photo – Used the Retouch tool to remove some distracting background elements.
Photoshop Express – Reflected the image across a vertical plane, then cropped it to square format (2424 x 2424 pixels).
Filterstorm Neue – Altered the white balance / temperature.
Snapseed – Performed overall lighting adjustments.
Superimpose – Created a mask for the beetle. Used this to selectively lighten and desaturate the background.
Photoshop Express – Applied the sharpening filter.
Pixlr – Added some vignette to darken the corners of the image.
Snapseed – Made final overall lighting changes.
ExifEditor – EXIF data from the original photograph transferred to the final image.
Established in 1994 when Illinois 10th District Congressman John Porter read a resolution into the Congressional Record, the designation of February as National Bird Feeding Month brought awareness to the plight of wild birds.
"During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird’s natural diet of weed seeds and insects," according to a portion of the resolution presented by Congressman Porter.
Here are six steps you can take to make the future brighter for birds:
1. Put out the welcome mat! Habitat loss is the biggest challenge facing birds. You can help by making your neighborhood more attractive to birds by landscaping with native plants that provide natural food sources, shelter from the elements and predators, and nesting sites. Providing feeders, nest boxes and water also benefits birds.
2. Prepare a proper menu. Providing the appropriate foods year round will attract more birds to your yard and help ensure that they have a safe and nutritious diet.
3. Keep feed and feeding areas clean. To help reduce the possibility of disease transmission in birds, clean feeders and feeding areas at least once a month. Plastic and metal feeders can go in the dishwasher, or rinse these and other styles with a 10% solution of bleach and warm water. Scrub birdbaths with a brush and replace water every three to five days to discourage mosquito reproduction. Rake up and dispose of seed hulls under feeders. Moving feeders periodically helps prevent the buildup of waste on the ground. Keep seed and foods dry; discard food that smells musty, is wet or looks moldy. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every three to five days, or every other day in warm weather. It’s good hygiene to wash your hands after filling or cleaning feeders.
4. Birds and chemicals don’t mix. Many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are toxic to birds; avoid using these near areas where birds feed, bathe or rest.
5. Keep cats away from birds. Scientists estimate that cats probably kill hundreds of millions of birds each year in the U.S. This is a big problem, but it’s easy to fix. Many people who enjoy feeding birds also love cats. The best solution is to keep cats indoors. They will lead longer, healthier lives, and your yard will be safer for birds. Install feeders in areas not readily accessible to cats or install fences or other barriers to help keep stray cats from feeder areas.
6. Reduce window collisions. Collisions with glass windows kill millions of wild birds every year. Depending on their size and location, some windows reflect the sky or vegetation, and birds are fooled into thinking they can fly through them. To eliminate this problem identify windows that cause collisions (typically larger, reflective windows, those near the ground, or those that “look through” the house). Attaching decorative decals or other decorations to the outside surface of the glass can reduce reflections. Feeder birds fleeing predators are vulnerable to window collisions. If this is happening at your house, consider moving feeders within three feet of the windows so that birds cannot accelerate to injury level speeds while flying away. Problem windows can be covered with a screen so that birds bounce off, rather than hit the glass.