Finally, We Have A Baby!

one two
four three
We have decided to call her/him Ishi, after the last of the Yahi in California.
She/he also appears to be the only survivor.
All pictures credit: Walkingfox
Because  you asked, here is more about Ishi, last of the Yahi.

 

 

We would like to introduce our first Gopher Tortoise birth here.

She/he was found yesterday when I took Breanna out, just after lunch.

We are not sure of her/his sex, but this is what we have waited for since moving in here in 2004.

We found no others, only this one.

Gopher Tortoises normally have between 3-15 babies, so we sadly fear the demise of her siblings.

It is said that anything and everything,  eats them as soon as they hatch, most do not make it until their first birthday.

From what we have learned from other pictures and information, this one appears to be about two years old,  as they are said to grow about an inch per year.

If any others are found, they will be announced here.

But for now, we are so thrilled to have at least one child from Harriet, whom we have fiercely guarded, loved and protected since we came here nearly ten years ago.

Finally we have a baby!

 

Puget Pride

Killerwhales
Killer Whales or Orcas
Picture credit: Robert Pittman NOAA

 

This story is for Adam,  whose heart is as big as the Ocean, the Orcas and all the sea creatures that he loves so much.

Killer Whales or Orcas are the largest Dolphins.

This beautiful mammal is an intelligent, fun-loving, playful, family oriented and devoted Sea Creature or Cetacean.

And for the first time in years, this week a new baby has been born to a group whose terrifyingly low numbers, leave many to believe that they are not long for this Earth.

The new baby, who is a member of the L Pod, was born in the waters of San Juan off the Washington State Coast, known as Puget Sound.

This new calf is a member of Southern Resident Killer Whale  population whose numbers are currently at about 79, with two having been listed as missing.

The Killer Whales in this area are members of the  J,  K,   or L Pods.

The new baby or calf, is number L 120 and its birth is cause for sheer delight, extreme joy, laced with a more than just a bit of trepidation, as newborns in this area and of this particular species, do not have a good track record for longevity.

Many of them die in their first year of life.

There are multiple reasons for the tremendous decline in Killer Whales here:  the Exxon oil spill, and the lingering deadly aftermath of it, as well as the now near extinction of their favorite food, salmon, which has sent them as far away as California to eat.

This critically Endangered Whale is the victim of yet one more example of Human cause and effect:

oil spills, over fishing, military and tourist conflicts, greedy marine facilities who take them prisoners to perform.

We love to adore them in captivity, watch them on film, and take boat trips out to see them in the wild.

Yet we completely fail to comprehend that what we are doing, is killing the Killer Whales.

We are simply, ignorantly, loving and crowding them to death.

But on this day, far away, in Washington State, there is reason for Puget Pride.

 

Places to learn more:

Killer whale – Wikipedia

Updated photos: Eyewitness describes birth of orca in Puget Sound waters

Down to Earth: Patti Goldman on Protecting Orca Whales

Puget Sound’s endangered killer whales continue decline

Exxon Valdez oil spill

Puget Sound orcas feeding in California — again

Orca calf born to Puget Sound resident L pod

Puget Sound orcas retain protection under Endangered Species Act

Newborn Orca Seen Off Washington Coast In Puget Sound Pod

Census: Orcas declining in Puget Sound

Free Corky

 

Doing It Right

seewinter4

Breanna and I have a meet and greet with a friendly staff member at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

seewinter1   seewinter2      winter1   winter5

All pictures were taken at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last October, 2013 by Walkingfox.

 

 

If you have been here for a bit, you may remember the story about  Winter, the rescued Dolphin  whose tail was severely damaged and was eventually rehabilitated and fitted with a new one.

Winter has been the star of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where she has lived  since her rescue and story were put on film and all the world fell in love with her.

Now this amazing place of rescue and rehabilitation,  is putting its money where its heart is and there will no longer be any Dolphin Shows there.

As CEO David Yates so eloquently put it:

 ” We don’t rescue them so we can show them to guests. Our goal is to release them back into the wild.”

After Walkingfox was released from the Tampa VA Hospital last October, we decided to go and spend some time, the next day, looking around and admiring the nearby Clearwater Aquarium facility.

It truly was a wonderful place to see, even though most of it was closed for filming that day.

We already knew that a sequel was being filmed while we were there, so public viewing was understandably just a bit curtailed, but we were just happy to be able to be at the very place where it all happened.

Winter has a new friend named Hope, who was also rescued and the film is about their new life together, we were told.

The planned extravagant and quite expensive new facility, has been ditched and the focus will now and in the future, be entirely on rehabilitation and eventual release of rescued sea wildlife.

What more could anyone ask of this  awesome group of loving and devoted people who gave the world such a joyous film called “Dolphin Tale ” detailing  the amazing life and history of Winter’s journey.

Now next week, the long-awaited sequel Dolphin Tale 2 will  finally be released on September 12, reuniting once more the original cast.

If you are a sucker for inspiring and sweet stories, please rent the first and then go see the second.

Just be sure to bring a big box of Kleenex.

This place is now doing it right.

 

Places to learn more:

Popular “Dolphin Tale” Aquarium To Drop Animal Performances

‘Dolphin Tale’ aquarium to drop animal shows

Clearwater Marine Aquarium plans to drop animal shows

Aquarium to drop animal shows

Dolphin Tale 2

Dolphin Tale’s Aquarium Says NO To ‘Show Must Go On’

 

 

Megalopyge opercularis

Puss_caterpillar
Megalopyge opercularis
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

Thank you so very much to Walkingfox for alerting me about this story just now.

This is a very short post because it is so important and just learned about.

I also wanted to alert as many of you, as soon as possible about this.

On our local WFTV News earlier today, was a report about, don’t laugh, a fuzzy caterpillar that is very scary.

Its scientific name is  Megalopyge opercularis  and it has been found in Florida.

DO NOT TOUCH  it under any conditions.

This thing is nasty and its toxic venom will do you great harm.

Even though it is fairly small, at about one inch long, it is the most poisonous Caterpillar in the United States.

This is not a joke, take a look at the pictures of the victims in the links below.

You, your pets and your children need to be on high alert for this creature, every single time that you are outside in your yards,  or where ever.

Please watch out for it and if any of you should come in contact with it, follow the directions on any of these links included below, immediately.

All I can say is YIKES!

And, Welcome to the Tropics.

 

Places to learn more:

Southern flannel moth

Puss Caterpillar or Asp — General Information

Florida’s Puss Caterpillars Pack a Venomous Punch

Doctors: Don’t pet fuzzy caterpillar

Megalopyge opercularis  –  Wikipedia

 

You’re On Your Own!

-Tiger_shark

The Tiger Shark is a regular visitor to Florida Beaches.
Picture credit: Albert Kok

 

This story has been on our local news for several days and it has Floridians divided,  once again.

I truly did not want to write about this, but the story will not go away.

Those who fish of course, are completely opposed to the idea that anyone, or anything, should interfere with the enjoyment of their beloved sport of  “shark fishing.”

Let me begin by saying that I find this ” sport “ both appalling and cruel.

Yes, the East Coast, or Atlantic Coast of Florida, is and has been for many years, the ” shark bite capital of the world, ” but the behavior of these people in the pursuit of their passion, has only added to the numbers, because sharks will always go where there is blood in the water and that is exactly how these people do their  ” sport! “

This provocative, enticing and dangerous action, is called  chumming.

Sharks are one of the most ancient of all animals that live today on our planet.

They have survived and thrived, when many others, perished and became extinct.

They are a nearly perfect predator and truly need  fear few, if any other animals, only Humans.

We have always been the greatest threat to their continued longevity on Earth.

And, this disgusting sport of  “shark fishing “ is being done state-wide in nearly every coastal town here now.

There are a plethora of Clubs, Charters and Organizations here, all devoted to the “exciting sport,” their words,  not mine, of ” Shark Fishing.”

The problems arise because of where this sport is being done, which is on the hundreds of beaches in Florida, where swimmers, surfers and tourists are usually gathered for a fun day at the Beach.

What these “shark fishing”  groups fail to accept, is that they are responsible for creating a theater of danger at the beach, by their very dangerous actions.

Since the beginning of August, two young children have been bitten by sharks just in Brevard County.

Melbourne Beach Mayor Jim Simmons, is understandably quite concerned for the safety of those who not only come to his town, but of what waits for them when and if, they also visit the beach there.

He has personally experienced this dangerous drama on the Beach and wants to stop it before someone is killed.

The reason for all of the division in the state over this Issue, is quite simple.

Local residents and officials want to stop shark fishing, but really have no legal authority to do so, only Florida Fish and Wildlife can do this.

And the chances of that happening, are slim to none.

There will be an FWC meeting September 11, in Kissimmee, to discuss this and Mayor  Simmons not only plans on showing up for it,  but to lobby for his concerns there as well.

I can’t help but wonder, where Florida’s Better Business Bureau or Department of Tourism stand on this Issue.

Like the line from the movie says, ” this is not good for the Tourist Trade.”

So for the time being, it is beach users “beware.”

If you are a visitor here, or a surfer new to the area, please be forewarned, the beaches can be a very dangerous place in Florida right now.

Shark Fishermen using Florida Beaches for their blood sport, are protected by our State Officials.

You, on the other hand, are on your own!

 

Places to learn more:

Sharks – Wikipedia

Shark kills number 100 million annually

Florida Shark Fishing

Shark-fishing debate hooks town leaders

Florida Shark Attack Risk Has Officials Wanting To Ban Shark Fishing In 2014

International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association

A Shark Fishing Guide

YouTube Shark Fishing  (It is sick and cruel, be prepared!)

 

Winona LaDuke

winonababy
Winona LaDuke

 

For those of you not familiar with her, Winona LaDuke is the Executive Director  of a group called  Honor the Earth.

Last week they began a new campaign  called   “Love Water, Not Oil,”  that is vital, no critical,  to all Americans, not  just Native Americans.

What Fracking and Oil pipelines have done and will continue to do to the environment of this country, should be high on everybody’s agenda.

Once our water supplies and land are contaminated, it will take thousands of years to make them safe again.

Hopefully, you will keep this in mind, when you go to the polls to Vote this week and next:

” which candidates are supporting Fracking and Oil Pipelines and which ones are opposed to them? “

The condition of the water and land that you will  have this time next year depends on it.

 

Here is a brief Bio that I wrote about Winona several years ago.

She was and is,  an amazing woman, that I have the utmost respect for.

A side note that I find interesting about Winona, she and Robert Redford share the same birthday, August 18th!

Winona_duke_dream_reborn
Winona LaDuke at Dream Reborn Conference  April 6, 2008
Picture credit: Eclectek

 

Winona LaDuke, who was born in 1959 and grew up in Los Angeles,  is Anishinabe/Anishinaabekwe – Ojibwe and an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg of the Makwa Dodaem – Bear Clan of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.

Her father, an Ojibwe was a supporting actor in westerns as well as an Indian activist and her mother, a Russian Jew from New York, was an art professor.

As a teenager LaDuke addressed the United Nations on mining issues.

After graduating from Harvard in 1982, she took a position as the principal of the High School on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

LaDuke is a Program Director of the Honor the Earth Fund and works nationally to promote and assist Native Environmental groups.

She is a Founding Director for White Earth Land Recovery Project: a reservation-based non-profit organization focusing on land, cultural and environmental issues.

LaDuke co-chairs the Indigenous Women’s Network and is Program Director of the Environmental Program at the Seventh Generation Fund.

LaDuke ran with Ralph Nader in 1996 and 2000 as his Vice-Presidential candidate for the Green Party and worked to increase Native American voter registration and activism.

She has written on environmental racism and is the author of several books including: Last Standing Woman and  All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life

LaDuke spoke at the International Women’s Conference in Beijing, China on August 31, 1995.

Read excerpts from her speech

LaDuke teaches courses on Native Environmentalism at the University of Minnesota and other colleges and has campaigned for the reduction of nuclear waste.

In 1994, she was named by Time Magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under 40 years of age.

She currently lives with her two children on the White Earth Reservation.

 

Places to learn more:

Native Americans Launch ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Ride To Protest Fracking Pipeline

Winona LaDuke – Wikipedia

Honor the Earth Website

Winona’s Facebook Page

Love Water Not Oil

First Nation Ride For Mother Earth Forms Norwegian/Indian Alliance

An Interview with Winona LaDuke

Honor the Earth – Wikipedia

Naughty Nudists

royalTerns
Royal Terns on Passage Key Wildlife Refuge in Florida
Picture credit: USFWS

 

When this came on our Noon News yesterday, at first I thought that it must be a joke, but as it turned out, it was quite the opposite.

A Florida Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast near Tampa, called Passage Key, with a resident population of rare Native birds like Royal Terns, is being disturbed by Nudists.

The Nudists are allowed to wade in the water offshore, but are forbidden to go onto the Beach, where the Birds are Nesting.

There are signs and the area is patrolled.

This Federally protected habitat is off-limits to the public, but a seemingly ignorant and determined group of Nudists have been going ashore and the birds who are not used to having humans on their Nesting Beach area, are flying off.

This is not good.

Anyone who knows anything about wildlife, knows that when they are disturbed and their habitats are invaded,  or their daily eating routines are interfered with, they may suffer serious consequences from it.

A hungry animal that is frightened away from its food source or nest, may or may not return, before it is too late.

A few months ago, in a similar kind of Island Environment on the Atlantic Coast, also with a group of nesting rare Terns, several  dogs were allowed to run loose on the Island and they did irreparable harm to all that they encountered.

By the time it was over, the Nests, the Chicks and the Terns were all gone!

Complete, absolute and total destruction, for what?

It would be extremely sad to see a repeat of this tragedy on the West Coast.

 

Places to learn more:

Popular Fla. nude beach causing problem for wildlife

Birds, nudists edge for space at Passage Key

Rare birds disrupted by nudists on wildlife refuge

Newly reformed island is for the birds, not nudists, according to feds

Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge

Passage Key Wildlife Refuge

 

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