Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A whale harvest for the Eskimos

It takes teamwork to haul in 50 tons of bowhead whale. 150 Eskimos head out of Barrow, Alaska, on showmobiles towing sleds and boats. Arriving in the evening, they find a whale marked with two buoys, floating just below the surface. A polypropylene line attached to a cargo strap brings the tail up first.
Kauai Moon Whale Tapestry Pillow

The group raises the whale far enough to attach a block and tackle. Men kneel on the lines to prevent the whale from sliding backwards.
A section of muktuk, the black skin lined with blubber, already has been cut away and boiled to make an oily snack.
Butchering begins immediately. Insulated by thick blubber, the warm meat will soon spoil, even though the outside temperature is well below freezing.

The female bowhead had been carrying an unborn calf, now cut free and left on the ice. It is a sad disaster but the calf would not have survived without it's mother.

Nearly 10 hours later, the whale carcass has been stripped and left for the polar bears. As tired family members load up their share of the meat and muktuk.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Frog Figure

Frogs and Toads are a relatively rare sight in most gardens nowadays, but curiously it is in the countryside that their numbers have fallen most heavily, owing to, among other factors, the dredging of ponds for farmland, the loss of hedgerows and the use of pesticides. Frogs breathe through their skin and they are highly sensitive to pollution in the water.
Thus environmentalists tell us that the recent steep decline of the frog population indicates that we have very good reason to be worried about the world in which we now live. Like ladybugs, bees, toads and most birds, frogs are a gardener's friend because they eat so many pests, especially slugs and aphids. Creating a pond in your garden is the best way to attract frogs and toads.
Creating a pond is not particularly difficult and it will add a new, pleasant nook to your garden while attracting much beneficial wildlife. A pond is perhaps the most beneficial of all the habitats you can create in your garden.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Turtle Conservation Program in Zambales Philippines

Sea Turtle Ceiling Fan/ Lamp Chain Pull

I had planned my new years to be one of quiet reflection, some writing, as well as a time for some un-distracted business planning. I has booked myself into the Punta De Uian resort in Pundekit,San Anthony Zambales. This beautiful area along the South China Sea is about a hour drive north of Subic Bay and is the home of a number of different resorts. New Years is often associated with rebirth even the symbolism of father time leaving and a new baby arriving, I happen to be lucky and happened upon the perfect way to start the countdown to new years. On New Years eve right before sunset, I saw a man walking along the beach carrying a wash tub. Gathering around him was a group of children trying to peer into his tub, adults were also tagging along. Reaching a somewhat smooth section of beach he set his tub down and the children dropped to their knees and gather around it. The mans name is Mike Robertson and he is from the Environmental Protection Agency of Asia, A non profit group involved in environmental projects. Mike is responsible for the Pundekit Turtle Conservatory and his tub contained 154 olive ridley turtles that had hatched early morning.
The west coast of Luzon is the nesting home of a number of marine turtle species. Like many people around the world, the people of the Philippines used to capture turtles for their meat and shells as well as collecting the eggs. Now public awareness has caused that to change. The Palawan festival held in Bataan each November is a prime example. A four day event celebrating turtle conservation, with dance competition, ecology contest, musical performances and other events leading to a ceremonial release of turtles. The release in Bataan are some of the earliest hatchings of the season. As early as July a turtle may show up to lay a clutch of eggs but hatching are rare, it may be that the bad storms has cause salt water to enter the eggs or it may be they were not fertilized. Turtles start nesting in October according to Mike, he said that there is often days between finds but by the end of November and early December there may be five or more nest found each day and during that time he often finds two even three nest in the section of beach he patrols. By the end of December the number of new nest drops off. While it is mostly the Olive Ridleys that nest here, there are some hawk bills. In past years there have been some green turtles but so far this year none have been found. Now with the support of non-profit organizations both in the Philippines and abroad, those who once exploited the turtles are now protecting them. Development pressure and other human activities have reduced the number and safety of the nesting sites. While other events have reduced the number of turtles available to reach the nesting sites. To help safeguard the reduced number of eggs, Non-profit organizations have stepped in to assist. Volunteers look for signs on the beach that a turtle has come ashore to lay eggs. When they find them they locate the nest and mark it. If the location is at risk the eggs are harvested and transported to one of the conservatories along the coast. When they arrive at the conservatory they are reburied and the new nest is tagged with information about its original location and date. Hatching takes about seven weeks depending on the species and the temperature of the sand. When the time for hatching gets near the conservatory staff place plastic mesh cones around the nest and starts looking for signs that hatching has started. The early signs will be a depression in the sand. As the turtles come out the shells and the shells breaks and the sand fills in the space. It may take a day or so for the turtles to get to the surface, normally reaching the surface at night and then heading to the water. The mesh cone keeps the turtles together and away from the water. The baby turtles are gathered counted and the nest examined for unhatched eggs. When Mike had his group around him, he had them spread out in a line facing the water. He then walked down the line with his tub giving adult and child alike a chance to pick out a turtle or two to release. bending over or kneeling in the sand they released “their” turtles and encouraged them to crawl to the sea. Sometimes a strong wave would hit them and send them back to where they started. The people would rush to them and get them headed in the right direction. It took most of the turtles a number of times before they were able to make it safety into the surf. The process was repeated until they all were safely in the sea.
Sea Turtle Fitted Ladies Top

Only God knows what the future will hold for these little ones, however they are off to a good start. the conservatories not only helps to counteract man's destruction but also helps to protect them from natural predators. In the wild, nests are often raided by other animals that eat the eggs. Birds will often feast on hatching as they struggle to the sea. Some experts suggest that as many as half the eggs laid never make it to the sea. These one hundred fifty four turtles came from two nest along the Zambales coast, and with the help of Mike and the volunteers who first found the nest, all of the eggs hatched and the turtles all made it to the sea. For the next 20 years the turtles will roam the world, most will not survive but those that do will return here. The females will crawl back onto the same beach and lay her own clutch of eggs.
Evan Lloyd  16

By Charles w. Davis

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life and premature death for seals

The 15th November 2008 saw the start of Canada's seal hunting season. In recent years this official sanction which sounds as though it's there so that the Inuit and other indigenous peoples can hunt for their own food has allowed the mass slaughter of seal pups for commercial reasons. The killings are brutal and surely can't be justified as a cull. The slaughterings have been captured for public viewing by Humane Society International (HSI).
Plush Seal Toys

On the same day, protestors from HSI demonstrated against the cull outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington. World-famous fashion photographer Nigel Barker was there to speak out against the trade in seal fur. Read more about HSI's protest and its ongoing campaign at http://www.hsicanada.ca/seals/seals-news/2009_hunt_season_begins.html

Far from the screams of seals pups that will echo across the Canadian Arctic next spring, thousands of Atlantic Grey seals come in to breed in south-west Wales. The main pupping season begins in late August, and the seals, who are allowed to breed here in relative peace, have scores of rocky coves and tiny beaches to choose from. They have started to produce their young a month or so earlier than they did a decade ago, and on some of the outlying islands seal births have been recorded much earlier still, between January and April. The 'haul out' is one of our main tourist attractions.

Fearing some dire cause connected with global warming, I wonder why this is, since the grey seals that live close to Britain's North Sea coast on the east side of the country seem to start producing their pups from late September. Like the dolphins, puffins and shearwaters and many other forms of marine life the seals bring masses of visitors to this area but my favourite occupation is looking for seals on a summer's evening. Just walking along the coastal path is enough to banish most cares and spotting seals is a bonus.

As the visitors flock to our coastal paths for a slice of paradise, it is more than ironic to know that a few thousand miles away, far from the world's gaze, men can get away with murdering young animals without a thought for their suffering and for reasons of pure financial gain. In fact it makes me feel quite sick.
Seal Pups Christmas Ornament

Inspired by their versatile shapes (they can be chunky and sylph-like, as slow as slugs and as dashing as dervishes), I make stone carvings and resin casts of seals. Some of them are modelled on pups rescued by the seal hospital in Milford Haven, others by sketches and photographs but the best of my figures come from visions of their lumbering gracefulness and sensual agility.
The War Against the Seals: A History of the North American Seal Fishery

Friday, November 28, 2008

How To Care For Your Pet Fox

For most people foxes are wild animals that are best left alone in their natural habitants. However there are some people who have discovered the joys of keeping a fox as a pet. It may surprising to some, but caring for a fox as an exotic pet may not be as difficult as it seems.

Knowing Foxes

Foxes can be like dogs. They require attention and a lot of socialization. They are quite energetic, active, and curious. These intelligent creatures are also cunning, and flexible. They can easily escape, and thus it is important to see that they are secure wherever they maybe to avoid losing them.

Foxes have characteristic odors caused by oil and sweat glands. To prevent them from smelling, it is important to keep them cool and well ventilated so that they won't secret oils excessively. Occasional bathing may also be advisable but too much bathing can cause dryness that exacerbates the secretion of odor-causing oils.

Making a Home for a Fox

Foxes can be very much treated like dogs; however they should be put in secure cages when they are not being watched since they can easily escape. A dog crate is sufficient to secure them indoors, escape-proof pens may be used outdoors. When walking foxes, it is important to leash them securely enough so they can't escape.

Feeding a Fox

Foxes are omnivorous animals, they can eat almost anything. Thus it is important for them to have a balanced diet. There are commercial dry foods available on the market, specifically made for wild animals. These make great bases for their diet. Foxes may also be fed with premium cat or dog food. To make the fox's diet varied, fruits, vegetables, eggs, mice, mealworms, and crickets may be added.

Potty Training

Many fox species can be trained to use the litter box. It is advisable to use a covered box because foxes dig in the wild when they excrete. Potty training is pretty much like the same with dogs. Give rewards and praise for each time they use the litter box, but punishments should be avoided when they defecate elsewhere. When the fox is on the verge of defecating or urinating, it should simply be moved to the litter box.

Caring for the Foxes' Health

It is important to bring the fox to the vet regularly. Their health care is pretty much similar to dogs, and thus can be quite easy to manage. Having an fox as an exotic pet can be rewarding. These little critters may prove to be a great companion and perhaps a best friend as well.

City Foxes


About the Author: Read about lizard habitat and pet lizards at the Lizard Care website.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Giraffe Parade Violet T-Shirt

Giraffe Parade Violet T-Shirt

Giraffes parade across the front of this pigment dyed violet t-shirt. Giraffe T-shirt is available in Unisex sizes S-XL.