Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Archive for the tag “Animals”

Little Critters

This post is dedicated to the little critters of China.  They might be small, but they also call this place home.  Critters like the ones pictured to the left are sold in many markets.  As you can see, one stand sold newts, fish, and miniature turtles in small decorative toy-like containers.  I have to assume that the animals don’t live too long in a setting like this one, but they look very cute to small children who are visiting the market with their parents.  It made me sad to see newts like Mina (my wonderful late pet) in such inadequate containers. The other day I saw a man walking through lanes of traffic carrying items for sale: in one hand, cell phone chargers, and in the other hand, a live turtle.  And sometimes bigger animals are sold in a similar inhumane fashion, such as the chicks in the photo on the right. I think these ones won’t be raised to live on farms. They’ll more likely be toddler toys until they grow out of their cute phase.

The most interesting insect obsession here is the Chinese love of crickets. To others, crickets are an annoyance, but Chinese people view their singing as a sign of power, and they are supposed to bring good luck to the home.  People even strap little cricket cages to their shirts, wearing them close to the heart.

Many insects live peacefully in China, away from human cages.  I’ve been really intrigued by all of the colorful varieties. There is no safari here in China like I experienced last summer in Southern Africa, but I have seen a rainbow of bugs:

Stunning in Flight!

Or is it an alien bug?

A Cicada that got caught by a powerful spider

Blue is Beautiful

Cooler than a Ladybug?

A snail in the Great Wall. Seems like a strange place for a snail to live, but who am I to judge?

Animals Here and There

I’m home!  It’s especially nice to see my family, friends, and little birdie, Tashi.  She is pictured here, on the left. As you can see, she is happy to see me also.  🙂

The journey was long.  I left my hotel in Istanbul at 9 am this morning, and now it is 9 pm in Massachusetts.  The trip was much longer than 12 hours though, because I had a layover in Germany and there is a 7 hour time difference between Turkey and here. So, it feels like 4 am to my body!  Luckily, I have Sunday to work on recovering from my jet lag. I also had some good travel luck today: a) I met a new Turkish friend at the airport in Istanbul who invited me to get free food in the VIP lounge, b) I got put on a plane with mini-TVs at each seat, which I didn’t have last time, so I got to watch two movies I’ve been wanting to see, and c) I had both a window and an aisle seat to myself because the plane wasn’t full.

In honor of being back and seeing my pet, I thought I’d post a video showing animals of Turkey (as requested by some students in comments).  Unfortunately, the parts of Turkey that I visited aren’t big for wild animals, so most of the animals you’ll see here are domesticated.  There are lots of dogs and cats on the streets, and I even ran into horses in some remote areas.  My favorite animal footage you can see here is the cat that wandered into the Hagia Sophia Mosque and sat in one of the exhibit areas.  I also like the seagulls, which follow the ferries because people throw bread off the sides for them.  None of the animals here will be totally new to you.  If you want to see exotic animals, I’ll have to post some footage from my trip to Southern Africa last summer.  That will have to be another time.  Speaking of “another time,” I plan to post a few more times about Turkey, so check back soon.  After that, the blog will continue, but posts will be less frequent.   However, I’ve enjoyed working to raise global awareness through this blog, so don’t say goodbye to “Innovation on Earth.”   Come back soon!




Visit to Khortytsya Island

Zaporizhia’s most famous landmark is Khortytsya Island, which sits in the middle of the Dneiper River.  The city of Zaporizhia is on both sides of the river, around the island. The island has a rich history, including that it was a base for the Cossaks, the warriors of the region. People lived there way back, thousands of years before American history even began.  Also, during World War II, when Ukraine was occupied by the Germans, some important battles happened there.

Since today was Saturday, our host teacher, Lydia, and her husband, Sergei, took me and Carol to the island.  We had a fabulous visit. There’s an area like Plimoth Plantation, with a recreation of a big fortress and the whole settlement.  It’s interactive like Plimoth, and I got to try shooting an arrow and making my own coin.  Check out the video to see how similar it actually looks!

We also trekked around the island, along the coast and into the woods. We even saw a HUGE wild boar, which I didn’t get to photograph.  I was too worried about getting trampled to take out my camera!  It was very cool to see though. At the end of our visit, we had a picnic and I taught Carol and Lydia a few balloon tricks. What a wonderful day! Check out the video to see it for yourself:

A few more favorite pictures:


Animals of Kyiv

Here’s a little video I made that shows animals I’ve seen on the streets of Kyiv.  I think it speaks for itself:

I got a student question about the landscape that I’ve seen so far. I have to be honest and say that I haven’t seen much yet outside of the city. Kyiv is like any other city — some flat parts, some hills.  There are lots of parks and gardens to explore too.  These are some photos of a park I explored the other day, but I think you’ll be much more impressed by the interesting landscapes that I’ll see in Turkey!  So, stay tuned!

Ukraine had a rough winter, so spring is still on its way. I believe this is a dogwood tree. Notice the little friend on the base of the bud.


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