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ysmad picture page

Every now and then the pictures on the ysmad blog pages and green tip pages will get updated with some new ones from our "pool". Here are some of them.
What they have to do with the site's topic? Well, it's not random that the site's main theme is gray, but only the nature pictures add some color.
Preachy, huh? :-)
little blue heron, everglades hoverfly on red daisy mum large grasshopper, indiana lichen on tree, south carolina

Backyard bugs

"(...) there are no life-forms on earth as diverse, varied, tough, and inventive as the insects (...) they have collectively pushed the limits of things possible (...)" (Bernd Heinrich, see column on the right)

dragonfly resting on twig, detail eyes in-flight glow-worm, lightning bug, firefly, detail wings hoverfly on purple stamens, detail yellowjacket eating wing, wasp, vespula white spider with red thorns, spikes and black dots hovering bumblebee bumblebee on purple flowers, washington dc stick insect new river gorge macro blue dragonfly, brown county indiana, detail wings caterpillar Mantis with spiky legs Monarch butterfly

Not convinced yet? Pick just one species like the Monarch Butterfly and watch this 1h movie online: The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies . We can only guess what we don't see and loose every day in biologically intense places like rainforests (which are considered home to two thirds of all the living animal and plant species on Earth). There are estimates that we wipe out up to 150 species daily - presumably lot of them unknown to us.

Worth considering next time you put a steak on the grill or leave your car idling.
Preachy, yes, but i.m.o. the large scale habitat destruction and elimination of other species, with little or no notice of it, is well worth some preachiness.

Biodiversity? Anyone?

Due to lack of time :(, here is a copy/paste, slightly modified, from Wikipedia's entry on biodiversity (as of 5/26/2008):

It is important (...) to understand the reasons for believing in conservation of biodiversity. One way to identify the reasons why we believe in it is to look at what we get from biological diversity and the things that we lose as a result of species extinction, which has taken place over the last 600 years. [The current] mass extinction is the direct result of human activity and not of natural phenomena which is the perception of many modern day thinkers. There are many benefits that are obtained from natural ecosystem processes. Some ecosystem services that benefit society are air quality, climate control, water purification, disease control, biological pest control, pollination and prevention of erosion. Along with those come non-material benefits that are obtained from ecosystems which are spiritual and aesthetic values (...). However, the public remains unaware of the crisis in sustaining biodiversity.

Timber, uncut ;)

While we were reviewing our pictures the other day ... here are some greenish ones:

prayer of the woods on wooden sign in forest forest, trees, sun, green lichen on tree, sun plant growing out of soaked wood, raindrops on leaves focus on green leaves with forest background tree with thorns on treetrunk, bole, rainforest background, costa rica mossy tree with fern in the background forest sun green sun shining through leaves, forest background tree giving birth to other trees, moss and plants growing on old log, sleeping tree rainforest, costa rica rainforest tree, costa rica rainforest tree and ferns, costa rica sun trees shadow redwoods

The value of biodiversity

Another cut-and-paste, some 'snippets' from the "Convention on Biological Diversity" (as of 4/11/2009):

For many people, nature seems remote from their everyday lives. More and more people associate food with stores, rather than with their natural source. [...] Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. [...] The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions. [...] What's more, the vast array of interactions among the various components of biodiversity makes the planet habitable for all species, including humans. Our personal health, and the health of our economy and human society, depends on the continuous supply of various ecological services that would be extremely costly or impossible to replace. [...]

Species have been disappearing at 50-100 times the natural rate, and this is predicted to rise dramatically. Based on current trends, an estimated 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species - including one in eight of the world's bird species - face extinction. [...] Forests are home to much of the known terrestrial biodiversity, but about 45 per cent of the Earth's original forests are gone, cleared mostly during the past century. [...] Up to 10 per cent of coral reefs - among the richest ecosystems - have been destroyed, and one third of the remainder face collapse over the next 10 to 20 years. Coastal mangroves, a vital nursery habitat for countless species, are also vulnerable, with half already gone. [...]

It is reckless if not downright dangerous to keep chipping away at our life support system. It is unethical to drive other forms of life to extinction, and thereby deprive present and future generations of options for their survival and development.

A tiny selection of birds

(We hope to have some more "exciting" pictures of birds of prey here soon, once we had time visiting a nearby sanctuary ...)

robin anhinga white crane great blue heron small blue heron blue hummingbird ducks and poo seagull great egret young blue jays

Update 08/2009: here they are as promised ...
(Taken at the "Outdoor Discovery Center" )

Update 03/2010: even more, this time from The Center for Birds of Prey .

Owl, facial disc Falcon having a bad hair day European kestrel

Update 06/2010: and even more ...

However, in this case just a link to an external site, as we do not have any comparable images. But we think these are very much worth being seen.

Please visit"The Big Picture" .


(Even more unexciting?! Almost all of them we did not identify yet - if you would, please help us! :))

flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower flower

Everything else

Finally, you may want to visit our "wallpaper workshop" ...

On a legal note: all pictures on ysmad are © copyright W.+E. Koch (even the blurry ones :)). If you would like to use them on your site feel free to do so. All pictures can be shared under the following creative commons license:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Usage must attribute "", including actual link to "" where applicable.

Join our wallpaper workshop! :-]
Need a desktop background?. Visit our "Wallpaper Workshop" from 06/2009 ... - it's FREE! :)

A praise for the insect world
"To an entomologist and anyone who aspires to be one, there are no life-forms on earth as diverse, varied, tough, and inventive as the insects. In their teeming millions of species, they own the world. We may not like many of them that compete with us for food, fiber, timber, or that suck our blood and spread our diseases, but we are obliged to acknowledge their tenacious success, and we may admire many of them for their stunning beauty. Within the animal world they have collectively pushed the limits of things possible, in terms of diversity, beauty, noxiousness, social organization, architecture, powers of flight, sensory capabilities, and ability to survive extremes of climate."
[Bernd Heinrich, "winter world"]