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Portovieijo/Ecuador –   To balance against the urban challenges of noise and air pollution, I bolt as often as possible to the nearby Refugio de la Tomatera.   The images above were taken in the past week as the climate weans out of the rainy season.

The next images show a few of the visitors to the museum exhibit, which has been extended to the end of this year.

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The visitors continue to humble me with their feedback, and it is a joy to witness their reactions not only to the augmented reality, but also to my writings.  Giovanni’s photographs present a stronger message about our environment via the augmented reality, and the two exhibits compliment the other.

This past Tuesday the art class worked on drawings in the garden area of a local cafe.  Look how well they were studying nature:

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One always learns more about nature when working from life, especially if one is in wrap-around outdoors.   Global Big Day provided many opportunities to combine birding with society.  The early birds (humans as well as feathered ones) were at la Tomatera and provided some fun discussions before I returned to the city for the birding in Parque las Vegas.

The star bird in the refuge that morning was the Streaked Saltator which gobbled its breakfast of bright red flowers.  The stars at the park were the day-old Striated Herons.  If one makes the effort to show up, nature usually provides abundant rewards.

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Events and birding treks have provided special moments this week, as if each day has surprises waiting to be discovered.   This colorful sign greeted visitors to Parque las Vegas this past Friday, June 3:

These beautiful young activists are working quietly under the guidance of Rotary International.  Their collective attitudes convey happiness and joy, just to be able to share details about their projects – and to interact with the public.

We all agree that Earth Day or World Environment are not just dates on a calendar; every day is a day to cherish our environment and be kind to our planet.

Saturday found me back at Refugio de la Tomatera;  Giovanni and I planned to hand out birding checklists while spending the afternoon birding.  I had stopped to gawk at a raptor soaring with the vultures when a bright young lad careened into the scene:

This young man skidded to a stop and asked if I were the same person he’d met at the ‘Iguana Park’ last Sunday. (Yes! He watched while I was drawing trees.) He seemed proud to have recognized me, and with checklists in hand he and his friends resumed their full-throttle bike race back to town!

Hope.

Do something kind for the earth today if it’s just stepping out the door and appreciating what you might often overlook each day.

Giovanni and I will be giving birding walks at another youth event in the city.  The same group that I visited on Earth Day:

Teamwork!

I hope that you take time to appreciate your local environment, or support those who are working hard to make this a healthier planet.

Pencil studies in progress for ‘The Flora and Fauna of La Tomatera.’

Ah… Only one earth, and she gives great comfort to those who appreciate her.