Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

April 29, 2011

Today is Save the Frogs Day

Do you think that anybody really cares?
They should care, a lot!
Frogs, like Canaries, are one of many markers on the health of our planet.
I know this because we have Green Treefrogs in our yard and each
year since moving here, we have watched their numbers shrink.
These Frogs have both human and animal enemies,
the Southern Racers and other snakes that live all around us
and the pesticides that everybody uses in their yards and gardens.
The snakes are doing what they always do, eating.
But when we use pesticides without thought for the impact that
they are having on the planet, then we become the enemy too.
Here are two things that you can do to make a difference:

April 26, 2011

Clean and Green Energy Must Be Balanced

Everyone accepts that we must wean ourselves off of petroleum based energy, but whichever new, clean, green choice we make, there are significant impacts on wildlife that must first be taken into consideration.
The answer to all of this, scientists say, is balance and
for the sake of our Ecosystems, we have to get it right.
These new energy choices can work for all of us living on the planet,
humans and animals, just as long as we find the correct balance.
Here are three stories to show how:

April 23, 2011

The Lake Wales Ridge in Florida

Ok, I admit this is mostly selfish, because I happen to live in the area of this Ridge.
Millions of years ago, this narrow strip of land was Florida's only dry land.
The Ridge was in fact a chain of islands, the rest of Florida was under water.
It is also the highest elevation in the peninsula of the state at about 300 feet.
If the glaciers ever do melt from Global Warming, those of us who live here,
will be the last in Florida to need a boat!
The Lake Wales Ridge is one of the most unique ecosystems in America.
Wondrous things can be found here, with feet, wings and leaves that exist no where else.
Why you might ask, do we need to keep this narrow piece of land safe?
Have you ever been to the Black Hills in South Dakota?
These two areas share something rare, they are both microcosms.
What lived and lives in these two places can and should, be studied forever.
But they will need a little help from their friends to keep them safe,
they will need you and me.

April 20, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Harvard

You have read my rantings here for the past few months,
about what really brings the tourists to Florida
and now it would seem that others may agree.
People do not travel across the country, nor half way across
the world to see concrete, they come here because we have,
for a little longer at least, the greatest array of animal species
still approachable on the Planet, our Florida Wildlife!
Harvard says it is so, so it must be:

April 17, 2011

How Much Should We Spend to Save Manatees?

In Brevard County Florida, gates were recently installed on the Canaveral
Locks Barge Canals to reduce the number of Manatees from being crushed.
But, some local residents seem to think that too much money was spent.
Brevard County has the highest number of Manatee deaths in Florida,
but not all of them die in the locks, many die every year from boat strikes
and many more died this year from the extreme cold.
Should we treat wildlife deaths like the car companies do with humans,
and call their deaths, "Acceptable Losses?"
So, what amount is the right amount to spend?
Can you really put a number on cruelty?

April 13, 2011

Is GE, Genetically Engineered, Food a Runaway Train?

Several days ago I watched a Documentary on TV about GE,
(Genetically Engineered) Food and Monsanto, et al.
This was the first time that I had seen the film and the impact that it had on me was both crushing and devastating.
The abusive, disgusting treatment of the animals was sickening and vile.
The information presented was very difficult to see and even harder to learn about.
On this Blog, I have repeatedly pointed out the kinds of activities Monsanto and others in the field of GE Food have been taking part in for years.
Now in one brief moment of film, all that I feared, was presented so swiftly,
with no time for catching a breath, no chance to digest, just slapped in the face and knocked on your backside.
You had to just deal with it.
I had felt since beginning this Blog, that perhaps I was just a little too critical of Monsanto and others in regard to their products and their involvement in the production of our food.
I worried about the effects that these companies were having on all life on this planet.
Now, I can absolutely say that I did not go far enough.
The situation is much, much worse than I ever could have known.
I am sickened to have to encourage people to see something with the very, very difficult content of this film, but what if no one ever finds out?
What if we wait too long to act?
What if it is already too late?
If you are unable to watch this Documentary, please find it, rent it,
download it, or go buy it.
But, for the sake of every living thing on this Earth, please see it.
This Documentary is not fit for children or the faint of heart, under any conditions!

April 10, 2011

Write, Call or Fax, please just do something, anything!

If you have never written a letter to a Public Agency like the FWS,
please let this day be your first.
The most critically Endangered Animal in Florida, in fact,
in the entire U.S., is our Florida Panther.
It has been killed by cars, shot by Ranchers and chased out of its ancestral
homes all over Florida by greedy developers with nothing on their minds,
except building something, anything!
Now the lawsuit fighting to protect the very last piece of Florida Panther Habitat, was just ruled against by a Judge, (see story below) and the only
thing standing between its complete and total extinction is YOU!
The man at the helm of the FWS is Mr. Nick Wiley:
Nick Wiley Executive Director
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Office Phone:(850) 487-3796  FAX: (850) 921-5786
Please respond, you are their only hope now.

April 7, 2011

Federal Judge Rejects Plea for Panther Habitat Protection

When I first moved here in 2004 from Southern California, I was excited to see the wonderful wildlife in abundance all over the state and the apparent concern for living things.
Since then, I have watched as each year wildlife gets pushed farther away
from their ancestral lands and into unfamiliar new territories,
where their chances for survival are slim because so many others
are already competing for the same space and food there.
Today Federal Judge John Steele has put Florida one step closer to
becoming exactly like California, a place with lots of concrete,
but very little animal life.
When the last wild Panther in Florida draws its final breath,
how can we as a species not feel guilty?
We put development, buildings, concrete and Golf Courses ahead
of their tiny remaining speck of land and care nothing for what we
have done to them.
Gandhi once said that a Country will be judged by how it treats its animals,
so what does this say for our Country?
Or for this state?
We prefer Golf Courses and Condos to the sight of wild life just doing
what they do best, living.
Soon, Florida will have one less species to annoy all the land developers here,
the Florida Panther.
A great story about our critically Endangered Florida Panther:

April 6, 2011

Wild Fires Not as Bad for Them as They are for Us

In 1998, when my parents first moved to Central Florida there was
a devastating Wild Fire that spread across the entire region.
It pretty much wiped out everything in its path.
Although the destruction was unbelievable in human terms,
for the plants and animals, these fires are necessary to maintain
an ecological balance few humans care to deal with, ever.
For more about the fires and how they really do benefit our Wild Florida:

April 3, 2011

Will Loggerheads Ever Make the Endangered List?

Loggerhead Turtles have been on the Threatened Species List
for thirty years, but they are still not on the Endangered List.
While the experts disagree, the Turtles and those who want
to protect them, can only wait to see if they will finally make
the safest level, Endangered.
Although recently their nest numbers have slightly increased
in Florida, so has development and beach front condos that
steal the places where they have always made their nests!

Loggerheads Wait for Approval