Zaštićene vrste grada Zagreba i okolice

Pozdrav svima i dobro došli na moj blog. Ovo je zapravo prva objava koju pišem na hrvatskom jeziku, a razlog tomu je moj mali, studentski projekt koji je fokusiran na zaštićene vrste grada Zagreba i okolice. Iako su moji primarni interesi neuroznanost i molekularna biologija, smatram da je zaštita okoliša i bioraznolikosti iznimno važna, jednako kao i borba protiv klimatskih promjena, pravilno razvrstavanje otpada te prelazak na samo-obnovljive izvore energije.

Ni sama nisam sigurna kada je ideja za ovakav projekt niknula u mom umu, ali u ožujku 2020. godine, otvaranjem natječaja Studentskog Zbora Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, već sam imala konkretnu ideju kakav projekt bih htjela provesti i na koji način. Mali, studentski projekt koji bi educirao širu javnost, poglavito djecu osnovnoškolske uzrasti, o zaštićenim vrstama koje se nalaze u svijetu oko njih.

Na prvu, ovo se možda čini kao relativno dosadan projekt: malo letaka, malo otvorenih predavanja, o nekim nebitnim životinjama koje žive po šumama i rupama oko Zagreba.


Ipak, zaštićene vrste koje obitavaju u Zagrebu i okolici nisu samo životinje, već i biljke, gljive i lišajevi. I važnije, mnoge životinje koje se nalaze na listi zaštićenih životinja nisu opskurne, već bića koja srećemo toliko često, u prirodi i medijima, da možda ne bismo ni pomislili da su ugrožene i zaštićene. S nekoliko prijatelja sam raspravljala o ideji, i nakon njihovog ohrabrenja, prijavila projekt. Pandemija koronavirusa i bolesti COVID-19 me spriječila u izvođenju projekta kako sam ga inicijalno zamislila, s obzirom da se predavanja otvorenog tipa nisu mogla odvijati, pa sam taj dio projekta prebacila na snimanje edukativnog video uratka, koji je objavljen na stranicama Udruge BIUS, udruge koja je partner projekta.
Iva Čupić, poznatija na Instagramu pod imenom Samsa Critters, je ilustrirala projekt svojim sjajnim crtežima, koje možete vidjeti i u letku i videu, a umjetnica Ivana Geček je obradila grafičku pripremu za tisak.


U ovom video uratku, saznajte točnu definiciju strogo zaštićenih vrsta te ukratko u određenim vrstama životinja koje se često pojavljuju na području grada Zagreba i okolice, kao i načine na koje se možete dalje informirati o zaštićenim vrstama.

Ovaj projekt nije ni velik ni poseban, ali nadam se da će educirati barem nekoliko ljudi o posebnosti biljnog i životinjskog svijeta oko njih; ako samo jedno dijete, tijekom šetnje po Medvednici, Jarunu, Savici, Bundeku ili Maksimiru, samo jedno dijete vidi malenog crvendaća i shvati da je upravo ta vrsta zaštićena, ugrožena i posebna, i da je na nama da tu vrstu zaštitimo od izumiranja, smatrat ću da je moj projekt ispunio svoj cilj o edukaciji i proširenju kolektivne svijesti o prirodnom bogastvu kojim smo okruženi.

Apocalyptica – concert review (Zagreb, January 20th, 2020)

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog, for another metal post! Today, I would like to share with you the incredible experience I had on the latest Apocalyptica concert in Zagreb! This was my third Apocalyptica concert – I attended previous ones also in Zagreb, in 2015 and 2017.

apocalyptica
Apocalyptica on stage

My first Apocalyptica concert was in the midst of their Shadowmaker tour, and it was held in the same place, Culture Factory. I wanted to attend one of their concerts for years, but something has always came up; for this one, the expectations were high, and I was extremely excited. However, I was also extremely disappointed – the sound was so bad that, at times, I had difficulties discerning the songs they played. Sadly, that’s not uncommon in this venue – I had the same problems when attending Hypocrisy, Children of Bodom, and Wintersun concerts.
When Apocalyptica announced their “Plays Metallica With Four Cellos” tour for 2017, I immediately got the tickets, mainly because they also played in a concert hall, rather than any of the usual metal music venues. The concert was, as expected, wonderful. With that in mind, I had some reservations when purchasing the tickets for the concert that was held on Monday, January 20th, 2020, but I decided to give Culture Factory one last chance. And I’m glad I did!

Disclaimer: Some of the gifs feature strobe & flashing lights – watch at your own discretion

I attended the concert with my sister, and in the venue we also met my friend, who asked us to save her a place in the first row. Although my sister and I wasn’t planning on it, we stayed in the first row, because why not? We were standing on the far left, and chatting while the place was slowly filling up. I am not quite sure what the capacity of the venue is, but it was crowded. Apocalyptica started couple of minutes after 9pm (there was no opening act) and from the very first notes, the atmosphere was amazing, exactly what you expect from a concert – singing along, chanting; the band is also famous for their continuous interactions with the crowd, and that day was not different, despite almost all of them having a flu.

paavo-1

What I was the most happy about was the fact that I could not only hear every song, but almost every note very well; I can honestly tell this concert is one the best I attended so far! Although famous for their instrumental songs, Apocalyptica often collaborates with vocalists from other bands on their songs. On this tour they brought singer Tipe Johnson (previously of Leningrad Cowboys) to sing with them again. Tipe, a fan favourite, did not disappoint, even though he had a double duty of singing and broadcasting the whole concert on Instagram Live. Personally, I would have loved to hear one or two more songs with vocals, but this concert was part of the promotional tour for Apocalyptica’s new and completely instrumental album, Cell-0; their “back to the roots” as Eicca said couple of times. They played “Rise”, “En Route to Mayhem”, and the title track “Cell-0” – the tracks sound as fantastic live as their studio versions. They also played their biggest hits, such as “Nothing Else Matters”, “I Don’t Care”, “I’m Not Jesus”, “Refuse/Resist”, “Seek and Destroy”, “Not Strong Enough”, “Thunderstuck”, and they ended the concert with, in Eicca’s words, true norweigan black metal song, “Hall of the Mountain King”.

all-3

Couple of times, I attended concerts where band members seemed bored and uninterested, or worse, were visibly drunk. Apocalyptica on the other hand, on all of the concerts I went to, was always engaging. This one was not exception. The members also have a strong stage presence, where they switch places, dance, sing along, and, in Paavo’s case, flirt with the audience, at any given moment. They look genuinely happy to be exactly where they are, touring more than 20 years after they started; happy to play, happy to see their fans, happy to be on the road. I don’t know if it’s something in Finnish water or mentality, but this has became a rare sight in metal community. In addition, even after the concert (which lasted for almost full two hours), I was told that all members of Apocalyptica came out of the bus to hang out with fans who waited for them.

paavo-3

paavo-4

When it comes to human interactions, I know the crowd can get rough sometimes, and people often try to push through in order to get closer to the stage – here, however, that wasn’t present, and everyone was really respectful to each other, at least how much could I see. There were some minor downfalls, though: from time to time, I felt like music way too loud. I forgot to bring my ear plugs and feared that I will suffer from tinnitus for couple of days (this happens often), but luckily I have no noise whatsoever in my ears.
Another, much more important, thing that was quite bothering me, was the lighting show. I understand flashing lights are very fancy now, but at certain moments, it was too much. Strobe lights can trigger seizures in people who suffer from epilepsy, but also migraines, headaches, and dizziness. None of my friends suffers from it, or ever experienced something as serious as a seizure, but I had migraines develop in minutes during some other concerts I attended. I would honestly like this trend to die out a bit, or that bands at least lower the frequency of the flashes – people who suffer from the epilepsy are also fans, and would naturally like to attend concerts.

eicca-perttu

Overall experience:

General experience: 5/5
Setlist and playing: 4.5/5
Band interactions: 5/5
Overcrowding: No
Was it too loud? A bit
Flashing lights? Too strong

Venue pricing:
Wardrobe (per item): 5HRK (fair)
Beer (per glass): 20HRK (too much)
Parking: public parking only, 12HRK/hour, 2 hours max (too much, but these are typical Zagreb prices)

Do you like Apocalyptica and did you attend one of their concerts? Let me know in the comments! I’m also interested to hear what you think about this review and if you’d like to read more of similar articles in the future!

Did you already guess who is my favourite member?
Did you already guess who is my favourite member?

 

 

 

The Wire

Visiting caves seems like most fun in speleology, but it can be very dangerous as well. In Croatia, we have Croatian Mountaineering Rescue Service (Hrvatska Gorska Služba Spašavanja, HGSS), a voluntary service which helps with cases of accidents on mountains and in the caves. They also organize courses for speleologists, and I attended two of those, one in May, another in December of last year. Both of those were organized over the weekend, at the practice ground made in old cable-car halls, at Sljeme (Medvednica), in Zagreb. Commonly, we call that place “Žica” (The Wire), which is abbreviation of Croatian word for cable-car (“Žičara”). The courses were open to all speleology clubs and associations in Croatia, and many people indeed came, with different levels of expertise (from complete beginners to highly skilled cavers). Since they are happening in closed space, those courses are not as eventful as excursions I’ve previously described. However, to me, both of those courses were extremely strenuous, both mentally and physically. There are many new people, a lot of new techniques to try and master, bunch of new information to comprehend, all while being in a top-notch physical form. But one of the most important rules, is to know yourself and not to over-estimate yourself, and I felt comfortable enough to take a pause or even not to do an exercise, if I felt it could put my climbing partner or me at risk of injury, or even falling.

Panoramic photo of practice hall, with some participants exercising.
Panoramic photo of Žica (December, 2018)


In May, the main subject of the course was (self)rescue. In short, we were learning how to approach and rescue a person who might have fainted at the rope. There are many different approached (from below and above) and means to do so, and to novice speleologist it might seem a bit scary at first, but you learn the ropes rather quickly (pun wholeheartedly intended). During this course, my climbing partner was a dear colleague of mine (who actually recommended my Mountaineering Association Velebit). I liked practicing with him because of two main reasons, along with already having actual trust in him: he is experienced and meticulous caver, capable of focusing on task at hand without any emotional constraint, and, when preforming something new, he likes to try it out really slowly and repeat everything out loud. Of course, we were monitored by one of the instructors at all times, but it’s reassuring to have someone reliable by your climbing rope.

My colleague practicing on the rope; on the left photo you can see stop-descender with special carabiner (May, 2018)


I remember both days to be comfortably sunny, without too much temperature fluctuations. I was also very excited to see how this kind of seminar looks like, and what will I learn. I managed to complete all the exercises from the first day, despite feeling that everything is a bit too much crammed together (not enough time for all demonstrations), but on the second day, I decided not to attempt the last drill. Also, I think that it would be nice to repeat at least some of the techniques we practiced the previous day.

Me, in a full caving gear, fixing my gear in order to climb the rope in the practice space.
Me, starting my climb on the exercise rope (May, 2018)


In December, the course was similarly formatted, but with different course material. We were divided into three groups (beginners, intermediate, expert), and accordingly did different things. I was in the beginners’ group where we learned how to use drilling machines to drill holes in rocks, how to check if the rock can handle the anchorages, how to build anchorages (different knots), and also how to use traditional drilling techniques that don’t require actual machine (usage of so-called spits). I learned a lot, despite freezing the whole time! Again, I didn’t do some of the exercises that required physical strength, because I wasn’t hanging out on the rope for some time. At first, I felt discouraged, but decided to spend that time to the best of my abilities – I took some pictures, roamed around to see what grows at this time in the forest (found some neat ferns!), went to see what kind of exercises expert group were doing (building really intricate traverses).

Two winter selfies, and I obviously like to hang low on the rope (it’s like a swing! :)) (December, 2018)


What do you think, dear readers? Does this makes speleology less or more scary? I also made some videos, but with my current plan I can’t upload them – I don’t think they are YouTube worthy, but I will upload them on my Instagram page.
Big thank you to HGSS for organizing these kinds of events!

Panoramic photo of the area outside of practice space, in the middle of the picture there is a natural rock and trees visible.Panoramic photo outside of Žica (December, 2018)

Drinkable spring-water?

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is the capital as any other – big, clouded, and mostly made of concrete. However, there are many nature islands, as I like to call them, both in and surrounding it. One of those green islands is a forest with a water spring that I visit semi-regularly. I was introduced to the spring by a friend who exclusively drinks that water for years, and never had any problems. The water source is called Stalnjak and is near the city of Zaprešić. Its quality is strictly controlled by Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health that regularly checks the water for possible contaminations and bacteria.
Unlike this one, there are many similar water sources in Croatia that are unregulated – however, local population uses that water, but their quality is dubious at least.

dsc_0067 (1)Picture 1. Built drinking fountain


So, is spring water better than the tap water? And what are the differences?
First of all, here in Croatia, tap water is perfectly safe for drinking (unless the building you are living in has lead pipes – then it’s a hard no-no).That water also comes from a certain spring or well, but it is generally considered that the water collected at the forest spring is tastier, better, and healthier (I can definitely vouch for the tasty part!) Another important thing to say is that Stalnjak spring is a “normal” water spring; Croatia is rich with thermal springs as well (I’ll cover that in a later post!).

However, bacteria presence in these springs can seriously harm your health – cholera is transmitted exactly through drinking water. Apart from Vibrio cholerae, other Vibrio species can cause gastritic problems, as well as all-known pathogenic strain of Escherichia coli. Bacteria of genus Shigella and Salmonella can be found in contaminated water, as well as many other species of coliform bacteria, the scariest being genus Clostridium. Coliform bacteria are believed to be the most common contamination of water springs in this part of the world. They are gram negative (they possess an outer cell membrane) rod shaped bacteria that is characterized by their ability to cause infection. However, not all E. coli strains are pathogens! Water quality is assayed by various tests and techniques, and more about that you can read in this amazing article!
Except from bacteria, flatworms can also inhabit water springs, with Schistosoma causing a severe infection.

dsc_0052 (1)Picture 2. Area surrounding the spring

Is there any reason to avoid tempting water you found during your forest hike?
If you are not sure, I would definitely not recommend drinking untested water of any kind. Even though many of these bacteria are associated with the Third World countries, you can never know if, and how many of coliform bacteria are present in the water. The regulated spring always has a sign stating it’s safe to drink (check this in your country!) and a gathering crowd of locals waiting to fill their bottles can also be a positive sign. My experience with these kinds of springs has always been extremely positive; I have been drinking from Stalnjak for over a year, and before that I have occasionally drank from two other sources, one regulated and one unregulated. Now, that might seem kind of scary, but the unregulated spring got its green light couple of years ago, and before that the whole village was normally using the water. However, as the saying goes “do as I say and not as I do”, please don’t follow my example and inform yourself about drinkability first!