A 12-week hiatus away from media. Wow, almost unbelievable. We spent most of the time in Chesapeake, VA, caring for an ailing family member. Have never seen so much traffic and was struck by how much development has taken place in the 12 years since we were last in that area. Must say, I prefer the slower life pace of the Western Plains area. Amenities such as a veritable smorgasbord of shopping opportunities were definitely nice, but that positive attribute was greatly weighed down by the frantic pace of everything. We got to visit numerous family members and units and attended some nice community affairs, but it’s definitely NICE to be home! Our two Siamese kitties and six birds also agree. They all made the trip, some 5,500 miles, with us.
The Earth Organization is asking for help to provide food for starving animals in the Nikolaev Zoo in Southern Ukraine. Government funds for the zoo have dried up, as I reported in this blog on April 11. That story was originally posted by Igor Purlantov. The beleaguered zoo, in a country in turmoil, has about 8,000 animals, and they are in desperate need of help. The Earth Organization is a non-profit which actually purchases the needed food and medicines or supplies for the recipients, instead of randomly sending money. A reader of my blog kindly passed along this website address where you can make donations to The Earth Organization for those zoo animals: https://www.causes.com/actions/1769110-donate-to-earth-organization. I will always carry the memory of the terrible destiny of the zoo animals in Kuwait at the hands of an invading army. Let us pray that these unwilling Ukraine animals will not suffer a like fate.
NO! to the Keystone XL pipeline. On April 22, 2014, a large group of farmers, ranchers and tribal community members will arrive on horseback in Washington, D.C. That group, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will be bringing a message to President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Their message is called “Reject and Protect.” They are concerned about the impact that pipeline would have on sensitive waterways if there is a pipeline break, such as happened in Arkansas and several other states last year. They are also concerned that the transmission of the toxic tar sands oil, destined for southern refineries and shipment to foreign markets, will have a significant negative impact on our national economy, our land and the well-being of future generations. More information about this unusual Alliance, their message, and their concerns can be found at http://www.greenpeaceblogs.org. It takes such alliances, with people speaking out about their well-founded concerns, to make a difference! This group will be joined by thousands of other individuals during the week April 22-April 27 to bring the message: “Stand for our people, for our water, for our climate, for our lands!”
Fracking is a controversial procedure that is being increasingly used in the quest for natural gas. There are too many questions and questionable procedures to allow this proliferation to continue without considered oversight. Water source contamination, earthquakes, questionable land grabbing, explosions at well sites, unregulated proprietary chemical use and disposal, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on. Yes, we need the domestic energy source. But, at what cost is it reasonable? The public needs to seriously consider this, speak up, and require legislators to get off the oil and gas company payrolls!
Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed from life during this past week. He was an author of remarkable talent. This quote means a lot to me as age creeps up and some dreams seem dimmer. “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old. They grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” Would that aging might be as William Wordsworth so poignantly put it: “O Man! that from thy fair and shining youth Age might but take the things Youth needed not!” from “The Small Celadine”, 1807 We all need dreams to keep us in pursuit of the force of life itself. When we quit dreaming, we wither and fade away. Thank you Marquez and Wordsworth for your insights. May you always be remembered.
Found recently near Michigan State University, a patch of Giant Hog Weed growing near Lansing, required eradication by a team of Michigan State personnel suited up in hazmat gear. The weed, which can grow more than 5 feet, causes extreme blistering of the skin which will take months to clear up and , more importantly, causes blindness. The hairy surface of the huge leaves carry a toxin which is dangerous to animals and people. The patch of Hog Weed,shown in this video, appears inocuous. However, it was growing in a backyard where children regularly play, and the homeowner was unaware of the toxic nature of the plants. Apparently the weed is spreading across the State of Michigan.
Watch as two beavers repair their winter home in Calgary. Photographer was only feet away as beavers busily went about their business. Watch as they co-ordinate their work, one pushing branches into the “roof-top” on one side as the other works to push branches through from the other side, maximizing their efforts. See how a curious baby beaver scoots back inside the mound, from right under the feet of the photographer. A most unusual thing occurs when one of the beavers, with a heavy load of branches in it’s mouth, stands up and walks solely on it’s hind feet, carrying the load across the icy river surface. Truly remarkable close up views of these industrious animals as they work.