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Showing posts from April, 2010

Hippos. La La Land. Peace w/o Humankind.

Why can't we leave the animals alone?

Idaho. Dugout Dick. Cave Living. Simplicity and Self Reliance.

I am presenting this video in celebration of Earth Day which was yesterday. Dugout Dick passed away today. I believe he was 94, having lived in a cave for more than 60 years. His real name was Richard Zimmerman. In this video, Dugout Dick's caretaker who lives in the next cave speaks about the simple life, the extremely simple life. Their hermit-like perspective and the extraordinarily bare living conditions that they call home point to a level of asceticism not commonly found today. Unlike them, we have become so deeply meshed with the accouterments of modern living that without them we begin to speak of survival. Thoreau's independent spirit and minimalist philosophy are well and alive in these children of the Earth.

New Jersey. Long Beach Township. Richard Shackleton. A Man Time Left Behind.

This poor old man. Withered, made salty and bitter by life's tramplings, unrepentant about calling a couple of women the " C " word... A shooter of pigeons for sport... what a life. " Honey, I'm home. I shot two dozen pigeons today. " He proudly refused to apologize for the C word when asked to, citing his Freedom of Speech. Shackleton aside, the First Amendment has been amended itself to include responsibility for our spoken or written words. The First Amendment does not protect irresponsible, fraudulent, criminally negligent statements. We can't shout, FIRE!, in a movie house. We can't threaten the President of the United States. We can't intentionally make false claims against someone. Mr. Shackleton may argue that using the C word is still within bounds of our freedom of speech. I could concede that point to him. But, echoing those now famous words to come out of the McCarthy hearings many years ago, I could say, " Have you no sense of

Nellie. Pit Bull. Home At Last. Her Day has Come.

Some excellent news! Nellie, a young female pittie, finally went home after one year and three months at the shelter--- that's fifteen months, or approximately 455 days of shelter life. Think back, even for a year, in your life. Imagine, if you can, every hour of that time. Nellie spent all that time a homeless, family- less dog, living in a hard and uncomfortable kennel, waiting for someone to make her a member of their family. In the course of that time, Nellie developed some health problems and she was taken to the vet several times. She received a strict diet to address her problem. Even her cookies were specially tailored to her condition. Frankly, there were hints at euthanasia but the volunteers collectively staved off that idea. Perhaps, the byproduct of her being a longstanding resident of the shelter is the special status, a special consideration for a loving dog whose only shortcoming was not even her fault. Two adopters considered her, but no cigar. Her escape from a li

Bears. New Jersey. Flat Rock Nature Center. Presentation. Bear Education and Resource Group. 2010.

A very short notice here...I am cross posting an announcement for an audiovisual presentation about New Jersey's bear situation. If you haven't visited the Flat Rock Nature Center in Englewood, then this is a great time to come. Arrive early and explore the grounds and then attend the presentation. =================================== Sierra Club North Jersey Group Presents: “Living with Black Bears in New Jersey” - an audiovisual presentation by Janet Piszar, Director of the Bear Education and Resource (BEAR) Group, about almost everything-you- ever-wanted- to-know about black bears. Her program will cover New Jersey's bear situation and the controversy over the proposed bear hunt and bear population statistics. Piszar will explain the history and evolution of black bears, their nature, temperament, biology, ecology, social organization, diet, habits, and more. She will discuss current bear management practices, dos and don'ts when encountering a bear, bear proofing and

New Jersey. Bear Hunt. 2010. Public Hearing. Stop the Trophy Hunt.

I am cross posting an alert from the group, Protect New Jersey Bears , regarding the proposed bear hunt at the end of this year. As usual, if it is not kill the deer, it's kill the bears. Further, in Passaic County, Mayor Pat Lapore and the Board of Freeholders are getting ready to do a geese kill plus their eggs. This is the same gang that ordered the deer hunt at Garrett Mountain in February that was ultimately stopped due to irregularities in the tagging of the dead deer. And that hunt was stopped not because Pat Lapore and his cohorts realized it was wrong. The real reason was that the state Division of Fish and Wildlife had begun an investigation into the hunt. New Jersey has a serious empathy deficit when it comes to wild animals, treating them like a nuisance rather than our natural treasures. Now, the bears are in the crosshairs, again. ======================================== Please Attend the Public Hearing and Oppose a 2010 Bear Hunt in New Jersey Please RSVP here: h

Arizona. Camp Verde. Hunting Accident. Pine Tree Destroyed.

Out in Camp Verde, Arizona, a 27-yr old elk hunter named Skylar Stock from Queen Creek, Arizona was killed when a 70-foot pine tree snapped and crashed down on his tent. High winds buffeted the general area at that time plus an ant infestation was observed at the point where the tree broke in two. Stock's hunting buddy called for help after he wriggled his way out of the tent uninjured. Stock leaves behind a wife and three kids. What a waste! Pine trees are one of the most recognizable and much appreciated trees on this planet. Heck, we even use their young as the center of our Christmas celebration at home. Back when I was a small boy, my dad would take the family up to a resort town at about 4300 feet in elevation where fog, cool temps, and the sweet-smelling pine trees constituted a complete reversal from our lives in the concrete jungle below. Those trips surely helped instill a love of nature in me. Let's hope that no more pine trees fall victim to nature's fury.

Possum. Respect All Animal Life. I Brake for Animals.

Animal rescue usually means saving an animal for an abusive situation or grave physical condition. We have seen the dramatic and tear-inducing photos on the web, and I have displayed some of them here in this very blog. But, animal rescue could also mean preserving an animal in its good health and form. I reckon in this form it can generally be considered respect for animals. Last week, I rushed out to get some urgently needed medication from the drugstore before they closed. This unplanned foray into the night put me in a frantic pace that built on itself even after I have made it to the store before closing. Sometimes, you can find yourself whipped into a frenzy and you just keep on going, and going. Evidently, I had my foot on the gas pedal a bit too much as I came down the hill leading to my home when I noticed that familiar pig-faced animal called the possum in the middle of the street. It must have judged that it was safe to cross the street then, for no one was in sight. But, lo