Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
My own love of animals began in early childhood. I just always felt connected, comfortable and at ease around them and I always will.
Monday, March 21, 2011
It's Season Two on the Fox Network ― I am privileged to be able to watch a pair of red foxes again this year. I first glimpsed them in early January. They are so intelligent and magnificent to look upon. The vixen has given birth by now and the male is busy hunting to feed himself and his mate while she cares for their kits.
Red foxes mate from January through March. The female will make one or more dens right after mating. The extra dens are used if the original den is disturbed. A little less than two months after mating, the female gives birth to a litter of between one and ten kits. Last year there were six kits and happily, they all thrived.
This photo was taken at some distance but you can see the characteristic long, bushy tail tipped in white, pointed black ears and black legs and feet.
Some mornings, around 5am, the cats will leap from the bed and rush to a large picture window downstairs. They know the fox is up and about. I think they enjoy watching the Fox Network as much as I do.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Scientists called this a super perigee moon. Perigee is the point where the moon makes its closest pass to Earth during its oval-shaped orbit. When it happens during a full moon, the moon seems up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal, according to NASA.
The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993. The full moon of March 19 occurred less than one hour away from perigee -- a near-perfect coincidence that happens only (every) 18 years or so.
The March full moon is also known as the Crow Moon. The moon won’t come this close again until November 14, 2016.
Friday, March 18, 2011
The suffering of all affected ― the people, their companion animals, wildlife in the country and in the path of the tsunami ― is immense. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless with the magnitude of this natural disaster still to be fully comprehended. Now, there is the fear of nuclear reactor core meltdown, which some very brave workers are sacrificing their lives to prevent. One thing is certain, Japan will need our help for many years to come.
HONOLULU – Thousands of seabirds were killed when the tsunami generated by last week's massive earthquake off Japan flooded Midway, a remote atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, a federal wildlife official said Tuesday.
At least 1,000 adult and adolescent Laysan albatross were killed, along with thousands of chicks. Many drowned or were buried under debris as waves reaching 5 feet high rolled over the low-lying atoll about four hours after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck. Click here to read more.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Relief organizations and governments around the world are responding to help people, and now several groups are stepping in to assist the thousands of animals that have been impacted as well, but unfortunately, animals have to wait longer for help to arrive.
Since animals (wildlife, birds, farm animals) have no one to speak for them, I find their plight equally compelling. There are many organizations and agencies whose mission is to help animals in disaster areas. If you'd like to help, two that I recommend supporting are:
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit, FEMA-certified agency that searches for survivors in the wreckage of catastrophic events such as the one is Japan. NDSDF has already deployed six Canine Disaster Search Teams to respond to the current crisis; each task force is made up of approximately 72 members (including both humans and Urban Search and Rescue dogs) and some 75 tons of rescue equipment.
Say a prayer for the people and animals of Japan. Be grateful for all that you have and for the safety of those you love.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Canada Geese are back with their mates, staking out nesting grounds. I saw a pair today on an open meadow-like parcel of land, graced with a mature weeping willow tree ― ideal habitat for setting up a nursery.
But in March, the urge to migrate and find a mate can have deadly consequences. Roadkill is always a sorrowful sight and even more so this early in the season. Today I saw two opossums and one yearling groundhog dead in the road. It seems so unfair that they should be struck down after surviving such a brutal winter.
Still, there is solace to be found in the changing beauty of March skies and the fact that we are almost on what I like to call "the other side." Daylight Savings Time begins tonight.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The situation is desperate for tigers and environmental groups estimate that the tiger population worldwide has declined to 3,000 today from 100,000 in 1900.
Now, the man who fought for four decades to save these majestic cats from extinction has lost the good fight. Fateh Singh Rathore, known among environmentalists as the Tiger Guru for his understanding of the cat, died of cancer on March 1 at 73 on his farm outside the 116-square-mile tiger preserve that he did so much to create.
Just last month the World Wildlife Fund presented Rathore with a lifetime achievement award. The president of its India chapter, Divyabhanusinh Chavda, said that largely because of Rathore, “Ranthambhore National Park in northwest India, became the place which brought the tiger to the consciousness of people the world over.”
Fateh Singh Rathore was born in a village in Rajasthan in 1938, the eldest of 10 children of Sagat and Inder Singh Rathore. After working as a store clerk and selling coal, Mr. Rathore was offered a job as a park ranger by an uncle who had become deputy minister of forests in Rajasthan. He found his calling after completing training at the Wildlife Institute of India in 1969.
He also became a photographer, his pictures of tigers appearing in the book “Tigers: The Secret Life” (1990), with text by Valmik Thapar. They show tigers lounging at the gate of the fort, standing on the parapet of a crumbling mosque and striding among the roots of a giant banyan tree.
“Both the author and his photographer-teacher profoundly want the tiger to survive,” John Seidensticker, a curator of mammals at the National Zoological Park, wrote in a 1990 review in The New York Times Book Review. “But the lingering sense running through the book is that its position is desperate.”
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The mainstream press is reporting what many of us already know. How anyone can still believe that global warming is a sham continues to amaze me.
No one believed him either.