Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

May 26, 2013

On This Memorial Day

One of our beloved Green Treefrogs
One Of Our Florida Green Treefrogs

It is Sunday and so as usual I am doing the Blogs.
But as I sit here trying hard to concentrate, think it may be impossible.
The frogs and birds are making so much noise, it is hard to think.
What I really want to do is finish weeding and play with my flowers, but alas, not.
It is a gorgeous day here in paradise.
All is good and as it should be~
If you are out and about today, perhaps you might Hug a Veteran and say:
"Thank God for you and every Veteran for the Free America that we live in.”
Have a Memorable Memorial Day.

May 19, 2013

Giving Back, Dolphin Style~

NASA Bottlenose Doplhin in Florida
A Bottlenose Dolphin in Florida

Those of you who live in Florida may be familiar with
Winter, a Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium who was given a helping hand by some very kind humans and a new tail to replace the one that she lost due to a fishing line disaster.
If you don't live here, there is a really good movie about her life, " Dolphin Tale  " that is quite well done and details her painful tribulations, rehabilitation and eventual recovery.
Today on our local news, there was a " good news animal story, " there are so few it seems, so this was a joy to see, about how Winter is now giving back.
A little local girl recently lost both of her feet in a freak accident and Winter is now showing her how to adapt and relearn some basic motor skills.
These are the same kinds of things that Winter had to learn after her " accident. "
What you may not know, how could you, I have not shared this, my oldest son is a paraplegic from birth and has always been in a wheelchair.
So, Winter's beautiful story and her struggles to deal with her injury, really hit home hard for me personally, as did this new one today about how an animal who was nearly killed by us, is now giving back to the Humans that helped her so much during her time of need.
I highly recommend the movie, for all ages, it is a lesson in determination, perseverance, love and patience.
Couldn't we all use a big dose of that?

Who Cares If It's Endangered Species Day?

A Florida Green Treefrog
One of our Florida green treefrogs

So there you are, thinking, not another " special day. "
I don't even get a day off of work for it, so why should I care?
But you should care, do you know why?
In our lifetime, hundreds of species have already become extinct and they are going away at such an alarming rate, that even confirmed optimists are becoming concerned, even downright worried, that we may lose so many, that eventually our planet will, as the scriptures supposedly say, " be inherited by the insects."
It seems that insects are just about the only thing that all of our pesticides, or insecticides, don't wipe out, one way or another.
And if you're thinking "oh well, the chemical companies will save us with better, stronger, insecticides," hello, this has become our biggest problem.   
The insecticides now being produced by Monsanto, Bayer and others, have been so over used, for so many years, that the bugs have become immune to them and are well on their way to becoming super bugs, that eventually will respond to nothing that is thrown at them.
So, while you're digesting that cheery thought, think on this, all of the animals whose diet primarily consists of insects, are the exact ones that are the most endangered and are becoming extinct: the bats, the bees, the birds, the frogs, the list goes on and on.
These wonderful, fragile creatures, are what stands between us and the hordes of marauding insects, who are so anxious to take over our world.
To repeat, countless mammals, birds, bees and amphibians, are leaving this world precisely because of the overuse and wide-spread blanketing of our planet with poisons.
So, here's an idea for all of us on this, " not traffic stopping, just another day, " or Endangered Species Day.
Think what your/our world would be like, if the insects were all that was left here, besides us.
If that thought doesn't motivate you to get involved and pick an animal, or species to care about, come on down to Florida and spend a week in the Everglades in August and see what the future could be like for all of us.
As for me, I will keep pounding on this little Vaio 'til my fingers bleed or I croak, hoping that
somewhere, somehow, I will reach you and you will be affected enough to care and get involved.
The future of this planet as we know it, is on you, on me, on all of us.
So, the question remains, what will we do?   

May 14, 2013

What's For Lunch?

A Lion in Botswana, Africa
A Lion in Botswana, Africa 
Before I begin, I wish to thank the 222 Word Press Blog "wildlife watchers " who have elected to "Follow" the Blog.
Although this inconsequential little Blog has only been online for two months, it has had over 4,000 hits and more than 200 followers.
Can I say, this is all just slightly overwhelming and completely unexpected?
I have been writing about these same Wildlife Issues for many years, not on Word Press, to my great chagrin, with little positive response.
But now, after two brief months on WP, I am convinced that you are not only out there, but that you absolutely do care what happens to "those with no voice."
Please accept my gratitude and a humble thank you from my heart to yours, for all that you have shared here since its inception on March 10.
Now, for today's Wildlife Issue revelation, for you to react to, respond to, and if history repeats, clearly oppose~
As many of you know, I live in Florida.
For much of the world, this is a place where Mickey and Minnie rule and fun abounds, but there is another side, a dark side, to the happiest place on Earth and it is this: Florida has the highest numbers of physical abuse towards women, children and you guessed it, animals, of any state in America.
A fact that sickens me to acknowledge.
Since moving here permanently in 2006, many stories on our local news have caused me great concern and alarm, especially those relating to animals being harmed by humans, but there are two recent stories that simply cannot wait, nor be ignored.
The first is that last week, a horse in an open field, apparently near where we live, starved to death and dropped dead right here in Lake County.
There have been in the past, quite regretfully, other similar stories about cows suffering the same fate in our county.
The denials and disclaimers were quick to come this time, from all sources involved, but the sad fact is, that if just one person had interceded in time, this horse might well be still alive.
According to the story, one other horse remains on this same undisclosed property and the county has given these people a short time to "correct the problem."
A witness who was interviewed during the story, said that she doesn't think " it will survive" the allotted time.
So when we drove home from the store yesterday and passed an open field with a very emaciated horse in it, we did not know if this might be the "other one " on the news.
I called our Lake County Humane Society this morning, but they were closed for the day, my second call was to Lake County Animal Control, who said that they would send someone out " to take a look."

Lake County Humane Society:  352 589-7400
Lake County Animal Control:    352 343-9088
Lake County Commissioners:    352  343-9850
Next, in my email yesterday, was a Google Wildlife Alert with a story that I was sure had to be a misprint.
Sadly, it turned out, it was not.
If you have an extremely tender heart, please do not read the story:
This eating place in Tampa and one other, have crossed a line and the public backlash is, as it should be, in support of wild animals.
I fully expect and will be disappointed if you do not, respond in an animal avalanche about these two stories.
It has not escaped my memory, that some in this country are now also advocating the consumption of horse meat.
Applications to build Slaughter Houses are beginning to show up, including one in Wounded Knee, South Dakota and one that thankfully went down to defeat here in Lake County.
The one in New Mexico, is now considered "ground zero" for this issue.
Did I mention how really proud that I am to know each and every one of you?
Now, go get 'em~

May 5, 2013

Happy Hunting, Not!

A Beautiful Florida Black Bear

I am fully aware that many will disagree with my stance on this, but please hear me out.
Today all of the details were released for the next  Alligator Hunting Season here in Florida.
There seem to be so many "killing seasons" here now, it is hard to keep up.
My greatest fear is that our gorgeous Florida Black Bear may be next, as hunters are already chomping at the bit to get this passed.
I have recently, personally spoken to a "head person" who "assures" me that this will not happen.
Now, ask me if I trust "anyone" about this.
I came here to Florida as you know, after living in Southern California for over 30 years, where sadly, there are not really too many wild things left.
So, coming here and seeing them everywhere, is just such an overwhelming joy, that I would hate to see Florida become practically barren of wildlife, like Southern California has.
I grew up in Indiana and spent many happy summers on my uncles farm in the hills of southern Indiana, which was for me, a little city girl, a wild paradise to run through all day until I dropped.
I loved it with all of my heart and never wanted to leave.
So, I am truly not just another angry "city person" complaining about hunters and hunting.
This is what bothers me about hunting.
Where we live now, is many miles from the nearest anything, so we must drive a bit, to get to civilization, as it were.
Now, during any of the many "hunting seasons," we are forced to go past many VERY unpleasant sites.
No, I will not go into any of the grisly details.
The people who live out here on the fringes of civilization are "different" to say the least, from most other Florida residents.
They seem to be in a world all of their own.
Things happen out here, ugly, terrible things, that are not legal, but no one ever gets caught, so it continues to happen.
My question is, why do people still need to hunt, maim, kill?
Is it a primordial need?
There are so many animals in Africa who are being slaughtered for their body parts.
I know that I am in a very tiny minority and will take great punishment for this, but why do we need to continue to kill animals as if their lives mean nothing?
As a species, after so many millions of years, shouldn't we have by now, evolved to a place where we at least might show more respect to our fellow animals?
I truly do not believe that humans were put on Mother Earth to do so much harm to wild creatures and feel nothing.

Global Guinea Pigs~

A Guinea Pig Stable
A Guinea Pig Stable

If right now,  I asked you what the most important thing is, that you should or could do, to protect yourself and those you love, including your pets, from harm, you would probably come up with some pretty good answers,
but more than likely, you would be well short of coming up with the entire truth.
You see, the truth is, that on a daily basis, we and all living things on this planet, are being exposed to countless toxins, that are killing us, or at the very least, making us terribly sick, 
including some that we are not even aware exist.
Some time ago, most of you probably heard about a quote that was credited to the Ford Motor Company, 
that someone there was said to have remarked after learning of a number of deaths relating
to defects in their cars, that these deaths were simply, "acceptable losses."
This horrifying comment has reverberated around the world since then and has become a somewhat sick joke.
But, here is the real truth, everyday some company produces a product that they know is harming, people, plants and/or animals and they keep doing it, because no one has the temerity to stop them.
And, we are paying them to do this, because we are buying these products that are poisoning us.
In this Country, we have Government Organizations with thousands of people working full-time, being very well paid to protect all of us from the "bad guys" and/or their "bad" products.
They include, the CDC, the FDA and the EPA, to name just a few, but it would appear,
that none of them seem to be able, or are unwilling, to stop these ruthless companies with a
singular motive in life, that is,  to make money, and we, their Guinea pigs, can all be damned.
By now, most of the world is aware of the horrors  linked to Monsanto and their many lethal products, but there are 100 more companies  just like them, with their own personal brand of toxins waiting for their turn in line at us, their Global Laboratory animals, or Guinea pigs, to see if we live or die, or just become really sick or maybe just deformed, by the latest product that they are promoting.
The story linked below, is the single, most impressive work that I have ever found on this subject.
If you never read anything again in your life, please read this and swear on your ancestors, that you and yours will no longer be the victims of these companies, living your life in servitude as their Guinea pigs.
We must speak to these people, in the only language that they can understand, money, and we must refuse to buy their products.

There Just Are No Words

This will be an unusually brief posting today, with no picture, because it would be too disgusting.
While strolling through my Reader this morning, a posting came up that stopped me dead in my tracks.
I could not go any further, until I went and read about it.
As implausible as it may seem, mankind has just slipped another rung farther down the ladder of inhumanity.
I truly believed that as a species, we might be turning the corner on our treatment of animals, but now after reading this, it seems not.
I am now speechless.
So, here is the story and I now eagerly await responses from of all of you, my brilliant,
outspoken, compassionate followers: