Tag: Oregon

The day of the eclipse!

The day has arrived! Listen carefully!

Listen??  Yes, and thanks to The Smithsonian, if you are blind or visually impaired!

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What Does an Eclipse Sound Like?

A new app will allow blind and visually impaired users to experience the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21.

By Nathan Hurst
smithsonian.com  August 14, 2017

How would you describe an eclipse to a blind person? The moon moves in front of the sun, yes. But what does that look like? Someone trained in illustrative description of images might say, “The moon appears as a featureless black disk that nearly blocks out the sun. The sun’s light is still visible as a thin band around the moon’s black disk. To the upper right, at the moon’s leading edge, a small area of sunlight still shines brilliantly.”

That’s just an example of how such an event could be described. Bryan Gould, director of accessible learning and assessment technologies at the National Center for Accessible Media, a non-profit working to make media experiences accessible to people with disabilities, is hoping to offer oral descriptions of the eclipse in an app. Paired with other features, like a tactile diagram and audio from the changing natural environment as the eclipse darkens the sky, the app is designed to make the event more accessible to blind or visually impaired people who want to experience it.

Gould is working with Henry Winter, a solar astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to develop the app, called Eclipse Soundscapes. As the August 21 solar eclipse darkens a path across the United States, Eclipse Soundscapes will release descriptions, timed—based on the user’s location—to match the progress of the eclipse.

Winter conceived Eclipse Soundscapes after a conversation with a friend who’s been blind since birth. She asked him to explain what an eclipse means.

Such an event might provide an interesting representation of the eclipse, thought Winter, so he partnered with the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds program, which preserves and catalogs sounds from the parks. Helpers stationed at national parks along the route will record audio during the eclipse, to hear the change in the “bioacoustical chorus” of the animals.

This can’t happen in real time, of course, so the National Center for Accessible Media is providing illustrative descriptions, based on a previous eclipse. The sounds of crickets, frogs and birds becoming active on the day of the eclipse will be added to the app later.

Last, with the help of an audio engineer named Miles Gordon, Winter is trying something completely new. Gordon developed a “rumble map” of the eclipse: The app places images of different stages of an eclipse on your smartphone’s screen, and as you trace your finger across the eclipse’s image, the vibration increases or decreases based on the brightness of the image.

“It does give you the impression that you’re actually feeling the sun, as you move your finger around,” says Winter.

“I realized I didn’t have the vocabulary to answer that question for her,” says Winter. “Every way I thought about it was visual in nature, and I didn’t know how to explain it to somebody … light, dark, bright, dim, flash. All these different words have no meaning to somebody that’s never seen.”

But the project goes well beyond audio descriptions. It includes two further elements: audio of the changing soundscape caused by the eclipse, and a tactile exploration of the eclipse’s image (which means that people who are blind or visually impaired can “feel” the eclipse using vibrations on their smartphones).

Many creatures become active as the sun sets, and many of them use darkness as an indicator of time of day. During an eclipse, crickets will chirp and frogs will chorus, thinking night has fallen. These habits were noted as far back as 1932, in a Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences article titled “Observations on the Behavior of Animals During the Total Solar Eclipse of August 31, 1932.”

Scientists around the world will be using the eclipse as an opportunity to study solar astronomy in a way they usually can’t, measuring the ultraviolet light emitted from the sun’s corona, which Earth-based observers can’t normally see, as it is overpowered by the normal sunlight. It’s also rare for an eclipse to cover this much land — it traverses from Oregon to South Carolina — and Winter points out that it is a particularly good opportunity for education and outreach.

Though education is important, for Wanda Diaz Merced, a visiting scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who is completely blind, there’s a lot more to the eclipse than that. Merced, who has consulted on the Eclipse Soundscapes project, studies human-computer interaction and astrophysics, and to do her research, she needs assistance translating data into a format she can interact with. She’s been building tools to help with that translation, and sees elements of Winter’s project that could contribute.

“It’s still not a prototype that I may use, for example, to study elements of the photosphere. It is not on that stage,” says Merced. “But hopefully one day we will be able to not only hear, but to touch.”

The eclipse will occur on August 21, starting around 10 a.m. in Oregon and finishing by 3 p.m .in South Carolina. The Eclipse Soundscapes app is available for iOS now, and the team is working on an Android app as well.

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I can’t imagine there’s anyone still pondering on whether or not to view the eclipse.

But that still doesn’t stop me offering you this recently presented TED Talk.

On August 21, 2017, the moon’s shadow will race from Oregon to South Carolina in what some consider to be the most awe-inspiring spectacle in all of nature: a total solar eclipse. Umbraphile David Baron chases these rare events across the globe, and in this ode to the bliss of seeing the solar corona, he explains why you owe it to yourself to witness one, too.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxMileHigh, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.

About the speaker: David Baron David Baron writes about science in books, magazines, newspapers and for public radio. He formerly served as science correspondent for NPR and science editor for PRI’s The World.

Enjoy it, good people. And protect your eyes!!!

Or better still allow NASA Television to show the eclipse to you.

NASA Television will air a four-hour show – Eclipse Across America – which will include live video of the event, along with coverage of activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media. NASA’s show begins at 15:00 UTC (11 a.m. EDT; translate to your time zone), or later (we’ve seen this time waffle around a bit). Check the website for changes or further details.

A nose for doing good work!

A dog’s nose, of course!

We all know how good are the noses of our dogs. Yet, I suspect, many do not know how truly good is that nose. The Science ABC site has a detailed account of Why Do Dogs Have Such A Great Sense of Smell?
Here’s part of that article:

Dog Nose vs. Human Nose

When we try to smell something, we inhale air with our nose and we use the same passage in our nose to exhale that air. Therefore, all the smell that we get when we are inhaling is lost when we exhale that air. However, a dog has two different air passages, one for breathing and another for smelling. This means that dogs are able to store the smell in their nose even while breathing out the air!

When dogs exhale, they send air out through the slits of their nose, but the manner in which this air is exhaled through their nose helps the dogs to draw in new odor molecules. This also helps dogs capture more smells when sniffing.

You must have noticed that dogs’ noses are always wet, but have you ever wondered why? The mucus on the dog’s nose helps it smell by capturing scent particles. A dog also has the ability to smell independently from each nostril, this helps the dog to understand from which direction the smell is coming.

The passage through which dogs smell the air contains highly specialized olfactory receptor cells, which are responsible for receiving smells. A dog contains about 225-300 million smell receptors, as compared to just 5 million of these receptors being present in a human nose.

Dog Brain vs. Human Brain

By now, we clearly know that dogs have a nose that can smell about 1,000-10,000 times better than a human, but how are dogs able to remember all the different smells that they have sensed throughout their life?

The answer lies in the difference between the brains of dogs and humans. A human brain has a larger visual cortex than dogs, whereas a dog’s brain has a much larger olfactory cortex than humans. The visual cortex is responsible for processing visual information, whereas the olfactory cortex is responsible for processing the sense of smell. A dog’s olfactory cortex is about 40 times larger than that of a human.

Read the full science article here.

All of which makes a slightly longer introduction than normal to a fascinating article over on Mother Nature Network published two days ago.

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5 ways dogs are used for species conservation

May 16, 2017 Jaymi Heimbuch

Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch

Working dogs are an amazing asset not only for people, but for wildlife, endangered species and even threatened habitats. Expanding on the skills dogs have for tracking down scents and guarding something important, we humans have enlisted their help in many ways for conservation.

Here are five ways dogs are contributing to environmental protection efforts.

Smell for scat

It’s amazing the amount of information that can be sussed out of an animal’s poop. We can determine diet, health, genetics — even whether or not an animal is pregnant. Scat is really important to biologists studying elusive, sensitive or endangered species. Putting dogs on the track is an ideal solution.

Take cheetahs, for example. Scientists in Africa are using dogs and their unparalleled sniffing power to find cheetah poop, all in an effort to get an accurate count on the endangered big cats. (Only 7,000 cheetahs are left in the African wild, according to estimates.) And it’s working. Two trained dogs found 27 scats in an area of 2,400 square kilometers in western Zambia, according to a study published in the Journal of Zoology. Humans, looking for cheetah tracks over the same area, found none.

Groups like Conservation Canines (a handler and dog from the program pictured above), Working Dogs for Conservation and Green Dogs Conservation specialize in this area. Conservation Canines rescues highly energetic, “last chance” dogs from shelters and trains them to track down the scat of dozens of species, from wolves to moose to owl. Even things that are nearly impossible for humans to find — the minuscule scat of endangered pocket mice or orca scat floating on the ocean surface — dogs can track down. They are able to make huge contributions to scientific studies, all without ever bothering the wildlife being studied.

Sniff out problems for wildlife

Whether it’s sniffing out invasive species like giant snails in the Galapagos or detecting disease in beehives, dogs’ noses can be put to work in searching out what shouldn’t be there so that humans can act.

Dogs are able to sniff out particular plant species, pointing ecologists to tiny patches of invasive mustard so that the plants can be removed before they take over an area.

Conversely, dogs can sniff out rare or endangered native plants so that the species can be protected. Rogue is one such dog. The Nature Conservancy writes, “The 4-year-old Belgian sheepdog is part of a Nature Conservancy collaborative project to test the efficacy of using dogs to sniff out the threatened Kincaid’s lupine. The plant is host to the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly, found only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.”

Surveying for the plant species is difficult work for people. It can only be done when the plant is in bloom so people can visually identify it. However, dogs like Rogue can sniff out the plant even when not in bloom, which can potentially double the length of the field season.

“More refined regional mapping of Kincaid’s lupine could promote the butterfly’s recovery and delisting — and contribute to larger habitat goals and wildlife impacts.”

Track down poachers

The trade in rare or endangered wildlife is a lot tougher for traffickers thanks to wildlife detector dogs. Trained to smell anything from tiger parts to ivory to South American rosewood, dogs are used in shipping ports, airports, border crossings and other locations to sniff out smuggled products.

It doesn’t stop there. Trained dogs can lead rangers to armed poachers in the wild, tracking down the culprits over long hours through heat and rain. They can catch poachers in the act, rather than just the products.

“Canine sleuths aren’t limited to the plains of East Africa, either,” reports National Geographic. “In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bloodhounds are assisting in the fight against poaching in forested Virunga National Park, where the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas live. In South Africa, Weimaraner and Malinois dogs are helping to find wounded animals and track poachers on foot through the reserves around Kruger National Park.”

Guard endangered species

Dogs are also useful in putting their protective nature to use for endangered species.

Livestock protection dogs are trained to keep predators like cheetahs, lions and leopards safe, which then reduces conflict between ranchers and big cats and minimizes the instances of snaring or retaliatory killing of big cats. Cheetah Conservation Fund has a successful livestock protection dog program, which places Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs with ranchers. That not only has significantly reduced the number of livestock killed by predators but is also improving the attitude of local people toward cheetahs.

Sometimes the dogs are put to work guarding the endangered species themselves. One such successful program uses Maremma shepherd dogs to protect colonies of little penguins from foxes.

Keep bears wild

Karelian bear dogs are trained to keep bears from becoming too comfortable around people. A program by Wind River Bear Institute named Partners-in-Life uses a technique called bear shepherding. This specialized breed of hunting dog is used to scare bears away, and are an important part of the “adverse conditioning” work that keeps bears from becoming habituated. The ultimate goal is to protect bears from becoming habituated, a problem that leads to their being relocated or euthanized.

“Our Wind River Bear Institute mission, with the effective training and use of Karelian Bear Dogs, is to reduce human-caused bear mortality and conflicts worldwide to ensure the continued survival of all species of bears for future generations,” states the program.

This list is only a handful of ways that dogs help us with environmental conservation every day. More and more, we are figuring out new ways to put their skills to work, and more and more the dogs are proving they’re ready for the task!

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated with more recent information.

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Closing words from that Science ABC piece:

A dog does not care how you look or dress, but if he gets good vibes from your smell, then a dog will love you. The world is truly a better place because of these wonderful creatures that we are lucky enough to welcome into our lives.

Why not make the world smell a bit more beautiful for them?

Belay that!

Closing picture taken from the OregonLive website. A stunning picture of the “Fender’s blue butterfly, found only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.”

Contrasts!

It has been a bit of a week weather-wise!

During the heavy rains this last week we had an oak tree come down in front of the house. Luckily not doing any collateral damage.

But cutting it up into rounds and then splitting them ready for the wood tent took up most of yesterday (and Michael and Stanley many thanks for your help).

For today’s post I wanted to share two photographs with you. Two very different views of the world as seen from our property.

p1160860The first photograph above is of Bummer Creek that runs through our property. The view is upstream and the picture was taken last Sunday from our driveway bridge that crosses the creek. The flood waters were as high as we have ever seen them.

p1160867Please accept the slight fuzziness of the second photograph. But it is a shot of the full moon just as it appeared above the line of hills to the North-East. I dashed out to our deck and took the shot. Moments later the moon had been hidden by clouds. This was Thursday evening.

The picture doesn’t even get close to recording the magic of the dark night sky, stars shining so brightly, and the glorious full moon. Apparently a moon in orbit closer to planet Earth than is usual.

Nonetheless, the two photographs represent two very different and contrasting faces of our natural world.

You all have a very relaxing weekend.

Marbles, by Anne Schroeder

Introducing Anne Schroeder – a local Oregon author.

This week presents a number of interesting challenges.

The first is that while I am getting along reasonably well with the draft of my second book, Four Dogs On My Bed, I am still about 3,000 words (as of yesterday) behind where I wanted to be on November 7th. (There’s NaNoWriMo pressing in against me!)

The second challenge is that tomorrow is a special day. No, I’m not referring to the circus that has come to town, to everybody’s towns, but to my birthday. It is my birthday on the 8th and I’m trying hard to stay away from my computer.

The third and final challenge is that there are too many things going on for the balance of the week, even without me needing to keep my writing nose to the grindstone, for me to properly put together the blog posts otherwise required.

anne-croppedBut then along comes Anne Schroeder. I met Anne when I joined our local authors group, AIM, and, like all the other members of AIM, Anne was supportive and helpful towards me.

A week ago, Anne emailed me a short story that was perfect for all you dear readers.

That story is in three parts and I shall be continuing with Part Two and Part Three on Wednesday and Thursday. (I have something else for the 8th!)

Before the story, here is an introduction to Anne.

mariainesfrontAnne Schroeder writes memoir and historical fiction set in the West. She has won awards for her short stories published in print and on-line markets. She was 2015 President of Women Writing the West and lives with her husband and new Lab puppy in Southern Oregon where they explore old ruins and out-of-the-way places. Her new release, Maria Ines, is a novel about an Indian girl who grows up under Padre Junipero’s cross and endures life under the Spanish, Mexican and Yanqui conquest of California. http://www.anneschroederauthor.com

Here, then, is Part One of Anne’s tale.

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MY SEASON FOR MARBLES

I have a confession: Dogs and I have never gotten along. Well, okay, there was Happy, our black, floppy-eared Cocker Spaniel who died in front of me, under the wheel of my father’s truck when I was seven. After that, it seemed easier not to get attached.

On our sheep farm, dogs ate table scraps and slept under the tank house. We had a pair of Australian Shepherds, trained by Basque herders in their native language that guarded the flock at night against coyotes and neighbors pets. We weren’t allowed to distract the Aussies from their work.

My attitude regarding dogs could be described as cautious regard. I carry memories of being chased onto a John Deere tractor by a snarling stray. I have vivid memories of my uncle’s Doberman sinking its fangs into my calf because I was swinging hands with my cousin, a six-year-old like myself, as we walked up her driveway after school. I can still see that dog, loping toward us in slow-motion, slobber spraying off his jowls, his eyes keenly fixed on the enemy—which was me. All I could do was drop my little cousin’s hand, stand still, and hope that the dog would be merciful. No such luck.

I learned later that he was a watchdog, trained to protect his family. My aunt and uncle worked at a mental hospital and had received death threats from patients who escaped on a fairly regular basis.

Even when it was not my fault, I managed to annoy dogs. When I was seven my grandmother’s hound nipped me in the fleshy part of my palm as I dumped dinner into his bowl. My scream of pain was mostly indignant fury, but the memory scarred my soul. Another time a cousin’s cattle dog crawled out from under the porch where her new litter was sleeping. No bite this time; she just snarled with bared teeth until I hopped back on my bicycle and rode home. It was probably a bluff on her part, but I didn’t wait around to find out.

Eventually, dogs and fear became synonymous.

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Whoa! Where does it go from here? I do hope that you will return on Wednesday to find out! (That’s assuming that we all survive tomorrow’s circus!)

Picture Parade One Hundred and Fifty-Eight

Returning to the photographs of the deer that come to our property.

Feeding the deer has been featured before on Learning from Dogs but I just wanted to devote today and next Sunday to nothing more sophisticated than photographs; all of them taken here at home.

P1140241
Photograph taken mid-January, 2014

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Mother deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me.
A deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me. (October, 2014)

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Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. Mother deer continues to feed.
Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. The deer continues to feed. (October, 2014)

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Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer's ear.
Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer’s head and neck. (October, 2014)

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The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean's hand.
The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean’s hand. (October, 2014)

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There was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean pushed the tray away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother.
Then there was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean and I backed away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother. (October, 2014)

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The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us.
The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us. (October, 2014)

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Three stags. (July, 2016)
Three stags. (July, 2016)

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Doris returns after a brief absence.
Doris returns after a brief absence. (July, 2016)

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"Where's my breakfast, Mr. Paul?"
“Where’s my breakfast, Mr. Paul?” (July, 2016)

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The photographs continue next Sunday.

Yes, it rains in Oregon!

Reflections on where we two Brits live.

We never planned to come and live in Southern Oregon. It was the result of a bizarre dream about our well running dry when we were living back in Payson, Arizona. Someone who was staying with us at the time, upon hearing about my strange dream, responded: “If you’re worried about water go and live in Oregon.”

So we did!

At the time of writing this post (2pm yesterday) our weather station that we have at home had recorded a total of 7.78 inches of rain for January that brought the total for December and January to 25.66 inches. Two days ago we had 2.48 inches in a single day, as these photographs bear out.

Just asas and already
Not even 11am and already 1.8 inches has fallen since midnight.

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A very wet landscape.
A very wet landscape.

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Bummer Creek in full flow (the central pier is from a previous bridge.)
Bummer Creek in full flow (the central pier is from a previous bridge.)

Anyway, all this is a preface to a lovely item about living in Oregon that was sent to me by Janet, a neighbour of ours.

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  • If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you live in Oregon.
  • If you’ve worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Oregon.
  • If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Oregon.
  • If you measure distance in hours, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Oregon.
  • If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’ and back again in the same day, you live in Oregon.
  • If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Oregon.
  • If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern or Eastern Oregon.
  • If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Oregon.
  • If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Oregon.
  • If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Oregon.
  • If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the “Walk” signal, you live in Oregon.
  • If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Oregon.
  • If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Dutch Bros, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Clatskanie, Issaquah, Oregon, Umpqua, Yakima and Willamette, you live in Oregon.
  • If you consider swimming an indoor sport, you live in Oregon.
  • If you know that Boring is a city and not just a feeling, you live in Oregon.
  • If you can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food, you live in Oregon.
  • If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, you live in Oregon.
  • If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Oregon.
  • If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Oregon.
  • If you buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Oregon.
  • If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your OREGON friends, you live or have lived in Oregon.

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Picking up that point about never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, let me close today’s post by returning to Oregon rain. Or more accurately, to a photograph that I took back last Sunday over at our neighbour’s property.

P1150884All the best, everyone!

 

In memory of Clyde!

This could be the most important lesson we learn from our dear dogs.

Reclining Clyde
Reclining Clyde

Our immediate neighbours to the South of us, Larry and Janell, lost one of their dogs last Saturday. Here’s the email that was sent out by Larry:

Bad day at the ranch

We lost Clyde today. A neighbor who is a veterinarian came by this morning and did the deed. He had cancer in his shoulder, we had a tumor removed a couple of months ago but there must have been some left because his left front became totally unusable and then his left rear started to go too. We tried everything that the vets could come up with but it was starting to eat him up.

He was born in central South Dakota at a cattle ranch where I got him in April 2004, a six week old black bundle of wrinkles. He learned his manners from Barney, who we lost a little over 2 years ago from cancer as well. Barney and Clyde, what a GREAT pair!!

We still have Baxter the Aussie, who has pretty well recovered from getting hit by a car and severely injured the beginning of last month and Bob the cat.

I will miss Clyde terribly, just like I have ALL my labs! They are wonderful dogs. Just thinking that I’ll probably never have another big floppy eared pal like that makes me want to just cry my eyes out!!

One of the fondest memories of my life is/was going bird hunting, especially ducks, and having a well mannered lab as my partner!! I’ve shared time and my lunch with some good ones!! I so very much wish/hope that there really is a “RAINBOW BRIDGE”!!

Jean and I obviously knew Clyde and can confirm that he was the most gentle, kind-hearted dog one could find.

I wanted to treasure the memory of Clyde, on behalf of all the dear dogs in the world, and asked Larry and Janell if they would be comfortable with me publishing the email. They replied without hesitation that it was fine and then sent me some photographs of Clyde to include in this post.

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So the easy course for this post would be to leave it at this and move on. (And, please, if you are not up for a degree of introspection from yours truly, then do stop reading at this point!)

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But when I awoke this morning (Tuesday), a little after 5am, Jean still asleep next to me, three dogs likewise across the bed, and knowing I would be writing about Clyde later on in the day, I started to reflect on life and death and was there a lesson for us humans in the death of our beloved dogs. When Jean awoke an hour later, I asked her how many of her dogs had died over the years. She replied that there had been at least twenty dogs that had died and that she could remember each and every one of them.

That then opened up a much deeper reflection on death and whether our dogs really can offer us a lesson in this regard. For I’m not ashamed to admit that at times I feel scared about the future. I’m 70-years-old, seeing the signs of what the medics call ‘cognitive ageing’, have a few minor challenges in the areas of prostate, blood pressure, thyroid, and know how terribly unprepared I am for the second of life’s two certainties: death.

Jean’s view was that dogs have the ability to live so perfectly in the present that, except in very rare occasions, they don’t grieve for the loss of a loved one. Clearly, a significant difference between dogs and us humans.

Then it was clear that we humans only grieve for the death of someone we knew. That within the family that rarely extended back beyond our grand-parents. That seemed to offer some philosophical help. For if it comes down to the memories that others will have of us, after we have died, then it behoves us to live the best life we can, doing our best at every stage in our lives. Accepting that it is impossible not to make mistakes and end up with regrets, yet so long as we try to be true to ourselves then that’s all that matters.

It was then a very small onward step to love and the potential for the greatest learning from our dogs. For dogs so frequently show us the magic of unconditional love.

Back to Clyde.

Here are two other photographs of dear Clyde, separated by the words in Larry’s covering email.

Clyde cleaning Pearl the lamb.
Clyde cleaning Pearl the lamb.

Paul, here are a few pictures of Clyde. Feel free to use what you like. We always said Clyde had a big heart, big stomach and no ambition as evidenced by these pictures! At one time we were nursing an orphan lamb in the house, Clyde adopted the lamb, Pearl, and looked after her, Larry.

Clyde and Pearl demonstrating such a dear friendship.
Clyde and Pearl demonstrating a dear friendship.

I know that when our Lilly dies, she is 17, Jean will weep many tears.

I know that when our Pharaoh dies, he is soon to be 12, I will weep many tears.

But those pictures of Clyde remind all of us that it is in life that it is important to love. Important, almost beyond words, to be kind to others, to offer and receive love, and to treasure the present.

So, yes, we must shed a few tears of the heart yet thereafter we must treasure the memories.

“For if we cry at losing the sun, our tears will hide the light of the stars.”

Thank you, Clyde!

Public trust and Oregon

The Children’s Climate Crusade.

But first some thoughts for the newer followers of this blog.

Being the author of this blog I have no idea how people find this place, and more importantly, what they make of it! It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if it is as a result of a web search associated with dogs. Let’s face it, the blog is called Learning from Dogs!

It also wouldn’t surprise me if many don’t drop in to the About this blog page and read:

The underlying theme of Learning from Dogs is about truth, integrity, honesty and trust in every way.  We use the life of dogs as a metaphor. The first Post was published on the 15th July 2009.

Here is our Vision and what we are trying to achieve.

Be part of this yourself in whatever way you would like.

All of which is my way of explaining why, more often than not, the daily post has nothing to do with our beautiful canines.  But I do hope if a post is not about dogs then it is about “truth, integrity, honesty and trust in every way.”

So with that off my chest, let me use the rest of this post to republish in full the final broadcast from Bill Moyers, the link to which was kindly sent to me by friend John Hurlburt. Thanks John.

The Bill Moyers programme is less than 30-minutes long. It is extraordinarily fine viewing, especially for the younger viewer. Do share it widely.

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Full Show: The Children’s Climate Crusade

January 1, 2015

The very agencies created to protect our environment have been hijacked by the polluting industries they were meant to regulate. It may just turn out that the judicial system, our children and their children will save us from ourselves.

The new legal framework for this crusade against global warming is called atmospheric trust litigation. It takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere – its air, water, land, plants and animals — are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come. It’s the strategy being used by Bill’s recent guest, Kelsey Juliana, a co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust, that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions.

It’s the brainchild of Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar who wrote the book, Nature’s Trust, tracing this public trust doctrine all the way back to ancient Rome.

Wood tells Bill: “If this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake, the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job.”

Producer: Robert Booth. Editor: Rob Kuhns.

ooOOoo

So having explained why dogs often aren’t featured in posts, there’s only one way to close today.  That’s with a picture of young Ollie, our latest member of the family, taken last June.

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