Queensland

Follow up on recovery works in Northern Fiji

Back in April, I posted the donation link on behalf of my friends Lina and Thomas Bauer from Dundee Park (Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia) a request to support their initial recovery work in Lina's home village Savulotu (Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji). The village was wiped out by a category 5 tropical cyclone earlier this year. Thanks to those who supported Lina's work. Please now find her file of what has been done so far by clicking here.

Support needed: Cyclone Winston hit Northern Fiji

Fiji is a long way from most places in the world. And when a storm hits the island state, the disaster may remain unseen. But I do remember tropical cyclones hitting my home in the South China sea. Mine though was made of concrete, and withstood the violent winds and what flew with them. However, in the South Pacific this type of residential buildings is rare. Most houses are made of wood, or they are huts put together by anything available.

When my friend Dr. Thomas Bauer returned from a recent journey to Antarctica, he wrote to me that his wife Lina's home village in Fiji was flattened by Cyclone Winston. The village is called Nawaca and is located in Northern Fiji. As expected dozens lost their life in the storm, communication broke down, most shelter and the crops were destroyed. Only the church withstood, due to its concrete construction and serves as shelter for all of them. Fresh water supply is critical, and the threat of diseases is rising. I can well imagine the situation, but with friends being involved and struggling to help, it becomes not just one village on the other side of the planet. Lina and Thomas are themselves living in Queensland, Australia. Their property, the Dundee Park Academy, was also hit by cyclones frequently. I remember when we stayed with them in Australia last year, also "Waiting for the Hurricane" (they are not called Hurricanes down under). The two know what they are doing and are members of the Australian civil defense force, with intensive experience in rescue and recovery operations. Lina is also in the local fire brigade of El Airish, Queensland. So, they know what is needed and what to do. This morning I talked to Thomas via skype and was told that another "Category 3 Cyclone" is roaming around in the region and they may get hit again. You may support Lina in her project in recovering her home village here: http://www.pozible.com/project/204330

Butterflies

Yesterday I visited the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London. Amazing pictures. Wildlife photography today is far more than "only" documentary. On the lawn of the museum, they installed a butterfly house, which reminded me of the one in the making at Dundee Park, Mission Beach (Australia). This is the forth time, I came across butterflies. First of course, like every boy in the countryside, I had a little collection of species which I caught back in the fields in the Westerwald and pinned them to a wall. Then I got quite interest in tropical butterflies, when living on Lamma Island in the South China Sea (see the photo gallery below). Earlier this year, we helped a bit our friends Thomas and Lina Baur in Dundee Park with moving earth inside their butterfly house under construction. It was amazing for me to learn, how picky butterflies are on plants for feeding and breeding, and I realized how important floral diversity really is for them. I was frequently told by Chinese silk producers that this is a big problem on the Chinese part of the Silk Road, where the mulberry trees are cut down and there is a shortage of feed for silk worms now. Instead the farmers grow nuts.

Butterfly house on the lawn of the National History Museum in London

Butterfly house on the lawn of the National History Museum in London

Butterfly house in the making at Dundee Park, Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia

Butterfly house in the making at Dundee Park, Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia

The few butterfly shots below are taken on Lamma Island in 2008 - 2011.