This is the 566th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the July 14 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES
Skellig Michael, Ireland
cardinal writes—Dawn Chorus: Skellig Islands (Ireland): “My wife and I spent 16 days in Ireland in June, driving all the way around the island clockwise. Although we saw many noteworthy sights, the highlight was a boat trip to the Skellig Islands. The Skelligs, off the coast of County Kerry in Southwest Ireland, consist of two small islands: Skellig Michael (aka Great Skellig) and Little Skellig. Tourist interest in Skellig Michael has exploded over the last few years after it served as Luke Skywalker’s hideaway in the two most recent Star Wars installments. However, it was of great interest to birders and history buffs long before then. On the historical front, it features one of Ireland’s best preserved relics of early Christianity. It was settled between the 6th and 8th centuries by Gaelic monks, who braved the rough waters and steep slopes to build beehive huts 600 feet above the sea. Its foreboding location allowed it to survive the Viking raids that ravaged so many other Irish monasteries. It was abandoned, however, during the 12th or 13th centuries.”
Besame writes—Daily Bucket: The bicycle of phenology and RIP T-2: “To give context to natural events in the present and gauge the future, we must know the past. In the Daily Bucket, we track seasonal changes in our regions by documenting first garden tomato of the summer, first sight of a seasonal bird, when a plant species leafs out or flowers, and other natural occurrences. Scientists look at herbarium and natural history specimens, historic journals, and other written records to note such events in the past. These observations comprise phenology, the study of plant and animal life cycles. Now, another cycle has been added to this — bicycles. Researchers from Belgium looked at archived videos of an annual bicycle race in Flanders to gauge if these records were useful in mapping out phenology over the four decades the race has been filmed (1981-2016). The race covers the same route at the same time of year, April, when life wakes up from winter dormancy. While the course stays the same, clothing worn by racers and spectators and their natural surroundings have changed over the four decades. Researchers examined over 200 hours of video footage and saw bare leafless trees in the earlier years and the more recent videos show green vegetation.”
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