About Biodiversity on 14 by 80 meters

This article is going to be out of the ordinary, because I intend to wander off of the main topic -- mushrooms -- and take a broader look at nature through the tiny window that is our family land.
My mushroom obsession is just a branch of my love for nature. Ever since I learned to walk, I've been exploring my native soil as an amateur naturalist. At first I only explored the backyard of my great-grandmother's house. I still remember that hedgehog I found rolled up on the straw in the hen house. I remember the bee beetles I collected from flowers. Carefully held them for scrutiny between my tiny fingers. I would hunt for rose chafers. By the time I was seven I could read fluently and would use books to identify even more species. Nature put me in awe. Even after all these years I stop and smile as I watch blackbirds as they run about under bushes, or listen to sparrows as they make noise in the afternoon. I still don't know today why they gather for some social yelling. They all chirp simultaneously, as if they were holding a forum. I like to observe animals and catch secret moments of their every-day lives. Those little moments draw the bigger picture of life, a picture that is simply stunning. At night, if the sky is clear, I open my window of observation even bigger. This is when I see the Earth as a gigantic spaceship, which is pulled along by our central star, the Sun. Along with all its planets our Sun revolves around the milky way once every 280 Million years, which as we all know is a spoked spiral-galaxy 100,000 light years across. If I let my mind drift even farther I'd look at the Andromeda galaxy above, which can be seen by the naked eye and which also has a meeting scheduled with the Milky Way 3 billion years from now to unite as one huge elliptic galaxy at the end of a long dance that will last hundreds of millions of years. One of the greatest qualities of human consciousness is our ability to discover and comprehend things like this. We're all explorers.
Let's return to my more immediate surroundings; I just heard one of the little owls living in my attic give off a shriek. It's almost destiny-like to have little owls live above a thinker. I consider it an honor because little owls are status symbols to me, for years I wished they nested above me. My wish came true.  Noctule bats lived in the attic for years. They're useful and interesting tenants too, but the little owl, holy bird of Athene is the real grand prize. "Do animals live there?", Why yes. Very much so. You just have to look around, someone with weaker nerves would freak out from all these "unwanted tenants".  Someone from the city would find the sound of little owls unbearable. While I'm softened by their shrieks, he'd be driven up the walls and yell 'death birds'. Starting with early summer, the sound of frogs and insects of the night lull me to sleep. I love this choir. From May I try to approach male field crickets, so I can catch these black tail-coated bards in action. It's one of my most kind insects. My favorites are the bronze beetles. They deserve to be called tigers of the lawn; most of them are carnivorous. I stumble upon creatures wherever I go. Once while I was attending the garden a wasp spider fell on the back of my hand. We were both surprised but at least I could take a good look at the well developed specimen before I released it back to its place. I'm afraid of only one animal but for good reasons: the hornet. It's not a phobia, rather keeping a healthy distance. After all these years I'm still not bored of observing Nature. I won't ever be. Exploration is a life-long quest.
Our family home and narrow strip of land can be found around N46'39" E21'10". Type "Békéscsaba Fényes" into the search field in Google Earth to find the 2010 Summer photos made of  the garden suburb surrounding to the county seat. Fényes used to be a part of the boondocks just a couple decades ago, since the low laying areas were often flooded by sub-surface waters. For this reason it was used primarily as cattle meadow. Once drainage was installed, grape yards took over. In the 80's families with children were assigned lands in the area. In a short period of time the cattle meadow began to show a more organized look. It preserves messengers of the original vegetation, plants and animals as part of the Great Hungarian Plain ecozone. Although by the end of the 19th century the good flood-plains were cleared and repurposed, dropping the area of woods to only 250 km^2 , the flora and fauna adapted to humans. In fact, nature is still in control despite our attempts to defy it. It shows the sturdy and silent tactics of nature, that there are still so many creatures to be found on our narrow strip of land. By the way, there are many more, these are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. For a more precise list of species I'd have to monitor this tiny habitat from spring to autumn, which I won't be able to do this year, therefore I'll have to settle for a list compiled from memory. It contains 68 species. The last is the "conqueror", human.


Cichorium intybus

Taraxacum officinale
Urtica dioica

Polygonum aviculare

Plantago major
Malva neglecta
Achillea millefolium
Verbascum phlomoides
Symphytum officinale
Sambucus nigra
Rubus caesius


Araneus diadematus

Argiope bruennichi
Lycosa singoriensis
Gryllus campestris

Tettigonia viridissima
Mantis religiosa
Carabus cancellatus
Carabus coriaceus
Lucanus cervus
Lamprohiza splendidula
Aeshna cyanea
Papilio machaon
Iphiclides podalirius
Zerynthia polyxena
Polyommatus bellargus
Polygonia c-album
Inachis io
Vanessa atalanta
Vanessa cardui
Saturnia pyri
Macroglossum stellatarum

Agrius convolvuli


Bufo bufo

Bufo viridis
Bufo calamita
Rana dalmatina
Hyla arborea
Triturus vulgaris


Lacerta agilis

Natrix natrix


Turdus merula
Parus major

Cyanistes caeruleus
Periparus ater
Carduelis carduelis
Carduelis chloris
Carduelis spinus
Regulus regulus
Erithacus rubecula
Sylvia borin
Troglodytes troglodytes
Phoenicurus ochruros
Passer montanus
Passer domesticus
Coccothraustes coccothraustes
Fringilla coelebs
Fringilla montifringilla
Lanius collurio
Accipiter nisus
Athene noctua


Sorex araneus

Erinaceus europaeus
Nyctalus noctula
Talpa europaea
Mustela nivalis
Homo sapiens sapiens

It's wonderful that despite aggressive human activities -- let's process everything so there could be ever more of us, after all humans are the crown of creation --, the local habitat is still so rich. My joy is also mixed with sadness, because I suspect that animals and plants currently living in the area are remains of an even richer past.

Why is biodiversity important? For the same reason oxygen is. That's my answer. If you wouldn't understand, I could elaborate on it, but I'm afraid that if a concise answer glances off your mind then a longer explanation would fall short even more.

English translation: Nagy Lajos

Nincsenek megjegyzések:

Megjegyzés küldése