Tag: Environment

Plants of Afghanistan 2: the Koh-e Baba Foraging Top Ten (amended)

Wild rhubarb (chukri or rawash) is surely one of the delights of the Afghan spring. Like many forage plants, rhubarb is both a delicacy in the cities, and an important food for those living in rural areas. As the winter snow melts, the rhubarb rhizome produces stems which can be plucked and eaten raw while […]

Plants of Afghanistan 1: Centre of Global Biodiversity

Among the hundreds of containers bound for Afghanistan which were impounded for over a year at Karachi docks because of a trade dispute were copies of a ground-breaking book on Afghanistan’s plants. S W Breckle and M D Rafiqpoor’s Field Guide Afghanistan: Flora and Vegetation, (1) is unique, the result of decades of work by […]

BREAKING NEWS: Double Rainbow over Kabul

Rain in Kabul is always good news. But it also has an aesthetic component: Before the backdrop of the mountains around the city, it creates the most beautiful rainbows. This inspired AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Fabrizio Foschini to muse about a few rain-related issues. The heavy shower that went down over Afghanistan’s usually dust-covered capital […]

Flamingo Watching in Dubai

‘Listen to the birds. That’s where all the music comes from.’ (The first of Captain Beefheart’s 10 Commandments of Guitar Playing) ‘If you can’t listen to them, watch them at least. It gives you some peace of mind after watching the war.’ (AAN Senior Birdwatcher Thomas Ruttig) No, the Emirates are not only megahigh-rises, never-ending […]

Afghan Government Declares Kabul Smog Holiday

From tomorrow, 1 December, until the end of the Afghan year (20 March), Kabul will enjoy a proper, two-day weekend. Every Thursday, government offices will be closed and workers asked to stay at home. But it is not a social achievement – it is a smog-induced extra holiday, an attempt to give this polluted city […]

Birding for Survival

Our Dutch ex-soldier-cum-birdwatcher HG Scheltema from Kandahar (see his bird list here(*) has a friend, a US National Guardsman from Connecticut who served in Iraq for a year in 2004/05: Birding Babylon. His name is Jonathan Trouern-Trend who wrote a blog on his bird-watching (see it here, it seems to be continued by other bloggers). Meanwhile, […]

Afghanistan Bird Watch 2: Birds on the Wire

Earlier this afternoon shortly before grey clouds rising over Paghman let the sun disappear and brought a short drizzle, three bottle-green parakeets darted across the airspace over our AAN garden, between the high pine trees, the grapevines (that did not carry this year) and the neighbouring house’s wall on which his pigeons gather. This reminded […]

Afghanistan Bird Watch

The most underreported Afghan story of January 2010 already has been identified: One of the world rarest birds has been spotted in Badakhshan. Overshadowed by the coverage of the London conference, the BBCreported that scientists of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society found specimen of the large-billed reed warbler (photo), one of the rarest birds on earth, during […]