Thursday, September 29, 2005

Spiders in the Moonlight

I am back! I have not left my loyal readers.

Going outside in the early morning, I see the full moon. Right above the lamp on the outside of my condo building is a spider and her web. The lamp attracts moths and she captures them. There were a number of moths in her slivery web, and she was busy eating them. In moonlight, it seemed a scene from an alien world.

From Animal Teachers: Cob Web Spiders:
Cobweb Spider webs are uncommon in several ways. One part of the web is woven more closely than the rest. Members of the Cobweb Spider Sub-family cover this part with an extra layer of silk to add to the web’s stability. This is the part They stand on to attack the unfortunate Insect.

The weaving of the Cobweb Spider Sub-Family is a form of Feng Shui. They see space, and decide where to build their webs. Under people’s furniture or in corners or high on walls, These Spiders understand the constructive use of space.

Monday, September 19, 2005

My blogging frequency

I know that blogging is done daily, even hourly. However, I have a disability that sometimes makes me unable to sit for long periods. During these times, I cut back on computer work such as blogging.

But fear not, I will not stop blogging about animals, my favorite topic. :)

"Avast Ye maties"

Talk Like A Pirate Day is today!

From From The Talk Like A Pirate Website:
Why do we need an International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Make no mistake. We do. But it's a little hard to articulate why, especially when you've made the mistake of referring to your wife as a scurvy bilge rat and tried to order her back into the galley.

Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple.

It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers. The best explanation came from a guy at a Cleveland radio station who interviewed us on the 2002 Talk Like a Pirate Day. He told us we were going to be buried by people asking for interviews because it was a "whimsical alternative" to all the serious things that were making the news so depressing.

In other words, silliness is the holiday's best selling point.

In honor of the day, here is a writing about parrots, a pirate's favorite animal:

Parrots are popular among people for their friendliness and sociability. We enjoy their company and they enjoy ours. In return for their friendship with us, Parrots need people to protect Them. Parrots teach interdependency by their relations with us and with each other.

Important Parrot Family’ Teaching: Beauty

“The parrot says, “I am truly beautiful.” This is apparent not only from its visual appeal, but also from its obvious social activity and interaction with birds of its own and other species. Parrot says, “Hey, I am also beautiful within.” Copyright: “Wisdom of Australian Animals”, Ann Fitzgerald-Williams.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Manatees star on "The Simpsons"

Last night, I watched "The Simpsons" and was surprised by the Manatee stars. It is nice that a popular TV show featured a little known animal. They also emphasized how endangered they were.

It is hard to believe that sailors once mistook Manatee and her cousin Dugong for mermaids. These sole remaining members of the Sirenia family are more like small blimps than beautiful women. Also called Sea Cows, Manatee and Dugong are the only Sea Mammals that eat solely vegetation.

One of the most endangered of Sea Mammals, Manatee keeps vital waterways such as the Amazon River basin free of vegetation by consuming large amounts of food. Exploited for years for her meat and hide, Manatee is now a protected species.

Manatee is friendly and slow moving. When She meets other Manatees, She bonds with Them by mouthing. Manatee will play “follow the leader” and bodysurf with other Manatees. But what she enjoys the most is exploring her world.
Read more at ANIMAL Teachers: Manatee

However, "The Simpsons" confuse Manatee with Dugong. The difference between Manatee and Dugong is that Dugong has tusks, which Manatee does not. Dugong’s flippers also lack the rudimentary nails that Manatee has. Manatee has a round, wide tail, while Dugong has a fluted tail like Whale’s. Also, Manatee prefers living in fresh water; Dugong prefers seawater.

You can adopt a manatee at
Save the Manatee Club.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Humpback Whales and Communicating

With the discussions on how there was a breakdown in communications, we could learn from Humpback Whales.

A favorite of whale watchers, Humpback Whale is the most acrobatic of all Baleen Whales. A favorite activity of his is pec-waving, in which He twirls his body back and forth, waving his flippers. One of the most prodigious breachers, Humpback Whale leaps hundreds of times out of the water. Most noticeable of his actions is pec-slapping, where He slaps his long flippers against the water with a resounding crack that can be heard considerable distances. If a whale-watching boat disturbs him, Humpback Whale will lobtail to show his annoyance.

When He finally arrives at his tropical breeding grounds; Humpback Whale sings one of his famous songs to attract Female Humpback Whales. (These songs have two to nine separate themes in a specific order.) Besides spooking whalers, his haunting sounds have been sent into space on the Voyager probes. Also, in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”, two Humpback Whales sang their songs to stop aliens from destroying the Earth.

Unlike other Baleen Whales, Humpback Whale hunts in groups. He engages in an unusual form of cooperative hunting called “bubble netting”. (Several Whales produce a continuous spiral of exhaled air making a single, large bubble net.) First, a Humpback Whale will tail slap to startle the Fish. Then each Whale slowly rises below a school of prey, expelling a circle of bubbles. These bubbles form a “net” similar to fishing net. The Fish panic and converge in a small group. Then Humpback Whale swims through the group with his mouth open wide, gulping down Fish.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina and Marine Mammals

Most people think in terms of helping pets but there are other animals who need help as well. As New Orleans pumps out its water, this water will end up in the ocean. Since this water is toxic, little is known as to what will happen to the marine animals.

FROM The Marine Mammal Center

Hurricane Katrina

The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina continues to be realized in Louisiana, Mississippi and surrounding areas. In addition to the human loss and grief, property damage and economic loss to the region, many animals have been impacted as well. In Gulfport, Mississippi, before the storm hit, dolphins from a nearby aquarium were rescued and transported to higher ground and later into a hotel pool filled with saltwater. In other areas, reports have been made of people keeping sea lions wet by throwing buckets of brown water on them.

If an agency asks for The Marine Mammal Center's assistance, we will do our best to help where resources allow. There are organizations currently working to help other groups within the hurricane zone take care of marine mammals, as well as pets that have either been injured or displaced due to the disaster. Both the Humane Society of America and the AVMA (Am Vet Medical Association) have disaster teams deployed to the hurricane area. The AVMA teams consist of veterinarians, techs, etc. Both groups are accepting donations. Here are some links you may find useful to learn more about animal rescue efforts or to see how you can help:

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Queen Bees and Fall

Bumble Bee Drawing copyrighted by Mary Ann Sterling

I watched a queen bumble bee flit from flower to flower. She was getting ready for her winter hibernation. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees do not have hives they live in year round. Watching her was a lesson in calmness.

Bees are credited with foreknowledge of events and lore of the ancients. A Scottish saying is "Go ask the wild bees for what the Druids know". One thing we need to understand is how to ask bees or any animal. First there is respect for them. Then, we can ask.

Animal Teachers: Bumble Bee:
Besides size, another way that you can tell how Bumble Bee is different from Honey Bee is that Bumble Bee's nest is a mess. Bumble Bees have fewer members in their colonies than Honey Bee. Also, They do not store large amounts of honey. Unlike Honey Bees, Bumble Bees rarely sting unless their nest is threatened.

Enjoy watching these fairly placid Bees as They go about their business of pollinating the flowers. Learn from Them to mind your own business. Just do not be messy in your affairs.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and the animals

AP Photo/John Bazemore of Jonathan Harvey rescuing his dog "Cuddles"

I know most people are worried about the people of Katrina and where they will be homed. However, their pets are also in trouble too. The (Animal) Humane Society of the U.S. has mounted a rescue effort for the pets. Contact your local Humane Society as to the specifics.

During catastrophes, animals need rescue as well. Pets cannot forage for themselves and depend on their owners. Also, the owners do appreciate someone caring for their animals as well. For most people, their pet is a member of their family. It is hard for them to leave the pet behind but in many cases they have to.

So remember the pet animals and contact the Humane Society in your area.

The Humane Society
Some people were forced to leave their pets behind. Others were never able to evacuate at all. Now, in Katrina’s aftermath, The HSUS's Disaster Animal Response Teams are primed to help the pets and other animals left behind in the region’s most devastated areas.

Disaster Relief Fund To send your gift by U.S. Mail, please make your check payable to HSUS Disaster Relief Fund and mail it to HSUS, Dept. DRFHBM, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. Thank you!