Protecting Nature

What does protecting Nature mean to you?  What are you willing to do to protect Nature? 

There are people who don’t like questions like those.  Part of them see no relevance to it in their lives.  There are those who don’t know what to do.  And there are individuals who simply do not care in the slightest…. Because after all, humans are not a part of Nature – are they?

If you are among plenty of good people who simply do not have the ability to get outside and address the issue from numerous different physical means … that’s okay.  We all have limitations of some kind and can only do the best we can.

If you have medical issues that prevent you from any type of getting outside to work on things, maybe you can sign petitions.  Or make phone calls to your representatives.  Maybe a friend or loved one could put a window box of flowers together for you.  Or possibly put up a bird feeder . . . for some of our friends in Nature, even a little thing can be a really big thing.

If being an environmental activist, lobbyist, or other large-scale work just isn’t your thing … that’s okay too.  Find a way that does work for you.  At the end of the day, we each answer to ourselves regarding our work.  Besides, as your own boss in the matter, you can always switch it up some -or- tone it down until it better fits what is right for you. 

Recycling can help Nature immensely!  Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who don’t recycle.  Repurposing items whenever possible is good!  There is always a way to do something.

There are folks who have yet to do anything for Nature because some of them don’t see a reason to be rushed into it.  Okay.  To that point I must ask WHEN is the right time?  Especially if you wait too long … which some say we have passed that point already.  Don’t wait until chemicals have killed all our pollinators and the world must resort to synthetic foods in order to eat.  Don’t wait until there is no potable water left anywhere on the planet.  Don’t wait until the air everywhere is to toxic to breathe at all and wearing protective gear becomes a necessity.

PLEASE do not wait too long.

A favorite spot to sit and ponder.

I would love to hear what you are doing in your way to help Nature.  Let’s keep Mother Earth alive – keep her green!

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What’s Happening, World?!

As I was sitting here getting ready to write one month and one day late, I found myself wondering about all of you.  People are a part of Nature – never forget that!  So, I would truly love to hear from some of you.  Any of you!  C’mon and join me.  I’ll put on plenty of coffee, have snacks waiting and GREAT music playing…the wonderful sounds of Mother Nature.  What’s happening in your world – weather-wise or anything you’d like to share?!

It shouldn’t come as any big surprise to any of you that Climate Change is still wreaking havoc all over Mother Earth.  The steady decline of the boreal forest around me has been going at various rates, but even those who didn’t want to admit it find themselves acknowledging that things here will never be the same again.

If you cannot see the effects of Climate Change easily around you by the decline of your typical tree species, definite weather accounts, not having the usual birds at your feeders, etc. – then I am thrilled for you!  Not to mention all the flora and fauna that may be doing great wherever you may be located. 

Spring is just around the corner for many.  Try to keep an eye out for the bees and butterflies you normally have in your area.  Changes there are signs that should be documented.  I will try to make some easy suggestions next month for things you can do to help make life a little less stressful for our tiny friends.

The other day I was driving out of town early in the morning, that magic time before the sun is fully up.  The light stretches out as far as it can, but it is a low reach.  When the sun’s fingers touch something, kissing everything in golden beauty.  It always makes me gasp when I get the chance to witness it.

I’d like to wish that golden glow upon all of you in the hopes of the year going quite grand!  Blessings & Love!

New Year Reflections

Typically, I do not spend much time reflecting on the last annual unit of time when the calendar flips to the next one.  New Year’s Eve & the big countdown at midnight is generally the same as any other night.  But this year has had me thinking of 2018 big time.  It was a monumental year for so many…some good, some bad…some horrific, some blessings…and of course a mixture for others.

My forest, and the boreal forest for most of North America, has seen deeply profound changes that will continue occurring for many years.  Most areas of the boreal forest are dying, a fact many have been forced to come to terms with.  Climate change cannot reverse what it has already wrought within our lifetime…not even within the next seven generations.

2018 has seen me spending many hours reflecting on how my land and the wildlife around has changed.  Accepting what Mother Nature has dealt us and finding a new beauty with the changes has been a huge part of that.  Countless hours have been spent and will continue doing so, in developing a new land management plan that will accommodate the wildlife and provide the best possible for them.  Some of those new plans have already been implemented, others will happen during the oncoming year, and a great many will take many years to play out, but such is Nature’s way.

My health reached an all-time terrible low early in 2018, making me seriously wonder if I would see 2019.  I thought about the changes I felt forced to make for the benefit of my land and came to the decision why should I do any less for my life.  The healing and changes that have taken place just since June (when I enacted my new health plan) have been totally outstanding and occasionally I have to pinch myself to make certain I’m not dreaming.  That’s not to say I am now healthy, but I am so much better than I was in May of 2018.

Like with many paths that seem to be doing so well, I did hit a slight bump at the end of October, a whole new curve ball hurled at me.  Action is being taken and by the time I write the February issue of my blog, I hope to have incredible news to share with everyone.

Try some reflection for yourself this season.  May it bring you unexpected blessings.  May we all please share compassion, LOVE, and equality in 2019.

Happy December ~~ Happy Holidays!

No, I don’t often say Merry Christmas – not to discount anyone, but saying Happy Holidays is an all-inclusive for the many celebrations that take place this month.  Respect and Love to all! 

This is a short issue with my apologies.  I’m busy getting ready for a long list of things, not the least of which will be burning a Yule log near the end of the month.  I’m sure Everyone has plenty of things on your to-do list.

The California fires have been horrific for the people, properties, and even worse for the forest and the ANIMALS.  Domestic and especially the wild.  From the tiniest little creatures that most people never see, up to deer and other large forest residents.  The birds!  Not to mention the Forest, itself – yes, I know I’m repeating myself. 

The mudslides have already started and will continue where burned out areas cannot hold the soil together. It will also cause climate changes in the immediate vicinity of burn-outs, if not a much larger area. The areas will eventually recover in their own way, unfortunately there has also been a spread of radiation that occurred.  We can only wait and hope for the best.  Prayers are still with you, California.  

Maybe we should all send Donald Trump a rake.

Blessed Holidays, Everyone!

Winter Gales, Snow Squall & Bird Trails

My goodness … what a month October turned out to be!  One I will never forget.  The last few months have been filled with incredible winds – all trying to be mightier than the others.  Maybe I’m just getting old, but it has felt like this year has set a record for the assault of strong winds.

I think here in my neck of the woods we had a few days of Autumn, before it seemed to jump right into Winter – with a vengeance.  Wicked winds on Lake Superior gave Minnesota’s North Shore more gales for the record books, not to mention volumes of truly fantastic photo opportunities for the die-hard camera people risking their welfare to record it for the rest of us!  Please google it to see the outstanding stills and videos that documented the storm.

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They were all superb – here is my favorite, captured by @tonecoughlinphotography.  Please visit their Facebook page and their website at tonecoughlin.com to better appreciate the quality of their work and maybe even purchase an outstanding piece to hang on your wall!

A couple days after the gales, I had to drive to the town of Virginia (50 miles away) and it felt like the fury from Lake Superior was still here, merely shifted fifty to one hundred miles inland.  Three particular images of the many from that day will stay with me for a long time.  The first one made me glad I wasn’t any closer or in the line of fire, so to speak.  The other two were the opposite and made me wish I could have been much closer to fully appreciate them.

The first was glancing down a side road as I passed it on the highway at just the right moment to see the wind tear a stop sign from it’s post, sending it flying down the road like an errant missile.  Second was a visitor from the North, sitting quietly on a tree stump … an Arctic Gyrfalcon appeared quite content in watching the world fly by.  The third was also a rarely seen visitor in these parts – a Golden Eagle who was being mobbed by Crows.  Each of the three were awesome sights I felt privileged to view.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention this was the same day I drove through a snow squall!  It was no more than a little over a mile wide, although it did stretch as far South to North as I could see and was almost white-out conditions in the center of it.

Last, but not least, was a quite unexpected delight I will always remember.  It was time to have more work done on my land, clearing all the dead Balsam trees from the front approach.  A definite requirement to cut down on the risk of forest fire fuel standing around.  It isn’t easy for an avowed tree-hugger to willingly have a mass amount of trees cut and removed.  However, it is a necessity at times for safe forest management.

Sitting there, watching as the work was being done, it slowly began to dawn on me I had some bird visitors that I have never seen on my land before.  Most notably were Common American Redstarts (both males and females), an absolutely adorable little bird!  More so even than the new species to my land’s bird list, was the THRONG of feathered friends there.  They descended in huge numbers out of nowhere.  They followed behind the forestry mulcher as it cut back and forth across the land, doing its job.  I swear it was as though all those birds knew this was where they had to be.  The dead trees had to have been packed with untold numbers of bugs and the birds kept flooding in, feasting on the bugs as the mulcher chewed up the trees.  As usual, I did not have a camera with me to catch it happening, but it is forever on my personal hard drive!   😉

You never know what is going to be out in Nature for you to observe.  So, get yourself outdoors and see whatever you can!     Thanks for reading!­­

NIGHT SKY: Dark Sky-Light Sky-or???

WOW – Did September come and go as fast for any of you, as it felt like to me?  Not only did September just ZIPPP  past, but here in my neck of the woods we are also getting signs of an EARLY and hard winter surging on like a race car.  I would love to hear any observations of the seasons changing from where any of you are located.

A topic of environmental concern more & more on my mind lately is light pollution.  If right now you are scoffing or at least asking yourself ‘what is light pollution’, the quick easy response is when our outdoor lighting inhibits or completely blocks being able to see the true night sky.  Depending on the level of light pollution where you live it could have an effect on viewing things like the Northern Lights, Southern Lights, the Milky Way or other stars, comets, etc.  If you do not see a problem in that, you probably are not reading this blog anyway.  If I have your attention and you would like to learn more, there are a few websites I have for you to check out.

If you live in a more populated area of the world or just want to experience (what even for me was) a shocker, got to http://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html#3/30.07/-32.52  and see by this global map just how lit up our little planet truly is.  There are other such maps available and apps too, but this seems a good one for starters.

If you still are wanting a thorough answer to What Is Light Pollution – Dark Skies Awareness breaks it down in very concise steps.  http://www.darkskiesawareness.org/faq-what-is-lp.php  The people at DelMar Fans and Lighting go further, besides also offering an array of other lighting options for private individuals.  https://www.delmarfans.com/educate/basics/lighting-pollution/

Once again, I understand how it could seem with all we are currently facing around the globe, that light pollution may not strike some as all that serious, but it is a gargantuan problem.  Are we going to come together as one human race to do our best to save the little blue space ship we live on…or try to keep it from getting much worse at any rate?  International Dark-Sky Association is a tremendous organization, attempting to bring people together in combating light pollution.  http://darksky.org/light-pollution/   They have local chapters all over the world, so please do a little homework to see if there is one located near you.  If not, then maybe you’d like to consider starting one yourself.  All it takes is caring about Mother Earth and all life upon Her.

Stars

May you be gazing upward at glorious night skies wherever you may be!

Seeds of Empathy

This should be required reading by every single citizen of the United States … just as a beginning! Thank you, Swati!

Beyond... A Journey Within

Originally published in New York Spirit

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“Noooo!”

I saw him in a shabby shop. All tied up. Even his mouth. Some men were torturing him. Deliberately hurting him. He was scared and in immense pain. I wanted to know how to save this poor soul from these butchers. Before I could understand who to call in this strange land, I saw blood bludgeoned all over. I felt the pain tearing me apart as I sat up. The dog’s face was haunting me. It took me a while to understand that it was a nightmare.

Was it?

Seeing news of gruesome murders of stray dogs for no reason other than hatred had probably instigated the dream. Hitting them mercilessly, feeding them poison, attacking people who feed strays, lighting up their skins, celebrating festivals killing them, shooting innocents and boasting it as a trophy sport! What is the world coming to?

Mahatma…

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