Sunday, March 31, 2013

Because I like to laugh...

Easter Island

Today's Animal in Need

Please read and then please, please share this sweet girls so they can be happy again. 
Last spring a woman and her family lost their home heartbroken and with no place to go the family was forced into a shelter. They had two beloved dogs named Sheeba and little Missy but sadly were unable to keep the dogs so they reached out to others to help find a new loving home for their dogs. Finally a wonderful couple or so they thought offered to take the dogs in. The family while devastated at losing their fur babies , had peace of mind knowing these girls would be safe and loved.  
Fast forward almost 1 year later.  This family was able to move out of the shelter and into a small apt . But imagine the woman's shock and dismay when yesterday she came across the Yonkers animal shelter FB and while looking through the photos. Found her beloved girls. Who we had named Laverne and Shirley. We found them running the thruway :(. 
Apparently the family she trusted with her dogs dumped on the road and they have been here for 1 year The family can not take them back due to their living arrangements but are heartbroken that these sweet girls are without a loving home. They are truly destroyed to see what has become of their babies. The family has sent us tons of pictures including the ones below. Clearly these girls were once part of a loving home. 
Please together lets find them another one for more info pls contact or call 201 981 3215


120 Fullerton Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704 (201) 981-3215 or email: Monday - Friday 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM Sat, Sun & Holidays 12:00 - 3:30 PM
Donations to benefit the animals at the Yonkers Shelter may be made to ShelterPetAlliance who collects on behalf of various shelters...Important to note *YONKERS* when online donations are made...SPA is a 501c3 org, so all donations are tax deductible

Spring Fling - and haiku

Listen!  Woodland drums
inviting you to the dance!
Annual Spring Fling.

This is a downy woodpecker inviting you to the Spring Fling.  Kylie and I hear these drums every morning during our walk - this morning, they were especially loud.

I met a little downy woodpecker a few years ago.  She flew into the storm door window, stunning herself.  I quickly went outside, scooped her up and held her in my cupped hands for about 10 minutes; her little talon was wrapped around my pinky finger.  I felt her stirring and, when I opened my hands, she promptly pooped in them and then flew off.

I think that was her way of thanking me!

{My haiku Muse went on vacation some time ago, but she made a brief visit this morning....perhaps she will return more frequently with the Spring!}

This hairy woodpecker is slightly larger than the downy woodpecker.
I put this video in so that you can really hear the drums
when the sound is slowed down.

Pysanky - Ukrainian Easter Eggs

 (Image from here)
The word pysanka is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty 'to write'; we 'write' designs on the eggs. Nearly all Slavic peoples and those in the eastern Mediterranean area practiced this art in ancient times using beeswax and dyes to create tiny masterpieces of art but Ukrainian Easter Eggs from the more modern Christian era seem to be the ones best known. In Western Ukraine, the art form was retained even though it declined because of religious suppression in most areas. Symbolism is at the root of all pysanky and it is not uncommon for a simple design full of symbolic meaning to surpass a very intricate design that is beautiful in its own right but nearly devoid of symbolic meaning and artistic expression. 
The symbols used in pysanka design are a blend of ancient pagan motifs with Christian elements. As an example, pagans celebrated the high points in life and the yearly cycle. The Christian church does the same throughout the religious year with both highlighting Spring and the resurrection of Christ. The symbols used remained the same--the interpretation of them was changed to be in keeping with the acceptance of Christianity. This blend between the ancient pagan beliefs and symbols and the Christian beliefs and symbols has resulted in a richness seen in modern pysanka. 
Certain designs and symbols are reserved for different rituals such as matchmaking, healing the ill, encouraging fertility in animals and childless couples, increased harvest etc. Shells were considered sacred and powerful in themselves and were saved, crushed and fed to the hens to increase fertility and also spread on roof tops to ward off evil. 
The art of making a pysanka was and is a holy, ritual task for the traditional Ukrainian artist. The pysanka is believed to have power similar to a cross. Each step in the process of making a pysanka was proscribed so that they might be made with the holiest of attitudes and the strongest forces imbued in them. Beeswax is used as it comes from bees who gather it from flowers who are nourished by the sun. The wax is melted off in the heat of the oven to remove the wax in a purifying process that unites it with the life-giving sun.
You can read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

Today's Animal in Need

Guess who's on vacation this weekend?? Madison! One of our wonderful volunteers knew Madison could use a break from kennel life, so she took her on a weekend getaway! Just look at this grin! We'll be posting pictures all weekend of our special girl and hope that Madison's very own forever person will find her! For more information about Madison, please contact Heather at


South Jersey's Only 100% No-Kill Animal Shelter
Our Mission

To rescue and welcome abandoned and unwanted companion animals in a No-Kill environment.

To shelter, nurture, and support all loving animals until they find their families and can leave us for safe, caring homes.

To give care with compassion.

To gently and lovingly end the suffering of an animal if it is too ill or injured to recover.

To provide spay and neuter services to ensure that our animals cannot create other unwanted animals.

To take our mission out into the community to teach people about humane treatment and kindness toward animals and the importance of spay/neutering.

To be loving and supportive: with the animals, in our community, and to each other.
Company Overview
We're a non-profit group of animal lovers that seek to protect and provide for dogs and cats and animals in Camden County. Since our inception in 1991, we've dedicated our time and hearts to helping animals find homes and loving families. Though our resources are often limited, we cherish and nurture every cat and dog we're able to until they're adopted or we make sure they live out their lives in a caring, comfortable environment. We do not kill or euthanize animals in our care unless medically necessitated, and even then, only with heavy hearts.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feminism doesn't equal "misandry"

(Image from here)

Part Four: A List of "Men's Rights" Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their "traditional" marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate "nice guys." The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don't is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it's unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn't nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?
To read the entire article, click here.

Natural Beauty

(Image from here, via FB)

Easter Witch

Witches: they're not just for Halloween! 

At least not in Scandinavian countries where from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday the week is associated with witches. Witches are thought to be particularly powerful during this spring time period and it's thought they gather in groups to work their magic.

People burn the branches of evergreens in their fireplaces to keep them from coming down the chimney and crosses are painted on doors and livestock to prevent evil spells from working.

Housewives hide their brooms so the witches will not ride off on them.

On Easter Eve bonfires are built to keep people safe while preparing for Easter services.

One of the more popular traditions is for little girls (and sometimes big girls) to dress up as witches. This usually involves head scarfs, brooms, long skirts, aprons and painted on freckles. The little witch girls go about on Palm Sunday holding pussy willow branches, birch twigs with feathers or bunches of daffodils and lightly hit people (usually family and neighbors) with their "wands" reciting:

❀I touch you with my magic branch
That will refresh you and keep you well.
You get the branch, I get a reward.❀
(Virvon, varvon tuoreeks, terveeks,
Sinuelle vihta, minuelle lahja.)

A week later on Easter Sunday the little witches return to the people who they swatted and hold out a cooper pot, basket or kettle so the person can drop a treat in it.
Glad Påsk! (Happy Easter)   Text and image from here.

This was on one of my FB friend's Timeline.  It's something I didn't know about; another one of the many, many interesting things that occur on Planet Earth that never cease to delight or repulse me.

This one delights me because I love witches.  I have since I was a child.  I have a small collection of them.  I never believed the stories that portrayed them as evil, cruel, old and ugly.  Even back then, I thought that there was a vendetta against witches, particularly in the Catholic religion of my childhood.  I never knew what that vendetta was until I started researching Earth based religions in my 30s.

I find the text above interesting with respect to fearing the witches - burning evergreens, painting crosses, hiding brooms and building bonfires to keep them away.  And yet...yet, the young girls are dressed up as witches and sent out to give a blessing to family and friends.   A blessing and not a curse.  And really, how does a witch dress?  Do they actually dress any differently from any other woman?  Do women of any patriarchal culture, then and now, really have the luxury of dressing any way they want - outside of the prescribed rules of how a woman should dress, act, talk?

The use of the words "lightly hit people" and "swatted" highlight the negative way in which language is used to describe witches or any of their rituals.  Even the first paragraph hints at malevolence with witches being powerful at this time of year and gathering in groups to work their magic.  Nothing more frightening than a group of non conformist women meeting and doing rituals that fly in the face of patriarchal religions!

Two words - power and magic - how do you experience them when used in conjunction with women?  Do they bring up fear or exhilaration? Leave you flat? Make you angry?  Do you even think about them at all?  Just curious.

When reading more about the Easter Witches, their cavorting on the mountain usually has a mention of the devil or Satan.  More association of witches with evil. Of course, the fact that witches don't "worship" a devil or believe in the Christian one, gets forgotten in all of the fear mongering.  I think it was Starhawk who said something like, "It's not the word Witch that should provoke fear; perhaps it should be Christian - after all, who burned who?"

All in all, I'm happy to see witches at Easter.  They're also mentioned at Walpurgisnacht, Beltane Eve, but more on that in a later post.

In proofreading this, I realized that I typed Santa instead of Satan - perhaps that's the real identity of Satan!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Natural Beauty

Mantis shrimp.  

This photo is not edited, it's absolutely natural. These Shrimp supposedly can see more colours than any other known creature do because of the amount of rod cells in their eyes. Meaning they can see hundreds of colors that we can't even comprehend.
Image and text from here, via FB. 

Today's Animal in Need

Back in October, NINA & LOLA were anonymously dropped off at Bridgeport Animal Control under the cover of night. Since then, these two sisters have been waiting patiently for someone to adopt them and bring them home. NINA & LOLA are estimated to be between 6-8 years old, which is the perfect age for any family - they're mellow and sophisticated ladies, but they still love to goof around with their people! These two are shelter favorites - beautiful, playful, affectionate girls with hearts as big as the sky. All they need is a family with which to share the rest of their lives, preferably together.

The shelter is open daily Mon-Fri from 10 to 3:30 and they welcome visitors to come down and meet their beautiful adoptable animals! Stop by and say hello to NINA & LOLA - they just might be your next true loves! ♥

Bridgeport Animal Control
236 Evergreen Street, Bridgeport CT


Making life better for homeless, needy and unwanted animals ♥
Shelter Connecticut is a place to network homeless or unwanted animals in the state of Connecticut and beyond. Shelter Connecticut also works to strengthen the relationship between local communities and their shelters and animal control officers (ACOs), as well as fostering public awareness of humane issues. Shelter Connecticut welcomes your ideas regarding animal advocacy in the state of Connecticut, with the goal of fostering humane legislation that supports the compassionate care of Connecticut's animals.

Finding Her Here

I am becoming the woman I've wanted,
grey at the temples,
soft body, delighted,
cracked up by life
with a laugh that's known bitter
 but, past it, got better,
knows she's a survivor-
that whatever comes,
she can outlast it.
I am becoming a deep
weathered basket.

I am becoming the woman I've longed for,
the motherly lover
with arms strong and tender,
the growing daughter
who blushes surprises.
I am becoming full moons
and sunrises.

I find her becoming,
this woman I've wanted,
who knows she'll encompass,
who knows she's sufficient,
knows where she's going
and travels with passion.
Who remembers she's precious,
but knows she's not scarce-
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share.

-Jayne Relaford Brown (Finding Her Here)

Image above is from here.
Image below from here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Because I like to laugh....

And, on that note:

Good Night!

Natural Beauty

Today's Animal in Need

Beatrice now has the dubious honor of being our longest time resident. On the bright side, we LOVE LOVE LOVE her and she spent some time in foster care, giving her a break from the shelter. On the not so bright side, she's been in shelter care since July of last year and as a Russian Blue, noted for sweet natures and devotion to their people, she wants nothing more than a person to love. Bea is 10 years old, was found as a stray, was declawed when we found her, and seems to love dogs!


The mission of the SPCA of Tompkins County, (Ithaca, New York) is to protect companion animals. We are a no-kill shelter dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and overpopulation.
The goal of our Facebook page is to promote SPCA of TC adoptions, news and events, share information from the SPCA of Tompkins County, and for our adopters to share lots and lots of photos of their adopted pets.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Natural Beauty

(Image from here, via FB)

Today's Animal in Need

Looking for Love and a permanent companion-type home: Gracie is a lovely Lady who will turn 28 yrs old on April 6. A large-pony/small horse sized gal who LOVES to be groomed and pampered. Can pack a little one around for pony-rides. She is a good babysitter for youngsters, will hold her own with middle-of-the-pack types or more submissive horses. but doesn't need to be chased and harrassed by a dominant type. 
Gracie: 28 yrs young. Based on her freezebrand, we have recently ID’d her as a breeding stock/non-colored Appaloosa mare --GG's Penny Lover, solid sorrel/chestnut Appaloosa, Foaling date: April 8, 1985.

Gracie is doing well -- she had her teeth floated on 1/10/13. She steadily gaining weight. She's sweet and gentle, but will hold her own with other horses, so a good companion. She is on a senior diet, is currently also receiving Amplify Nuggets to regain weight. She can eat some hay, but we also give her soaked alfalfa cubes..
We would LOVE to line up an adoptive/permanent foster home for her. Please PM me if interested Due to her age, we'd like to keep her close to the NJ area, she shouldn't have to travel far.

Photo: Mark Howell


HHER is a 100% volunteer 501(c)3 rescue. Please click on "about" for full info. Please consider a donation via paypal:
Our Goals:

(1) Accept into our program equines in need;

(2) Assist in the placement of equines under the care of private owners who can no longer maintain them;

(3) Provide necessary management, veterinary and farrier care for those equines under our protection;

(4) Rehabilitate and adopt out equines to suitable homes as sport-horse prospects; pleasure riding prospects or as retirement/companion animals;

(5) Obtain sponsorships for those equines who maintain a permanent residency within the auspices of our organization;

(6) To provide all animals under our care with a comfortable and dignified existence without pain or suffering. If and when physical and medical circumstances no longer allow that comfortable life; to let them go gently and kindly with a humane veterinary-assisted euthanasia.
Company Overview
Helping Hearts Equine Rescue is a 100% Volunteer Rescue.
All funds go to the horses in our care.
Please consider a donation to assist our work:

Via Mail: Helping Hearts, PO Box 342, Perrineville, NJ 08535

“Alone we can accomplish a little, together we can accomplish a lot for horses in need”
Mission Statement:

"Helping Hearts Equine Rescue is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit animal welfare organization incorporated in the State of New Jersey. We are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of equines in need; assisting equines in situations of neglect, abuse or threat of slaughter located in, but not necessarily limited to Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean Counties - in our home state of New Jersey. To educate the public regarding the standards of care required to maintain an equine as a riding partner and/or companion animal in a humane manner." 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Natural Beauty

(Image from here, via FB)

Today's Animal in Need

SUSSEX CTY, NEW JERSEY: Two horses need homes ASAP. The husband/father passed away and they are no longer able to care for their family horses of ten years. HRU can assist with hay and grain for a few weeks, but they need placement ASAP as we are overfull.

The tan horse is a 17 year-old 14hh gelding and the paint is a 14 year-old 15hh gelding (registered American Paint).

Both have excellent manners- gentle and sweet, great around children. Their teenage beginner daughter has ridden both without issue, but they have NOT been evaluated by HRU. That's all the information we have.

SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY- please email us at and tell us about yourself and your situation/set-up (whether you have other horses or horse experience, what type of riding are you interested in, etc.). Couple more pics available in this album...


Based in New Jersey, Horse Rescue United, Inc. (HRU) saves horses of all breeds from abandonment, abuse, neglect, & slaughter. Specializing in Standardbreds.
Whenever possible, HRU purchases slaughter-bound horses from auction and finds them homes, and also helps owner surrenders find placement before they end up in the wrong hands.
Company Overview
Visit to read testimonials, learn about our horses, and see our wish list and fundraisers.
HRU is a registered New Jersey not-for-profit busines and we received our 501(c)(3) non-profit status on April 30, 2012.
General Information
HRU horses are available to approved homes on 60 day trial periods to ensure the right fit for both horse and adopter. HRU horses are also kept up-to-date on medical, dental, and farrier needs. Adopters must be located within a five hour drive of Allentown/Chesterfield, NJ.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Whales' Ancestors - Ancestor Whale

Since today is World Water Day, I thought that this article and the trailer for Whale Rider would be a perfect fit.  If you haven't seen the movie which came out in 2002, you might want to look for it.  I enthusiastically recommend it!

I'm planning on going to see the exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.  I haven't been to the Museum since being back on the East Coast and I think this would be a perfect exhibit to reintroduce myself.
NEW YORK — By moving into the water full-time, the ancestors of whales paved the way for their descendants to become behemoths, largely free from gravity's constraints. Today, the blue whale is the largest animal ever to live. 
But even before the move, this lineage was setting size records. One ancient cousin to modern whales and hippos, calledAndrewsarchus mongoliensis, ranks as the largest mammal known to have stalked the land as a predator. A skull from this creature — the only fossil found so far from this beast — greets visitors on their way into a new exhibit on whales here at the American Museum of Natural History. 
"It's odd to have a big predator in this hoofed plant-eating mammal group," said John Flynn, co-curator of the exhibit, referring to the group to which whales and the now-extinctAndrewsarchus belonged. "But if you think about it, some of the other relatives like pigs and peccaries are pretty ferocious and will eat just about anything. 
In an artist’s rendering, the 45-million-year-old Andrewsarchus has a profile not unlike a giant feral pig with a more streamlined snout. This 6-foot-tall (1.8 meters) creature lived solely on land, but its relatives began taking to the water and eventually left land completely. [Whale Gallery: Giants of the Deep]
The “first whale,” a creature whose lifestyle (living on land but eating fish from the nearby sea) represented the early stage of this transition into the water, was a wolf-size fish eater that lived about 50 million years ago on the edges of the ancient Tethys Sea, according to the exhibit. Whereas this creature had a body clearly adapted for land, its relatives began acquiring features better suited to life in the water, such as webbed feet and a more streamlined, hairless shape.
The basilosaurids, which lived about 34 million to 40 million years ago, had a more familiar shape than their ancestors. Basilosaurids had nostrils situated toward the top of their heads, an ear structure that suggested they could hear well underwater, and forelimbs that took the shape of paddlelike flippers.
Their hips and legs were on the way out. A basilosaurid on display, Dorudon atrox, displays a tiny pelvis and legs detached from its spinal column.  [Top 10 Useless Limbs]
These leftovers from land are still visible in some modern whales. For instance, the skeleton of a pygmy right whale hanging from the ceiling displayed two tiny bones, the remnant of the pelvis, Flynn pointed out.
“Imagine your hip bones just started to float off your body — that is what that is,” he said.
Nowadays, there are two varieties of whale. These are the baleen whales, such as the blue whale, which use plates of baleen, made from fingernail-like material, to filter food from the water, and toothed whales, such as dolphins, killer whales and narwhals, which kept their teeth. (In the case of narwhals, one tooth becomes a modified tusk.)
Around 30 million years ago, these lineages split and evolved into the more than 80 species living today.
The exhibit also explores whale biology, and includes a life-size replica of a blue whale heart. Whales’ relationships with humans are also a focus. The exhibit addresses the whaling industry, modern dangers, such as ship collisions, as well as coastal peoples’ interactions with them.
Formally known as “Whales: Giants of the Deep,” this exhibition traveled to New York from New Zealand, where it was developed by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. (It was modified by the American Museum of Natural History.) In traditional Maori culture, whales were the source of important resources, such as oil, protein, bones and teeth, and the inspiration for stories of whale riders, ancestors transported to New Zealand atop a whale.
A preview of the exhibit opened with a Maori blessing intended to invoke the gods, the spirits of ancestors and spirits of the whales on display.
The exhibit is on display until Jan. 5, 2014.