Memories of Red-Crowned Cranes on a trail

Paintings of Red-Crowned Cranes

Last November we hiked the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail near Osaka. On the day before leaving for Japan, I’d been reading about the species of Crane, amongst our planet’s fifteen such species, called the Red-Crowned Crane. Apparently this magnificent bird has been lauded, worshipped even, in Japan over the centuries. One afternoon on the trail, soaked in sweat, I walked around a new tourist information hall, an almost soporific stroll because I find such places boring. Lo and behold, three hanging traditional-style paintings, each featuring a family of Red-Crowned Cranes, drawn in that stylized traditional Japanese way. I don’t mind admitting that I took that occurrence as a sign … perhaps, after all, my Cranes writing project is imbued with some fateful magic!

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Biden advisor

Brilliant news. The best step forward on climate change in 2020 is a change of U.S. president

Between dinosaur and bird

Wulong bohaiensis by Gabriel Serpenillus

An article by Carly Callessa in a Nature Science Alert unveils analysis of a ten-year-old discovery of a 120-million-year-old fossil, a link between dinosaurs and birds. (This is based on a technical paper by five American and Chinese scientists.) Callessa:

Dubbed “the dancing dragon”, or Wulong bohaiensis, this newly described species is a strange mix between bird and dinosaur, ancient and new.

Now, the only reason I have much interest in this is my vague understanding that cranes belong to an ancient family, one closer to the “original bird” than most families. Will I make any sense out of this idea? Who knows but in the meantime I’m taking a keen interest.

Amazingly, a paleoartist has recreated what Wulong bohaiensis might look like. Isn’t Gabriel Serpenillus’s image above fantastical and beautiful? Doesn’t this nail why this fossil is seen as a “link,” far more than words could?

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Pressure system

Oceans are really warm … 15-24 “named” tropical storms predicted for 2020, maybe one of the most active hurricane seasons ever