Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Monday, January 31, 2011

Polar Bear Takes Incredible 420-Mile Swim

Everyone knows that polar bears are good swimmers, but the amazing journey of this bear beats all. In an incredible feat of strength and endurance, one female polar bear swam through the icy waters north of Alaska nonstop for almost 10 days, covering 420 miles as she searched for drift-ice hunting grounds.

Researchers say it's the longest swim by a polar bear ever recorded. Scientists in the arctic were able to track the epic swim through the Beaufort Sea because the female was wearing a GPS radio collar.

"We are in awe that an animal that spends most of its time on the surface of sea ice could swim constantly for so long in water so cold," the leader researcher told the
BBC. "It is truly an amazing feat."

The researchers had been tracking the bear for two months as she looked for food for herself and a cub. During that time, the bear lost more than one-fifth of her body fat. Long swims such as this may become more common for polar bears as increased sea ice melts push the bears to swim farther in search of sustenance, caution researchers.

We are inspired by this polar bear's power and perseverance. To help
protect polar bears and their natural habitats, check out the programs of the World Wildlife Fund.
article from PawNation Jan 2011
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Those who know me know of my love for wildlife. While this was a great feat and inspiration from this polar bear, I also am heartbroken at the loss of her cub. Even though the article did not mention its success or failure, it is obvious that it did not make the journey.

When I mentioned this to a friend, they said that the mother can have another cub. They are right but we must also remember that a "cub" is the future... the next mother or father, and if we do not protect the cubs, eventually there will be no polar bears left.

It is predicted that by the year 2035 polar bears in the wild we be extinct. I am glad I shall not be around to see that day. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

if you could only have one ~

This is the time of year I do my “de-vesting” getting rid of stuff; making my mental and physical list of things I could do without and get rid of; and to whom or where this stuff should go. Everything must be recycled or repurposed.   As I was scanning my possessions I began thinking about what if I could only have ONE, one of this kind of thing or one of that thing, and it made me think about what  I value, and why. It was a fun challenge, give it a try and see what you come up with. Here are just a few of mine:

If I could only have ONE……

Picture on my wall: this polar bear sunning
flower in my garden: a viola
Book in my bookcase:  Lion of Ireland Morgan Llewellyn
Style of music: new age - harp
Pair of shoes:  hiking boots
Wear one color:  dark brown (hides the dirt best)
Profession:  wildlife veterinarian
Place to live forever: Colorado mountains
Person in my life:  my best friend & husband, Steve

When I mentioned my theme for today’s entry to a friend, Angie W., she said that she likes to play a little game when she is in a room full of people.

 “If she and another (someone in the room) were the only two people left in the world, who would she choose.”  I think that is a great idea and plan to think about it often—adding a “why would I choose that person over anyone else.” 

if you could only have one "....."  think about it, it may surprise you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lily's cubs are born!

Copied from the NorthAmericanBearCenter website---

Nine thousand sets of eyes and ears don’t miss much!  At 1:51 PM, everyone at the North American Bear Center was crowded around a big screen TV watching the Den Cam.  Someone said, “I thought I heard a squeal.”  The phone rang.  Lily’s fans had heard it, too.  At 3:03 PM, the same scenario played out.

We thought Lily had 2 cubs, but there is some confusion.  Reports of a 3rd and 4th came in, while some were skeptical whether the cub at 3:03 PM was just another squeal from the first one.  We are reviewing the video footage and removing the static from the audio to see if we can sort it out. With thousands of us listening and looking, we’ll figure this out sooner or later.  We’ll also be trying to determine sex(es) while we all think of name(s). A video of the birth(s) is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuH5ADPwx3Q, see what you think.

Lily put us on alert yesterday when she clenched her teeth at 5:08 PM.  Last year, teeth-clenching signaled the onset of labor, and Hope was born 21 hours and 39 minutes later.   This year, teeth-clenching to the birth at 1:51 PM was 20 hours and 43 minutes.




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When I checked in on the little family around 8:20pm (pst) all was quiet with a couple of squeaks in the background. It brings back many memories of when I sat at the computer and listened to the newborn sounds of our little Hope. This is going to be the start of an interesting and educational time for bear study.

Congratulations Lily and big sister Hope.

 BTW—tomorrow is Hope’s 1 year birthday. Happy Birthday sweet bear.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

something fun

     I love this picture. I have it on my desktop at the moment and have come up with at least 6 different story ideas and a poem; it just cries out for a story and I will give it one. Nevertheless, wanting to share my "daily smile" with my friends, I decided to post it now and  will post it again with my favored story. 
     When I see it in the mornings, I instantly smile and another caption pops into my thoughts...today's I like the best so far.

Huh-hum…Mr. Fox…Sir….you happen to be sitting on my worm.

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just a reminder: when you see a new post, I have also updated the various pages with new information.
and...Jesse says not to forget his dog-blog, which he says is updated more often than mine. :)

also: Lily the Black Bear is definitely pregnant and due to deliver any day now, so visit Black Bear Lily's Den  cam for an exciting learning experience. She also has her own Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lily.the.black.bear with 123,786 fans.

 The top question is: what will Hope, the yearling cub in the den, do when the new ones arrive?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

be the winner not the whiner

Imagine going into your place of work, feeling great, you love your job, you are excited to see what an impact you may have on someone who needs your help. But within minutes of arriving, you are greeted with a complaining, negative, hates their job, complains about the people they work with, complains about the customers…on and on until you now are so disgusted that you wonder why on earth you are there too. Then imagine that person for any reason has to go home leaving you alone to wallow in your anger and dislike for everything and everyone around you. Imagine how you feel when you finally get home and realize that just a single person ruined what started out to be a perfect day. That person… was you, and no one else, only you have control over how you react to others. How does one deal with a negative coworker? Well, I pondered this over the weekend and here is what I have decided.

Some people exude negativity. They don’t like their jobs or they don’t like their company. Their bosses are always jerks and they are always treated unfairly. The company is always going down the tube and customers are worthless. You know these negative Neds and Nellies – every organization has some – and you can best address their impact on you via avoidance.

Here are several tips I found on dealing with negative coworkers…

Deal with genuinely negative people by spending as little time with them as possible. Just as you set limits with people whose negativity you believe is baseless or unwarranted, you need to set limits with coworkers who are negative people.

Causes of their long term negativity are not your concern. Every negative person has a story. Don’t impact your positive outlook by listening to the stories, or reviewing the history and the background about the grievances purported to cause the negativity. You reinforce the negativity; negativity is a choice. Negativity mongers need a new job, a new company, a new career, a new outlook, or counseling. They don’t need you.

If you are forced, through your role in the company, to work with a negative person, set limits. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into negative discussions. Tell the negative coworker, you prefer to think about your job positively. Avoid providing a sympathetic audience for the negativity.

Suggest the negative person seek assistance from human resources or their supervisor.
Persistent negativity that impacts coworkers’ work is a work behavior that may require disciplinary action.

If negativity among employees in your company is persistent, if the issues that warrant negativity are left unaddressed, and the negativity affects your ability to professionally perform your work, you may want to consider moving on. Your current culture will not support your desired work environment. And, if no one is working to improve a work culture that enables negativity, don’t expect the culture to change any time soon.

Stay in control, you are the only one who can make a change, your attitude belongs to you and no one else.

Now,  I have an added excitement in going into work: 
                                                             Can I finish the day the Winner and not the Whiner?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

looking from a different angle

I’m sure this may not go over with many people as a popular viewpoint, but it is mine.
My heart goes out to the families of the AZ victims, but also, I have to include the tragedy of a young man, who obviously had a mental problem, that perhaps if treated appropriately, could have been saved as well.
How do you regard mentally ill people? Search your soul, and the answer's unlikely to be positive. For understandable reasons, those afflicted with disorders of the mind rather than the body have rarely been cherished by their fellows, and probably never will be.
Changes in the theory of what mental illness actually is have appeared to provide an answer. many of the more severe conditions are primarily the product of brain chemistry malfunction, often genetically inspired. Hence the emphasis on drug treatments.
The public, however, have been slower than professionals to absorb this thinking. Possession by evil spirits or divine retribution for transgression may no longer be blamed for madness. Yet people continue to prefer psychosocial to biological explanations.
This is understandable. Those who shun the mentally ill can feel an element of justification as long as they believe that the activities and social interactions of the afflicted have played some part in shaping their behavior. If they can be persuaded, on the other hand, that the mentally ill are prisoners of their genes, they ought surely to accord them only compassion.
So, why am I telling you this? It's because an alarming number and range of people keep calling Jared Loughner a nut job, a whack job, a lunatic and an evil person. They keep asking why his parents didn't meet their responsibilities, get him treatment, commit him to a hospital, make sure he takes medication.
Why is it okay to casually describe people with mental illnesses as nut jobs or whack jobs? Would you refer to a cancer victim in such a dismissive, insensitive way?
The evidence in this case, including online ramblings and classroom behavior, certainly suggests mental illness. But Loughner is 22. It's very difficult from a legal standpoint to force someone 18 or older to get help, or even to take his pills, until he harms himself or others. And of course at that point, it's too late.
This is a tough problem. It requires balancing of so many competing interests and imperatives: A patient's right to refuse treatment versus the consequences of untreated mental illness for patients, their families and society; a family's desire to get help for a relative versus the potential for unwarranted, abusive commitments as in the past; society's desire to help people with mental illness versus the financial strains on the health-care system and the government; gun and privacy rights versus a system that prevents weapons sales to unstable people; the need for justice to be served versus the possibility that a perpetrator is ill and delusional, and perhaps himself a victim of a failed system.

The Loughner case could be an education experience for Americans who do not have mental illness in the family. If we emerge more enlightened for the debates to come, that would be one tiny saving grace from a shattering, shocking tragedy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lily & Hope's webcam is back!

Lily and Hope are hibernating, the webcam is up and running and… with the possibility of a new cub that will make three or more. If pregnant, Lily should be giving birth soon, keep an eye out, this is really a phenomenal thing to see and observe.

        
 A bit of background for anyone new to the Lily & Hope story:
            (taken from the bear.org website)
      Lily, a 4-year-old wild American black bear, is part of the long-term study of black bear ecology and behavior being conducted by biologist Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute near Ely, Minnesota. Lily made Internet history when a camera was placed in her den and the birth of her lone female cub, Hope, was broadcast live to 25,000 viewers on January 22, 2010. Hearts melted as Hope's tiny paw reached out to touch Lily's nose just after the birth. Lily and Hope became ambassadors for bears worldwide.

Hope peeking out of this years den.
      
Unfortunately, one cub was not enough to keep Lily from coming into estrus last spring. Lily abandoned Hope during the May mating season. Five days later, Hope was found - 2 miles from where she was abandoned - and reunited with Lily. However, by then, Lily's milk ducts were clogged and Hope became weak trying to keep up with Lily. Researchers stepped in and began feeding Hope a special formula. When Lily abandoned Hope a second time, no attempt was made to reunite them.

Lily and Hope -- just under 12 weeks
       Researchers set up a feeding station to keep Hope alive in the wild until wild foods became available and she could forage on her own. They also placed a tiny radio-collar on Hope so they could monitor her movements. Hope thrived. Eventually Hope and Lily crossed paths and reunited on their own. They travelled and foraged together through the late summer and fall, and they denned together in late October.

      American black bears normally give birth every 2 years, but Lily was seen with males during last spring's mating season and is likely pregnant. If she gives birth in mid-late January, we will have the rare opportunity of observing a mixed age litter - new cubs and a yearling from last year's litter.  the big question:   How will Hope react to new cubs?



Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011


welcome 2011, may this year be exceptional for everyone.