The Beauty of Exploring
"Exploring means not needing to know where
the road leads and that's the best part."
by Betsy Seeton
Sometimes I get on the open road and just want to go - anywhere. I loved my traveling days where I had no set intinerary and no destination. Each day presented this huge and wonderful unknown. When I had the Eurail pass through Europe, I could show up at a train station and take the first train going North or South, or East or West. I could close my eyes and put my finger to a point on the map and just go because it was there. The adventure was in the going and getting there as much as in arriving.
I came across this quote today and it resonated
with me. Maybe it will for someone else as well:
“I believe that if we really want human brotherhood to spread and
increase until it makes life safe and sane, we must also be certain
that there is no one true faith or path by which it may spread.”
~Adlai E. Stevenson
"When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard." - Lakota
This is the gray jay that would go on walks with me last summer. I just learned today through the National Wildlife Federation that these lovely birds are being affected by global warming. Already 60% of their territories have been reduced. READ ALL ABOUT GRAY JAYS HERE It's an interesting article all about their habitat, when they have babies, what they like and don't like. I didn't know these birds choose a mate for life. They don't migrate. They stay in one area year round.
I have a handful of gray jays that will come to me for food. They're around even when it's snowing! I don't know how they survive the 30 to 40 below zero temps, but they do.
Also learn about what forest certification is ... READ MORE
It was a busy, but good day. Check out today's new postings:
Animal Sheltering Magazine
A Refugee Camp on the Web
Ways YOU Can Save The Tiger
The Red List
Best & Worst Places To Be A Mother
I also had two people email me after visiting this website. It is so heart warming to hear from readers. Thank you Raven and Dawn. Your suppportive words mean so much to me.
The Endangered Scottish Wildcat
I posted two new pages on Livehonestly today. Read about the endangered Scottish Wildcat . There are less than 400 of these beautiful creatures left on the planet. They are only found in the Scottish Highlands.
Also posted today is the story about the animal rescue by International Fund For Animal Welfare in Cozumel. See the slideshow of animals needing adoption RIGHT NOW!
Huge thanks for the image of the Scottish Wildcat by Foxfire Gallery/ C. Hummel! Her work is for sale at her gallery. Please visit her on RedBubble.
Stop The Trade In Bear Parts
"We've all heard about aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska and other questionable hunting practices, but none can compare to the blatant atrocities committed against America's black bear population. Forget hunting for sport, or food. These are the worst kind of profiteers: poachers who roam America's forests slaughtering black bears merely to remove and sell their gallbladders! It is time to protect these majestic creatures from this unacceptable horror. Congress must put an end to the trade in bear parts."
— Rife Sibley, who played a bear poacher and bear parts smuggler in the film The Honeysting READ FULL ARTICLE
A book I would love to read: Shadow of the Bear: Travels in Vanishing Wilderness
by Brian Payton (2006)
Journalist and novelist Brian Payton traveled around the world to China, Cambodia, Italy, India, and elsewhere to see the eight remaining species of bear in their habitats. Most of these species are threatened or endangered worldwide, and a major accelerant of their demise is, unsurprisingly, human activity, including poaching and habitat destruction. Payton—inspired by a dream in which he was teaching a spectacle-wearing bear (as distinct from the spectacled bear of the Andes) to read—felt compelled to investigate these animals who have figured so largely in human mythology and experience. His trips brought him encounters with the sad and exploited bears held captive by the bear-gall trade in China; the black bears of Colorado, revered by Native Americans and threatened by trophy hunters; the beloved polar bears of Canada; and more. Shadow of the Bear tells of his adventures across the globe, and as such stands as both a travel book and an exploration of human relationships with these much-appreciated and yet much-abused animals.
photo credit: bornfreeusa.org
I'm so glad to read some good news for a change! It really does pay off to sign petitions and take a stand for what you believe in....
(Agadir, Morocco – 23 June 2010)The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) announced today that a controversial proposal to legalize whaling has failed at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Agadir, Morocco. READ FULL ARTICLE
Photo credit: Flickr Commons the National Archives.
Chippy Is Nuts About Her!
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
Summer 2010 is in full swing! I love this time of year so much. It's when my granddaughter visits me in the mountains. She first met Chippy just before she turned two years old - that was three years ago! She loves to fly fish and go birding and hiking with a camera. She also loves sitting around a campfire making smores and telling stories.
She learned a couple of good lessons this past week. One, I had her do all the wood gathering for the fire on the second night. She realized how much effort it takes to get a nice size fire going. She also experienced the dangers of flying sparks and why certain fabrics are safer to wear. A small spark landed on her while she was sitting on my lap. I helped her flick it off but not before it melted two small holes in her sweat pants. She didn't get burned, but she saw first hand how quickly fire can burn and why fire retardant fabrics are important to wear. It spooked her in the kind of way where she gained a very healthy respect for fire while not becoming fearful.
I teach her to not kill bugs unless they're causing havoc in the house. I have killed large, biting spiders, and ants that infiltrate the kitchen, but mostly, I try to let them live and release them back into their natural environment. We caught a large bumble bee on the window sill with a jar and released it outside. We also scooped up one, small spider and put it on the ground. I encourage her to examine bugs when we're on hikes. Sometimes we'll look up information about them on the Internet at a later time.
Children can so easily be made to fear bugs, or to mindlessly kill them, but when they see an adult respecting insects and showing curiosity and interest, they will readily follow suit.
Here we are out "birding" with our cameras. My granddaughter took the picture of me below. I gave her a camera on her 4th birthday last August.
It's summer time and Chippy and Jasper and all the other little critters and birds are out to play. Jasper and Bear is a new series that can be puchased in post cards, greeting cards, and prints. Proceeds from the sale of photography help fund this website.
After yesterday's blog, which I thought long hard about posting since it was so personal, I've decided to share a bit of good news that we received from the liver specialist. Good news is all too rare these days. My daughter's blood work shows a tiny bit of improvement. There's actually a little healing going on with her liver, which is reducing her MELD score -- a number based on blood work results used to determine a statistical rate of morality for people with her disease who may or may not need a transplant. This means her chances of surviving are getting a bit better. The doctor remains highly cautious but was happy to report the unexpected improvement. It was such welcome and needed news on our end!
Thanks Jane, for your blog comment yesterday. :)
This was taken the summer of 2006 at my brother's wake. He died of alcoholism at the age of 55. I call the picture: Four Generations
My last blog entry was written on April 6, 2010 – two months ago. I wrote in support of being an organ donor. In the days immediately after I posted that blog, my life was turned upside down. That’s why I haven’t written another entry.
I don’t know what you would call the timing of this. The long and short of it is, my daughter was admitted into ICU for nearly three weeks. The diagnosis is end stage liver failure. Her only chance is to receive a liver transplant. When I wrote the April 6th blog, I had no inkling that anyone in my family, much less my own daughter, would be in need of an organ transplant.
My daughter had two liver diseases and tragically compounded her health issues with abuse of alcohol in reaction to some tragedy in her life, which severely exacerbated the deterioration of her liver. She can’t get on a donor list for a minimum of six months due to the alcohol, even if I were a match to be a living donor. (Unlike other organs, a liver can be taken from a live donor and will regenerate to full size in 6 -8 weeks.) Doctors have said they think her chances of surviving until a transplant are slim. The heartache is beyond description. This is my baby girl....
Amazingly, my daughter remains positive on a daily basis and talks about, and even plans for the future. She's on a regiment of prescription drugs and has weekly blood tests, doctor appointments, counseling sessions, acupuncture and other appointments. She hasn't complained. She steadfastly believes she can and will survive. I admire her strength and conviction. She has a new found awareness and clarity about life and her place in it. She realizes her mistakes and freely talks about it. She has no desire to drink again and is praying for a second chance. We all are.
I remember giving birth to her like it was yesterday and can still hear the doctor announce, “It’s a girl!” It was one of the happiest days of my life. Now, 26 short years later, I am living a mother’s nightmare. The pain at the prospect of losing a child goes unmatched. The hardest part of every day is waking up.
I have so many thoughts racing through my head, yet I struggle to string words together to describe what I feel. I’m plagued by a strange sense of paralysis, which leaves me behind on emails to friends and family, and behind in many other things. I’m also woefully behind on maintaining my website.
My 85-year old mother has moved across the country to live with my daughter and take care of her. This is one of many times where she has been an angel in my life. There is so much to take care of: ongoing medical tests, prescriptions to buy, finances to sort through and appointments to make and meet. Her supply of patience is extraordinary and her compassion unconditional.
There is so much more to this story…. I struggle with how much to disclose and to what end any disclosure will have.
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
"Turning indifference into making a difference."
A labor of love website devoted to animal and human rights, and better living. A place to be inspired ...
My LADYBUG book is filled with beautiful images & inspiring quotes. Click here for more info.
I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...
What greater atrocity is there on this planet than to sell a human life and brutally force him or her into a life in the sex trade or endless labor?
And how dare we abuse, kill and traffic animals in the name of profit... in the name of anything for any reason!