by Betsy Seeton
Jasper asked that I share my thoughts on his blog today. He knows I've been out taking pictures of bees and other insects lately. He thought his readers might enjoy the images and my message.
I've written about my passion for photography before. It's an amazing experience to love how you spend your time. When I study life from behind my camera lens, I get transported into a new, and incredibly fascinating world. I start to see the blades of grass and leaves differently; more from the view of my main character, whomever that happens to be on a given day. Yesterday, my star characters were several ladybugs. Until yesterday, I'd only photographed a ladybug one time just a few weeks ago. On my new page called INSECT PHOTO JOURNAL you will find many more photos of these curious, little beauties in all sorts of scenes.
ladybugs on a dandelion gone to seed
Doing macro photography is probably similar to exploring life beneath a microscope, only it doesn't go nearly as deep as that. Nonetheless, it's an extraordinary world to observe, and from the time I'm focusing my lens until I leave, I feel a part of something special. I get to experience a part of life often revealed only in books or documentaries.
Photography has many highs. There's the high of being in the field, out there camera hunting ready to capture an unexpected moment in time for eternity. Then there's the rush of focusing just so and clicking away. Following the character from one scene to the next is mesmerizing. Then there's the ride home with the camera full of potential glory. It's a rush every single time. When I get home, I greet my kitty, and head straight for my computer where I begin the next rush: downloading the images. And finally, there's the sweet of all sweets when I get to see hundreds of moments in time captured by the marvel of a camera, and when the timing is perfect along with the lighting and focus and angle, I get the best rush of all - a photograph to cherish and share. I wouldn't sell my passion for a million dollars -- or for any amount of money.
For a 'starving artist', I'm happy getting to do what I do. This kind of passion is priceless.
One last commentary ...
It's amazing to get up close to the insect world and see them react and interact with me. They aren't oblivious to humans at all. They are very aware of sounds and movement, and some are aware of scent. The more I discover and learn about all forms of life, the more connected I feel to the world, and the more precious I view all life.
When I tromp across grass and through the weeds, I'm aware I'm entering the world where so many insects make their home and are carrying on their business of living. It's made me more conscious of how everything is interrelated. I tread more lightly now; more mindfully.
Missouri Senator, Mike Parson, is a mentally deficient person; someone who acts in a self-defeating and significantly counterproductive way
I know it's not nice to call someone names, nor is it productive, and I try to rise above those antics on this website, so instead, I looked up the definition of an idiot and came up with the title to this posting. I thought it was better to describe Senator Mike Parson versus just labeling him with a name. I rarely get this cynical, but this guy pushed me to the edge.
Please listen to the youtube video below of Parson speaking on his opposition to Puppy Mill legislation. He actually says Puppy Mills are an asset to the state of Missouri. He is also woefully challenged in math, which would be okay if he weren't using his erroneous math calculations to gather supporters. Actually, in all fairness, it's not so much his math that's the problem, as it is his facts. He just has them all wrong. His math formulas are correct, but he's plugging in all the wrong numbers because he's either ignorant or deceptive. I suspect, both.
My original post was back in September. Read what Jasper reported. If you landed on this website for your first time, here are two links I suggest: ABOUT and HONESTY.
Prop B or The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act was passed by voters in Missouri. Now legislators are working to repeal the newly passed law and they are misrepresenting the facts to constituents and their colleagues. There was no "compromise" on B. It has been REPEALED. Watch the champion of this repeal spread his lies in this video. Senators voted to keep Missouri the Puppy Mill Capital by striking the most basic of provisions from Prop B including: continuous access to water, one annual physical exam by licensed veterinarian, any rest between breeding cycles, increased space requirements that would allow a dog to take steps and move about, protection from harsh elements of the outdoors and temperatures. Please watch this video and get the facts straight before the Missouri house votes this week to support the vote of the senate and take Missouri back to the dark ages for these voiceless dogs.
An excerpt from Parson's website:
Senator Parson was raised on a farm in Hickory County, and graduated in 1973 from Wheatland High School in Wheatland, Missouri. He is a small business owner and has been for many years. He is a third generation farmer and currently owns and operates a cow and calf operation near Bolivar.
Click here to read more on Parson's website.
Below are the links to the facts of each of these categories
straight from The Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
GET THE FACTS
Senate Bill 113: The Repeal of Prop B
Senate bill 113: Read the bill text
Facts Vs Myths: Prop B and SB113
Comparison Chart: Prop B VS SB113
Senate Votes to Repeal Prop B
House Votes to Repeal Prop B
Stop the repeal of Prop B: Ask Governor Nixon to Veto SB113
MORE READING ON MISSOURI PUPPY MILLS:
Missouri Anti-Puppy Mill Law, Prop B, Overhauled By Lawmakers For Being Too Costly
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri voters thought they scored a big win against some of the nation's most notorious puppy mills when they approved strict new dog breeding regulations last year. Now state lawmakers are changing the rules.
The Humane Society of Missouri and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were among the animal advocates who pushed for ballot measure, pointing to emaciated and flea-infested dogs that lived in filthy conditions. Even breeders who followed the rules, proponents said, have been allowed to keep dogs in wire cages not much larger than their bodies and exposed to excess heat and cold.
Please call Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and politely and respectfully ask him to veto the legislation to repeal Prop B, even if you are not from Missouri. You can also go to the Governor's website and send him the message there!
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's Office
Phone: (573) 751-3222
source: source of this posting: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=canned%20bear%20hunts&view=detail&id=FC98950B49C6FE6AF45792C4C3B806D98ED41AC9&first=0
There are five new pages of photo categories posted on livehonestly.com. On the main menu you'll find BEE PHOTOS and in the drop down box under that, there are GEESE PHOTOS followed by LADYBUG PHOTOS and HAWK PHOTOS. I also just started an INSECT PHOTO BLOG. Consistent with the spirit of this website, the pages are all works in progress. I upload new photos when I have them and will add information when knowledge, time and inspiration meet.
In addition to being a wildlife photographer, I am available as a pet photographer in Colorado. My contact info is below.
This needs no introduction ... just click and watch. Enjoyment guaranteed.
(Thanks, Al, for sending my way!)
Every animal trafficking bust gives cause to celebrate in our hearts knowing that innocent animals have been saved ...
Baby leopards, a bear, panthers, and monkeys were drugged and packed in suitcases for travel from Thailand to Dubai. Undercover animal trafficking agents made the bust at Bangkok's International airport and arrested the 1st class traveler who was a 36-year-old United Arab Emirates citizen.
Reported by AP: "It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before," Galster said. "The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."
I tire of hearing all the bad stuff. I know others do too. So many people want things to change, but it seems impossible sometimes. The greed and the evil, and the abundant ignorance on this planet can overwhelm even the strongest of heart. So here's a little light, maybe just a pin hole, but at least it's something to shine on the dark world of animal trafficking. Story below.
Major raid in Mexico on Exotic Animal Traffickers
March 29, 2011
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Hundreds of police raided illicit markets to crack down on the lucrative trade in wild animals and rare flowers, arresting 15 traffickers across Mexico this weekend in one of the biggest swoops of its kind.
Rich in flora and fauna, Mexico is a major hub for animal trafficking where locals buy lizards, macaws and tropical fish in city markets and smugglers move endangered species across the country's border with the United States.
In three days of raids, authorities netted 4,725 wild plants and animals -- 113 different species -- including 762 parrots and other types of birds and 67 reptiles.
The operation also found more than a dozen threatened mammals like wild boars, white-tailed deer and three tiny puma cubs in a cardboard box in a warehouse in southern Mexico.
"This is the first operation like this on a national scale," Environment Minister Juan Elvira said on Monday. "We recovered 3,500 trafficked orchids, that's a record."
Animals and plants sold on the black market cost just a fraction of the price of legal breeds, and more than 90 percent of them sold unlawfully die in transit, authorities said.
Interpol estimates the global illegal trade in live species and animal parts to produce luxury goods, medicines or folk remedies like aphrodisiacs is worth up to $20 billion a year.
TAKE ACTIONPetitions by Change.org|Get Widget|Start a Petition »Officials could not put a value on the animals and plants recovered but said the aim was to reverse the harm caused by taking protected species out of their natural environment.
"We recovered 377 parrots from Oaxaca state. These little animals can be sold for up to $50 each so we're talking more than $18,000 in just one case," said Hernando Guerrero, the head of Mexico's environmental protection agency PROFEPA.
Traffickers approach poor indigenous farmers, many of whom do not know what the species are worth, and pay them a few pesos to collect them from the jungle, said Elvira.
"They are taking advantage of this population," he added.
Most of the species are sold locally but the United States is also one of the largest markets for banned pets and animal products, making Mexico a busy corridor smuggling species from across Latin America and other parts of the world.
Mexican drug lords have been known to collect animals like big cats as trophy pets or hide narcotics in wildlife cargo.
In June, a Mexican was caught in the capital's airport after arriving from Peru with 18 tiny endangered monkeys stuffed in socks and strapped in a girdle around his waist.
(Editing by Todd Eastham)
Source: Reuters Environmental Online Report
Three Alaskans accused of trafficking in walrus tusks
Source: Scientific American
Three Alaskans have been indicted on charges of trafficking in hundreds of pounds of walrus tusks taken from a remote Eskimo village in exchange for such items as cash, guns and marijuana, prosecutors said on Thursday.
April 28, 2011
By Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Three Alaskans have been indicted on charges of trafficking in hundreds of pounds of walrus tusks taken from a remote Eskimo village in exchange for such items as cash, guns and marijuana, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The case against the three individuals, which also includes accusations of illegal sales of walrus bones and polar bear hides, marks Alaska's biggest case of illegal trafficking in wildlife contraband in years, said Yvonne Lamoureux, an assistant U.S. attorney.
Jesse Leboeuf and Loretta Sternbach, both of Glennallen, Alaska, and Richard Weshenfelder of Anchorage pleaded not guilty on Thursday. They were arrested earlier this week.
The indictment, unsealed on Wednesday, said they began trading last summer for the animal parts from Savoonga, an impoverished Yupik Eskimo village on a remote Bering Strait island.
In addition to offering cash, firearms, ammunition and drugs in exchange for the ivory and hides, the defendants also traded away snowmobiles, prosecutors said. The three also are accused of conspiring to sell the ivory and animal parts over the Internet.
Federal laws forbid commercial trafficking in raw animal parts from protected species, such as Pacific walruses and polar bears. Polar bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and the Pacific walrus is a candidate for listing. Bothanimals are considered imperiled by the decline of Arctic sea ice.
Leboeuf was charged with seven counts of trafficking in animal parts and three gun violations and he faces a maximum of 65 years in prison if convicted. Sternbach is charged with seven counts of trafficking in animal parts and two firearms offenses and faces up to 55 years in prison.
Lamoureux described them as a dangerous couple who shared a house full of guns, marijuana, coca plants and other contraband.
Weshenfelder, who prosecutors say remained in Anchorage and helped arrange sales, is charged with conspiracy to traffic in animal parts and faces a maximum sentence of five years.
The arrests capped a nine-month investigation in which authorities seized 1,000 pounds of raw ivory -- believed to have come from at least 100 walruses -- and other contraband such as whale baleen and teeth and polar bear hides.
In a similar case in Oregon, state police there said on Thursday they had arrested six men and three women charged with racketeering in connection with an alleged wildlife poaching operation.
The nine defendants in that case are accused of illegally killing some 300 deer since 2006 in central Oregon. State police said they seized 1,600 pounds of illegally processed game meat, plus 18 rifles and 108 sets of antlers.
(Additional reporting by Dan Cook in Portland; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman)
Source of walrus photo: http://www.historicalstockphotos.com/details/photo/1716_walrus_tusks.html
A BEE'S MANTRA: LIVE AND LET LIVE
by Betsy Seeton
HELP BAN THE BRUTAL PRACTICE OF PENNING OF COYOTES & FOXES
Your Comments Are Needed by May 18th
Doggone it! I get tired of reading this stuff and tired of posting it, but the animals need defenders, so I'm going to keep trying to help even when I feel helpless and a bit hopeless. I'm sure the crummy news in the world is overwhelming to all of us at times. There's so much injustice and fighting and arguing going on in every facet and every corner of the world. Sometimes I won't even open up my emails and newsletters from organizations pleading for change, for my signature, my money, and my action. I just can't bear it sometimes. I want peace in my own heart and in the heart of those around the globe.
Straight from Project Coyote
As you may recall from our previous action alerts, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission (INRC) is considering a proposed rule to legalize the practice of coyote/fox “penning” (penning involves sending packs of domestic dogs into a fenced-off enclosure to chase to exhaustion and often tear apart a captive coyote or fox- ostensibly to “train” hunting hounds how to better pursue and hunt coyotes and foxes in the wild).
The image above will take you to the story of Coyote and Fox Penning. I'm not going to rewrite it. I'll just direct you to Project Coyote. What I will add is how utterly outrageous this "sport" is. I've written about them before. Bears are put in confined quarters on a chain to be attacked by dogs. Crazy. It's a sorry, sorry commentary on one of our darker parts of humanity -- or inhumanity. The idea that Indiana might legislate this practice and give it a thumbs up through regulation is insane. Please speak out on this!
Project Coyote is a non-profit fiscally sponsored project of Earth Island Institute that promotes educated coexistence between people and coyotes and advocates on behalf of coyotes and other native carnivores. We depend on our members and supporters to help us continue our work on behalf of America’s native “song dog.” Please join us today! All donations are tax-deductible. Visit us at www.ProjectCoyote.org.
When Will Animal Abuse Stop? A video recently released shows the elephant star of Water For Elephants being abusively trained. Training elephants with electric shock, hitting, punishing bull hooks, and other physical abuse must not be tolerated!
Video released today by Animal Defenders International shows Tai, the elephant that appears alongside Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson (pictured above) in the new film Water for Elephants, being beaten and electric-shocked during training.
"I have just viewed the disturbing video filmed in 2005 by Animal Defenders International at the Have Trunk Will Travel facility in Southern California."
Have Trunk Will Travel supplies the majority of elephants used in films and television, earning huge sums of money from their elephants. They supplied the elephant for the 20th Century Fox film, Water For Elephants. The elephants in this video are clearly fearful of their trainers and the bull hooks and shocking devices that are viciously applied as the elephants scramble to obey the commands.
Have Trunk Will Travel is accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums(AZA) and is a member of The Elephant Manager's Association (EMA) whose policies regarding the use of bull hooks and other aversive training methods are an embarrassment to the good zoos in this country.
There is a close affiliation between these organizations and circuses, and they complain incessantly about "animal rights extremists who know nothing about elephants." This animal rights extremist crowd includes Ed Stewart and me with more than 35 years each of working with elephants without using bull hooks and weapons, and Dr. Joyce Poole and Dr. Cynthia Moss who have spent their lives studying elephants in Africa, as well as many other distinguished scientists and elephant caregivers from zoos around the world.
Although Have Trunk Will Travel states that their elephants are trained with food reward and positive reinforcement, no treats are visible anywhere in this video, and the bull hooks and electricity are used aggressively and angrily. At one point a bull hook is inserted into the ear of an adult female Asian elephant and later, into the mouth of a juvenile elephant. These practices were banned in 1989 after PAWS introduced a bill that passed into law. The language of that law, Section 596.5 of the California Penal Code, is listed below this article.
Additionally, Section 597(b) of the Code states: ". . . Whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal. . . is, for every such offense, guilty of a crime punishable as a misdemeanor or as a felony."
The actions I viewed on this video could only be characterized as needless suffering and unnecessary cruelty.
In the early 70s, when I was working with animals on film sets, I wrote in my book The Lady & Her Tiger, that "I hated the way elephants were trained. Elephants bring out a fury in many men as no other creature does, a rage to dominate and to hurt." After my book was published in 1976, my partner, Ed Stewart, and I began a crusade to ban the use of elephants and other animals in films, television and other entertainment venues because there were no humane trainers, and it is impossible to monitor the activities of those who are earning huge sums of money based on animal performances.
We formed The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in 1984 and began investigations that led to the enactment of minimal standards of care and the legislation which made the brutality seen on IDA's video illegal in California. We were constantly opposed by the powerful film industry, Hollywood animal trainers and the American Humane Association which never seems to be present during the intense training sessions depicted in the video. Although AHA gave Water For Elephants its highest rating, "No Animals Were Harmed", it is doubtful that Have Trunk Will Travel changed their training technique for this particular film. Undoubtedly, they realized that the abusive treatment we observed on the video would be unacceptable, and concealed the training.
The elephant actor in Water For Elephants, and the other elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel, have paid a high price for a few mediocre moments of entertainment. If you care about elephants, skip this movie.
The contrast between the stressful training in ADI's video and the work of elephant scientists like Cynthia Moss, Joyce Poole and Daphne Sheldrick who have sacrificed their own comfort and dedicated their lives to protecting these magnificent, intelligent animals in the wild, is irrefutable.
A standing ovation to Animal Defenders International for their diligent efforts in exposing this insensitive and brutal training which is an industry standard for training elephants for entertainment.
Voice your concern. You'll find our list of addresses below. (Click on Pat Derby for list.)
Note: Pat Derby’s advocacy for animals developed more than 35 years ago when she began working with captive wildlife in movies and television commercials. Go to Pat's website.
"Ask not what an animal can do for you; ask what you can do for an animal." Jasper
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~Alice Walker
The source of the quote is Walker's preface to Marjorie Spiegel's 1988 book, "The Dreaded Comparison" . Her next sentence was, "This is the gist of Ms. Spiegel's cogent, humane and astute argument, and it is sound."