Saturday, June 30, 2007

Otters on youtube

Hi everyone,

"Ferrets have a golden rule that we humans could teach to our sons and daughters,
Do unto Otters, as Otters would do unto you."

This is on youtube - a short video of sea otters holding paws by Cynthia Holms, taken 5 years ago. I watched it several times and it was truly remarkable. The otters were not simply floating or rafting together. I thought it was great.

Watch the whole 1 minute and 40 seconds, it is not an accident these otters are holding hands!

The otters are Niack (She is a survivor of the Exxon Valdez Oil spill) and Vido, of the Vancouver Aquarium.

Otters at the Otter Trust, Earsham, Suffolk, UK

Watch European Otters play and eat and swim to music (not the otters, the sound on the tape.)

Baby otter learning to swim:

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Midsummer is when the sun stands the highest in the sky. Daylight dominates, and the night is short. Then, the night reclaims its due.

In the past, on Midsummer Eve, people gathered herbs for healing. (Plants of the wort family were especially prized.) For more healing and cleansing, people then bathed in various springs. After the Midsummer bonfires burn out, people gathered the ashes to mix with water. Then, they sprinkled this ‘glop’ around their houses for protection in the coming year.

To the Norse, Midsummer was as important as Yule. At this time, the Norse gave thanks for the prosperity and fertility of their lands. Also, they prayed for continued prosperity and good health. Sunna (the sun) was honored at Midsummer, as well as Balder (the God of Light) and Nanna (His Wife).

For me, Midsummer is a bittersweet High Day. Because of my on-going depression, I crave the sunlight. At Midsummer, the sun is at its peak, and then daylight lessens gradually. Midsummer is time of joy tempered with the shadow to come.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My connection with Nature (2)

How do I live on the earth right now? I live modestly in a garden condo. I do not feel the need to have a bigger house. I dislike clutter, and strive for simplicity.

Clutter comes in many forms. Financial clutter is when you overspend to feel good. Demanding more and falling behind in payments has a cascading effect. The things no longer please you, and they take up valuable space. You accumulate debt, and more things. After awhile, you become trapped, unable to function as the debt piles up. You think that a bigger house is the answer. Of course, that eats up more resources both financial and physical.

Body clutter is when you over focus on food. You demand food in fashion or out of season. This uses up scarce resources like the rainforest and oceans. The transportation system becomes congested with shipping more and more food. More land is only used for roads. Moreover, the air becomes more fouled as more trucks put out exhaust. Buying food in season focuses on replenishing the local resources.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My connection with Nature (1)

My connection with Nature is complex. Although I live in an urban area by the railroad tracks, I am surrounded by nature. For me, the various plants and animals have adopted this unnatural place.

The oak and maple trees behind my garden condo shade my small balcony. A little intermittent stream appears when it rains between the two garden condo buildings. The rocks, lining the stream, provide places for snakes to sun themselves. Of course, there are the squirrels, who nest in the trees.

How do I honor the earth? I do it in small ways. The local woodpeckers bother the neighbors with their noise. They like to drum on the gutters at daybreak, waking everyone up. I teach the neighbors the names of the various woodpeckers in our neighborhood. (We have Pileated, ladder-backed, downy, and hairy.) I think that my neighbors will appreciate these birds. One elderly man now refers to them as the ‘big bird, middle bird, and small bird.’

Also, I am known as the snake lady. Often, I will see someone with a shovel ready to whack a snake. I scream, “DON’T KILL THAT SNAKE! IT EATS RATS!” They generally thrust the snake and shovel at me, demanding I get rid of it. I usually take the snake to the local wildlife rescue person.