Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

June 20, 2016

Peace, Love, Pulse.

Rainbow Flag
Picture credit: Wikipedia

A week ago, our world changed in Orlando forever and it has taken this long to be able to write about what has happened here.
Words of love and hope have come to Orlando from all over the World, but for those who live here, we are all still mostly numb.
It is all still surreal.
Many of you know that I came here from California and have found adjusting to the vast cultural differences between the two states, quite difficult.
One of the most glaring differences for me personally between the two places, was in the way those of the Gay Community are viewed and treated here.
California, my home for over 30 years, has an admirable level of acceptance and respect for the LGBT/Gay community.
My very best friend at Piedmont Airlines was gay and we spent many wonderful hours together, both at and away from work, admiring, and relishing the tremendous Art Culture of Los Angeles.
I had never known anyone like him and when I left LAX, I missed him so very much.
Many of my friends in LA were Gay, even though I was not.
It was not a choice, it was more like a connection of hearts, spirits and souls that brought us together.
Coming here in 2004 and traveling around Central Florida was so different from LA, as the Gay Community here did not seem to have a well defined presence, nor much acceptance.
What happened last Saturday night was the stark reality of evil and hate for the 49 victims whose lives were taken.
For those who were left behind to try to deal with it, it was a cold, bitter truth we were unable to accept or explain, for me, and as of last night, apparently 50,000 others here.
A Candlelight vigil was held at Lake Eola just as night came and the crowd had been expected to be around 25,000, the News said this morning.
But love, comforting, and acceptance came from everywhere here last night and if this is any indication of what can and should happen from this point on, things just may be changing for Orlando’s Gay Community, at last.
We drove down to Orlando yesterday right after eating breakfast in Mount Dora and walked around the Lake.
The feeling was wonderful, everyone seemed happy to be there and the sense of kindness was palpable.
Disappointingly, we found not one person there who had any of the beautiful flags, shirts, or other things made to honor those who had lost their lives, which we both found shocking.
The night before we had watched the Lions Soccer game and it seemed every single person there was wearing a shirt with words of hope, inspiration and love for the victims.
But on this day, one week after the horror, not one thing could be found around the Lake Park, or at the  Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, where just days before, President Obama and Vice President Biden had laid 49 white roses to remember the victims, at a Memorial that has now grown into a massive place of love and outpouring of affection for those who were lost.
Being there, seeing it, feeling it, was completely overwhelming.
A reporter was there from one of our local channels, filming the visitors and I went up to her and lamented my sadness at not being able to find a single thing to take/bring home to honor the victims.
She said that the rainbow pin she was wearing had been given to her the day before and sadly, she only had one left to give away.
She gave it to me.
I was overcome with emotion and joy.
Then she asked me if I would talk about what I was feeling.
Big mistake.
I was like old faithful,  gushing out all of the sadness, anger, and pain from the past 12 years of seeing so little acceptance, support or love for a community that  had meant so much to me in California, and that I felt was treated shamefully here by too many.
Yes, I made a fool out of myself.
We left a bit later and all night I was sad until this morning, when the News came on with a sight that made me so joyful.
You see, 50,000 people had shown up for the vigil last night at Lake Eola to say:
we care for you, we feel your pain, we love you.

No judgement, no negativity, just pure love for those whose lives had been taken a week ago in a brutal, senseless act of hate.
Day after day on the News, familiar phrases have become the mantra for all who grieve with the families and survivors:
Somos Orlando.
We are hurting. We are broken. We will prevail.
Love, not Hate.

And for me personally, Gandhi’s words ring in my head:
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” – – Gandhi

And so, last night as the vigil began, these three words, which now define us and what happened, were chanted by the massive crowd there:
Peace, Love, Pulse.


June 5, 2016

Lifeguard to the rescue…

A Nurse Shark near Ambergris Caye, Belize 11-22-2003
Picture credit: Joseph Thomas

A Fort Lauderdale Lifeguard, Szilard Janko, rescued/saved a Nurse Shark a few days ago.
But it only just made our local News here this morning.
Janko carefully removed a fishing line and hook from the 2 foot shark and then released it.
The grateful animal he said, swam away, “without saying a word,” not realizing that not many would have done  what this kind man just did!
Two weeks ago a woman in Boca Raton was bitten by the same type of shark.
The woman went to the hospital with it still attached to her.
The woman lived, the shark did not.
What is being repeated daily after these incidents here, is that the debris in our Oceans is a disaster which helps create the Environment for many of these ” accidents ”  in Florida to occur.
You may have read or seen some of my older postings here about Ocean Trash, it is out of control world wide and the animals are the ones who are suffering the most.
Overfishing, garbage in the water, pollution and people are problems that our Global Marine life simply cannot handle any more.
An interesting tidbit is that 2 weeks ago,  while driving along the shoreline, up in Flagler Beach, we had spotted this same type of shark just behind a young boy paddling on a surf board,  not far from the shore.
It appeared to be circling behind the young boy, who may have been unaware of its presence, we think.
When we drove back later, no sign of the boy, or any trouble.
This particular Shark is easily recognized by its 2 smallish, round dorsal fins.
They like to feed in shallow waters and often are seen lying on the bottom near shore.
Regardless of the apparent recent abundance of Shark sightings here in Florida, they remain, as do all Marine life here, at the mercy of our whims.
We are sloppy and careless with their Ocean homes, the great waters of the world.
When we show so little respect for their Environment, what does it say abut us?
Thankfully, in this latest case, there was a young hero who took the time and care to ensure that at least this time, this story would end well for the Shark, as he was the lifeguard to the rescue…
Places to learn more:

Nurse shark trapped in reef by fishing line rescued
Underwater video shows off-duty lifeguard rescuing shark trapped by fishing line
Nurse Shark: Wikipedia

May 29, 2016

Eat this, not that!


Human plastic waste now litters Beaches and Waters all over the world!
Edible six pack holder picture credit: Saltwater Brewery
Plastic trash picture credit: epSos.de

This story was on our news just before we left for Flagler Beach last week.
Meant to share it when we got back, but lost track of it, until today.

This is one of the most positive ideas to help animals to come along for Marine/Ocean life in years and hopefully it will become widespread and as with so many great ideas, be widely imitated.
This Florida Company, Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, has created quite a sensation with this new idea, in partnership with NY ad Company,  We Believers.

Wildlife lovers and many others are excited about the chance to buy their favorite brew and help Sea Life at the same time.
The new rings are a byproduct of the brewing process and are  biodegradable and compostable.

Called “Edible Six Pack Rings,”  they are the answer to the prayers of those of us who are frantic over getting the death dealing plastic ones gone, ASAP.
These have injured, maimed and killed countless sea animas and the future looked pretty bleak until this innovative Company came up with this fantastic idea.

The best part of all of this is, that the rings are not only not going to harm animals, they are a new source of food.
Several other products already exist that are recyclable, but they do nothing to keep the animals safe from tangling, entrapment or ingestion.

And unlike the others, even if they are not consumed, they will shortly break down, leaving no trash in the water, or  on the Beaches to worry about.
Using the exciting new process which has become so abundant here in Florida, due to the ground breaking work done by students at UCF with prosthetics, 3 D is becoming a household word in Central Florida and we could not be prouder of the accomplishments fellow Floridians  have made using it.

Over 5o Breweries have already asked to come on board.

This great news leaves so many of us here in Florida, who are sick of the trash on our miles of beautiful Beaches and watching the tragic rescue attempts to save those who have been harmed, breathing a sigh of relief.

This is only one small part of the vast over whelming plastic trash polluting our world’s Oceans and Beaches, but it is a start.
Animals everywhere are suffering and dying needlessly because of our plastic trash in their homes.

We did this, now we need to clean it up.
These new six pack rings can begin the reversal of a horrible cycle of Human abuse.
Now, we can feel encouraged for our beautiful ocean/marine life:
look what we are making now, this is safe, go ahead eat this, not that!

Places to learn more:

Saltwater Brewery edible rings
We Believers
This Craft Brewery Invented a Brilliant Edible 6-Pack Holder That Helps Sea Life
Florida brewery creates edible beer holders to save marine life
New edible six-pack holders are just what the environment needs
Brewery Has Created Six-Pack Holders That Can Be Eaten By Marine Life

May 28, 2016

Murder most foul!

This Sandhill Crane family was near our house here in the Forest a few years ago.
Picture credit: Walkingfox


There was no intention to write today, it is a Holiday weekend, everyone is already at the Beaches here and happily spending time relaxing with family.
Alas, not so for those who tuned into the local news this morning and were horrified to learn about what happened here yesterday afternoon.
It seems that Marvin Hicks of Leesburg had had enough and took matters into his own hands.
He ran over and killed a baby  Sandhill Crane  on the golf course in Spanish Village.
He was quoted as saying that they were “crapping all over his Golf Course.”
A witness, Jamie Phillips, who with her son witnessed the gruesome scenes and is a bird lover, said he deliberately chased down the birds, the baby could not keep up with its parents and had stopped.
Hicks ran over the confused, defenseless and innocent baby and killed it.
The witness also said she heard Hicks girlfriend clapping as he ran over the baby Crane and both appeared to have been drinking.
Hicks denied it all, saying he never meant to harm the birds, but they were wrecking the tees on the Golf Course.
Sandhill Cranes are protected in this state and are a threatened species.
There would be fines, perhaps jail time ordinarily, but we are talking about a resident of  the affluent community of the Villages, where they often make up their own rules.
Golf carts are not allowed on public roads/streets, but you frequently have to dodge them if you are anywhere near the Villages.
Rules don’t apply to some who live here, who believe that they are privileged because of their address.
FWC is said to be looking into the matter!
We will be waiting and watching, to see if one of the “special people”  who live in the Villages receive the same treatment as the rest of us would in this case.
Keeping in mind of course, the young man in Texas, Ethan Couch, who was cleared of murder charges in 2013, for killing four people because his family was just too rich and he could not be held responsible.
He was called the “affluenza teen.”
If this man goes unpunished for this beastly crime, wonder what they will call him in this case of,
murder most foul?

Places to learn more:
Man ran over endangered Sandhill crane with golf cart, neighbor says
Neighbors say man hit, killed baby crane with golf cart over ‘poop’ issue
Sandhill Cranes
Leesburg man on golf cart killed sandhill crane, witness says


May 27, 2016

Help us stop this madness


This will be short and ugly/ bitter.

Today many, many times, they have been blasting all over our local news about the impending, not their words, Black Bear Hunt again in the Fall.

Numbers  were given, with absolutely no evidence to support how these numbers were arrived at however,
4350 Black Bears are now said to be living in this state, with no proof of course, offered.

The Bears have increased they say, in great numbers, great percentages.
Regardless, these numbers alone, are not a reason to consider doing another Trophy Hunt again in the Fall.

The last one left orphans  all over this state, many of whom are now having great difficulty figuring out how to be a Bear, their role models you see, have all been killed.

So they wander aimlessly around, like the one right now in a tree in Orlando, who is causing great concern and fear among those who have seen it.

It is a cub and it does not know where its family is,  or why it is alone.

This beautiful new ad, which by the way cost about $400 to produce, is thanks to Lee Day of Oviedo and his fellow animal activist supporters.

Activist group releases ad opposing Florida bear hunt:

Plz help us stop another Black Bear massacre.

Plz call Gov Scott and say NO MORE to the Trophy Hunt here:
850 488-7146

I just called and left a message, no Human ever came on the phone!

Here is the new ad to stop the next Black Bear Trophy Hunt in Florida:

For the love of all the innocents that Scott and FWC intend to murder, if left unopposed, please call him and say:    NO MORE DEAD BEARS!

My heart remains as always,  broken for those who still have no voice.

Places to learn more:
Seminole County to FWC: Stop hunting bears in Fla.

May 4, 2016

Forever Gone!

Picture credit : Grey 2 K

For the past two days and for as long as we have lived here in Central Florida, the News has continually covered the various groups opposing the Racing of Greyhounds.
The pictures on our News yesterday and again this morning, were/are pathetic and tragic.
Dogs were/are shown being forced to run/race to empty stands.
No one, or very few, it seems, cares about dog racing here anymore.
But many people do care about the beautiful dogs that are doing the racing/running.
It as usual, all comes down to money.
The city of Melbourne has a lot at stake here, not the dogs of course which are merely pawns in an unwilling activity, called sport, and neatly disguised,  but the gambling that is done on the property which is a big money maker for the owners.
This subject is a sore one for me and many who love animals and despise all forms of racing using them without their consent.
We, who believe all forms of these quasi-sports, or competitions involving unwilling participants, is, or should be, illegal.
That includes dog and  horse racing, bull fighting, dog fighting and a myriad of other cruel forms of evil, being put upon innocent animals.
All kinds of animal racing does frequently end badly for the animals, and can result in either injuries or death.
Or both.
The most encouraging sentence seen while researching this story was:
” Greyhound dog racing across the country is in a declining trend.”
This is sweet music to the ears of animal lovers who have been fighting for years to end these brutal,  cruel sports.
Those who are in control at the state level have consistently failed to protect the dogs and ” in 2016, our Florida Legislature failed to pass what would have separated the dog racing sport from Gambling.”
Are they being financially rewarded by the gambling industry to keep rejecting this?
We all know the answer, don’t we?
This state has, since the beginning of Scott’s tenure, been both anti-animals and women.
Few expect any changes until he is gone.
So Dear Greyhounds, we who love you know that you are suffering, but we have no control or say in this, as all of the control to stop or change this,  is seated in Tallahassee.
Please know that we will keep fighting to free you from your life of Hell and will rejoice with you, when at last Greyhound Racing here and everywhere, will be forever gone.

Places to learn more:

Forced to run: Forced to run, should Florida end Greyhound racing?
Greyhound racing may soon end in Florida
Florida’s Greyhound racing may be headed for the finish line
Gambling Deal Could Mean End Of Dog, Horse Racing In Florida
Grey 2 K
End Dog Racing

May 1, 2016

The Promise~

Circus Elephants
Picture credit: Wikipedia Public Domain

This morning on our News was an ugly twist to a story that had not been expected.
You may remember the post written months ago about the Ringling Bros. Circus retiring their elephants to a Retirement Sanctuary here in Central  Florida. This was a source of immense  joy for me and many others who love them and have fought to set them free.
We were all looking forward to this day, thrilled that finally, these long abused, beloved animals would find peace, after so many years of pain and misery at the hands of greedy owners.
Not that this particular circus is the only one, all of them treat animals badly, one way or another and all should be shut down. Only Humans should be in any future performances, as they and only they, are WILLING participants in a dirty little business.
But back to the reason for this posting today.
As expected months ago, when the Circus promised to set their elephants free today and send them all to the Retirement Village here in Central Florida.
Today, they were to be finally, forever free.
All well and good. For the moment all was calm, then this morning came the shoe that fell hard on all who love them, yes they will be coming home to us, but with one very ugly BUT…
These beloved, eternally abused, animals will now be even further insulted/assaulted, with testing, experiments and God knows what else, all in the name of Cancer Research.
It is their extreme bad fortune, that elephants do not contract cancer and scientists are fascinated by this for good reason.
Dr. Joshua Schiffman went to Utah in 2008 to do Cancer Research, then in 2012 he went to a lecture that changed his life.
He had observed blood testing being done with Zoo elephants and wanted to investigate the possibilities.
Schiffman got permission to use the blood already being drawn weekly from the Zoo elephants and a new lab idea was born.
Like me, he is a cancer survivor, like me, he lost a beloved dog to cancer, but that is where our similarities end.
If his work/research had stopped here with these younger, not retired elephants, I would not be writing this, but it did not.
It was expanded and became all inclusive and will be done on the retired elephants in Florida.
I do not object to using blood that was being drawn to assure the health of the elephants. What I object to is that now that they are supposedly retired, they could for the first time in perhaps all of their lives, be allowed to rest, relax and just be elephants.
It has bothered me for many years that so many millions of dollars are spent on Cancer Research, yet the cure for it still eludes us.
The return for the expenditures on Cancer Research in this country is meager, if it were a business, it would have been bankrupt years ago.
As a cancer survivor, I do understand the reasoning behind it all, what I am not happy about is that these particular animals have suffered for a lifetime and should be allowed to have some peace. They have earned it, they were promised it.
PETA, the Humane Society, countless animal groups and individuals have been fighting for this for so long and it seemed it was about to come to fruition, like the affect of Black Fish for marine animals, the public pressure has had profound affects on those who continue to do harm to animals.
It actually in both cases, I believe, came down to money or profit, both of these businesses have been losing money because of their treatment of animals in their care and the public outcry to it.
Boycotts and bad press worked on Sea World.
Can we do it again?
I for one would like to try.
As a collective group of animal lovers, can we all now Boycott the Circus, until the retired elephants here in Florida are allowed to do just that, retire!
It is up to us, these suffering animals are at the mercy of their owners and have no voice.
This Blog was created for a singular purpose, to give a voice to those who cannot speak.
Will you join me and speak for them?
They need to keep their promise~
Ringling Bros. Media Line 703 448-4120
Places to learn more:
The Ringling Elephants Are Taking Their Final Bow
Forget the elephants: Ringling Bros retiring the big performers
Ringling circus elephants to retire, be used in cancer research at University of Utah
Could elephants hold the key to cure cancer?
Elephants may play a role in preventing cancer, says Brown graduate
Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation

February 26, 2016


Artistic view of how the world feels like with schizophrenia
Picture credit: Craig Finn (schizophrenia patient)


A story on our news this morning was impossible for me to ignore.
Many of you know that I was Nurse in California years ago, but what you may not know is where I worked and what I did there.
I have been blessed with a  variety of wonderful occupations in my lifetime, but the one without a doubt that meant the most to me, were the 4 years I spent at a California Rehab Center.
My position was that of a Treatment Nurse to over 120 patients there.
Every day, the orderlies brought my patients to me in a little room off of the main corridor to receive their treatments, which varied from of wound care, eye and ear meds, and other, to be taken care of, some came several times during the day.
At noon  we all went to the large dining area and with the assistance of four orderlies we watched over the patients while they ate.
Most days were without incident, but on several occasions there were outbursts and/or physical assaults between the patients.
On three separate occasions over my 4 years there, I was the victim of an assault.
The first two resulted in only minor injuries and no treatment was received, but by the third occasion, that changed.
A patient came up from behind me and slammed a lunch tray down very hard on my head, I went down.
I woke up in the ER and my husband was called to come after me.
On the drive home he was quite adamant and said,  “you are all done there.”
It was the end.
Sadly I knew he was right, but I was very distressed about the care of my many patients.
At that time, I was the ONLY Nurse who went out onto the floor and had interaction with them.
The other Nurses were safely behind closed doors and out of harms way.
This was many years ago and my heart still hurts about the entire situation.
A few months later, this facility was closed by the state and the patients were all transferred to a larger one many miles away with a reputation for giving cold, clinical patient care.
The closing was not a complete surprise, there had been a lengthy list of problems and just before my final incident, I had taken a tray of food into the Director’s office and shown him a very large roach on a patients food.
His response was not one of outrage or concern, just basically a “what do you want me to do about it?”
Nothing changed, I left, it closed.
Now today, seeing this story on the News, it all came rushing back, as I watched in horror as this young woman was attacked in a similar facility here in Florida.
The outrage for me is this, why is Florida’s  Mental Health Care spending/funding,  at  number 50 in America?
Do you have any idea how much money pours into this state from Tourism every day, every year?
It is likely the most of all the other 50 states combined.
Orlando, and Florida, are just about the most visited places in not only America, but likely the entire world by Tourists.
So why Governor Scott, is there no money for Mental Health Care Facilities?
This Governor is spending every minute of his time now,  throwing a great deal of our money around,  making himself look good for his run at the White House, right after he wins a Senatorial Seat here.
He travels all over this state bragging about all of the jobs he has created.
Yet while he is spending millions everywhere else here, the situation for the desperately ill here, goes not only unattended, but completely ignored.
No Governor Scott, they will not just go away.
They cannot, they have no where to go.
This problem is not just in Florida, sadly this ugly secret is Global.
No one wants to admit or accept the fact, that there are many mentally unstable and desperately needy people who are not getting the help they need.
And we have all witnessed the results in our News every day.
Too often, mass killings in schools or workplaces, have become ground zero for yet another person who did not get the help they needed.
In California and Connecticut, mental facilities are closing,  or are already closed, patients are put out onto the streets at the mercy of their own mental disorders, left to fend for themselves, and of course, they fail.
We can’t keep looking away, we must put our money and our hearts into caring for this portion of our society who cannot help themselves, we must see that they get care.
Governor Scott, your failure to address this dark corner of our society can no longer be just your dirty little secret, it is out in the open now, we all know where OUR money is NOT going and you must do something to end this.
End the secrets, end their suffering, end their pain.

Places to learn more:
Insane. Invisible. In danger
9 Investigates state funding for mental health care
9 Investigates: Violence in state mental health hospitals
Mental Health Association of Central Florida
Florida in desperate need of effective mental health services


February 12, 2016

Invictus in Orlando

Archery at the Invictus Games,  September 12, 2014  London
Picture credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Logico,  US Navy


There was a joyful announcement on our local News station here this morning that needs to be shared with all of you.
This year’s Invictus Games will be here in Orlando from May 8-12,  at the ESPN Disney Worldwide Complex.
This will hopefully allow those of you who may be farther away, a chance to make plans to attend.
The first one was organized/begun by Prince Harry in London in 2014,  with over 300 competitors from 13 Countries.
Now we here in Central Florida have the extreme pleasure and take great pride in hosting the second one in Orlando in May.
All the details are below.
My interest in these games is three fold:  my son is a paraplegic and he participated in many different kinds of sports in a wheel chair,  which was at once, exciting and terrifying as his mother, but I adjusted quickly, after seeing how much it meant to him.
Watching my son crash onto the floor head first in a basketball game, was really hard for me, thank God,  he has a hard head.  Must be his Genes!
Basketball would be only one of many sports he played, many of the same ones listed for these games, all were when he was much younger and thankfully, he survived!
My second reason is due to my lifelong, family related, support of Military Veterans, especially those who have been wounded while serving.
And by the way, not all wounds are visible.
As a treatment Nurse in a California Rehab Center, I had 4 years to learn and understand this fact quite well.
For any one not familiar with this exciting event, it is a multi-sport competition and celebration for wounded veterans from around the world.
This year more than 15 Countries and over 500 athletes have been invited and will be represented here in Orlando.
This year’s various sports will include: track and field, wheel chair basketball, archery, wheel chair tennis, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and a Triathlon.
If you have the time and/or the funds, I truly hope that you can come here to Orlando in May, to witness, to experience, this glorious celebration and event.
What better way to say thank you to these men and women, not only for their service, but also for their great sacrifices to their Countries.
God Bless them all.
They are some of the bravest people you and I will ever know and perhaps meet.
My third reason, is the movie Invictus, which is one of my all time favorite’s, with Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon and a story about Nelson Mandela, what is not to love!
Did I mention that Prince Harry will be here?
Places to learn more:

The Invictus Games in Orlando

Invictus Games – Wikipedia

ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports Complex

Schedule set for Invictus Games at Walt Disney World

Prince Harry to attend Invictus Games in Orlando as 100-day countdown begins

The Invictus Games Foundation


February 10, 2016

Hiding the Hunters

A beautiful 300 pound Florida Black Bear hit and killed near our home here in the Ocala Forest.
Picture credit: USFS Carrie Sekerak

So much for transparency from the King of backroom deals and hidden agendas, or the Governor of what is now known as the sad state of Florida for all wild animals.
Here is the who and what of this deed yesterday:  The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee  backed a measure (SB 1364)
Florida’s Governor Scott, who was apparently, although the proof of this has now somehow disappeared,  outed last fall for buying a Bear Hunting Permit, before the murderous rampage began,  surely must have had his hands all over this bill that was just passed yesterday, that will now keep the names of any/all Black Bear Hunters who buy a permit to kill them, out of sight, out of mind!
Just finding information about this was VERY difficult, although the story was on our local ABC NEWS Station in Orlando, this morning. It was not on their web site, nor any other local one here.
I finally found the story in the Gainesville Sun and on Fox 13 in Tampa Bay.
It was no accident that last Fall that the names of 103 persons, who were kept off of Florida’s public bear hunt licensee list included:  police, judges and public officials.
Now the Governor wants to up the stakes, by hiding everybody’s names.
It was no surprise that the Hunt last fall brought Bear lovers and Animals Activists out of the woodworks, and some idiots even emailed and/or called people on the Permit List.
Two of those well known on the List included, musician Ted Nugent and newly appointed by Scott, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission member and Rancher, Liesa Priddy, who voted to approve the new hunts.
Yes, those protestors were stupid and did nothing to help the already volatile situation.
Of course, the outcry from hunters and gun owners went all the way to Tallahassee into Scott’s loving, attentive ears.
Oh my we can’t have the public knowing who is going to be doing any Bear killing, why those people could be dangerous, a gun owner might be hurt, or worse.
Now armed with these tasty facts, the Governor and his Mounties say, no more to transparency in Tallahassee, like we have ever had any anyway.
No more public records for gun owners or Bear Hunters in Florida.
Don’t worry, those of you who want to kill Bears again in the fall, if the Hunt is repeated, and I guarantee you it will be, because it was a huge money maker for Scott and Florida, with over 3,778  permits sold at $100 or $300 each,  for a grand total of $376,900, your name will be kept secret.
Remember that just a short time ago, this same group of intellectuals in Tallahassee passed a silencer bill that now allows Hunters on any road in Florida to sit on, or in, their trucks and fire at will, into the woods, using riles now legally armed with silencers.
Sadly, their poor innocent victims will never know that they are about to die.
Heads up Snow Birds, Visitors, or families, while walking in any Woods in Florida!
This Governor  has become notorious for the secrets he keeps, so it was not much of a stretch for him to encourage his puppets in Tallahassee, to Hide the Hunters.

Places to learn more:

January 24, 2016

A River Otter Rescue

River otters,  (not the ones in the story):  Lontra Canadensis
Picture credit:
Dmitry Azovtsev
This morning there was a sweet story on our local TV news about three tiny river otter babies who were rescued recently and right now are fighting for their lives.
It was disappointing that after spending  most of the day calling and searching, not one picture of a baby otter was available, or a person to approve their picture being used.
But, thankfully, they are in the stories below for you to enjoy.

The wee ones are being tenderly tended to and nursed by kindly volunteers at the Florida Wildlife Hospital/Rehab and Sanctuary in Palm Shores Florida, which is located between Melbourne and Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic Coast.
Please make sure to look at their Wish list to see exactly what they want and need,  to allow them to continue doing their good work.
This non profit organization is very dependent on volunteers and donations from the public, to continue their work with injured and abandoned wildlife here in Central Florida.
Seeing these tiny babies today, brought back happy memories of the many seen in Monterey Bay years ago.
The otters ongoing frolicking delighted the visitors to the waters all around the Monterey Bay Aquarium who would stand and watch them play for hours.
The river otter is a small to medium sized fur bearing mammal found widely across the Country, usually near food and water sources of their liking, and they usually live in Dens near their chosen food and water sources.
The most common food of choice will be fish or amphibians, yet they can also be omnivores eating a wide variety of available foods.
Attention to water quality in America has helped the river otter stay out of trouble, it is fairly adaptable to many types of water, from rivers and ponds, to lakes and coastal fresh water estuaries.
In the early discovery years of this country and the encroaching civilization that accompanied it,  this sleek beautiful animal had been mercilessly hunted by trappers for their fur, nearly to complete decimation, but at this time, for many reasons, their numbers are a bit more stable.
Their greatest threat today, is their habitat and/or ecological destruction, basically the things that bothers us, bothers them as well.
After learning more about these beautiful, delightful creatures, perhaps, like me, you will believe that they were indeed quite lucky to be rescued as they were.
Places to learn more:
Three baby otters rescued in Palm Shores
River otters are playful inhabitants of Florida’s watersheds
Wildlife officials rescue otter pups found at Titusville construction site
Three baby otters rescued
Wildlife officials rescue otter pups found at Florida construction site
Florida Wildlife Hospital

January 20, 2016

Creeping Indigo

Creeping Indigo
Picture credit: Habitat for Horses

If this name means nothing to you, and you own horses, be thankful.
You are lucky!
This is the name of a local weed that is quite toxic and has been killing horses and other grazing animals all over Florida for years.
First the story was on our local News and then later  I saw it again on Twitter in a story written by Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach News Journal.
After reading and hearing about these deadly incidences, I was concerned enough to immediately call our Vet for either a confirmation,  or at the very least an educated opinion on the issue.
Then I spent the rest of the day gathering other reference stories for today’s Blog post.
This has been to say the least, an unsettling 24 hours.
My fear, of course, was that consuming the weed might be fatal for dogs as well, as it looked like plants we have on our property.
The plant was brought to Florida in 1925, by the University of Florida for a series of experiments, but after an animal died, the work stopped.
Sadly, even though they ditched the project, apparently the plant lived on and thrived and spread in different directions around the state.
Not only horses, are affected, but cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and other animals that have eaten it and died.
Pigs it is said, seem to avoid it.
Giving me once again, fodder for my confirmed opinion that pigs are exceptionally intelligent.
It may also kill local deer who eat it.

Creeping Indigo
Picture credit: WESH TV

This toxic weed, owners of deceased animals say, is something like catnip or candy, to the victim.
They seem to be unable to stop eating it, even when the can barely walk anymore.
This is heartbreaking for all involved.
But, what really bothers me the most, is that this plant should never have been brought here to begin with.
Like so many other dangerous Global disasters, in the past, it just all got out of control.
Two things can help you to identify this weed in your own yard or pasture, after a night of cold weather,  the weed will likely have tiny salmon/orangish colored flowers on it and most telling, the plant can have a massive tap root.
This huge root is what makes the plant so very difficult to get rid of.
The plant also has long runners which enable it to hide or disappear in a field of grass.
Here is what disturbs me and many others including those who have lost their animals. There is no known treatment, or cure for this and a nearly complete lack of support by UF, who brought it here in the first place.
Recently they have started a program for educating the public, but it has been allowed to become so wide spread, control is not likely, ever, across the state.
Please do take the time to learn more about this very toxic weed if you have animals that graze, it may save their lives.
Please educate yourself and Google Creeping Indigo.

Places to learn more:
Creeping Indigo Toxicity
Deadly weed kills Ruskin Horse
Habitat for Horses
Deadly weed dooms horses
Creeping Indigo

January 18, 2016

No Limits!

Alvin Garcia Flores from Nebraska getting a very personal delivery
Picture credit: UCF Today


As the mother of a physically challenged son, you have to know how special sharing this story with you is for me.
Until you have walked, or rode/wheeled,  in their lives, it would be nearly impossible to understand just how hard their lives can be at times and how gifts like this can make a huge, if not life changing difference to them.
So let me begin by saying God Bless these students at UCF and Limbitless Solutions, for the joy that they bring and give to all.
It has been a busy two or so years for the creative crew at this local University, the University of Central Florida here in Orlando.
Always giving us a reason to be proud, this week’s newest recipient was another child born missing a limb, specifically an arm, and was presented by the group, a creation that would make like any child  and I’m sure many adults as well, completely over joyed.
The child was nine year old, Alvin Garcia Flores from Nebraska, who  was the exited and delighted recipient of a new bionic arm,  personally delivered by none other than ” Darth Vader. ”
Over the past few years locals have watched in awe and admiration, and sometimes even overwhelmed with the level of work that these students at UCF  do for those with physical challenges using 3D printing technology.
Recently this Christmas,  the group gave new bionic arms to 12 very grateful children.
But, the presentation that generated the most excitement had to be the one that brought Robert Downey, Jr.  to  meet with 7 yr old Alex Pring to present him with his ” Iron Man “ bionic arm in Atlanta in 2014.
This meeting was part of the Collective Project which was arranged/supported by Microsoft, which brings students and technology together to ” change the world.”
Oh,  did I mention that there is no cost to the children or their families for this unbelievable gift of mobility?
The group is a 501 c non profit and gladly accepts  any and all donations to support their work, please  take a look a their web site or Twitter page for more on how you can get involved and lend a  ” hand.”
This genius team at UCF,  is lead by Executive Director and founder, Albert Manero who says: ” Let’s show students that engineering is a tool to help change the world. “
” We engineer hope! “
Yes, for these awesome students, there simply are no limits!
Places to learn more:
Darth Vader Helps Fulfill Child’s Dream – Delivers Bionic Arm to 9-Year-Old
Boy gets prosthetic ‘Stormtrooper’ arm from non-profit group
Limbitless Solutions
The Collective Project
Robert Downey Jr. and Alex meet
Robert Downey Jr. presents child with his own ‘Iron Man’ robotic arm
12 great kids get robotic arms for Christmas
The Clearwater Aquarium and Anni