Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

December 10, 2015

They Are My Reason

Breanna, Walkingfox and their PT Cruiser

Yes it has been a long time.
The reason is simple, I am not well…
I was sitting here this morning feeling a bit sorry for myself because tomorrow I will have a second blast to get a quite large kidney stone blasted out of a very run down body from over six weeks of endless pain.
For those of you who are mothers, it is like being in labor 24/7 and NOT giving birth!
The procedure is called, Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.
This same procedure last month failed to break the stone up, so a re-do was scheduled.
This morning, while only thinking of my selfish self, a beautiful story came on our local news.
Can I say that my selfish thoughts all disappeared in an instant and were replaced with overwhelming sorrow for this precious innocent child.
This child who lost her entire family in an arson fire and who was herself quite badly burned over 75% of her body, was shown on the news today, asking for ONE simple thing for Christmas.
She wants to receive a Card from you.

Here is her address and if you have a moment, please do consider sending her a card?
Stories about her are below as usual~

P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306

And by the way she has already received cards and gifts from all over the world.
Regardless of your religion or attitude towards the Holidays and all that goes with them, this is a child who through no fault of her own, has lost all that she loved.
Her father saved her life by covering her body with his.
And even though her father and siblings all died in the fire, she survived and her simple request reminds me, perhaps you as well, that this season is meant to be about others, is it not?
Please cross your fingers for my procedure tomorrow, because if I am lucky the second time will do it and the bugger will be blown away!
I wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with joy and everything that is dear to you.
Everything that I need and love are here with me right now.
Yes, Walkingfox and Breanna are my reason~

Places to learn more:
Orphaned Burn Victim
Christmas Comes Early
Christmas Cards for Sayfre

November 19, 2015

Will Steverson Stay Or Go?

Silver Springs, Nature’s Underwater Fairyland
Picture credit: Florida State Memory Archives

The controversial, Scott nominated, head of the Florida DEP, Jon Steverson, is like a “bird on a wire” at the moment.
He has previously failed to be confirmed for this appointment by the Governor and if he is rejected, or fails to be confirmed the next vote, it is over.
So why the controversy you may ask.
Good question, am happy to point out the many reasons he should NOT be confirmed.
This man wants to help the Parks here in Florida become more profitable.
Remember the story here about  Payne’s Prairie  not long ago?
And Silver Springs, the location for the old Tarzan movies, is still trying to survive the Canadian Cattle Billionaire who is presently draining their breathtaking beauty dry everyday to provide water for his cows.
The Parks making a profit idea, is not of, or in itself,  a bad one, it’s the  way that Jon Steverson seeks to do so, that  is most certainly objectionable  to the millions here, many who love this state and treasure our beautiful Parks.
There are 174 stunning, natural and gorgeous Parks here in Florida and all of them could be at risk, if this man and those who back and support him, are allowed to continue their planned path.
And, these Parks, are all for be evaluated right now, for potential future hunting, logging, cattle grazing and other ways to make money are all on the table.
If he stays, I guarantee you that he and Scott and Company will implement all of these disastrous plans and our Florida Parks will not only suffer the consequences, but there may be Human tragedies as well.
Please do not forget that this group recently passed the gun silencer law.
Hunting in State Parks filled with families,  is a disaster waiting to happen.
This group also allowed Bears to be slaughtered and Attorney General Pam Bondi is now under attack for filing a lawsuit to allow air polluters to continue unabated here.
Who can forget her picture on the News releasing a rehabilitated Bald Eagle yesterday.
She in my opinion, is the LAST person who should have been holding that Bald Eagle!
It should have been ANYONE from Audubon, the group who did the rehabilitating.
This Governor and those who follow and work with him, have one agenda: money and how to make it here.
They will all share in the profits and the state and all that is beautiful in it, will be the losers.
Remember Scott came here from Illinois, he is NOT a Floridian, he has little or no concern for all that makes this place Paradise, only what makes money.
And it seems his choice for the head of the EPA is in perfect step with him on this.
Scott’s arms are long, so I am sure that all of the right people have been advised that he wants Steverson to stay put to carry out the plans.
Quick note to the Governor:
How many visitors do you think come to Florida to see cattle eating, or Hunters killing Wildlife?
Just asking, because last time I checked, tourism was our number ONE economic driver!
In conclusion, regardless of objections, guess we all know whether Steverson will stay or go!

Places to learn more:
Florida State Parks
Silver Springs State Park
Ney C. Landrum, Fran P. Mainella and Mike Bullock: Florida state parks at risk
DEP Would Further Exploit Our Resources
DEP timber-harvest contract took odd twists before it fell apart
Amid protests, Florida environmental protection chief Jon Steverson gets Senate backing
DEP Secretary Jon Steverson should be easily confirmed by Senate Enviro Committee
Senate Committee Moves Steverson Closer to Confirmation
New DEP Secretary Gets Mixed Reaction From Environmentalists

November 1, 2015

Breanna's Favorite Day!


Breanna’s Halloween Adventures!

Today this house is filled with joyful anticipation by our Airedale Breanna.
She has waited patiently all year for this day.
Last year because of all my cancer surgeries and countless trips to Gainesville, we all missed this much-beloved day/night.
But not tonight, not this year!
We have all the decorations up, thanks very kindly to Walkingfox.
The big Treat Bucket is full of little Bat and Pumpkin pretzels and ready for Breanna and I to hand out tonight to all who show up at our door.
Yes, many more embarrassing pictures will be taken once again.
We don’t get as many Ghost, Goblins, AKA little children as those who live in the city, but it does not matter, there are more than enough to thoroughly thrill this dog, who gets more joy out of this Holiday Event, than most children do.
We all hope that your day/night is filled with joy and happiness and that your treats will hopefully, outnumber your little goblins or visitors~
It is very scary when you run out of treats before the Ghouls, I mean kiddies, are gone.
You can be sure that for the special little girl in this house, who is the very center of our Universe and who has had a very tough year, tonight will be absolutely magical~
Happy Halloween to all of you from us:
Donna, Walkingfox and Breanna~
Oops forgot Ishi. She says DITTO!

October 2, 2015

It Is Over!

A beautiful Black Bear Cub. Will we ever see another one?
Picture credit: Unknown

Score Scott and Company ONE, Florida Black Bears  Zero!
I had to compose myself before writing this, it took some time.
Yesterday in Tallahassee, Judge Reynolds, who I am reasonably sure was appointed by Scott, said that the FWCC had every right and indeed, every responsibility to order the impending death of likely every Black Bear in the state of Florida.
They went on adnaseum about their countless reasons, including the laughable point that the Bears were moving away from their food sources.
That is truly a joke, as the state has been selling the most desired and necessary food of the Black Bear, the Saw Palmetto Berry for big profits, for years now!
This of course, led to the Bear looking for an alternative food, which in turn led to state-wide conflicts.
In all of this drama, the Bears have been the innocents, people are the guilty parties.
Over 2,000 Hunting permits have already been sold, so what on Earth would have happened to all of that money, if this had been overturned?
They tried to make us believe that they can stop these Trophy Hunters at 320.
Please do recall the posting written recently about these same Hunters on the side of our County Road here near Paisley, laying on the roofs and in the beds of their trucks, as they fire into the woods using rifles armed with silencers.
If they cannot control these lunatics now, how on Earth do they think that they can stop them at 320 dead Bears?
It will not happen.
By the end of the first day of the Hunt, I am confident that every Black Bear in this state, including mothers and babies, will all be dead.
I am done. I give up. I cannot take any more.
Unless this nightmare is reversed, overturned, or stopped, I will have nothing to ever say about these beautiful, beloved creatures again.
But one last thought to leave you with and this has been percolating for a bit now.
What if those of us who are 100% opposed to this heinous Hunt, go to every designated part of Florida on that first day and stand in the way of these maniacs getting their trophies?
I am not encouraging anyone to break the law, but I for one, am willing to go into the woods on that day and stand up for what I believe in.
As for you Nick Wiley, I hope that you sleep well at night, I do not.
You lied to me that day 3 years ago, when you said that they would never be hunted.
I have written, called and done everything that I can do,  to stop this.
But Scott holds all of the Aces, his power is frightening.
These Bears should not be allowed to be murdered, the numbers opposed to this Hunt, outnumber those who want it.
One can only imagine how much money, how many deals and promises have been made and secured.
I am sickened that I must try, or what will happen that day, but regardless of the outcome of my futile efforts, for the besieged, beleaguered Black Bear, I fear, it is over.
Places to learn more:
Judge won’t halt Florida bear hunt
Judge refuses to stop Florida black bear hunt
Judge hearing argument against Florida bear hunt
Judge refuses to stop Florida black bear hunt
9 Investigates state, environmentalists at odds over bears and berries

September 29, 2015

Can We Trust You?

Forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in the Mbeli River, NouabalĂ©-Ndoki National Park, Congo.
Picture credit: Thomas Breuer

If you have been here long, you know that over the past 3 years on WP, I have been bitterly disappointed, frequently deceived and flat-out lied to, by those who are in place to protect Global Wildlife.
So, on Friday when our President and the President of China met and came to an agreement to stop Ivory Trafficking, I was not in the least impressed, or encouraged.
As a matter of fact, I was thoroughly disgusted that on the same day the Pope was here spreading joy and love to all, our Country was preparing to wine and dine one of the world’s most prolific Human abusers at the White House.
As for the agreement to stop Global Ivory Trafficking, there is absolutely no way that this plan/idea/agreement, can work or succeed, without the full and complete, cooperation and involvement of Africa.
Do I personally trust either, or any of them to firmly support and/or uphold this?
Do I believe that these leaders have had a change of heart and become concerned, empathetic or compassionate about Animal or Wildlife welfare?
Only if in some way, they can find a potential financial gain in it for them.
Neither the US, nor China has in the recent past shown much interest in, or overwhelming concern for any Global Wildlife that are currently suffering or are threatened.
This is, in my opinion, merely political pandering to public perception and making points with which ever group they may need something from at the moment.
As for Africa’s support, or even interest in this new agreement, consider this:
What did anyone, including Africa, do to the Monster from Minnesota, who murdered Cecil the Lion, in cold blood?
Absolutely nothing.
To only add to my depression over this situation, sadly and quite embarrassingly, Florida is reported to have quite a few individuals who buy and sell ivory, for example, this person is right here in Central Florida and quite proudly advertises his wares on the internet for all to see:  Elephant Ivory
So, here’s the question for those of you who have tremendous power and have spoken the words that could stop the imminent extinction of animals who have the misfortune of having Ivory horns:
Can we trust you?
Places to learn more:
US and China Agree to Halt Ivory Trade
US and China Agree to Ivory Ban
China and US agree on ivory ban in bid to end illegal trade globally
China must act, but Africa needs to take the lead to stop ivory trade
FACT SHEET: President Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States

September 20, 2015

So Long Sonar!

This awesome picture of a Pacific Blue whale is courtesy of NOAA fisheries!

The United States Navy has made me a fan once again, with this latest move to save the lives of so many of our threatened and endangered Ocean wildlife.
Over the past few years in this very Blog, I have written ad nauseam about this disturbing issue and for so very long, it looked bleak and as if it would never happen, but it has!
Our planet’s Whales and Dolphins simply cannot and will not survive, if they cannot hear each other, and in the past, Navy activity in their Global Habitats has done just that, it has repeatedly interfered and done so, quite loudly.
Marine mammals need to have the waters that surrounds them quite silent, so that they can talk, or communicate with each other.
The constant noises made by our very active US Navy, has caused the whales and dolphins, to try to live within the confines of a world in great turmoil, which in turn, has often resulted in countless, unnecessary deaths for these threatened animals.
But, now after so many years of bitter court battles from both sides, and with many thanks to Earthjustice, NRDC and other concerned Environmental groups, an agreement has finally been reached and the US Navy will set aside areas of the Pacific Ocean, that will allow marine life once again, to safely do what they do best, survive and thrive!
And they will be doing this in nearly complete silence, well as silent as it can be because, who knows what else is going on down there?
So for now at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and say thank you to our Navy for allowing these beautiful creatures to live safely and  hear each other again.
Good by, good riddance and so long Sonar!

Places to learn more:

Navy Sonar Settlement Brings Historic Win for Whales
Navy proves its love for whales and dolphins, curbing sonar use
U.S. Navy will limit sonar, blasting near whales, dolphins in Pacific
How does navy blasting affect marine mammals?
U.S. navy sonar blamed for whales’ odd behavior

September 5, 2015

This King has left the building!

A juvenile King Cobra
Picture credit:  Biomedicinal

After living in so many places before coming to Florida in 2004, it was only a matter a time before this would happen.
And it did.
Within a few months of moving here, there it was one day, curled up on the black mat at our back door, waiting for me.
As it turned out, it was harmless, to humans, at least, it was just a Black Racer, which is a very common non poisonous Florida Snake.
Did that make me any less terrified.
Absolutely not!

But, after a few years, it has all become nearly routine and the fear gets a little less with each random encounter.
That is, until now.
A few days ago in Orlando, a man who apparently has quite a few poisonous creatures living in his house, lost one of them.
It just ran away.

But he did not, as required, report it immediately!
And after seeing the living conditions at this place, I do not blame the snake.
The escape of this snake, has been shown ad nauseum on all of our local channels.
These animals are housed in cages so small, they can barely turn around, let alone get any exercise.
My thinking is, that the snake left to find a better home!

But here is the scariest part, at least for those poor souls who live in close proximity to this man, this was not just any ordinary snake.
This was an 8 foot long King Cobra, whose venom they are saying, can take down an elephant or 200 humans.
Yes, 200!

This man, who has a state license to keep these poisonous animals, has a history of “oops” accidents and negligent behavior concerning his charges.
So, you may ask, why does Florida Fish and Wildlife still allow him to have them?
That is the question being asked by his neighbors, who have started a petition and already have 200 signatures.
A previous King Cobra got loose from this man and it turned up in a neighbor’s garage, who killed it.

This is a very sad situation for the animals ;who have no say in any of it.
The man is a “reality star” the news claims and makes his living with these caged animals.
But, each time I see him on the news, he is putting a snake into a garbage can.
He does not look like someone who is terribly fond of them, just someone who has found a way to profit from them.

In India this snake is protected.
Schools on this man’s block have kept the children inside all week and moved those in the bungalows, into the main building for safety concerns for the children.
FWC says it is likely the snake, who they and the man, both say is shy, will avoid humans, but how long can you keep these children inside?
This is not fair to them, or the animals that this man is keeping.

It is at the very least, a sad, ugly situation.
The last news story I watched this morning, gave a link to a web site, where you can see just who and where poisonous animals are being kept in Florida.
If even one child here is killed by a poisonous animal who is being kept for profit or other, there will be “hell to pay.”
Even one death is one too many.

Now, this is only my opinion but, private individuals have no business, no right, to keep poisonous animals in their homes, considering the tremendous risks that could result from an errant escape, such as this one.
It is beyond time to stop this, before a tragedy occurs.
So, those of you out there in Florida who think this is a good way to make a living, I say:
You need to find another way to earn your living, one that does not put animals/wildlife or your neighbors and their children in jeopardy.

Please, go get a real job because this “King has left the building.”

Places to learn more:
King cobra – Wikipedia
King cobra that escaped from Orlando home remains missing
Escaped king cobra on the loose in Orlando
Find venomous snake permit holders near you
Dead snakes used to lure king cobra that escaped Orlando home


September 1, 2015

Exquisite Everglades

The Everglades National Park
Photo credit: USGS/SOFIA

One of the most revered and treasured Ecosystems in the entire state of Florida, perhaps even the United States, the Everglades National Park, has just handed down some tough restrictions for the first time in more than 30 years.
This is a long, hard-fought, much overdue win for a beleaguered Ecosystem, that has in the past, had to fight off big money, big business and big politics just to stay alive.
But, no more!
Finally those who run the Park have said enough!
The Everglades National Park and I do now speak from personal experience, is without a doubt, Florida’s most beautiful and most unique little corner of the Earth.
May I offer you one tiny bit of advice, before you venture down for your first trip?
Many years ago, on our first vacation here, we took our first trip to the Everglades while visiting my parents in Miami, in the NOT EVER recommended month of August.
Only an idiot, or a tourist from L.A., would ever do this, everyone who lives here knows better.
August is the heighth of Mosquito Season in South Florida and when they descend upon you in the Glades, they are like a black veil that drops over you, if you are foolish enough to go there in that month.
As for these new restrictions for the Florida Bay Area of the Everglades, they have become necessary because for entirely too many years, all manner of human abuse have rendered this fragile place nearly crippled with what many believed to be irreparable damage.
But the tide may be turning in the Glade’s favor and I only wish that Marjory was here today to witness this change of mind and heart for her beloved Everglades, she died in 1998 at the age of 108.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas fought so hard nearly all of her adult life, to save the Glades and today I would like to believe that she is smiling.
These new restrictions may do what she could not during her lifetime, they may finally and forever, preserve and protect the Exquisite Everglades.

Places to learn more:
Everglades National Park
Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Defender of the Everglades
Florida Boating Restrictions in Everglades Park
Everglades National Park GMP/East Everglades Wilderness Study
Everglades Park to restrict boating in Florida Bay
Protecting Everglades National Park ends way of life for Gladesmen
The Everglades

August 31, 2015

Changing Alaska

Denali, the Great One!
Picture credit:
Nic McPhee
from Morris, MN, USA

President Obama will be in Alaska today for an Arctic Global Climate Summit.
He is the first US President to visit the Arctic while still in office.
His primary objective is likely to shore up support for climate change programs.
But another more important reason is about a majestic mountain called McKinley.
Today it will officially become Denali and for many Alaskans, it is about time.
You see, the locals have already been calling it Denali since the 1970’s.
The bitter battle over this name change has been going on for many years, those who live in Ohio where President McKinley, for whom the mountain was originally named is from, do not want it changed, but the Alaskan Natives do and today, they will get their way!
Denali is the highest peak in the United States at just over 20,000 feet.
This name change is very personal for the thousands of Indigenous, or Native Alaskans, as it is their name for the mountain in their Native tongue and it means the Great One. “
A separate, but equally important ongoing issue here, is that many of the Indigenous or Native Alaskans in this area, are being forced out of their homes on Kivalina Island, due to recent climate change, namely glacial melting and rising seas.
These Native Alaskans have been desperately trying to save not only the land that they live on, but their Ancestral way of life as well.
Over the years, they have been severely impacted by the Global Warming that has decimated their hunting and fishing abilities.
It has also affected many wildlife species that have either completely disappeared, or been reduced beyond recovery and the situation is alarming to all.
Their culture is just about all that they have left right now and they are determined to protect it.
Global Warming, accompanied by the resultant glacial melting and rising seas, have caused them much pain and grief and given them much to fear for the future.
These people are not at all happy about the way that their Alaska is changing.

Places to learn more:
Denali – Wikipedia
Obama renames nation’s highest mountain
Sinking into the Sea
Global Warming
Impacts of global warming in Alaska
Meeting the Global Threat of Climate Change
Arctic Peoples and Ecosystems
Climate Impacts in Alaska

August 30, 2015

Paynes Prairies’ Pain~

The Paynes Prairie Ecopassage
Picture credit:

This week was our trip up to Gainesville for my latest Skin cancer check up.
It was, as always, a great journey as it goes through the most beautiful part of Central Florida.
My check up went well, no more new melanomas, only two minor things and I was sent off until end of November.

But, while we were up there a story came on the news that made both of us furious.
It was about plans to bring more cattle to a place that many Floridians and visitors alike, consider to be the closest thing we have here to Heaven, it is the Paynes Prairie Preserve, a wild ecopassage just before you get to Gainesville on 441.

We have been through it hundreds of times over the past ten years, and it has always been the highlight of our trip.
It is just after you pass Micanopy, on either side of the road, for as far as the eye can see, glorious wildflowers, wild birds and all manner of other wild things, who know full well that they live in paradise.
There are always bald eagles, scissor-tailed kites and a wide assortment of gorgeous wading birds in the area.
It is literally a feast for the eyes.

So, as you can imagine, when this story came on the news, it made both of us sick.
Our Governor, you know the one who was just given an environmental award by one of his pals, has without asking, decided that cattle will be allowed to graze and live in this paradise for wild things.
Those who were interviewed in the story were locals who have started a petition, not that it will stop Scott and company, to try to prevent this insanity.

It is quite insulting to those of us who love the pristine wild areas like Paynes Prairie, that this man and his cattle pals intend to turn Florida into a swampy version of Texas.

Is the reason that Scott is now pushing cows into every corner of the state because his wealthy cow friends are already writing very big checks for his next campaign?
Everyone knows that when his time as Governor is done, he will move on to the next empty seat here.

You will find the Petition below, please sign it and share it, if you agree~
Please consider that if we can stop this, we can prevent Paynes Prairies’ pain in the future.

Places to learn more:

Petition opposes agricultural expansion for Paynes Prairie
The Petition:  Paynes Prairie in danger
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Government in the Shadows vs. Paynes Prairie
Paynes Prairie: Home
Paynes Prairie provides valuable services to society
Protect Paynes Prairie – Facebook page


August 18, 2015

Never Forget Cecil!

Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park in 2010.
Picture credit: Joe Sutherland/Wikipedia

Yesterday the Dental office of Walter Palmer, the killer of Cecil the African Lion, re-opened.
The staff  announced that they are now open and serving their patients and that the Dr. is not on the premises.
Not only is Palmer a murderer, he is a coward.
But, what worries those of us who are outraged by Palmer’s vicious deed, is that when the office re-opened yesterday, there was only ONE person there with a sign to object!
I for one, do not want any of you, or anyone else on this Planet, to forget what this Monster has done.
Complacency is infectious and spreads like wildfire.

Already, many of the web pages/blog pages about this have been taken down, they just disappeared.
If we forget, if we just go on as if nothing has happened, Cecil will have died in vain and there will be many, many others to follow.
We must not forget what this Dentist Walter Palmer, has done and we must continue now and forever, to keep up the pressure on him and all others involved in this, including our own Government who must respond to the hundreds of thousands who have signed the petition to have him extradited.
We must hold firm until Palmer either changes, quite unlikely, or better yet, moves to another Planet, which would be absolutely wonderful.
This man must be charged with a crime and sent back to Africa to stand trail for it.
If he is not, all is lost.
Trophy Hunting here and all over the World, will continue unabated.
But, the biggest tragedy of all, is that those who do it, will have no reason to stop.
Once they see that nothing will happen to them, these Poachers will feel as if they are untouchable and it will get worse.
Please, for his sake, and for all of those innocents who continue to be savagely hunted and killed, only to become a Trophy on a Wall, please never forget Cecil.
Places to learn more:
Cecil the lion’s killer ‘captured’: Walter Palmer pictured for the first time since Zimbabwe hunt
Office of dentist who killed Cecil the lion reopens without him
Office of Minnesota dentist who shot Zimbabwe lion reopens without him
Dentist who killed Cecil the lion reopens office


August 13, 2015

Trust No One~

A magnificent Florida Panther
Picture credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

On our news this morning was a completely unexpected revelation.
It came, they said, from the Executive Director of the FWC although, they did not mention Nick Wiley by name.
Was this an accident, or requested?

It seems that Nick Wiley may or may not have been reading the countless ugly stories and reports that have flooded the media for weeks about his new Panther Plan, that nearly had the public calling for his head.
It is also possible that because Rancher Liesa Priddy, who was recently appointed by Rick Scott and whose Cattle Ranch is where Panthers have had an ancestral habitat, that has now been invaded by Cattle Ranchers, like her, was also mentioned.
Priddy’s suggestion that the area is at peak capacity, or carrying load, for Panthers, was quoted in the story this morning as the reason for the new Plan in the first place.
Please read my Post:  Wiley’s Whims   for the entire story.
Now, that she and Wiley are at the center of a wildlife firestorm, Wiley appears to be quickly back pedaling and doing his best to put out the fires.
Today, it was reported that now there is a Second Plan, which will not call for the Florida Panther to be removed from the Endangered Species list, nor they reported, to be allowed to be the object of the next Hunt in this state.
I would love to say that I am over joyed with this news, however, it was this same man, Nick Wiley, who just three short years ago, when the Black Bear was taken off of the Endangered/Threatened list, was adamant that they would NEVER be hunted.
Today as I write this, more than 1,300 Hunting permits have been sold, which may or may not be more than Black Bears that exist here.
This sale of permits has put over $140,000 in the state’s coffers.
A lawsuit by Speak Up Wekiva, to stop the Bear hunt is pending, but it could be tied up in Courts until long after the deeds are all done in October.
Two thoughts come to mind as I write this….
How long will it take to kill all of our Black Bears?
How do you stop hunters out in the deep woods, who will not know if the quota has been reached?
Even yesterday it was said that because it has been 30 years since the last hunt, they are not sure if they will be able to stop at the suggested number in time.
So, the result could be that on the very first day of this hunt, every Black Bear in this state could be annihilated.
My thinking is that this Press Release today about the Panthers, was no accident by Wiley.
It was to divert some of the attention away from the “about to get completely out of control” Bear Hunt in October, that will end yet another Florida  species.
In my mail yesterday, was the sickening news that 26 Panthers have already been killed this year, 17 of them by car strikes.
So, if they wait long enough, they won’t need a Hunt, they will have all been killed.
Nick Wiley and the voting officers on the FFWC do not at this time, have even one molecule of my trust, they will have to re-earn it.
You see, trust comes at a high price in Florida when it comes to our Wildlife who cannot speak, but if they could they would probably say, “Trust no one in Tallahassee, or on the FFWC.”
Places to learn more:
State changes course on panther protection
New draft of state panther policy no longer puts focus on livestock
Bear-Hunting Licenses Bring a Fiscal Windfall
1,200 Florida Bear Hunting Permits Sold in Two Days, Tensions Escalate
Nearly 1,200 Permits Sold So Far For Florida Bear Hunt

August 3, 2015

A Ridiculous Award!

Governor Scott in the “Environment” he know so little about!
Picture credit: Eye on Miami ?? (not really sure)

I rarely find much humor in things that happen for the benefit of Wildlife in Florida, but this news in my email a few days ago, did make me laugh, out loud.
The Global public outcry and rage about the story of the death of the beloved African Lion, Cecil and the follow-up Night Light’s on the Empire State building stories had to be first, but now it is time to get back to work on everyday Florida Wildlife Issues.
This email and many other stories found about this Award, was/were to say the least, hilarious to me.
It would seem, that a developer in South Florida has decided that our Governor Scott deserves and will be given an award in the Fall at the Blue Green Gala, for his great contributions to our Florida Environment.
To quote several others who have already written about this, ” Say what? “
Yes, this is the same man who would not allow any of his staff to use the words: “Climate Change or Global Warming!”
Scott, in his years as the head of a place rich in everything from splendiferous wildlife to stunning natural beauty, has done exactly the opposite of what is necessary to not only preserve what we have here, but to protect it either.

Governor Scott has repeatedly denied, removed and deleted any/all money and/or support of any kind for anything to do with our Environment, or its Wildlife, so why you ask, is Barreto giving him this particular award?
Good question.

Let’s see, well to begin with, Rodney Barreto is a Miami developer, who is the Chair of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Foundation, as well as the South Florida Super Bowl Committee.
He is also a partner in one of Miami’s top lobbying companies.
And, his very sticky fingers are also forever clutching at the Everglades.

Many in this State are confused by some of the peculiarities of our Governor, who immediately after winning his second election, then for months, continued to run ads on TV bragging about each and every accomplishment he had made.
And who was paying for those countless ads?
I for one, am convinced that this very clever, quite  cunning strategist, is already planning his next move, or job, which is to be Florida’s next Senator when his present term is finshed and Nelson’s seat is ready to be challenged.
And this of course, will be the prelude to the job that Scott has been preparing for since this all began, to be President of the United States.
As a Treatment Nurse for four years in a California Rehab Center, I spent many hours looking into the eyes of my patients, and now that I have looked into Scott’s eyes, I am pretty sure I know what his next move will be.
Just remember where you read this when it does happen, because this ridiculous Award for being a great Environmentalist, is only the beginning.
Places to learn more:
Miami Developer to Give Gov. Rick Scott Environmentalist Award
Rick Scott honored on environment. Um … what?
GOP puzzled by Gov. Rick Scott’s isolation come up with novel idea to lure him out:
an environmental award

The wrong way to honor Florida’s Rick Scott
Florida’s ‘environmental disaster’ Gov. Rick Scott awarded for environmentalism


August 2, 2015

Night Lights~

The night lights of the Empire State Building in New York City
Picture credit: GK 12


When I saw this yesterday, it literally took my breath away and I knew that I would be sharing it with all of you as soon as we got home this morning~
Yes, we all deserve this!
You see, last night, the Empire State building became, in one flick of a switch, a beacon of hope for those with no voice.
In light of all of the recent ugly everywhere, concerning our wonderful wildlife, this was such a huge sweep of goodness, that has now virtually swept across the Globe.
Coming from the genius mind of the man who brought the critically acclaimed film, that would expose animal cruelty, as no other ever has, the Cove filmmaker Louie Psihoyos.
What else could you expect?
This is exactly what the world needs right now.
Please do enjoy the blissful sights of the Empire State Building’s Night Lights in the links below.
Places to learn more:
Cecil the lion lights up New York’s Empire State building
Empire State Building Shines Light on Endangered Species With Projection Show; Cecil the Lion Memorialized Too
Endangered species light up New York’s Empire State building
VIDEO: Empire State Building lights up for endangered species

July 29, 2015

A Horror of a Human

Cecil the beloved Lion in Africa
Picture credit: Unknown

What can be going on in the deranged, twisted mind of this absolute monster?
This gutless Dentist, Walter Palmer, from Minnesota not only finds pleasure in killing, but is also a repeat offender.
His latest victim, that he reportedly paid $55,000 to hunt, was a much beloved Lion and local celebrity at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa.
These are the words of the TV News story, not mine:
 “This man lured the Lion out of the safety of a sanctuary, then shot him with a crossbow and after tracking him for more than a day,  finished him off and skinned him.”

The beautiful black-maned Lion called Cecil, was quite accustomed to human interaction, so likely felt no danger, or fear.
He was basically a pet to the world, a hero, a star to be adored.
He could not have understood that he was about to be killed and to be hung on a wall, the wall of a sinister, vile human.
They say that Cecil had cubs and that they will be killed by which other Lion is next in line for dominance of the Pride.
My hope is if that some group will step up/in to remove them to a safe place, before that is allowed to occur.
As I write these terrible words to you, my chest is tight and I can barely breathe.
And if all of this was not enough of a horror, this is not the first time for this coward to murder and lie.
In 2008, this same monster also killed a black bear and lied after doing just about the same thing, he did to Cecil, hunting, killing, and lying.
Or, hunting, killing, lying, then posing and smiling.
There is valid concern, that the backlash from his vile acts, may not end just his business, but that someone in the area may take this rage/anger towards him one step further.
To quote ABC and others,  ” He has become the most hated man on the internet.”
Hearing the story and the expected Global shock, anguish, and repulsion, makes this only a tiny bit easier to bear.
What joy, what pleasure, can you Mr. Palmer, find in this despicable kind of behavior?
It is only my opinion, but it seems that some of our species have never really evolved from the hunter-gather stage and feel compelled by a dark/deep need to regularly hunt and kill a wild animal.
The difference is, this was not a wild animal, but a much adored and loved “pet.”
How much of a challenge could there have been in basically killing something that had no instincts for survival?
Dear Doctor Palmer, a Global wish for you, is the same end to your life, that you gave this beautiful, remarkable, beloved creature, because you truly are a Horror of a Human.
Places to learn more:
Walter Palmer
Cecil the lion’s killer revealed as American dentist
American Hunter Killed Cecil, Beloved Lion That Was Lured Out of Its Sanctuary
Cecil the lion’s killer in hiding as global anger reaches Minnesota hometown
Zimbabwean officials: American man wanted in killing of Cecil the lion

July 22, 2015

Wiley’s Whims!

Our magnificent Florida Panther
Photo credit:
Florida Panther page

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a whim is:
” a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind.”

Lately, it appears that Nick Wiley is having a turn of the mind, or rethinking many things, including, Panthers, Black Bears, to hunt or not to hunt and the true core meaning of the agency that he is the head of,  the  FWC,  or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
If you are Nick Wiley, rethinking can and does mean many things.
He has recently had secret meetings without other consul, other than that of a South Florida Rancher named Liesa Priddy, who was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott in 2012 for the usual 5 year term, and together they decided that a new plan should be put in place for what until now has been the most critically Endangered Mammal in the country and who also happens to be our State Mammal, the Florida Panther.
The reaction to the news of the covert meeting between these two and their new plan, prompted an instant state-wide outrage and further discussion was put off until September.
For the past 20-30 years, people and groups all over this state have done everything to save and protect and preserve this beautiful animal and the idea of reducing, changing or even God Forbid, eliminating any/all protections for them, is making Floridians see red, blood-red.
If you would like to talk to Nick about his new plan for the Florida Panther, you can reach him at:
(850) 488-4676

Many are fearing that the fate of the Panther may soon follow the same path as the recently doomed and set to be hunted in October, Florida Black Bear.
I got chills when I read a remark by Wiley, in one of the stories below, saying that they will not be hunting the Panther, they may just need to shoot one occasionally.
Just three short years ago, this same man swore on the phone to me, after I called raising hell over the 8 Black Bears that had been killed in Orlando when stupid people, did stupid things, that they would never be hunted!
Right now, the news and reaction to Wiley’s new plan, has been as expected, causing many to now question just who he has become and if the welfare of the states wildlife really are still his top priority.
When the leader of a large Government Agency such as this, has secret/covert meetings and makes decisions with no inclusion of those who know more about the subject, it is not a very good sign.
Has Wiley decided to take his life in a new direction and is he preparing himself for the day when he will leave the Agency and go into business with those whose opinions he clearly seems to value so much right now?
What ever his future may hold, right now what worries those of us here who truly do love and respect Florida’s Wildlife, the biggest question is, does Nick Wiley need to find employment elsewhere?
At this moment, many in Florida would give a resounding YES to that question because the lives of our precious wildlife here should NOT be subject to Wiley’s Whims!
Places to learn more:
Florida panthers better learn to duck
FWC Revisits Florida Panther Recovery Plan
Does Florida have enough panthers?
Improving Prospects for Florida’s Panthers
Florida Panthers Are Plentiful Enough, State Officials Say
Over scientists’ objections, rancher pushes panther policy
State suggests review of Florida panther status

July 21, 2015

Armadillo Awareness

A Nine-banded armadillo in the green swamp in Central Florida
Picture credit: http://www.birdphotos.com

On our local ABC News this morning, came a story that sent shivers down my spine, once again.
Unless you live in the Southwest or Florida, you may have never heard of, or seen an Armadillo.
The images on TV this morning were both familiar and disturbing, they were of Armadillos, the affected victims,along with the fact that there have been 9 new cases of Leprosy reported here in the Orlando area in just the past six months.
Normal they said, was 10 per year, so think we may be in trouble here…
I have known about this disease since 1990, when we went on Vacation to Oahu.
We had asked about going over to Molokai and several people at our Hotel said, that it once was the Island of Lepers, and we probably should not go.
Not knowing anything about the disease or the history of the Island, we decided not to go.
It seemed that at that time in 1990, the stigma had remained there, somewhat, although the disease was not officially any longer considered a threat.
In fact, it had been Globally eradicated by that time, it had been reported.
Recently I wrote about the wonderful Priest, Father Damien, who went to Molokai and devoted his life to caring for those afflicted with Leprosy before eventually succumbing to the disease:https://tahtonka.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/father-damien-the-apostle-of-the-lepers/
Leprosy is transferred by bacteria, and at the present time, only two life forms carry it, Humans and Armadillos.
I learned today, that when Armadillos came to this Continent, they did not carry the disease, from which I would deduce, that we gave it to them.
We are still in the process of questioning, whether or not pets can contract the disease from being on the same land as Armadillos.
Have made calls to the CDC and several other agencies this morning, as well as to the Dr. mentioned in the story.
When conclusive feedback is received, it will be put in another posting, as I do not wish to delay this vital/critical information for those of you who are living in this area,  as we are, with Armadillos, while waiting…
Places to learn more:

Yes, You Can Get Leprosy From an Armadillo
Floridians urged to avoid leprosy-infected armadillos
Experts warn Floridians to steer clear of armadillos to avoid leprosy exposure
Leprosy cases on rise in Florida