Giant fish in the Tagus River

It is the third largest river fish in the world, it can reach 2.80 meters and weigh about 120 kg. The seahorse invaded the Tagus River and is reproducing and dominating the fauna of this river 'like a lion'. And not just fish, as there are reports of hunting ducks and pigeons on the banks. In the Belver dam alone, it is estimated that there may already be 10,000 silur, and without predators, many native fish that serve as a meal are at risk of disappearing. Fishermen are already feeling this reduction in their nets and fear that in a few years the Tagus will be without native fish ... and they will have no way of life. The ICNF says that an action plan will be drawn up at the national level.

Ricardo Vermelho has been a professional fisherman on the Tagus River for 30 years. He has always fished barbel, bogue, lamprey and all kinds of native and migratory fish from this river. But now the fish that reaches you through the nets is not comparable to what you fished in the past. And the main culprit, he says, is silur. «One of these days I caught a sheaf that weighed about 15 kg and had an eel, a crawfish and a barbel with almost 2 kg in its belly. They eat everything that moves. Even ducks. So, where I used to catch 10 kg of barbel, now I catch one or two, if I catch myself ”, says the fisherman.

Also called European catfish, the silurus (Silurus glanis) is a voracious fish and a top predator that finds no rival and easily dominates the environment it enters. It is the third largest river fish in the world and can reach 2.80 meters and weigh around 120 kg. Native to Central and Eastern Europe, the scorpionfish was introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the 1970s, at the Riba-Roja dam, in the river Ebro in Spain. Experts believe that from here it will have dispersed or been introduced to the Tagus by sport fishermen since it is an attractive trophy for this community. Baixo Tejo will have arrived around 2006.

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The Netherlands

Lets just say that The Netherlands is a very special place!

The Netherlands is a country with many advantages, especially for the tourist. And with only a few disadvantages... The main disadvantage is that the Netherlands has: too much of everything. It is hard to believe how many possíbilities there are for things to see and do in this small land. And there are so many different ways of seeing the sights. It doesn't even matter in which of the eleven provinces one stays.

It is a feeling, caused by that small scale, the greatness of ideas and daring, the vulnerability and the impressiveness of the many ways in which the country has outgrown itself.

Horticulture is mainly concentrated to the south of The Hague, in the Westland. Independent of the weather, production there continues throughout the year in heated greenhouses. A link with tourism can be found in one part of the horticultura industry: the famous bulb production, which is mainly done in the hinterland of the dune area south of Haarlem and including Lisse and Hillegom.

Here an agricultural branch helps to form a display for all of the Netherlands. In the spring many thousands come specially to see the wonder of the colorful blooming bulb fields and I was one of them.

Every visitor will notice how many cut flowers (and potted plants) are bought in the Netherlands in the many shops and Street comer stands, and on the markets and even at special flower markets (for example at the Singel in Amsterdam).

Rich or poor in the Netherlands have one thing in common: there must be a bunch of fresh flowers in the living room. In comparison with other lands cut flowers are very affordable in the Netherlands. This has to do with the large production. Every visitor can see for himself just how large that production is on any working day early in the morning, at the famous flower auction in Aaslmeer. Flower exporters told me that more than three-quarters of the floral production goes abroad, to the considerable benefit of the Dutch economy.

By Fernando Lopes Rosa - English III

World kindness day

It's World Kindness Day today, Friday the 13th. Wait, is that a joke? Friday the 13th?
Maybe it seems like there is no time to be kind. The world, however, seems to be crying out in pain. It's hungry and war-torn, with icebergs melting, animals going extinct and a pandemic killing thousands of people daily.
There is time, I promise you. I see people risking their lives every day to care for sick people, stock our grocery stores, teach our children, and staff our polling places. Librarians are checking out books. That's the living embodiment of kindness.
"Selfless acts of kindness don't just help the person on the receiving end," said psychologist Lisa Damour, author of "Untangled" and "Under Pressure" and co-host of the "Ask Lisa" podcast, via email.
"Research finds that altruistic behavior activates the very same regions in the brain that are enlivened by rewards or pleasurable experiences.
"Remarkably, helping others also causes the brain to release hormones and protein-like molecules, known as neuropeptides, that lower stress and anxiety levels. Here's the bottom line: doing good is good for you."
Here are 25 ways to be kind to yourself, your family and community, and the planet today or any day.

Be kind to yourself

Kindness starts by being good to yourself. Stay hydrated to feel at your best.

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Dia São Martinho

O ditado é imperativo:  no dia de São Martinho, vai à adega e prova o vinho . Parece haver, assim, uma ligação estreita entre esta data e os ciclos da terra, numa altura de  fecho  das colheitas - e do término da vindima. Desta forma, acaba-se o ano agrícola aproveitando as provisões que a natureza nos entregou.

Bebe-se vinho novo do ano transacto, bem como a mais inebriante jeropiga. Também a água-pé, tida como o  vinho dos pobres , vem à calha. Esta é de fácil preparação, basta juntar água aos resíduos bagaceiros do vinho que vai sendo feito. Independentemente da escolha da bebida, a comida é que não varia grande coisa: castanhas, sempre como castanhas, e de preferência a muito saborosa qualidade  Longal . No limite, há quem arrisque sardinhas, e arrisca bem porque é quando estão  no ponto , depois de um verão inteiro a gorduras acumulares.

Mas não é só disso que vive este calendário de dupla capicua (dia 11, do mês 11). A fogueira é também frequente, muitas vezes montada a nível comunitário - é o  magusto , um fogo de todos, onde se assam como castanhas e se aquecem como almas. Alguma etnografia atribui este ritual a um gesto típico do Dia de Todos os Santos, o  Samhain  pagão, que encerrava a fase diurna do hemisfério norte, dando-se início à fase escura.

De facto, a colheita da castanha dá-se pelo mês de Outubro. E esses termos os  magustos  começavam por aí, prolongando-se até esse estranho fenómeno meteorológico que é o Verão de São Martinho

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