Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

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