This King has left the building!

A juvenile King Cobra
Picture credit:  Biomedicinal


After living in so many places before coming to Florida in 2004, it was only a matter a time before this would happen.

And it did.
Within a few months of moving here, there it was one day, curled up on the black mat at our back door, waiting for me.
As it turned out, it was harmless, to humans, at least, it was just a Black Racer, which is a very common non poisonous Florida Snake.
Did that make me any less terrified.
Absolutely not!

But, after a few years, it has all become nearly routine and the fear gets a little less with each random encounter.
That is, until now.
A few days ago in Orlando, a man who apparently has quite a few poisonous creatures living in his house, lost one of them.
It just ran away.

But he did not, as required, report it immediately!

And after seeing the living conditions at this place, I do not blame the snake.
The escape of this snake, has been shown ad nauseum on all of our local channels.
These animals are housed in cages so small, they can barely turn around, let alone get any exercise.
My thinking is, that the snake left to find a better home!

But here is the scariest part, at least for those poor souls who live in close proximity to this man, this was not just any ordinary snake.
This was an 8 foot long King Cobra, whose venom they are saying, can take down an elephant or 200 humans.
Yes, 200!

This man, who has a state license to keep these poisonous animals, has a history of “oops” accidents and negligent behaviour concerning his charges.
So, you may ask, why does Florida Fish and Wildlife still allow him to have them?
That is the question being asked by his neighbors, who have started a petition and already have 200 signatures.
A previous King Cobra got loose from this man and it turned up in one of his neighbor’s garages, who killed it.

This is a very sad situation for the animals who have no say in any of it.
The man is a “reality star” the news claims and makes his living with these caged animals.
But, each time I see him on the news, he is putting a snake into a garbage can.
He does not look like someone who is terribly fond of them, just someone who has found a way to profit from them.

In India this snake is protected.

Schools on this man’s block have kept the children inside all week and moved those in the bungalows, into the main building for safety concerns for the children.
FWC says it is likely the snake, who they and the man, both say is shy, will avoid humans, but how long can you keep these children inside?
This is not fair to them, or the animals that this man is keeping.

It is at the very least, a sad, ugly situation.
The last news story I watched this morning, gave a link to a web site, where you can see just who and where poisonous animals are being kept in Florida.
If even one child here is killed by a poisonous animal who is being kept for profit or other, there will be “hell to pay.”
Even one death is one too many.

Now, this is only my opinion but, private individuals have no business, no right, to keep poisonous animals in their homes, considering the tremendous risks that could result from an errant escape, such as this one.

It is beyond time to stop this, before a tragedy occurs.
So, those of you out there in Florida who think this is a good way to make a living, I say:
You need to find another way to earn your living, one that does not put animals/wildlife or your neighbors and their children in jeopardy.

Please, go get a real job because this “King has left the building.”


Places to learn more:

King cobra – Wikipedia

King cobra that escaped from Orlando home remains missing

Escaped king cobra on the loose in Orlando

Find venomous snake permit holders near you

Dead snakes used to lure king cobra that escaped Orlando home

Exquisite Everglades

The Everglades National Park
Photo credit: USGS/SOFIA

One of the most revered and treasured Ecosystems in the entire state of Florida, perhaps even the United States, the Everglades National Park, has just handed down some tough restrictions for the first time in more than 30 years.

This is a long, hard-fought, much overdue win for a beleaguered Ecosystem, that has in the past, had to fight off big money, big business and big politics just to stay alive.

But, no more!

Finally those who run the Park have said enough!

The Everglades National Park and I do now speak from personal experience, is without a doubt, Florida’s most beautiful and most unique little corner of the Earth.

May I offer you one tiny bit of advice, before you venture down for your first trip?

Many years ago, on our first vacation here, we took our first trip to the Everglades while visiting my parents in Miami, in the NOT EVER recommended month of August.

Only an idiot, or a tourist from L.A., would ever do this, everyone who lives here knows better.

August is the heighth of Mosquito Season in South Florida and when they descend upon you in the Glades, they are like a black veil that drops over you, if you are foolish enough to go there in that month.

As for these new restrictions for the Florida Bay Area of the Everglades, they have become necessary because for entirely too many years, all manner of human abuse have rendered this fragile place nearly crippled with what many believed to be irreparable damage.

But the tide may be turning in the Glade’s favor and I only wish that Marjory was here today to witness this change of mind and heart for her beloved Everglades, she died in 1998 at the age of 108.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas fought so hard nearly all of her adult life, to save the Glades and today I would like to believe that she is smiling.

These new restrictions may do what she could not during her lifetime, they may finally and forever, preserve and protect the Exquisite Everglades.

Places to learn more:

Everglades National Park

Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Defender of the Everglades

Florida Boating Restrictions in Everglades Park

Everglades National Park GMP/East Everglades Wilderness Study

Everglades Park to restrict boating in Florida Bay

Protecting Everglades National Park ends way of life for Gladesmen

The Everglades

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


Paynes Prairies’ Pain~

The Paynes Prairie Ecopassage
Picture credit: Ebyabe


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

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


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



A Ridiculous Award!

Governor Scott in the “Environment” he knows 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


Night Lights~

The night lights of the Empire State Building in New York City, the stunning ones are linked below!
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 wave 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

A Horror of a Human

Cecil the beloved Lion in Africa
Picture credit: Unknown


What can be going on in the deranged, twisted mind of this absolute monster?

This gutless Dentist, Walter Palmer, from Minnesota not only finds pleasure in killing, but is also a repeat offender.

His latest victim, that he reportedly paid $55,000 to hunt, was a much beloved Lion and local celebrity at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa.

These are the words of the TV News story, not mine:
 “This man lured the Lion out of the safety of a sanctuary, then shot him with a crossbow and after tracking him for more than a day,  finished him off and skinned him.”

The beautiful black-maned Lion called Cecil, was quite accustomed to human interaction, so likely felt no danger, or fear.

He was basically a pet to the world, a hero, a star to be adored.

He could not have understood that he was about to be killed and to be hung on a wall, the wall of a sinister, vile human.

They say that Cecil had cubs and that they will be killed by which other Lion is next in line for dominance of the Pride.

My hope is if that some group will step up/in to remove them to a safe place, before that is allowed to occur.

As I write these terrible words to you, my chest is tight and I can barely breathe.

And if all of this was not enough of a horror, this is not the first time for this coward to murder and lie.

In 2008, this same monster also killed a black bear and lied after doing just about the same thing, he did to Cecil, hunting, killing, and lying.

Or, hunting, killing, lying, then posing and smiling.

There is valid concern, that the backlash from his vile acts, may not end just his business, but that someone in the area may take this rage/anger towards him one step further.

To quote ABC and others,  ” He has become the most hated man on the internet.”

Hearing the story and the expected Global shock, anguish, and repulsion, makes this only a tiny bit easier to bear.

What joy, what pleasure, can you Mr. Palmer, find in this despicable kind of behavior?


It is only my opinion, but it seems that some of our species have never really evolved from the hunter-gather stage and feel compelled by a dark/deep need to regularly hunt and kill a wild animal.

The difference is, this was not a wild animal, but a much adored and loved “pet.”

How much of a challenge could there have been in basically killing something that had no instincts for survival?

Dear Doctor Palmer, a Global wish for you, is the same end to your life, that you gave this beautiful, remarkable, beloved creature, because you truly are a Horror of a Human.


Places to learn more:

Walter Palmer

Cecil the lion’s killer revealed as American dentist

American Hunter Killed Cecil, Beloved Lion That Was Lured Out of Its Sanctuary

Cecil the lion’s killer in hiding as global anger reaches Minnesota hometown

Zimbabwean officials: American man wanted in killing of Cecil the lion


Wiley’s Whims!


Our magnificent Florida Panther
Photo credit: Florida Panther page


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a whim is:
” a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind.”

Lately, it appears that Nick Wiley is having a turn of the mind, or rethinking many things, including, Panthers, Black Bears, to hunt or not to hunt and the true core meaning of the agency that he is the head of,  the  FWC,  or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

If you are Nick Wiley, rethinking can and does mean many things.

He has recently had secret meetings without other consul, other than that of a South Florida Rancher named Liesa Priddy, who was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott in 2012 for the usual 5 year term, and together they decided that a new plan should be put in place for what until now has been the most critically Endangered Mammal in the country and who also happens to be our State Mammal, the Florida Panther.

The reaction to the news of the covert meeting between these two and their new plan, prompted an instant state-wide outrage and further discussion was put off until September.

For the past 20-30 years, people and groups all over this state have done everything to save and protect and preserve this beautiful animal and the idea of reducing, changing or even God Forbid, eliminating any/all protections for them, is making Floridians see red, blood-red.

If you would like to talk to Nick about his new plan for the Florida Panther, you can reach him at:
(850) 488-4676

Many are fearing that the fate of the Panther may soon follow the same path as the recently doomed and set to be hunted in October, Florida Black Bear.

I got chills when I read a remark by Wiley, in one of the stories below, saying that they will not be hunting the Panther, they may just need to shoot one occasionally.

Just three short years ago, this same man swore on the phone to me, after I called raising hell over the 8 Black Bears that had been killed in Orlando when stupid people, did stupid things, that they would never be hunted!

Right now, the news and reaction to Wiley’s new plan, has been as expected, causing many to now question just who he has become and if the welfare of the states wildlife really are still his top priority.

When the leader of a large Government Agency such as this, has secret/covert meetings and makes decisions with no inclusion of those who know more about the subject, it is not a very good sign.

Has Wiley decided to take his life in a new direction and is he preparing himself for the day when he will leave the Agency and go into business with those whose opinions he clearly seems to value so much right now?

What ever his future may hold, right now what worries those of us here who truly do love and respect Florida’s Wildlife, the biggest question is, does Nick Wiley need to find employment elsewhere?

At this moment, many in Florida would give a resounding YES to that question because the lives of our precious wildlife here should NOT be subject to Wiley’s Whims!


Places to learn more:


Florida panthers better learn to duck

FWC Revisits Florida Panther Recovery Plan

Does Florida have enough panthers?

Improving Prospects for Florida’s Panthers

Florida Panthers Are Plentiful Enough, State Officials Say

Over scientists’ objections, rancher pushes panther policy

State suggests review of Florida panther status


Armadillo Awareness

A Nine-banded armadillo in the  green swamp in Central Florida
Picture credit:


On our local ABC News this morning, came a story that sent shivers down my spine, once again.

Unless you live in the Southwest or Florida, you may have never heard of, or seen an Armadillo.

The images on TV this morning were both familiar and  disturbing, they were of Armadillos, the affected victims  along with the fact that there have been 9 new cases of Leprosy reported here in the Orlando area in just the past six months.

Normal they said, was 10 per year, so think we may be in trouble here…

I have known about this disease since 1990, when we went on Vacation to Oahu.

We had asked about going over to Molokai and several people at our Hotel said, that it once was the Island of Lepers, and we probably should not go.

Not knowing anything about the disease or the history of the Island, we decided not to go.

It seemed that at that time in 1990, the stigma had remained there, somewhat, although the disease was not officially any longer considered a threat.

In fact, it had been Globally eradicated by that time, it had been reported.

Recently I wrote about the wonderful Priest, Father Damien, who went to Molokai and devoted his life to caring for those afflicted with Leprosy before eventually succumbing to the disease:

Leprosy is transferred by bacteria, and at the present time, only two life forms carry it, Humans and Armadillos.

I learned today, that when Armadillos came to this Continent, they did not carry the disease, from which I would deduce, that we gave it to them.

We are still in the process of questioning, whether or not pets can contract the disease from being on the same land as Armadillos.

Have made calls to the CDC and several other agencies this morning, as well as to the Dr. mentioned in the story.

When conclusive feedback is received, it will be put in another posting, as I do not wish to delay this vital/critical information for those of you who are living in this area,  as we are, with Armadillos, while waiting ……


Places to learn more:



Yes, You Can Get Leprosy From an Armadillo

Floridians urged to avoid leprosy-infected armadillos

Experts warn Floridians to steer clear of armadillos to avoid leprosy exposure

Leprosy cases on rise in Florida


Holding on~

miamibluemichellewisnieski                schaus22

A Miami Blue Butterfly                                                        A Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly
Photo credit: FWC/M.Wisnieski                                        Photo credit: FWS


At first glance this morning, the first story below, gave rise to a tiny hope for two critically endangered, if not already extinct Florida Butterflies, but alas, upon reading it, the two that I had been hoping this pertained to, were not even mentioned in it.

So, is this good news  nonetheless, absolutely.

South Florida is at long last, cutting way back/down on its use of pesticides in controlling mosquitos.

But we need to do it here, there and everywhere and always, from this day forward, if we hope to continue to see the entire range of pollinators, amphibians and countless other fragile and environmentally susceptible creatures in Florida.

The two aforementioned Butterflies, The Miami Blue   and  The Schaus Swallowtail are both teetering on extinction, thanks to countless decades of failure to understand, respect and appreciate the absolutely devastating effect that pesticides have on all Insects, all Humans, everything.

The excessive Global overuse of Pesticides for whatever purpose, will in the end, end us all.

We simply must stop their use, as every living thing on our planet, is depending on it.

These lethal toxins are being used by any and all, for every problem, with no thought or consideration,  to their Global long-term effects.

Other than the obvious deleterious effect of the pesticides, a new marauder, the invasive Iguana,which is definitely, not indigenous, has been  personally killing off the Miami Blue Butterflies, by eating the very plants  that they lay their eggs on, the gray nickerbean, etc.,  on their last known refuge on Bahia Honda, in the Keys.

We had seen these out of control creatures walking the streets of Miami on each of our trips down to the Keys.

*Before completing this posting, I needed to confirm the status of the Miami Blue, and after a quick call to UF and speaking with Dr. Jaret Daniels, it is my great joy to relay his message that yes, the Miami Blue is still alive and living at the Key West National Refuge.

So, thankfully, it would seem, that these two Butterflies are indeed, still holding on.


Places to learn more:

Mosquito spraying in South Florida scaled back to protect rare butterflies

Butterfly Monitoring

Invaders in Paradise

Schaus Swallowtail Emergency

Threatened butterfly vanishes from Florida refuge

The ant, the butterfly and their chemical warfare with an oregano plant


Marjory, Miccosukees and Memories

Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1983, canoeing with a Miccosukee Tribal member
at the Miccosukee Cultural Center in the Everglades, near Forty mile Bend.
Photo credit: Florida State Archives


Our beloved Everglades are about to be put under siege and attack once again from greedy, selfish developers and oil mongers.

After the myriad of deceitful,  destructive insults that have been inflicted on one of the most incredibly beautiful places in the entire state of Florida,  causing frequently irreparable harm, to the fragile wildlife and environment, now they want to drill for oil in the Everglades.

At some point the secret, silent, pay offs to all who seek to make this happen, will stop as the money runs out, and when there is nothing left here but sand, what will it all mean?

The Everglades Ecosystem and its surrounding area are so critical, to so many species of animals and plants, that it is hard to conceive in advance,  the level and  depth of damage that this most recent proposal can and will bring with it to the love of Marjory’s life.

I for one, am glad that she is not alive to see what soon may become of what she fought most of her life to preserve and protect.

As expected, Audubon of Florida and numerous concerned individuals and Environmental groups are outraged and alarmed at what could happen here.

The gist of this latest assault on the pristine Everglades is this:

The Kanter family has owned a great deal of land, namely 20,000 acres, in this area for more than 50 years and had thought to build a city there one day, but, that did not come to fruition.

This beautiful place remained quietly unmolested until just recently, when a great deal of interest and money suddenly began  swirling around the Everglades and this powerful Real Estate family, who stand to make a great deal of money either way.

If they sell the land to Florida, they make money, if they drill they make money.

Either way they win and Florida, our fragile wildlife and the Everglades Ecosystem loses, big time!

It is an ironic tragedy, that one of the reference places listed below comes from the very same paper where Marjory and her father both once worked, the Miami Herald.


Places to learn more:

Oil well proposed for Broward Everglades

Search for Everglades oil could move near Broward suburbs

Miami firm applies to drill for oil in Everglades

The Everglades Ecosystem

Marjory Stoneman Douglas


A Sturgeon Warning


An Ancient Gulf Sturgeon
Photo credit: USFWS


This will be quite brief/abrupt and to the point.

We had an unnecessary tragedy here over the Holiday weekend.

A 5-year-old child was killed by a Gulf Sturgeon jumping into the boat she and her family were in.

It happened on the Suwannee River near Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle.

For those of you who have been here for a while, you are probably aware of my personal website:

I only mention it because for quite a few years now, I have been writing about the possibility of this very event happening and warning people about it:

There are signs in the area that tell those who wish to go out on the River about the Gulf  Sturgeon and the potential dangers that exist there.

Either these people were not from the area, or perhaps may not have seen the Warning signs.

Regardless, a child is gone and her mother and brother are in the hospital.

This is a VERY BIG fish and when and if, it lands in your boat, or God forbid on you, the result will most certainly be tragic, as it was in this case.

Please take a look at the Sturgeon page above, if you are thinking of boating in this most beautiful place.

This is the time when the fish are most active and as our local news pointed out, the River was low, making it even more likely  to occur.

My prayers are with this family, my hope is that this never has to happen again.

Please, please, stay safe whenever you are visiting, vacationing, or just out with your family having fun in a new area.

When ever you are in a new or unfamiliar place, always do ask questions of those who are there to protect you,  or those who may already be there,  about local safety precautions.

Even one child is too many to lose to such a terrible accident.

This Ancient Fish has no idea that he can harm us, he is just doing what he and his Ancestors have always done on the Suwannee River.


Places to learn more:

Leaping Sturgeon strikes 5-year-old on Suwannee River killing Florida toddler

Girl killed by sturgeon jumping while boating: Not isolated incident in Florida

Leaping sturgeon kills child in Florida

FWC: Girl, 5, killed after being struck by jumping sturgeon in boat

Jaylon Rippy 5, dead, Colleen Harvey, 42, 9-year-old child injured when sturgeon jumps into boat on the Suwannee River in Lake City, Florida


Global Tentacles

Giraffe Cave Art at the NamibRand Nature Reserve
Picture credit: Namibnat


At first glance this morning, this news appeared to be a positive move, made by someone who had their heart and their power, in the right place, and was a cause for tremendous joy.
But then after reading further and seeking secondary and other stories for reference, it seems that all is not as it appears.
Paul Allen, the Billionaire philanthropist, who is seemingly strongly supportive of protecting Endangered Wildlife, has several not so nice personal blemishes, that must also be considered before we proceed to give him his Best Global Humanitarian Award.
Mr. Allen has introduced a measure to get on the Fall Ballots in Washington State, that will put a hurting on those who use the World’s  most at risk wildlife to make a dirty income.
The measure, called Inititive 1401, has already reached, thanks to all of his volunteers in the field, the necessary number to get on to the Ballot in November.

This is a great thing.

What I am having trouble with, is the dark side of his company Vulcan and his sister Jody, who was the CEO, and has just stepped down after some very ugly issues about wildlife  poaching and sexual harassment were brought to light by accusers who work for Allen’s company.
I will not go fully into these things, as they are well presented in the links below.
What I am interested in pointing out here is this.
When very rich, very powerful people make the news and receive gushing accolades without the public or the press, doing more than just a little background digging into the facts, bad things can happen.
In this case, Allen, who has passionately promoted this initiative in Washington, to save and protect wildlife, seems awesome, but something here is not right, and  it all smells just a little rank, when you learn that he has regularly taken African Safaris and owns Tourist Lodges in Botswana.

Now add to this, the fact that his Company Vulcan,  formerly run by his sister, has been taken to court and accused of smuggling, poaching and more.
All too often, people like Allen and his sister, are unlike you and me, frequently kept safely in a cocoon, so that the scandals, or dirt runs off of them and does not stain their pristine, public images.
My concern and primary reason for writing about this today is, that it would be so much easier to believe Allen and all the others who claim to be truly concerned about the welfare of Endangered Wildlife, if there was not so damn much money involved in all of this.

If, as you do so passionately profess Mr. Allen, you truly do wish to protect Endangered African Wildlife, may I suggest that you dispose of your African Tourist Lodges and suspend your Safari trips?

It would be wonderful to see those with so much wealth, using it to personally educate and enlighten the rest of the world to what is happening to the precious few wild animals that we have left, before they are all gone.

We absolutely must take this message out to the schools, to the young, who will become our next generation of protectors.

Sadly, access to excessive money can turn even the best people’s heads the wrong way and there is just too much at stake here.

The treacherous arms of Global Smugglers and Wildlife Traffickers can have very long tentacles, some are even said to be attached to Global Mobsters, that just may reach into even safe corners, including those of the well protected, well insulated, excessively wealthy.


Places to learn more:

Washington Rare Species Trafficking Measure, Initiative 1401 (2015)

Global Efforts to Stop Illicit Wildlife Trade: Are They Enough?

China Promises an End to Its Ivory Trade, While Some U.S. Politicians Pander to Wildlife Traffickers

Paul Allen: Seeking unbroken tall bones?

Paul Allen’s sister steps away from managing $17 bln fortune

Seahawks owner Paul Allen, sister settle as bodyguards claim smuggling, bribery

War threatens existence of wildlife species in South Sudan

Washington State Initiative Aims to Protect Iconic Animals Threatened With Extinction

Paul Allen bankrolls initiative to ban rare-species trafficking

Mixed Blessings

A magnificent Florida Panther
Picture credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
On our news this morning were at first glance what appeared to be three happy/good stories.

After so many wildlife tragedies in the news lately, these were absolutely welcomed and needed to be shared.

First the numbers for our critically endangered Florida Panther have reported to have rebounded and were cause for at least temporary joy, right?

But wait, Nick Wiley, FWC executive Director, one for whom my respect has greatly diminished after his failed promise three years ago, that Black Bears would never be hunted, may be at it again.

Just as three years ago when the Florida Black Bear was removed from the state’s protection and had its Threatened/Endangered status removed, will the Florida Panther now become the next animal/victim to be put on the happy hunters wish list, if this does happen?

In the related story below, when it says Florida Panther, please mentally insert the words Black Bear and you will see what I fear will become deja vu.

I am sure that Nick and FWC are under tremendous pressure from hunters, gun clubs, the NRA, ranchers and residents in the upscale area where the Panther currently has its highest numbers, to do something, but to take them off of the Endangered Species list when they are still so very small in numbers and considering how many die each and every year from car strikes, outright murders, and other ugly human encounters, would be disastrous for this much beloved State of Florida mammal.

Your move Nick, what will you decide that the fate of our Panther shall be?

Next up, a very rare occurrence, a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle was recently spotted on a local Florida Beach nesting and laying her eggs at Cape Canaveral.

The announcement of this event is causing giddy delirium and great joy here, considering the many obstacles that all nesting sea turtles must always overcome just to do so.

As with so many others in the depleted animal kingdom, Human interference and greed are the primary source for this.

The final good news story was about a young girl from California who has been given a new artificial arm by those brilliant minds at our own UCF.

She,  like Winter,  now has a brand new way to shine with the generous gift of life from the “3-D Arm Team” at UCF.

It was all a carefully orchestrated, well-directed sweet surprise, by both the school and the Clearwater Aquarium.

So, all in all, this turned out to be a day of gifts that were indeed a mixed blessing.

Places to learn more:

State suggests review of Florida panther status

Florida Panthers died at a record rate in 2014

Rarest sea turtle nests found at CCAFS

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle  (Lepidochelys kempii)

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle recovery plan

Girl, 10, gets surprise 3-D arm delivery from UCF students

Calif. Girl Born With No Right Hand Gets Surprise Prosthetic

Coral Crisis

Many thousands of species call Coral Reefs home~
Picture credit: underwater universe


Yesterday on WUCF, our local PBS Channel, there was an excellent dual story about Coral Reefs and the depressing decline of them worldwide and also one about the alarming situation with Oysters.

Coral Reefs are one of the most threatened and most in peril of all the world’s ecosystems and the future does not look good, unless, we step in and do what is necessary to stop what may soon become complete decimation.

Renowned Australian Scientist, Marine Ecologist, Dr. Katharina Fabricius and her team have worked tirelessly for many years studying the negative impacts of various factors on Coral Reefs and Marine Life around the Globe and the program yesterday was dedicated to their work.

Living here in the Sunshine State, we are blessed with the ability to take a short drive down to the Keys and see our very own Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

But the pleasure of seeing the immense beauty of Coral Reefs, may be short-lived for all of us.

I can feel Al Gore breathing down my neck, as I write this, but one fact taught in my Geology Classes, was that the Earth has repeatedly, over millions of years, chilled and warmed since its inception.

However, our very bad habits are speeding things up right now.

Yes, we Humans are quite to blame for many of these changes in Global Marine Life and Coral Reefs, as well as other bodies of water and threatened wildlife.

The current impact of Global Warming, whether our Governor, or anyone else in Government or politics, wants to admit, believe, or deny it, is affecting everything that lives, grows and swims in our Global Seas.

And yes, we are causing and are to blame, for a great deal of this.

We Humans use pesticides, poisons and chemicals everywhere, without a thought as to what they will do to all living things, including us!

Rivers, streams, lakes and oceans are being murdered and are dying a slow painful death, due to our ongoing ignorance, greed and stupidity.

We cannot continue our evil ways and expect that the planet will just deal with it.

Our planet and entirely too many living things on it, especially our Coral Reefs, are in crisis mode.

We made this mess, now we need to clean it up.


Places to learn more:

Coral Reefs

Florida’s Coral Reefs

Coral reef fish danger – Blue Planet – BBC Environment


Coral reefs and climate change: A message for Copenhagen

Ocean acidification 

Oceans of Acid: How Fossil Fuels Could Destroy Marine Ecosystems

Elements in the Ocean

Acid tests for corals

New Study Warns Warmer, Acidic Oceans Will Kill Coral Reefs

The Australian Institute of Marine Science

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef


Lovely Leatherback~

A Nesting Florida Leatherback Sea Turtle
Dermochelys coriacea
Photo credit: NOAA – Public Domain

For those fortunate ones of us who live here in the tropical paradise known as Florida, the news this morning brought a rare and treasured site and story, it was of a Leatherback Sea Turtle who had recently been seen on the beach at Canaveral National Sea Shore, laying her eggs.

According to reporter Dan Billow, who has covered the Florida Space Coast for over 25 years for WESH TV, this was a once in a lifetime occurrence.

What made it so,  was the fact that the lovely Leatherback weighing in at over 800 pounds, was doing her nesting and egg laying in broad daylight, something that rarely ever happens.

The Leatherback is the largest of our Florida Sea Turtles and this was a blessing for those of us here, who love them and do everything possible to ensure their safety during nesting season, which hopefully will also guarantee their future.

The Leatherback is one of three Florida Sea Turtles who are listed as Endangered, the List also includes the Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

The story today about this Sea Turtle mother makes what we saw happen in our own front yard yesterday even sweeter.

Harriet our resident Gopher Tortoise, was next to her primary hole/tunnel, at about noon, quite busy sending sand flying, it appeared that she then made a small mound or nest and looked to be laying her own eggs.

We both found this news interesting, as we did not know that Sea Turtles and Gopher Tortoises did their nesting at the same time.

We may be grandparents again soon and we are, as to be expected, both thrilled.

The representative from the Park Service and the TV News reporter both agree that things may finally be looking up for this gentle giant.

Congratulations and Happy Mother’s Day to a Lovely Leatherback~

Places to learn more:

Rare 800-pound sea turtle nests on Brevard County beach

800 Pound Leatherback Sea Turtle Lays Eggs

Canaveral National Sea Shore

Loggerhead Nesting In Florida

Endangered or Threatened Species

Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) – NOAA

Leatherback sea turtle – Wikipedia

Leatherback Sea Turtle – Gator –

Patron of the Oceans

Pugh with Tutu
Lewis Pugh with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  September 15, 2010
Picture credit: Publicist


On AMHQ this morning Sam Champion interviewed a true Hero, one who is not just another wildlife activist.

He talked to Lewis Pugh, the renown swimmer, author, activist, public speaker, and former marine lawyer, from Plymouth, England, who has put his infamous speedos into water that few of us will never, thankfully have to endure, to save an endangered  ecosystem and endangered  Ocean wildlife.

Earlier this year, Lewis launched a five swim campaign in Antarctica for a cause near to many hearts, especially his!

Lewis is swimming in the Ross Sea, to shine a light on what Humans once again are doing to wildlife that is causing irreparable harm to those with no voice.

His dream is for the area to become a Marine Sanctuary.

Among the victims he is swimming to save and protect are: Whales, Squids, Seals and Emperor Penguins, none of which has numbers to brag about here right now.

As he so poignantly said during the interview, the affects over fishing, combined with climate change,  in this unique place, is having a disastrous affect on a pristine ecosystem and those who inhabit it quite precariously.

Of course Sam is extremely close to this subject from his years on his own show Sea Rescue, and its extensive involvement in Marine life.

Pugh has a Facebook page, listed below and there have been countless interviews and stories about him, so getting to the heart of this story was quite easy.

Lewis is hoping to impact the members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources or, (CCAMLR) from its representative 24 countries.

Among the myriad of accolades and awards Pugh has been given, the one that I personally find most important was, when he was appointed the UNEP’s Patron of the Oceans in 2013.


Places to learn more:

Lewis on Facebook

Lewis Pugh Swims Antarctica’s Icy Ross Sea To Save Pristine Ecosystem

Ocean campaigner puts his body in ice to save a sea

Antarctica in a Speedo chilling for extreme swimmer Lewis Pugh

His Bio on Wikipedia

His personal web site: Lewis Pugh

Lewis Pugh: Swimmer has Ross Sea talks with Russia

Lewis Pugh’s Antarctic swim – in pictures


Gone is Forever

A Green Sea Turtle Hatchling
Photo credit: Manuel Heinrich Emha


As someone who has in the past,  been  fond of deep-fried shrimp, as of today, it is off of my menu, forever!

I try very hard to be a vegetarian, but alas, shrimp was a guilty weakness, but now, no more.

In my mail this morning was a sickening, sad story that the Southeast Shrimping Industry is still killing our Endangered Florida Sea Turtles by the thousands, over 50,000 of them actually and few, if any,  have seemed to be able to stop them.

But wait, they are now being sued and the group doing it, just may have enough clout to force them to finally, once and for all, change their murderous behavior.

This is not a new issue with sea life and death at the hands of those who make their living fishing, it has been going on at least since the 1990’s.

But the fact that they continue to this day, and show so little regard for these Endangered Sea Turtles,  is where I personally draw the line and say, no more.

The problem for all these many years has been the nets used by the Fishing/Shrimping  Industry, that trap the Sea Turtles and other sea life and cause them to drown.

In the past, demands have been made to force implementation by the fishing industry of TED’s,  or turtle excluder devices, which allows creatures to escape, but not enough are using them and the turtles continue to die by the thousands.

All Sea Turtles in this country are either an Endangered or Threatened Species, namely, the loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, green and Kemp’s ridley.

US Fish and Wildlife is seeking to lower the status of the Green Sea Turtle from Endangered to Threatened, claiming that their numbers are now higher due to conservation success and better nets.

As with the recent divisive and controversial ruling concerning the hunting of our Florida Black Bear, if this does happen, what will the future hold, for the Sea Turtles removed from the Endangered List?

Will FWS in the future allow them to be hunted as well?

The very people and agencies in this state and this country who should be protecting our creatures “with no voice”  seem to have lost their desire or ability to do so.

My respect for all of these “Groups” with the blood of our “voiceless ones” on their hands, has been greatly diminished by their actions.

Being beholden  to the evil of  “money and power”  seems to  have replaced kindness and caring, and the animals are all the losers for this.

Gone is forever.


Places to learn more:

Walking with the Alligators: Sea Turtles

Lawsuit: Better monitoring of shrimping industry by federal government needed to protect endangered sea turtles

US govt sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets

Group sues to require sea-turtle trap doors in shrimp nets

US govt sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets

U.S. sued to curb deaths of sea turtles by shrimping industry