Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

February 29, 2012

Feeding the Birds at My Window

If you feed the birds at your window, this story
may send shivers down your spine as well.  
Once again toxic insecticides have intruded into
our lives and this time they have been found in
the bird seed that we lovingly put out for our feathered friends.
The company guilty of doing this is Scott's, the ones who make
Miracle Grow and they will be paying some big fines and court
costs for their unthinkable actions.
So, now to avoid eating insecticides, we must not only buy organic food for ourselves and our pets, but also for the beautiful winged ones that we love to watch at our windows.
I am sickened to learn that for all of these years, I have been feeding poisoned food to the sweet creatures that I only meant to help.
But, most of all, I am angry with the companies who feel that they have the right to do this and that they never would have stopped, if they had not been caught and dragged into court.
What happened to accountability in American companies and their leaders?
Where has the moral compass that used to guide America and Americans gone?
Why have we as a Nation allowed greed, profit and money to become our ruler?
I personally feel that the president of any company that produces products with chemicals and/or toxins that they know will harm people and/or animals, should be forced to consume that product themselves, first.
If they become ill, or worst case, don't survive, guess their product is not safe enough for the innocents.
Seems fair, doesn't it?
Will be heading out to the store in the morning and my first purchase will be Organic bird seed.

February 26, 2012

The Quintessential Shot in the Dark

A special place, the H‏álpata Tastanaki Preserve,
one of the few remaining habitats left in the State for
the Endangered Florida Scrub Jay is about to
become a hunting ground.
Try to imagine being in your bedroom late at night
snuggling under the warm covers and then boom.......
A shot rings out ending your peace and tranquility,
not to mention your hearing abilities.
When you look up, someone is standing over you, with a shot gun.
This is what is about to take place and the victim of this scene, is the very Endangered Scrub Jay, the only bird native to our state, who like the Florida Panther, has only a very tiny habitat left to call home.
If you live in Florida and have the time and the desire, please consider attending this public hearing/meeting of the SW Water Management District:
February 28, at 9AM
2379 Broad Street
Brooksville, Florida
Any questions?
Please call LuAnne Stout at: 352 796-7211 ext. 4605
The Florida Scrub Jay deserves to have Floridians defend its right to a peaceful night's sleep, right?

February 23, 2012

No Damn Dam

Earthjustice has filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service in an attempt to undo an outrageous waste of money and complete disregard for a wildlife folly known as the
 "Cross Florida Barge Canal Project, that was shut down by Nixon in 1971.
The original project was meant to connect the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico and when it was stopped, the dam was left behind to the absolute detriment of local wildlife, the Ocklawaha River and the Ocala National Forest.
If you drive north on County Highway 19 in Lake County and head towards Palatka, you will drive right over this meaningless canal.
This project is kind of the Florida version of a "bridge to nowhere."
The dam, once called the Rodman Dam, is now nothing more than a self serving recreational play ground for fishing and boating communities and it needs to come down, so that the wildlife can return to their ancestral warmer waters, which in the cold months, are where they desperately need to be to survive.
The lives of the Endangered Manatee and Shortnose Sturgeon, are at stake and while they cannot vote, they do have many concerned Florida voters watching out for them.

February 20, 2012

Managing Manatee Habitats

This is one time when human interference is benefiting
Florida's Endangered Wildlife in a positive manner.
Step forward the Nature Conservancy to do some
much needed housekeeping on the Manatee's waterways.
This process will include a dredging sweep of their pathways throughout Florida.
Once all of the cleanup is finished, the enemies will remain as they have always been for the Manatees, boat strikes and severely cold weather.
A record number of over 1,500 have died in the last three years,
it is time for the Manatee to get a break.

February 17, 2012

Where Have You Gone, Oh Beautiful Blue?

Only the size of a quarter, the Miami Blue Butterfly
is/was one of the rarest, most beautiful creatures to ever
inhabit Florida and now it seems that they may have finally left us.
This is personally sad because on every trip down to the Keys,
I look for it, pretty sure now that the joy of an encounter with
A Florida Miami Blue Butterflya Blue will not be happening.
The perilous line that these animals walk is wrought with danger
at every turn, the latest for the Blue being the pesticides used to
eradicate the mosquitoes and the out of place Iguana, which eats
the leaves where the Blue used to lay its eggs.
Like nearly all of the about to depart our planet species of this state,
the Blue simply could not compete with the never ending human interference.
If only the people did not dump their unwanted Iguanas in the Keys
and if only the pesticides were not used all over their last tiny habitat.......
Goodbye Blue, though I never met you, I will miss you.

February 15, 2012

The People Have Spoken!

We do not want the Keystone Pipeline.
815,000 signatures were delivered to Washington yesterday.

February 14, 2012

How Much Oil Can We Live With?

The two most Endangered Species in Florida,
Florida Panther
perhaps in the world, now share one more 
threat to their existence.
Right now in the Florida legislation there are
not one, but two, Bills on the Docket to support
drilling for oil in parks all over the state.
Two of the Parks on the list are where the
Panther and the Ghost Orchid are presently
hanging on by the narrowest thread.
This latest assault on them, may be the final one
and push them to their deaths.
In a state with nearly non stop wind and sunshine,
could someone please explain why we continue to
punish this planet with our archaic addiction to fossil fuel?
What will it take for Americans to finally let go of this dirty,
destructive source of energy?
How many oil spills can the Earth survive before she just gives up?
What is that saying, "garbage in, garbage out?"
It is time for us to refuse to allow Big Oil to own America any more.

February 11, 2012

The Newest Victim of the Tar Sands Saga

North American Grey Wolf
As if the potential destruction of the entire water source for eight states and their ecosystems was not enough, now the newest victim of the disastrous plan to cram dirty tar sands oil down the throats of America, is the Canadian wolf.
Sometimes, I wonder if humans deserve to be allowed to live on the same planet with animals, we just don't seem to get along or play well with them.
Maybe we, the humans, should live on our own planet, one without anything to interfere with our master plan, the one where we plow over and cement in everything living.
I am sure that the Koch Brothers who own everything oil and "all that that implies,"could buy such a place, they have more money than most humans in the world, being worth at least $25 Billion, that's billion with a "b", each!

February 8, 2012

Dirty Oil, Dirty Politics

Although the President said no and the people said no,
the politicians, (and we the people, the 99%, all know who you are)
Pipeline Spill in North Dakota
photo by Peter Carrels
who are controlled by the oil and gas industries in this country, had to do what they were financially obligated to do, overturn Obama's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline Plan.
The implications of this dirty deal and the deleterious effect it will have on our environment and all who inhabit it, will endure for eons.
The next step is a vote in the Full House and then on to the Senate and after that ......
We the people have spoken, the President has spoken, but the only speaking that really matters in Washington appears to be that of the Lobbyists with the big checkbooks.
The Environment and Wildlife will lose, they cannot speak this language.

February 5, 2012

A Sad Ending For Our Whooping Cranes

Adult and Juvenile
Whooping Crane
After an FAA delay stopped the migration journey of a flock of young Whooping Cranes, the nine chicks will be now be trucked to an Alabama WR and remain there for the rest of the winter.
This long delay in their trip undoubtedly confused them, as once the all clear was finally given, the Cranes refused to follow the plane and continue on to their intended home in Florida.
The question will always remain, if the FAA had not stepped in and stopped the migration before it was finished, would this have happened?
Probably not.
These were very young birds and the journey was already a perilous endeavor to begin with for them.
It is regretful that the Government could not have either made their move before the trip began, or after it was finished.
Stopping the migration midway proved too much for the young Cranes who may now imprint on this new home in Alabama and will never join the remainder of the flock here in Florida.

February 2, 2012

The Everglades Are Losing This War

When the same email subject comes in my mail
three times in a morning and is on every local 
news channel, it must be the subject of today's blog.
This is not a new story and it is not going to end
any time soon either.
The Burmese Pythons in the Everglades are now
out of control and decimating everything living there.
But, the really scary thing is, that soon the victims may become human visitors to the Park.
Some one suggested that perhaps the National Guard could be sent in to set up a hunting expedition that will not end until they take back the area.
So, how long might this hunting expedition take?
A very, very long time.