Posts Tagged ‘Planet Earth’
The beauty of wild deer.
Apologies for a ‘thin’ posting – here’s why.
Julie has gone on ahead, but returns to tell me that the sika deer are feeding in the reed beds ahead of us. (These are one of two types of deer found at Holton Lee.) She offers to stay with Genie while I go and photograph them, so that Genie won’t frighten them off. They see me, but continue feeding whilst remaining alert.
It really is a magical sight – I am quite converted from my original anxiety about deer leaping out in front of the car!
There is something extremely primeval about deer, which is probably not surprising as their bodies have provided everything from meat and clothing to fish hooks and sinews for many indigenous people, while still remaining wild. It is hard to see why anyone would hunt them simply for sport, though, and I fear that Walt Disney has spoilt me for enjoying venison – ancient, organic, sustainable, non-farmed food source or not, it would be like eating Bambi!
Taken from Ju’s Holton Lee blog.
By Paul Handover
A couple of Posts from last September.
The wonderful news that US Gray Wolves are now back under protection reminded me of the beautiful story of Tim and his ‘pet’ wolf Luna that was published on Learning from Dogs September, 2009.
The first article opened up as follows:
An amazing true story of a relationship between a wild wolf and a man.
This is a story of a particular event in the life of Tim Woods told to me by his brother, DR. It revolves around the coming together of a man sleeping rough, with his dog, on Mingus Mountain, and a fully grown female Gray or Grey Wolf. Mingus is in the Black Hills mountain range between Cottonwood and Prescott in Arizona, USA
You can read the full Post here.
But then I added a postscript which I am going to reproduce in full again.
The story of Luna has some interesting connections.
The person taking the picture in the Post about Tim Woods was Willie Prescott. He just happens to be the grandson of William H. Prescott from whom the town of Prescott is named. Here’s that picture again.
Victory for Wolves
Can’t better what was published in the New York Times a few days ago:
Donald Molloy, a Federal District Court judge in Montana, ruled Thursday that gray wolves in Montana and Idaho must be provided federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. This is a welcome decision. The immediate effect will be to spare the animals from hunts planned for this fall that are now illegal. The larger hope is that Washington will devise a protection plan ensuring the wolves’ survival not only in Montana and Idaho but across the northern Rocky Mountains.
Wolves in Montana and Idaho were removed from federal protection under rules proposed by the Bush administration. The rules were upheld by President Obama’s Interior Department, which said that both states had developed satisfactory management plans and that the wolves, in effect, could be released into their custody.
Wyoming’s plan was deemed inadequate, and federal protections remained. But in Montana and Idaho, the first reaction was to authorize limited wolf hunts that — though the states argued otherwise — would slowly guarantee the extinction of the species.
Judge Molloy ruled that protections for what is essentially a single species cannot be different in each state — either the wolf must be removed from the list or listed as an endangered species in every state, meaning throughout its range. Judging by early comments, the Interior Department’s preference seems to be to persuade Wyoming to improve its management plan so that the government can delist the wolf there — thus bringing the three states into harmony.
This is a terrible idea, and could end up authorizing hunts in three states, not two. The Interior Department, instead, should write an areawide management plan. There are roughly 1,700 wolves across the Rockies — far more than when they were reintroduced in the 1990s. But most biologists believe there should be a minimum of 2,000, with enough breeding pairs to ensure the long-term survival of a dynamic population across the range.
State plans meant to satisfy hunters rather than protect the wolves cannot do that. The gray wolf may need federal protection for years to come.
By Paul Handover
A Pacific master navigator sails into the sunset
The Economist, for me, is one of the great newspapers of our time. I have often referred to it on Learning from Dogs.
Last Saturday’s edition (July 24th – 30th 2010) carried a most beautiful obituary about Mau Piailug who in 1976 demonstrated that ancient seafarers could indeed have voyaged from Hawaii to Tahiti, a distance of some 2,500 miles, before the age of compasses, sextants or charts. Here is an extract from that obituary (you may need to register to view it):
As a Micronesian he did not know the waters or the winds round Tahiti, far south-east. But he had an image of Tahiti in his head. He knew that if he aimed for that image, he would not get lost. And he never did. More than 2,000 miles out, a flock of small white terns skimmed past the Hokule’a heading for the still invisible Mataiva Atoll, next to Tahiti. Mau knew then that the voyage was almost over.
On that month-long trip he carried no compass, sextant or charts. He was not against modern instruments on principle. A compass could occasionally be useful in daylight; and, at least in old age, he wore a chunky watch. But Mau did not operate on latitude, longitude, angles, or mathematical calculations of any kind. He walked, and sailed, under an arching web of stars moving slowly east to west from their rising to their setting points, and knew them so well—more than 100 of them by name, and their associated stars by colour, light and habit—that he seemed to hold a whole cosmos in his head, with himself, determined, stocky and unassuming, at the nub of the celestial action.
Here’s an extract from the website Suite101.com:
Mau Piailug was born in 1932 on Satawal, a tiny Pacific island no wider than a mile in Micronesia. When he was still a little baby, his grandfather put him in a tide pool as though he were putting him in a cradle. There the sea gently rocked him back and forth with the rhythm of the tides.When Mau was six, his grandfather began to teach him about navigation. He started by telling him about the stars; the grandfather made a star compass out of a circle of coral rocks, and in the center he put a little canoe he had made of palm fronds. Then he explained how the stars rose in the sky and traveled from east to west.
As he grew older, Mau spent his evenings in the canoe house. There he asked the elders to teach him about navigation. In this way, and with his grandfather’s help, he learned the paths of more than a hundred stars. He also learned that when clouds covered the sky, he could use the direction of the ocean waves to guide the canoe. He could also follow the birds toward land when they headed home in the evening, and he studied the creatures of the sea, for in times of trouble they, too, could help him find land.
A film was made about Mau called The Last Navigator. Do click on the link and read more about what Steve ‘learnt’ from Mau – here’s a closing taste:
It has been nearly fifteen years since I first met Piailug. In that time I have been blessed with relative fame and prosperity – an eventuality, by the way, that Piailug foretold to me. As I look back, I am impressed now by the twin qualities in the man that impressed me then: his generosity and his courage. Piailug took me into his family, assumed responsibility for my material and political well-being, and taught me his navigation without reserve. The knowledge he gave me about navigation is considered priceless in his culture. The knowledge he gave me about myself, I have come to see, is priceless as well. I often think of Piailug, and the fierceness and determination with which he defends a way of life he knows will die as the wise elders died. He has the courage to live and teach and voyage in spite of the certain knowledge that his struggle can never stem the tide of Westernization, which will change the character of his archipelago and may well eliminate the very role of the navigator as steward of his island’s sustenance and keeper of the flame of cultural knowledge.
A remarkable man.
By Paul Handover
The film was mentioned in a Post here.
If you only had one hour what would you ask?
This is how an excellent film by Rick Ray on the Dalai Lama is introduced. We watched the DVD a few evenings ago and it was heart-stirring and full of the extraordinary wisdom from one of the leading spiritual leaders alive today.
Do watch it if you can. Here’s the official trailer from YouTube:
Finally, I see that part of the film, where Rick Ray is having an audience with His Holiness, is available on YouTube. I’ll post links to the four videos over the next two days.
By Paul Handover
Better known as Noctilucent Clouds
(Hoping this link is still available on the BBC web site)
Just watch this and be inspired!
From that BBC link:
Each summer, high in the night skies of the far northern and southern hemispheres a unique phenonmenon occurs – noctilucent clouds. Little is known about them, but now an amateur astronomer from north Wales is trying to predict when they are likely to appear.
Here, John Rowlands, one of four finalists in the BBC’s search for the Amateur Scientist of the Year So You Want To Be A Scientist? – and his mentor, Professor Nick Mitchell from the University of Bath – take a closer look at these mysterious silver and blue waves at the edge of space.
John has his own Facebook page here with plenty more information.
And a quick Google images search found this:
And there’s still more. This delightful video on YouTube, courtesy of NASA.
The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission will provide the first detailed exploration of Earth’s unique and elusive noctilucent or night shining clouds that are found literally on the “edge of space.” Located near the top of the Earth’s mesosphere (the region just above the stratosphere), very little is known about how these polar mesospheric clouds form or why they vary. They are being seen at lower latitudes than ever before and have been growing brighter and more frequent, leading some scientists to suggest that this recent increase may be the direct result of human-induced climate change. The mission is led by Dr. James Russell of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University.
By Paul Handover
(with thanks to the UK Flyer List for bringing this to my attention.)
“Fear paralyzes; curiosity empowers. Be more interested than afraid.” — Patricia Alexander, American educational psychologist.
This dropped into my email in-box the other day so I grabbed it to set this Post off on the right theme.
There is much around that can generate fear, touched on in my Post a couple of days ago where I quoted Richard Branson.
For an example of fear, many will have listened to the recent interview of Professor James Lovelock on the BBC Today programme and wondered just where we are all heading. ( The interview may be listened to here. – it’s 7 minutes long but listen to it!)
Here’s a YouTube video of Lovelock being interviewed in 2009. (Also worthy of watching for the full 13 minutes and note the connection between Lovelock and Branson.)
So if you listened and watched these two interviews then one could argue that there is more than enough to be fearful of our future.
Now go back to the opening quotation: “Fear paralyzes; curiosity empowers. Be more interested than afraid.”
Being fearful is not the answer – even if no alternative appears to be a rational way of mentally processing something.
Here’s a piece from Wayne Dyer’s book, There’s a Spiritual Solution to every Problem.
We are subjected to many illusions in our daily life. The greatest one is the one that keeps us trapped in giving our energy to what always has been.
The past is behind us. Predicting the future accurately, even by eminent scientists such as James Lovelock, is very, very unreliable. Thus all we have is today. So do not be afraid, be curious.
By Paul Handover
On coming of age
It’s been a partly exhilarating and very scary 12 months since the launch of Learning from Dogs. I can’t remember a time when there has been so much change and uncertainty that hits right down to the foundations of everyone.
Twelve months ago these changes were merely hinted at, and then only to a few in the upper strata of the finance world, from my point of view anyway. How everything seems to have changed now!
Warnings abound about our use of our worlds’ resources. Our seeming need to procreate without self imposed limit is leading us to a place that coupled with climate change, we will be unable to sustain the current world’s population, let alone the projected increase within 20 years or so. Water is becoming scarce in many parts of the world and so is food.
For those who are awakening from a media-induced slumber which distorts and bends reality to suit who can apply the greatest financial influence and weighting, the reality of the situation we are facing as a planet, is rapidly catching us up.
We still have choices – all is not lost and they will require a highly integrous group of people and thinkers to guide us through the next hundred years or so. In other words, in our children’s or children’s, children’s lifetimes. People who are not driven by the ego, but to serve the highest good.
So what can we do as individuals? Enjoy what we have, perhaps? I think, work on ourselves through awareness and expose ourselves to everything positive and integrous.
Most of our problems lie within, from that thing called an ego, that would rather drive us to death, rather than admit it might be wrong. The world would be an even more positive place if we worked on ourselves and our awareness rather than looking for all the answers ‘out there’, with somebody or something else.
So, how do we work with that? Well, no surprises there really – by bringing in awareness and coming out of the dream state, or nightmare state, depending on how you see things at the moment, and into the Present or Now, as some writers have called it.
How do we do that? It can simply begin by remembering to breath! So by bringing our awareness to the breath, we come back into our bodies and out of the trance going on in the mind. Approximately 95% of our time is spent in this self-induced trance-like state, by the way.
Think you can’t survive without ‘your mind’ or ‘your thoughts’. There’s no such thing really. By coming out of the mind and back into the body, slowly, with practice and awareness, the noise gently starts to subside and we become aware of spaces of silence or no thought. That is where the answers lie, not in thinking.
The intellect and what we have learned kicks in after the quiet, to allow us to put into action what has come up through the silence.
Most of us have such a huge investment in ‘our thoughts’ or ‘our ideas’. If we could just make the time to sit still, in peace and quiet, so much more would be revealed to us.
So in this brave, new world going forward, to badly quote Einstein, we must aspire to move onto a higher level than the one that triggered this road we are relentlessly pursuing. We need to start becoming aware of the interconnectedness of all beings and focus on activities that are for the highest good, that benefit everyone, rather for the benefit of the few, to the detriment of the many.
By Jon Lavin