World Lizard Day

Welcome. It’s World Lizard Day which means a celebration of yet another fantastic species in the Animal Kingdom!

Did you know there are more than 5,000 species of lizard and they are on every continent except Antarctica? Chameleons and geckos camouflage themselves so they cannot be seen, they are invisible to us humans and predators. Many lizards can also release their tails, known as autonomy, to distract predators while they escape. A frilled-neck lizard fools its predators by making itself look large and scary. Komodo dragons are the only lizards known to hunt humans! These are large creatures which I’m sure you’ve seen at the zoo and you should not get close to them.

I’m going to feature the Agamid lizards!

The Agamidae family consists of more than 300 species across six subfamilies. This includes a large variety of Agamas, and the very popular beard dragons, water dragons, and uromastyx, or spiny-tailed lizards. There are also tree lizards, sailfin lizards, butterfly lizards and more.

International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity is about our connection and relationship as humans to the natural world, earth. Without a healthy, varied and vibrant ecosystem to provide for our water, food, medicine, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy which we are completely dependent on, the world would be awful to be honest. The world should reconsider its stance on this issue.

If we don’t treat it with care and respect it will vanish. Sometimes it takes a lot of work, other times, the work can accumulate. So small changes that benefit the environment and wildlife, can contribute to an overall stronger and better outcome.

When you want to change, then change. Don’t feel like you have to. Don’t let destroyed rain forests, millions of killed animals, and dying ecosystems prompt that change. I feel natural awakening and acceptance of the issues are more important than being guilt tripped into them..

Zoo

The smallest flock of animals that you ever met

and the friendliest of elephants you will ever pet

waiting for them to beget one another 

such happy faces and big smiles

making all the dough, not so worthwhile

falling into the trap of love for the job

rising so early full of energy

making a core duty to be the best

yet, being replaced by a big mess

tricked into the wrong move

a lot of things began to move, south

into a puddle of dirty water...
... when I returned

to death

to betrayal

pain and hope

my undying soul

shot in the mouth

still, managing to walk around

why did I bother letting you bastards in.


You think that we all want to play this game

just so you can make all the blame

worth while

I don't give a damn about your indentations 

or your delusional procrastinations

but leave the good people to their own dreams

where it means, a lot to them
under the thumb 

pulling the trigger on the gun

the only way out

white flash

not a lash

no more, got to dash.

Hidden Gems of – Pink Floyd

Welcome to this post by psychedelic wizard. After reviewing Pink Floyd’s The Wall the other day, and giving it much thought, I have decided to talk a bit about their hidden gems in the music they produced.

Everyone associates Pink Floyd with their most popular album Dark Side of the Moon. But they have a wide range of albums covering a lot of musical ground. So, what are their most popular albums? The 3 most popular are Dark Side of the moon, The Wall and Wish You Were Here

What are the underrated albums from the band? Excluding ‘The Division Bell’ and ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ which was David Gilmour alone using the name Pink Floyd. We have hidden gems that are Animals, The Final Cut, Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds. Although Meddle is a good album featuring epic, Echoes, it was the worst selling album by the band, surprisingly.

Starting with Animals, the epic from 1977, filled with raw, aggressive tones and a back story similar to Animal Farm. We get a harsh and real look at society, the dogs and the sheep and the pigs. It is by far one of their best. If people ever ask me what my favourite Pink Floyd album is, I would usually say Animals.

Then, we have The Final Cut, released in 1983 the title track is a real beast of a song. The album is good, focusing on the Falklands war, and the associated drama in life. Roger Waters had a blast making this album, after he created The Wall. The album features sounds and music originally meant for the Wall, but turned into an album on its own. Also gave us the song Fletcher Memorial Home and Two Suns in the Sunset, both magical music gifts.

Atom Heart Mother is the start of a decade of soaring fame and musical creation from Pink Floyd. Released in 1970, marks the beginning of the unique sounds we would come to expect from the band, along with those more delicate tones. The use of brass and orchestra and sound effects make this a psychedelic album through and through. The title track at 24 minutes long was an nightmare to play live and the band never played it live after 1972, which is a shame. Alans Psychedelic Breakfast is a real joy to experience with its use of acoustic guitars. Its another favourite of mine.

Finally Obscured by Clouds, released in 1972, a year before Dark Side of the Moon. What does that mean? It proceeded the most well known album in the world. And, it is a good album. Not only did it follow Atom Heart Mother, but it seemed to take a new direction completely with the strong use of digital sounds and effects, a sort of sonic experience. All of the songs are short and it is a rock album with little singing. Recorded in France over 2 sessions and used in French film La Vallee.


What it shows is that the band was more than the mainstream albums, more complicated than member simply leaving. You see, when the five members originally in the band made The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, that was the group that formed Pink Floyd. After Syd left, and it became 4, things started going down hill. From Atom Heart Mother of 1970, they rose and rose until Richard Wright left in 1979. Until The Final Cut of 1983, at which point Roger Waters left in 1985, essentially leaving Gilmour and Nick Mason alone.

Although Gilmour went on to make Division Bell and Momentary Lapse of Reason, we know as fans that Pink Floyd died, along with the gunners dream in the Final Cut. That was the last album by Pink Floyd as a group. Later would come The Endless River, another attempt to get more money from David Gilmour, scraping unused material from the Division Bell. It is hard to see and to admit, but if you look you find an uncomfortable truth about David Gilmour, a man who tore the band apart, who was in it for his own greedy means, and who didn’t have much to say for himself after Waters left, who in my eyes, was the driving force behind the band. The two had their disputes, and creative differences, but Waters had the decency to walk away. It would be interesting to read his biography on the band. Don’t take what I say on it but looking at the music that came after The Final Cut from Gilmour, it seems to be giving that impression.

Red Eye Tree Frogs Arrive!

Finally, the pair of red eye leaf frogs have arrived. I took a picture but you can hardly see one and the other not at all.

They arrived around 8:10pm tonight. Can you see them? One is visible and the other you can see the orange foot pads.

They are tiny. One of them is a lighter green and the other is darker. I suspect although too early to tell, that one is female and one is male. From what I have seen the males tend to be darker.

I named them Billy and Ted. aka ‘Bill and Ted’ and no this isn’t related to the movie, it was just a coincidence I swear. They look great and seeing one walk was good.

I’ll try and add more photos but my camera won’t zoom in.

Peace.

A clearer picture

Exotic Pets ! & Why You Should Rehome!

Good morning siblings. Exotic pets… and why you should rehome an animal or adopt rather than purchase from the shop or breeder.

I’ll start off with an amazing list of exotic pets that you might be considering! Covers snakes, lizards, geckos, tortoise, invertebrate and amphibian! Exciting, Ich spreche von Tieren, ja!

EXOTIC PETS

Photo by Ck Lacandazo on Pexels.com

Royal Pythons! I have 4. All of them are great. They make excellent pets for anyone new to snake keeping. They are regarded as problem feeders, but that can be corrected. One of mine went around 4 months without food, then she suddenly started eating again. Although, she was breeding at the time. Worth the purchase. Large, heavy bodied getting to around 4ft on average. Children friendly. There are so many morphs now it is like an ice cream market! Not kidding, and it makes the breeders a fair penny. Always purchase from a reputable store or breeder. Never leave a snake unattended (obvious reasons).

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

Chameleons! An old world type of lizard! Famous for changing colours, their long tongue, their all seeing eyes! Beautiful to observe and I imagine even more interesting to keep as pets. I’d love to indulge my reptile obsession by owning one. Varieties abound. Love to climb and spend most of their time above ground, an arboreal species. Watch that tail curl up like a spring. Not what you might think of when someone says lizard.

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Leopard geckos. An extremely popular gecko and excellent for beginners. Hardy creatures from the drier regions of earth. Eating live crickets and such. One of the few species with eyelids… and a permanent smile. Lovely to handle, really great for nervous owners or children. If you want a gecko that is interested in you as much as you are in them, this is up there. Of course, others include tokay geckos, day geckos, crested geckos etc. Personally, I would like to start keeping a few. Comes in a variety of colours or morphs.

Photo by Ludvig Hedenborg on Pexels.com

Ah, the meditative calm of the tortoise. A docile species to keep. Need relatively large amounts of space and high heat, along with a vegetarian diet. Easy to observe, probably not the kind of animal you want to handle, simply because you can’t exactly bond with a shell. Some live for over a hundred years. Others grow to humungous sizes! Smaller varieties would be better for me, like the Hermann tortoise which wouldn’t be too large. These should be kept in open top or well ventilated tanks. They can get stuck on their backs so beware especially if housing multiple tortoise together.

See the source image
Mexican red knee tarantula

One of the most recognisable species of tarantula. A great beginner pet for newbies. Slow moving and reluctant to bite. They are venomous like all tarantulas, but nothing more than a bee sting. Can shoot hairs out of their rumps. They like to burrow occasionally and are for the most part docile. Can also opt for a chilean rose or pink toe for a starter. Invertebrate does extend to things like praying mantis and other insects. I chose tarantulas as they scare a lot of people. Try holding a *******goliath birdeater like I did. Big difference in size. Another species I want to collect at some point.

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It’s a famous red eye tree frog. Native to hot and humid enviroments. Great to keep in groups, great to handle, and has a tendency to jump right on you. I had the pleasure of holding a few when they jumped out of the habitat through glass onto me at a restaraunt in Animal Kingdom. You can’t silence the truth. I would like to have a small group to go in this imaginary reptile room I am planning.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

I love birds. I love observing them. They are so intelligent. You can have more relaxing afternoons sitting watching birds than anything else. More ancient than reptiles, and more like dinosaurs then most lizards. Cockatoo will be a fiesty animal and I believe they can talk. To be honest most animals can talk nowadays, one time this cow told me to moooooove. Owls would be a stretch to keep, although, the smaller barn owls are so friendly. I used to encounter them frequently on my night travels.

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There are more fish species than I can count. There are so many famous examples that are used in tv and movies, like piranhas! Or, maybe a fish called Wanda? Any type of fish, including sharks (a fish) are kept as pets. People even keep octopus. Now imagine they have enough money to buy a giant aquarium, jellyfish anyone? Fish can be cold water, exotic or whatever else. Most eat fairly straightforward diets. More specialised species will need proper maintained care. You’d be surprises to find the price of some of this, when all I have to doo is nip to the local fish ‘n chip shop for a £4 cod. The colours and variety really is endless, that’s why its’ important to keep the sea clean from waste, because that is killing the great barrier reef and destroying the home of this lot.

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If you are lucky enough to see one at your local zoo, consider yourself lucky. People do actually keep these as pets, and although they start off small and manageable, they turn into huge 15-20ft creatures. Remember Roger Moore in Live and Let Die? What about Captain Hook in Peter Pan? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Another species that has earned a reputation through movies and no fault of its own. I would agree a risk exists in keeping them, but after watching numerous videos of handlers and owners stroking their heads and feeding them chicken from the hand, I do believe domestication is possible.

REHOMING

I mentioned at the start, thanks for making it this far, that I would talk about adoption and rehoming over store or breeder purchased exotic pets. Just like domestic animals such as the cat or dog, exotic pets too need homes. Usually, what happens is someone goes and buy a reticulated python and 2 years later, realises that the 10ft snake is still growing and can’t handle it. Or maybe, someone just bred a shed load or snake or lizard and now wants to offload that to a rescue sanctuary. Do you see what the issues are? It’s not all clear cut. Sometimes you might have no choice to give away a pet to the rescue place, because you could be dying and have nobody else to leave them to, or you could be on the brink of homelessness or bankruptcy or both. Those are extreme circumstances.

I don’t consider things like ‘I can’t take my pet to my new home’ or ‘we don’t really give them the attention they need anymore’, to be an adequate reason to fob animals off to overwhelmed sanctuaries. Thanks to independent keepers taking on a lot of sick and neglected animals, there is hope, they usually work with the species and find a way to move them onto a forever home.

The main issue lay with breeding and mass production. Ball pythons are bred to such an extent that there really is no excuse to continue to do it, be left with excess snakes and try to pawn them off to people who may not be in it for the long run. Just as puppy breeders are in it for the money in a lot of cases, the animals ultimately suffer at the hands of negligent owners, as such the animal is usually in a poor state, because all breeders or shops care about is money (for the most part). Once the animal had shipped, the breeder or shop usually dissolves any further care or responsibility.

Going back to the reptile problem. People get into a species, maybe a huge boa constrictor, tegu and a few snapping turtles. They own them and breed them for years. Until one day, the boa constrictor ‘suddenly changes temperament’ or ‘ the tegu just became impossible to handle.’ Again pretty poor excuses.

We can’t stop the mass reproduction of animals. But, we can stop funding it. That’s why taking in a rehabilitated animal, by adopting or rehoming is better. You don’t fund the problem, you aid in assisting the recovery of the problem by supporting the sanctuaries and allowing them to continue their great work. Also, like humans, animals suffer from health issues. Nobody goes out of their way to care for them like they would a human, which makes rehoming even more important. The animals you get are just as good as fresh produced ones. In fact, I would argue that animals for adoption for the most part are in better health than their mass produced friends in that basement.

Just some food for thought. As the saying goes, a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas. When making a decision to buy an animal, consider if you can acquire it another way which might support animals welfare services.

Animals

Be strong and have willpower,

choose your decisions wisely,

determination is your guide,

embrace the positive,

the zoo in the city,

the tiger in the suit,

the ape at the podium,

and the sheep at the altar,

be a leader among cowards,

and an example among the pitiful,

lead the sun into the sky,

and be at high tide all the time.