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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

22 February 2018 @ 10:47 pm
Slovakia rejects treaty combating violence against women

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia will not ratify a European treaty designed to combat violence against women, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday bowing to opposition from junior coalition partner and religious groups.

Full Reuters article here.
16 February 2018 @ 03:35 am
That awkward moment when there is an article about your country in The New York Times - to tell the world that the Prime Minister and his party decided to stop trying to get the so-called Istanbul Convention ratified by our Parliament under pressure from his coalition partners.

Bulgaria Rejects Treaty to Combat Violence Against Women

SOFIABulgaria's ruling GERB party has withdrawn from parliament a European treaty designed to combat violence against women in the face of opposition from its allies in government and religious groups.

The center-right government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov submitted the Council of Europe convention for ratification last month but language around gender roles triggered uproar in the European Union's poorest country, which now holds the bloc's rotating presidency.

Full article here.

I have only one word for them: cowards.

Update: here is another article in Politico.eu - no subscription required and no monthly limit (as far as I know).

Current Mood: angryangry
As I was having my walk in the late afternoon/early evening of yesterday (9 October), I was very surprised to spot this hyacinth in full bloom. We had had a few day of spring-like weather, but still… it was early February. The hyacinth didn’t look freshly planted, so it must have come into bloom on the spot. The light wasn’t very good anymore, so this is the best photo I managed.

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Then I decided to go out earlier and photograph the hyacinth by better light today. It was an overcast day and there was a nasty wind, which thankfully quieted down as the afternoon advanced… but then it started to rain on me as soon as I got out. And believe it or not, even that didn’t stop me from walking all the way to this place, which must have taken me at least 15 minutes. :) And then I was completely shocked to discover a big bumble bee clinging to one of its flowers in the rain! It was so immobile that I wondered if it was even alive, but it moved just a little bit when I touched it cautiously. Its wings were firmly pressed together.

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I didn’t know if the bumble bee was waiting for the rain to stop in what little shelter the flower offered or the cold was making it slow, or there was something wrong with it. I was afraid to try to catch it and there was no good sheltered place nearby, so in the end I just left it there and headed back home because I was getting wet myself while squatting over that hyacinth. One of those electronic bus signs on my way said 7 C, which I think it was pretty cold for insects to be in the open. The rain stopped when I was nearing my home… and then resumed very soon.

I posted a couple of photos in a Bulgarian entomology group on Facebook and got reassured that the bee was just couldn’t fly very well in the cold, but it was equipped well enough to hide and survive even if the temperature fell below freezing. I do hope it managed to escape because it won’t stop raining heavily and we may even get a bit of snow tomorrow (which isn’t expected to last, but still I don’t expect it to be any good for an insect).

Other hyacinths still in the budCollapse )
09 February 2018 @ 11:19 pm

This one is not about the European Commission convention on violence against women, for a change:

Bulgarian Vice Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov and his right-wing National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, NFSB, have called for the deportation of the German co-chair of the European Parliament's Green Party, Ska Keller.

She is currently in Bansko, Bulgaria, supporting environmentalists protesting against alleged threats by developers to the Pirin National Park


09 February 2018 @ 04:39 am
The snowdrops in the nearest and shadiest garden:

The least advanced clump on 2 February.

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The more advanced clump (from two slightly different angles because I couldn't decide which photo to remove):
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The second clump on 8 February, muddy from the last rain (and oops, one of the flowers went missing):
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I wonder why they went so near fading so quickly while snowdrops in other places that came into bloom earlier are still fresher.

The first clump hadn't advanced much, so I didn't photograph it.
07 February 2018 @ 02:20 am
Photos from 30 January, that day when I was very lucky with the light.

The "alien garden" again, with new snowdrops:

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A closer look at the clump from the first photo:
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And more in the same garden:
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6 more photosCollapse )
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22 January 2018 @ 11:07 pm
Пhotos from last Monday, 15 January. This was the only “serious” snow we got so far this winter – well, serious enough to stick to anything for awhile.

When there wasn't much of it yetCollapse )

A closer look at the snow on the same tree:
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Not so sheltered ivyCollapse )

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A solitary bench in the same area:
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Can you see where some cat had passed in front of the bench? :)
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The kindergarten fence:
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Some of the juniper plants, but you can’t see the “berries” now:
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Cut because too many photosCollapse )

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As it was going dark…
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The streetlight dance of tiny snowflakes:
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Cut because too brightCollapse )

The snow kept falling when I got home, covering the whole ground in the dark, but I didn’t manage to photograph that stage properly because it got all blurry with the flash on. I had some hopes that it would last through the next day based on the weather forecast, but we got a sunny morning and the snow started melting very fast.
I specially went out earlier today to photograph the snowdrops from my previous entry better. They are in that "alien" garden that gets especially good exposure to the sun, but still I don't like those daffodils buds right next to the snowdrops in the first photo because if they open any time soon, they may get in very big trouble.

There weren't any signs of even snowdrops there maybe a week ago, so they are very fast.
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These are under a tree in the same garden, so maybe a little more sheltered. Does it show how fast they are, hurrying to bloom as soon as theyare out of the ground?
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Still the same garden, with a bonus dandelion flower that looked better early last evening, when it was too dark for a decent photo.
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So to compensate for that, here is another dandelion flower in a different place that is still in its prime. Note all the other plants that survived even a bit of snow on 15-26 December I'm amazed with how cold-resistant that chickweed (Stellaria media) is.
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Snowdrops in the bud in another garden (the restaurant or whatever it was in that small building got shut down, but somebody is still taking care of the garden), shot from between the bars of the fence. There was a clump of more advanced ones, but the distance was too much for me to take a decent photo of those.
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20 January 2018 @ 04:36 am
For hettie_lz, my sister in arms and inspiration. See, the first snowdrops in my area came into bloom right in time to give you a touch of spring for your birthday. :)

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