Please feel free to comment, correct me if I am wrong, or provide helpful tips of any kind

Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Dec 31, 2009

News and Discoveries: Deep sea life-forms

With all these discoveries I am making in regard to wildlife,the environment,and it's destruction I was beginning to get a little depressed. I needed to do something to get out of that funk and back to a more pleasant outlook. With that in mind I set out to do some research with the specific wish to find something positive on the wildlife news front, something that didn't involve the death or near extinction of a species,and here is what I found so far.

The discovery of a vegetarian spider species was only one. Did I mention that I don't like spiders very much, but oh well there's more on spiders in the links to follow.  I also discovered some news in regards to two bird species thought to be extinct, and some odd things as well. Enjoy.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091012-vegetaria n-spider.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090311-dracula- fish-photo.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090218-extinct- bird-photo.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/09/090922-ghost-sh ark-new-species-picture.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/photogalleries/ne w-species-underground-creatures-missions/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/photogalleries/09 1211-alien-jellyfish-pictures-arctic/index.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0428_050428_ex tinctwoodpecker.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0428_050428_ex tinctwoodpecker.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0428_050428_ex tinctwoodpecker.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/ec uador-new-species-pictures/

Enjoy the video.  Isn't Nature grand?

A Discovery about birds

I just visited the National Geographic site and discovered the following news.  This is so cool!!

Nature is truly amazing, isn't it.

Nature Canada Preservation Conservation Endangered Species Canada

Nature Canada Preservation Conservation Endangered Species Canada

Bookmark and Share

Dec 29, 2009

How to shrink your carbon footprint and Save money

Global warming affects everyone, but can be stopped starting at home and within local communities, continuing in an ever outward spiral. In this manner we will communicate the need, ability and benefits to be had by such action to all levels of society and to governments and businesses all over the world. We need to act quickly, and we need to motivate others to do the same, if we are to help ourselves survive and to also keep birds and other wildlife from extinction. Here are some steps you can take towards this goal that is both beneficial and realistic,  most especially for your budget.

Because our lives have become so hectic many of us like to take shortcuts when preparing meals, but when you really think about it doesn't  take that much longer to prepare a meal from scratch. Aside from being far from beneficial to your health canned, processed and prepacked foods are expensive. If you buy fresh locally grown, organic foods from your local farmers market, or a farm if you happen to know a farmer, you will notice that your grocery bill will go down significantly. Keep in mind there  is also still grain fed beef available, as well as free range chicken.

Planting a garden to grow your own veggies will also save you money, especially if you keep it chemical free. Chemical pesticides and herbicides cost a small fortune and are extremely harmful to birds, bees, and other wildlife, as well as to human health. Doing without these chemicals will have the added affect of helping the environment, and if you plant a tree or two in your yard this will be even more beneficial to all concerned, here's how:

Chemicals cleaning products are dangerous to both your family health and your pocket book. If only through the potential poisoning of a child, who might drink or ingest them because the chemical companies have made them smell too good, sometimes like candy, and with so many people developing allergies to these chemicals, it only makes sense to make your own cleaning supplies. The following links will teach you how.


Besides getting paid for recycling bottles, cans and milk cartons, something as simple as turning down the heat and washing your laundry in cold water will help to  keep your budget down.  As will the energy saving light bulbs on the market today. While these bulbs might be expensive initially, they last far longer than just 18 months, eliminating the need to buy the other varieties every other month and providing the added benefit of saving you twenty or more dollars per month, depending on how many of these bulbs you choose to install in your residence.

Also consider that solar powered lamps, blinds, batteries, lawnmowers, air purifiers, air conditioners and even stoves and chargers, as well as other such gadgets are now available. Investing in these gadgets will benefit your budget in the long run because while these gadgets used to be really expensive, this is no longer an issue. You can get lighting for both your yard and indoors, for example, at reasonable prices.  They have even come out with solar powered computers.  The following link will show you examples of just one place where these gadgets may be found:
http://thehottestgadgets.com/2009/07/17-hot-solar-powered-gadgets-for-a-more-eco-friendly-lifestyle-003675  More such sites can be found if you do a search for solar gadgets.

Alternate, clean or green energy supply companies are springing up every where.  Here in Alberta you can check out the following link:
If you live elsewhere just do a search for alternate energy supply companies.

Your savings from these practices, when implemented, can then be invested, if you wish, in savings bonds, either monthly or yearly.  The decision is up to you and this is an excellent way to keep chemicals from entering the water supply and soil, to save the wildlife and environment from destruction, as well as to preserve your own health and the health of your family.


Bookmark and Share

Dec 20, 2009

How to help migrating birds

Blue jay

Many birds are becoming extinct or are declining in numbers due to global warming and through habitat destruction directly related to human activities.


However, bird lovers and nature lovers everywhere can help birds to survive, not only in winter but also during migration in spring and fall.  Here is only one good reason why you should:  "All species—flora or fauna—live in a delicate balance within our eco-system."  We are part of that eco-system.

Bird feeders are always a good idea, provided the bird feeder is placed in such a location as to limit the local cat population's access to the bird feeder.   Plant trees on your property if you have one, not only is this good for the environment, but it provides shelter and a resting place for birds.  If the tree also bears fruit this  will be of even more benefit for the bird.

Stop the use of pesticide and herbicides in your gardening and go organic.  Many birds are poisoned through their use, or otherwise negatively affected.  For tips on organic gardening follow this link:

Keep your pets inside during  the migration  seasons, as both dogs and cats will chase and/or hunt birds. Its their instinct to do so. If you find stray animals that were once someone's pet,  it is best to have them picked up by the local animal control department, rather than to feed them even once, because unless you plan to take them into your home, they will have a constant need to hunt birds in order to stay alive.

More tips on how to help birds and other wildlife are on the following links:

For ways to turn your garden into a mini wildlife sanctuary/refuge follow these links:

Helping birds in specific neighborhood types:

Stop the killing of gophers and rabbits in nearby, unused tracks of land and along fee-ways, as they are a food source for both local and migrating hawks, as well as owls.  Some hawks are dependent exclusively on rodents, for example, for their survival while others have a diet that depends on a broader variety of food sources.  Get involved in your community to help implement more environmentally friendly practices such as the development of wildlife friendly parks with ponds, lots of trees and native plant life, where ducks and geese might land for brief a rest stop during migration.

Buy organically grown seed products for your bird-feeders,  as many seed products are contaminated with pesticides, herbicides or are genetically modified.  These types of seeds are likely to be harmful to birds.  There are other things that you can do, as you will learn when you visit the links above.  I am certain you will enjoy the result of your efforts a great deal, as will your children and neighbors no doubt.


Dec 19, 2009

There are some solutions

In writing the two of my last posts regarding modified foods I neglected to include something very, very important.  My niece was wonderfully instrumental in pointing this out, which brought me back, I hope, to a point of balance. What I neglected to do, for all those who wish to eat healthy, natural foods, was to write about what steps can be taken, both individually and in groups, to help protect our health.  Believe it or not, we do still have some choice in the matter.

I discovered just this morning, through my research, that because I have always been told in the media that canola  oil margarine, for example, is very much more beneficial to health than any other such product, that I have, in all ignorance, been consuming a genetically modified food for many years now.  I also realized that a specific health issue that I have, is directly related to the consumption of dairy products in all of its various forms due to the fact that dairy cows are injected with chemicals to make them produce more milk. These dairy cows develop health complications from this practice that are not good, but more on that another time.

This discovery however, means that I obviously need to change my eating habits quite drastically.  But how do I know that the new product I wish to purchase is not genetically altered or tampered with in some way? A little thinking and research in this regard led me to some obvious conclusions and one very important discovery. It seems that here in Canada, I am embarrassed to say,  there is no legislated or regulated requirement to label food products which have been genetically altered. This, it seems to me, severely limits my choice in what I buy, as well a my right to buy only what I wish to buy.

So here as Canadians we have two related problems.  First we need to research very carefully before we buy food products if we wish to avoid GM foods, and second something needs to be done to remedy the lack of labeling on consumer food products in Canada.  After all, if we can label tobacco products then it seems to me we can label food products accordingly.  To do this it is necessary to lobby the government and/or to join a group dedicated towards this end, nothing else it seems will produce a solution to this problem.  In addition, there are many other countries where labeling is not required. " For example, the United States does not have GM food labeling....Additionally, there are no international labeling standards for GM foods despite efforts through the UN’s Food Standard Codex Alimentarius." So take action, sign a petition, join a group dedicated to preserving  your right to choose, and/or spread the word the more of us who do this, the better.


The following links will provide you with more info on GM foods to decide for yourself whether or not you wish to consume them, if like me you have heard very little about them to this point.



These links will provide you with info on which food products contain GM food sources:

Some info on specific danger/ controversy regarding GM foods:

A list of genetically altered foods approved by Canadian Government:

Here is a starting list of the types of foods that have been genetically altered: golden rice, apples (grapple), sweet potatoe, peas, soy, wheat, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, canola (cooking oil and margarine), alfalfa, papaya, fish, nutrasweet. aspartame, equal and cotton seed which produce oils. No doubt this is only the beginning of a longer list.  Some of the health hazards posed by these foods and lists of companies who do or do not use GM foods in their production are detailed at the following sites.

Another list of GM foods:
  • Sugar cane
  • Sweet peppers
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Cocoa beans
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
The one, and most important thing,  it seems that is absolutely necessary to do is to eliminate as many processed, canned and packaged foods from the diet as possible, and keep yourself up to date on news regarding GM foods.  The reason for this, as you will see, is that the list of such products containing GM product ingredients is rather extensive, new GM foods are even now being developed, and you will benefit further by avoiding the consumption of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, additives and preservatives at the same time.

    The other danger is this: GM food are also fed to livestock which are a food source for human consumption as well as GM foods that have been deemed "unsafe" for human consumption.  This makes changing your diet rather challenging, but don't be discouraged by this. The best policy seems to be to adopt the motto eat fresh, organic and locally grown.  There are still many organic farmers.  In doing so you will also contribute to the saving of the environment and wildlife, as it appears that GM foods and the use of chemicals in the growing of foods are contributing mightily to the destruction of both in many, many ways.


    Bookmark and Share

    Dec 18, 2009

    Tinkering: Global Warming Not The Only Danger

    We really need to stop people tinkering with our food.

    It isn't bad enough that we ingest, one hundred percent involuntarily I might add, poison on a daily basis.  Now scientists are experimenting with bonding the swine flu genes/vaccine to corn in order to feed it to human and animal alike?worldwide? Have we now become guinea pigs?


    Dec 16, 2009

    News about wildlife

    Smart Octepus


    Cloud of birds


    Nature continues to be a mystery, the grand artist and inventor.

    Bookmark and Share

    Dec 8, 2009

    Interaction between birds and man

    That we are affecting the patterns, behavior and survival of the wildlife on this planet negatively is not in question.  Many species of wildlife are now extinct, and many are on their way to extinction thanks to man kind's interference with the natural pattern of this world. The migratory patterns of birds for example are changing and being affected in some manner all over the world, but are we now also helping some species to adapt?  If so is there may also be a means by which we can help others to do so, or is there at least a means where we can adapt ourselves to live more in harmony with nature again?:

    Well according to the following article we may in fact actually be helping at least one species of bird adapt.:

    This is really good news and provides some hope at the very least.  Since we have unwittingly accomplished this much for the benefit of wildlife, I am sure we can do much more if we put our minds to it, and in so doing we can manage to turn back the devastating tide of environmental damage we have caused.


    Nov 27, 2009

    Discovery new creatures

    It is amazing to me that we are still discovering new species of lifeforms on this planet...all over the planet and in the sea


    How smart are we really?

    We as humans are very smart and we think we know exactly how to take care of ourselves, but do we really?  We are at the top of the food chain. We know a lot of things about how to survive. Our scientists have brought us to the point where we enjoy longer lives, and have taught us a lot about the cycles of life, the weather and our planet.  Yet we do not know everything and are making new discoveries every day.  But how smart are we really? 

    Nov 22, 2009

    Some good news about wolves

    I just came across some exciting news. Wolves are making a comeback in some places in the world at least.  In East Germany they are being protected, this is wonderful. Follow the links:


    Bookmark and Share

    War on the Wolf?

    I have recently learned that the US government has taken the Gray Wolf off  the endangered species list.  It seems almost immediately after that permission was granted to hunt them. Already too many of these Wolves have been  killed by hunters in Montana and Idaho, despite the fact that they have not yet reached a stage where recovery from near extinction is a certainty, or  where  they may be seen and understood as to be overabundant in population.  The time frame of the allowed hunt has since been extended.  http://wolves.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/idaho-fish-and-game-commission-votes-to-extend-wolf-hunt-until-march-31/  In addition I have learned because of the decline in the Wolf population, Elk have thrived, become overabundant and are damaging  the environment by feeding on grasses to the point that soil erosion has taken place and rivers and streams polluted with muck as a result. It seems both the government and the enthusiastic great hunters of the world have not yet learned to research and think before they shoot from their perspective pens and/or guns, or is there more to the killing than just that?

    Wolves are not hunted for food, they are hunted due to a perceived threat to livestock,  for their bad and undeserved reputations, for their fur and perhaps to prop up someone's ego. I realize that for some hunting is a way of supplementing their diet. Hunting is even necessary in some instances. This is all good, especially if they are hunting to control the Elk population for example or disease such as rabies, but are Wolves truly such a threat to livestock, and if so how much of a threat?

    I would think that this was true only if the Elk and Deer populations were to decline to the point were Wolves were starving and if there was a large population of Wolves in the world.  Most wild life, it seems to me, including the Wolf, tries to avoid human contact.  Fact is there are not even any documented attacks by Wolves  ( healthy Wolves) on humans, unlike Cougars, Bears, and even  the Coyote. So they are not a threat in that regard.  So what gives?  Are we just giving hunters the thrill of something new to hunt, something that is perceived to be extremely dangerous?

    I had to know.   So I did a little research.  It seems the Wolf is struggling against more than just merely a bad reputation.  There are people out there who actually hate Wolves to the point that they will put out misinformation about them.  Tall tales are spread in regards to Wolves, such as don't leave your children outside Wolves will eat them, or Wolves breed like rabbits and so on.  I will not claim that there are animals that I do not like very much, because, for instance I'm not very fond of Spiders, but to go to such extreme as to actually set out to eradicate a species ...well it is ludicrous. Anyway here  is the link if you are interested:  http://www.wolfhaven.org/misInfo.php  Further research led to the fact that Wolves are seemingly forever tied to such legends as werewolves, religion with ties to demons and witches, and stories like little red riding hood, originating way back in Europe's history.  All of these ties, legends and stories are based in fear. Again follow the link:http://www.wolfweb.com/history2.html  The conclusion, the Wolf,  like some people is a seriously misunderstood animal, and things need to be set right.  So here are some facts about Wolves: 

    Wolves are natural hunters and eat meat, but they will eat other foods as well, like Earthworms, berries and Grasshoppers. Because of the danger from flying hooves and antlers,  Wolves prey on weaker members of a herd of Deer or Caribou, such as old, young or sick animals. In summer, when the herds migrate, Wolves will eat Mice, Beaver, Birds and even Fish. They may also eat carrion. The Wolf is also important to the food chain:

    "Wolves take the sick and weak animals such as the older ones,  making sure that the strongest of the herds survive, and so making the herd stronger through this type of selective breeding." At Yellowstone National Park when the Wolf population disappeared, populations of these herds multiplied to overabundance, ended up over grazing the land, creating a food shortages and resulting in the deaths of many animals. "Now that Wolves have been reintroduced the balance is even again."  Wolves will often go for days without food, and then gorge themselves when they make a kill, leaving only scraps for the Ravens.  In fact, Ravens and Crows will often lead Wolves to a food source so that they can share in the kill.

    Wolves run in packs, where in only the dominant male and female produce offspring once a year.  The rest of the pack does not reproduce.  The pack size is usually fairly small, with about 12 members.  Wolves also have established territories which control the Wolf population, depending on the amount of available food.  When a Wolf is old enough it may leave the pack to form its own pack or be forced out.  If a Wolf is forced out of a pack it has a difficult time surviving, because it takes a pack to take down an Elk, Deer or Moose.

    Wolves are a threat to humans because they are at the top of the food chain and therefore in direct competition with us. This is obviously the source of the fear in regards to Wolves, who have in past been forced to kill livestock because we so very efficiently killed off  most of the Buffalo, a major food source for them.   The Wolf's fur also became prized as a  trophy to signify bravery, and Wolves were hunted merely for sport even when they were of no threat, and so it seems they still are.


    Bookmark and Share

    One step forward two steps back: The survival dance

    For some reason  I was thinking about Bumblebees today.  I do not really recall what led my thinking in that direction but I realized that I had only seen one Bumblebee in the last five years or so. That was last year as I  was watching a Merlin catch it midair. Perhaps it was the Merlin in the warehouse the other day that triggered the memory of seeing it. Regardless, I used to see Bumblebees quite often when I lived in Winnipeg and in northern Ontario, and also as a child in Germany.   In fact I used to see a lot of things that I no longer see, like certain Butterflies for instance and some native plant species.  Perhaps its a side effect of birdwatching that leads me to notice these things, but when I went online today to check out my favorite sites, I stumbled across some interesting articles in regards to Butterflies, Bumblebees and Bees.  Here are the links:

    It seems that due to the extensive use of pesticides and herbicides some of these creatures are in danger of extinction, or may in fact already be extinct, just as the Peregrine Falcon very nearly was.  The good news is that in Britain they have managed to bring one species of butterfly back from the brink.  This of course is really good news to me.  In fact its great.  It is a step forward in reversing some of the damage we have caused, and I have heard other such stories which are very encouraging.

    Yet it is disturbing to know that because of our prejudice against certain species of plants and insects, or because we are defending against them as some would have it, we are thoughtlessly killing off the most beneficial species in the bargain. Bees and Bumblebees after all pollinate some of the plants that we grow to eat. I say thoughtlessly, because the fact is we know very little about the effects of these poisonous chemicals beyond the fact that they kill the "pest" we are struggling with. God only knows what the long term use of these poisons do to other wildlife and humans for that matter, and yet we produce more of them every single day.      

    We do not however, have to make use of them. There are environmentally friendly herbicides and pesticide  and/or methods that can be used.  I used to dig up the thistles in my garden by hand and pour salt down into the hole where the root was to discourage their return, and it worked very well.  Of course it was work.  I did get pricked by  thistle thorns on occasion, and it would have been much easier to spray a herbicide around, but I preferred not to, especially when I was pregnant, my children were small and because I have no wish to breathe in the chemical fumes myself.  Using environmentally friendly products and methods might yet reverse the decline of Bumblebees, Bees and/or other species beneficial to humans and I encourage anyone and everyone to do so.  Follow these links for more info:

    link... http://sustainableliving.about.com/

    The other thing that really disturbs and puzzles me, is that there are those who, though educated, for what ever reason stubbornly refuse to see, or admit that humans are having an adverse affect on this world, and that we are endangering ourselves. People who refuse to take action or  undermine the efforts of others to do so.  The only conclusion that I can draw is that those who claim there is no danger, must either be in serious denial, are seriously optimistic about the earth's ability to recover, are misinformed, have their heads stuck firmly in the sand, or are worshiping at the temple of  mighty money.  These people take one step back, or hold the rest of us back, when we urgently need to move forward to help the wildlife and the earth to recover.  Seriously, the longer you let your house go the longer and harder it is to clean up, or at some point it is condemned.  The same holds true for our world.

    All you have to do is open your eyes and really look around you to see the evidence for yourself.  You will see, water levels are either rising or drying up, you will notice unusual or extreme  weather changes, you will see that people are struggling to breathe.  You will notice just how dirty and polluted rivers and lakes have become. If you then open up your other senses, you will hear silence where you  might have heard the song of a specific bird as a child, a droning bumble bee, the croak of a frog or the call of a hawk. You should also notice that the water does not taste good and isn't clear,  that the river where you might once have  fished is no longer abundantly populated with the fish you used to catch. That the grass, trees and bushes at the local park , on street meridians or around your town are burned by pollution or chemicals which feel strange and gross on  the skin, giving off a smell that  burns and tingles at the back of your throat and clings to your nostrils, or are covered in the residue smog. By all means do some research.You will hear that glaciers all over the world are receding, and the polar ice caps are melting. You will hear, or discover that many species of wildlife and marine life are now extinct and that many others are due to follow.

    It has not been that long since I was a child, it worries me that wildlife is disappearing at such rapid pace that I should take notice. Does it not worry you? Do you not wonder how this will affect you? Your children and grandchildren?


    Bookmark and Share