Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mishana Tyrannulet. Sandhill Cranes. Whooping Crane Chicks. Eagle Cam. More Eagles. Wind Power Kills. "Magic Mud". Oily Pelicans. Mammy. Hank Aaron. Cargo Trailer.

For "Winged Wednesday":

Mishana Tyrannulet

Mishana Tyrannulet by Dusan Brinkhuizen

"The Mishana Tyrannulet, a type of flycatcher unique to Peru, was only recognized as a species in 2001. It is a small, green bird with a yellow belly, pale eye, and pale lower bill.  Its song is a simple series of two to four evenly spaced notes. Its diet includes small arthropods and fruit, especially mistletoe berries; it is frequently found perched at the top of bushes, often at the forest edge.

ABC and partner ProNaturaleza have worked together at the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve to improve management and enhance protection of white-sand forests for the Mishana Tyrannulet, Iquitos Gnatcatcher, Allpahuayo Antbird, and other rare birds. During 2010 and 2011, 2,368 acres of private property within the reserve was purchased for donation to the national government to be managed for conservation.

ABC and ProNaturaleza  are also undertaking educational campaigns with local communities, training programs for reserve staff, and bird surveys within the reserve.

The Mishana Tyrannulet is easily seen at Waqanki, a tourist lodge in the Mayo Valley near Moyobamba featured in a recent ABC blog. This is an excellent place to stop between the Tarapoto airport and the Abra Patricia reserve, where ABC has worked with ECOAN to protect over 24,000 acres of cloud forest."    Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!


Leaping With Sandhill Cranes by Bob Sundstrom

"With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, Sandhill Cranes welcome the longer days. The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring. Sandhill Crane pairs remain together for life, and their spirited dance plays an essential role in reaffirming this bond. Watch a video of their courtship dance."   Play MP3 Download MP3 View Transcript    LISTEN NOW

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Whooping crane migration comes up short

Whooping crane migration

Whooping cranes follow an Operation Migration ultralight in Wisconsin in October.

"What's that saying about leading a horse to water? The latest effort to teach Maryland-bred whooping crane chicks to migrate to Florida for the winter has been called off because the endangered birds will no longer follow the ultralight aircraft leading them.
Operation Migration, the nonprofit group that's been guiding captive-bred young cranes for a decade on their initial 1,300-mile flight from nesting grounds in Wisconsin, has called it quits this year in Alabama, 500 miles short of the destination.
While previous flights haven't gone smoothly, this is the first time the group hasn't succeeded in completing the journey to join the rest of the whooping crane flock wintering on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
The flight was grounded for a month in northern Alabama around the holidays as the group sparred with the Federal Aviation Administration over whether its ultralight pilots were properly licensed.
The FAA eventually relented and granted them temporary waivers to continue, but in the next two weeks the birds covered only 14 miles. Weather was partly to blame, but even when skies were clear and calm, the birds repeatedly broke away from their ultralight guides to land or fly off in different directions.
"Maybe we have stayed too long in Alabama and for them migration is over," ultralight pilot Joe Duff wrote in the group's online field journal chronicling its odyssey. "Or maybe they were just too long in one place. Maybe if we had a few flying days in a row to gain back their confidence, or maybe we just have a few too many aggressive birds with minds of their own."
Could unusually mild weather this winter have prompted the birds to lose their migratory urge? The group's blog contains a comment from a biologist in Indiana that a number of cranes, both whoopers and non-endangered sandhills, had flown no farther south this winter than the Hoosier State, where the grass has stayed green and the ground unfrozen.

At Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., whooping crane chicks are hatched and taught to follow crane-costumed humans piloting an ultralight aircraft. They're then transported to Wisconsin, their nesting grounds once they've returned from wintering down south.  Patuxent scientist John B. French said biologists weren't sure what would happen with these chicks if they didn't make it to Florida. Might they imprint on Alabama, or ultimately join the rest of the eastern flock in shuttling between Wisconsin and Florida? If they stuck with Alabama, how would such a small group — about 10 birds — fare on its own?

For now, at least, Operation Migration has decided to load the chicks into crates and drive them to a nearby national wildlife refuge in Alabama rather than try to get them to Florida. It would be too stressful to keep them cooped up for a ride that long, it was believed."  By Tim Wheeler, Baltimore Sun. February 4, 2012. From:,0,7433258.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fscience+%28L.A.+Times+-+Science%29

The group is posting progress reports on its blog.


Operation Migration

Operation Migration

"Unlike many other birds that have an inherent sense of direction and destination, young Whooping Cranes have to learn their migration route from the adults. Enter Operation Migration and ultralight aircraft to lead them on their journey! Fortunately, the young cranes need to be shown the way only once. In early 2007, an entire generation of young cranes died due to a freak storm in Florida.
Learn more about this year's journey from Wisconsin to Florida at  Operation"   Play MP3 Download MP3 View Transcript .


Eagle Cam is Back! Watch Iowa Bald Eagle Eggs Hatching Live  from Wildlife Promise

"Did you join us last year as we watched two Iowa bald eagles care for newly hatched eagle chicks? Thanks to the Raptor Resource Center, the eagle cam we all came to love is back!  Join the National Wildlife Federation family again this year as we watch the eagles hatch and grow!"  Update 2/17/12: First egg is delivered (watch video). Feb. 20, 2012: Second egg is delivered (watch video) From:

Cats and Eagles:

"I had gone on a short errand and when I came home I found the cats hanging out with these 2 eagles. During the summer these same two eagles hang out on my porch about every day like it is their own private perch. They also have claim to the lamp post across the street from my house.   They sit on the porch rail and watch me in my kitchen for hours! I love the sounds they make!"


Bald eagles win a round against Red Wing wind farm

Wind turbines won't sprout near Red Wing for at least a year, state regulators decide. Worries about wildlife have resulted in a one-year delay for the project.

"Bald eagles won an unexpected victory Thursday when Minnesota regulators delayed a wind farm near Red Wing for at least a year because the developer failed to produce an adequate plan to protect America's national symbol and other flying creatures.

Local residents who have been fighting the 48-turbine farm for years hugged each other and wiped away tears when the three-member Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted 2-1 to deny the plan. The PUC demanded that AWA Goodhue Wind, owned by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, provide better research on how many eagles and bats fly through or near the site, which is prime hunting and nesting territory.

"I don't think that the American people are ready to watch Minnesota's nesting bald eagles be destroyed on behalf of a Texas millionaire," said Mary Hartman, a local resident." More at:


ABC's Response to Speaker Gingrich's Statement on Energy Industry Killing of Migratory Birds

“The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of our country’s foremost laws for the protection of wild birds, has been widely enforced for decades in cases generally similar to those involving the North Dakota oil and gas companies referenced in Speaker Gingrich’s February 22 letter. American Bird Conservancy believes that Judge Hovland’s interpretation of the law in this latest case was overly narrow and inconsistent with prior precedents. We feel that prosecution of oil companies for the foreseeable and preventable deaths of birds protected under the MBTA is warranted and appropriate especially since all the companies involved had been cited for similar violations in the past. However, ABC does agree with Speaker Gingrich that prosecutions may be warranted for similar violations of the act by wind power developers, who, in stark contrast to the oil and gas industry, have been given a virtual pass for the deaths of migratory birds at their facilities for over 30 years."      Complete article at:


Magic mud' uncovered on Vancouver tidal flats key to shorebird populations

A February 2012 handout photo shows a western sandpiper slurping up the "magic carpet of biofilm" at Roberts Bank, just south of Vancouver on the Fraser River Delta. The biofilm, which scientists say is high in energy and nutrients, can make up to 70 per cent of shorebirds' diet.

A February 2012 handout photo shows a western sandpiper slurping up the "magic carpet of biofilm" at Roberts Bank, just south of Vancouver on the Fraser River Delta. The biofilm, which scientists say is high in energy and nutrients, can make up to 70 per cent of shorebirds' diet.

"The "magic" in the mud was first uncovered just south of Vancouver where up to half the world's western sandpipers touch down to refuel as they migrate north.    Now the gooey, paper-thin biofilm has also been found to be a key bird food on the other side of the Pacific, revealing what researchers say is a "missing link" in the avian world.

Biofilm can make up to 70 per cent of the diet of small shorebirds, which slurp up the stuff like energy drinks, says Environment Canada researcher Robert Elner, who led the international team that reports its study findings this week.

The scientists say the results could have big implications, especially for ports that may have been unknowingly destroying prime shorebird — and biofilm — habitat.  Mud in the intertidal zone has long been considered "just mud," says Elner. "It wasn't regarded as particularly productive, or particularly beautiful. So it's never been a valued resource."

Biofilm — or as Elner describes it "this magic carpet of biofilm" — alters that picture dramatically.  Biofilm is a dense, mucous-like layer that forms on mud. It is created by bacteria and diatoms that settle out of seawater and secrete mucus that binds them to the mud so they won't wash away with the tide.  The film is composed of mucopolysaccharides, which is an easy-to-digest, high-energy food. Elner says it also appears to contain nutrients that keep the birds in good shape for migration and reproduction.

The researchers from Japan, Britain and British Columbia's Simon Fraser University explored six intertidal sites in Japan and Canada, and looked at 30 different shorebird species from red-necked stints to dunlins.  They sifted through the birds' droppings, examined their mouth parts, and set up high-speed video cameras to watch the birds racing across inter-tidal flats, rapidly feeding as they went.

The analysis revealed the birds use their beaks — and hairy tongues — to suck up biofilm. The smaller the birds the more likely they are to consume large amounts of the high-energy goo.  "Biofilm feeding is indeed widespread," the researchers report this week in the journal Ecology Letters.  They say the connection between shorebirds and biofilm is not only a "missing" but a "critical" link that could lead to better understanding of the birds, many of which are declining in number globally."    Read more:


All Eyes on the Senate, from Wildlife Promise

Jeff Phillips of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescues a brown pelican from Barataria Bay in Grand Isle, LA. June 4, 2010.

"Last week, pelicans and other wildlife in the Gulf got some promising news when the House of Representatives passed an amendment dedicating 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the BP oil spill to Gulf restoration.  The amendment, introduced by Rep. Scalise (R-LA), sets aside most of the money from the expected oil spill penalties into a trust fund.

The House’s move sets up the Senate to pass the RESTORE Act, which will also direct oil spill penalty money to the Gulf for restoration. The RESTORE Act is not in conflict with the House amendment but has more specific language directing how this money should be used.

Take ActionSpeak up for the Gulf pelicans and all wildlife that rely on a healthy Gulf! Urge your senators to support S 1400, the RESTORE Act!

The Senate needs to act soon. BP, whose total liability claims clock in at around $71 billion, is furiously working on a settlement deal with the U.S. Department of Justice.  If a settlement is reached before the RESTORE Act is passed, money from BP’s fines could go straight into the Treasury. That’s not right.  The Gulf oil spill was the largest accidental marine oil spill in history—and Gulf wildlife are still struggling in its aftermath. Money from the oil spill penalties should not be a windfall for the Treasury but should be used to restore the Gulf.  Please urge your Senators to support the RESTORE Act today!

The RESTORE Act Benefits Wildlife

"The endangered brown pelicans were starting to nest when the Deepwater Horizon well exploded in 2010. On one small island, biologists found over 300 oiled pelicans in a single day. Biologists remain concerned about the long-term impacts of the dispersed and submerged oil on the pelican’s food chain and nesting grounds."


On This Day:

McDaniel wins Oscar, Feb 29, 1940:

"On February 29, 1940, Gone with the Wind is honored with eight Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An epic Southern romance set during the hard times of the Civil War, the movie swept the prestigious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Actress categories. However, the most momentous award that night undoubtedly went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of "Mammy," a housemaid and former slave. McDaniel, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, was the first African American actress or actor ever to be honored with an Oscar."


Hank Aaron record-breaking deal, Feb 29, 1972:

"On February 29, 1972, Hank Aaron signs a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that pays him $200,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at the time. Two years later, Aaron became baseball’s home run king when he broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing record."



With the comment word verification removed, I am getting 20-30 spam comments a day.   Blogger is very good at catching them, so I go down their list, and delete them.  Have you checked to see how many spam comments Blogger has caught for you?

Misty didn't get a very long walk, as my back is still sore from when I put it out last Sunday.  My HMO has now decided that I have to see a physical therapist before I can see a chiropractor.

We loaded Jay's mower in the Puddle Jumper, and he mowed my lawn weeds for me.  I keep the back yard scoop-a-pooed, but I raked the pine cones out of the way, as I know they are bad for the mower's blade. We dropped my mower off at mechanic Jim's house, and maybe he can stop gas from leaking out of the air filter.

Then we moved the water tank from under the dinette in the cargo trailer, and started it's re-installation under the sink.

Still ideal weather when neither the AC or heat has to be run during the night or day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TX Underground. Natural Bridge Caverns. Other Caves. Karst. DNA. M*A*S*H. Cargo Trailer.

For "Travel Tuesday", we aren't leaving The Texas Hill Country until we have toured The Natural Bridge Caverns.

shade birds 2

Yeah.... in Texas, you take your shade where you can find it and you're thankful for it.


Here is plenty of shade:    Texas, Underground  

Natural Bridge Caverns

"The Natural Bridge Caverns take “deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country” to a whole new meaning. With depths reaching 260 feet underground, it is Texas’ largest-known cavern and consistently ranks as one of the state’s top tourist destinations.


Texas , Natural Bridge Caverns , soda straw stalactites stock photo

Discovered in 1960 by students at St. Mary’s University, the cavern, located just west of New Braunfels, has delighted visitors for decades with lantern-led tours, archaeological gems, and natural formations like “soda straw” stalactites occurring along hidden passages.

Originally thought to consist of only a modest-sized cave under a 60-foot naturally occurring limestone bridge, it wasn’t until four students with St. Mary’s spelientology club took a routine caving expedition to the next level that the massive chambers of the cavern were discovered.

On March 27, 1960, students Orion Knox, Al Brandt, Preston Knodell and Jo Cantu decided to split off from the rest of their group, who were exploring the original cave of the Natural Bridge Caverns. Having visited the cave three times prior, the group of four was curious to see if there was anything more to the cave.

As the smallest member of the group, Knox, then 19, made his way through a tight crawlspace with a rock hammer and a carbide lamp. When he emerged on the other side, he was welcomed by a great expanse of darkness. He called back to the group, “Hey, we have may have something here.”

That “something” was the largest underground cavern in Texas, and it would take the relentless efforts of the landowner, rancher and widow Clara Wuest, to bring its development to fruition. When Wuest first approached the state and national parks agencies to seek their assistance in developing the cavern, she was turned down. But this setback didn’t stop her. She mortgaged her ranch to fund the project, and for 2 years, cavers and workers, including Orion Knox, worked 14-hour days to develop the site. By completion, they had excavated a half-mile route into the cavern, complete with paths and tunnels for visitors to navigate. Wuest opened the cavern to the public in 1964, and tourists began flocking to the attraction, giving a significant boost to the early years of Texas’ tourism industry. In 1971, the Natural Bridge Caverns were listed as a registered U.S. natural landmark.

First discovered by student explorers, today the cavern aptly remains a principal site of study. The Center of Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio has been involved in the excavation of the landmark, and the cavern has provided students with an enlightening, hands-on dimension to their geological studies throughout the years.

Natural Bridge Caverns, TX.Certainly for visitors of any age, the cavern provides an exciting learning experience. The Lantern Tour recreates the ambience of a dauntless exploratory expedition to the delight of its young patrons. Chalkboard drawings and lessons are replaced with palpable wonders such as stalagmites, stalactites and cave ribbons. Children can take turns on the mining sluice, scrutinizing their fortunes as they sift through buckets to discover fossils, gems and arrowheads. Some arrowheads and spearheads found during the original excavation dated from 5,000 B.C.

The Natural Bridge Caverns’ beauty dazzles observers and captivates photographers. In 2003, USA Today classified the Natural Bridge Caverns as one of “10 Great Places to get nature on film.” In addition to commercial praise, the cavern also enjoys national recognition from the United States Department of the Interior as part of the National Register of Historical Places.

Whether it’s a classroom field trip, a summer daytrip, or scratching an itch for adventure, a visit to the Natural Bridge Caverns will not disappoint. To learn more, visit" By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn


Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns,

"Natural Bridge Caverns is the largest Texas show cave and one of the most impressive because of its size and beauty. You'll love the totem poles, fried eggs, and massive formations.

Natural Bridge Caverns,







Natural Bridge Caverns' most

The name of the cave comes from the natural stone bridge, all that is left of a huge, collapsed room that now forms the entrance sink. The cave is unusual in that much of it is formed in the upper member of the Glen Rose Formation (Cretaceous age), which is not usually cavernous.


Pluto's Anteroom. Posted by Socks in Natural Bridge Caverns


From the first room in the cave, Pluto's Anteroom, the passage slopes steeply down through Sherwood Forest, 55 m below the entrance and to the deepest point on the trail. Carefully built switchbacks wind through the totem poles.

Natural Bridge Caverns

Next comes the deep canyon of Purgatory Creek, which sometimes floods above an ingeniously engineered concrete bridge, which is attached to one wall 10 m above the floor.


Castle of the White Giants


Next is the Castle of the White Giants, named for its massive speleothems.


Copy of grendels canyon.



Near the end of this large room is Grendel's Canyon, which leads down to the deepest point in the cave some 76 m (250 ft.) below the entrance.

The "Hall of the Mountain King" deep within the North Cavern at Natural


Stairs then lead to the Hall of the Mountain Kings, a huge dome, the floor of which is covered with flowstone, stalagmites, columns, and fried eggs. Another man-made tunnel leads out to the surface.


Natural Bridge Caverns

The owners discovered the "South Caverns" by drilling boreholes on the opposite side of the entrance sink. This 450-m long section is being carefully developed with all-concrete trails and minimal damage to the cave. "




Hidden Passages Tour

Hidden Passages, Natural

"Natural Bridge Caverns has two world class caves for you to explore.  On the Hidden Passages Tour, light and darkness combine to enhance your exploration of huge underground chambers decorated with some of our most rare and delicate formations.  The Hidden Passages are highly decorated with unusually long 'soda straw' stalactites, waves of 'cave ribbon' and a profusion of intriguing 'welt and turnip shields.'   Another unique experience only offered on this tour occurs when all the lights are turned off and you experience total darkness. You haven't seen all of Natural Bridge Caverns until you have experienced the Hidden Passages."


History Of The Natural Bridge Caverns.

"Brian Vauter, Cavern Geologist and Operations Manager for Natural Bridge Caverns, explains how the Caverns were discovered. He describes the amazingly diverse rooms, the crystal pools, and some of the fossil remains found within the cave."



"Visitors to the caverns walk through different layers of limestone, a sedimentary rock. Geologists theorize that during the Cretaceous period, a warm, shallow sea covered much of Texas. Sediments and dead marine organisms collected on the ocean floor, compacted and formed the different limestone layers. Geologists give different names to the various layers, and visitors to Natural Bridge Caverns will find the Glen Rose and the Kainer (Edwards) layers. The Glen Rose, as the oldest rock layer, contains the lowermost chambers, while the Kainer forms the Natural Bridge." More at:


Cave Without A Name, 12 miles from Boerne

"Cave Without A Name has a short trail but is a wonderful cave. A staircase spirals down a pit and opens into a 7-m-high by 12-m-wide passage decorated with large speleothems. The trail ends after 186 m at a large stream passage.

Cave Without A Name is Texas' best kept secret among show caves. The lack of advertising and the slightly off-the-beaten-path location belie the cave's quality. Its entrance pit has been enlarged to accommodate a staircase that spirals down to a depth of 24 m. The pit opens into a passage measuring 186 m long and averaging 7 m high by 12 m wide. Large columns, stalactites, stalagmites, and draperies divide the passage into four distinct sections. The speleothems include some of best rimstone dams and cave bacon in Texas.

The cave was discovered in the early part of the 20th century when steam was seen rising from the pit entrance one cold winter morning. A rock that partially covered the pit was moved, but no one went into the cave until the 1920s when it was necessary to rescue a goat. In 1927, a group of boys dug open a short crawlway at the base of the entrance pit and found the main part of the cave. Between this discovery and its commercialization, the cave's entrance area hid a moonshine still during prohibition years.   More at:  and:


Cascade CavernsBoerne, Texas

"Cascade Caverns offers you an opportunity to go back in time 140 million years. The more we know about caves, the more we can tell about geological history. Also the more we see what nature has done and the time involved, the smaller we seem to be.


In the beginning all the area of rock we are now in was once beds of silt mud and shell on the bottom of the sea. The erosion by wind and water has eaten away material from the high land and deposited it below the sea, sometimes several thousand feet deep. During the formative period of the earth these mud beds raised above the sea and dried out. They cracked much like a small mud puddle does, the mud shrinking and cracking in rough squares. This is the start of the cave. The lifeline of the cave as it is known. When water entered these tiny cracks it dissolved the then soft material enlarging some of the cracks. Later fresh water streams flowed through these cracks bringing vegetation and other organic matter from above, which rotted causing carbonic acid to form which eats away at the limestone, further enlarging the cracks. This action is still going on.

The most common forms are flowstone on walls and floors and stalactites from the ceilings. There are few stalagmites growing upward because the cave we now see is only the top portion of the whole original cave. During the major period of formation growth the cave extended much deeper, therefore these types of formations have been covered by centuries of debris.  More at: and


What Exactly is Karst?

1: The Edwards Aquifer stores

"Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. Nearly all surface karst features are formed by internal drainage, subsidence, and collapse triggered by the development of underlying caves (Palmer, 1991).

1: The features of a karst

The features of a karst system.

Rainwater becomes acidic as it comes in contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the soil. As it drains into fractures in the rock, the water begins to dissolve away the rock creating a network of passages. Over time, water flowing through the network continues to erode and enlarge the passages; this allows the plumbing system to transport increasingly larger amounts of water (Gunn, 2004). This process of dissolution leads to the development of the caves, sinkholes, springs, and sinking streams typical of a karst landscape.

Why is Karst Important?
Dissolution associated with karst development in central Texas limestone has created a complex underground water flow network that includes caves large enough for humans to access. Rainwater travels through the network, controlled by the Balcones fault system, until it reaches the water table (Ferrill et al., 2004). The karstified limestone acts as an aquifer where water can be stored and later extracted by humans.

Two million people in central Texas get their drinking water from the karst aquifer known as the Edwards Aquifer (Sharp and Banner, 1997). This resource is especially important for central Texas as the region becomes more urbanized. With a higher density of people, central Texas will face higher demand and increased pollution. Just like rainwater, pollutants can easily pass through the karstified limestone. Another difficulty is that streams and surface runoff entering the aquifer via sinkholes and caves bypass the natural filtration produced by seeping through soil and bedrock. This direct recharge quickly replenishes the water supply; however, it also leaves the aquifer particularly vulnerable to contamination (Drew and Hötzl, 1999). From:


On This Day:

Watson and Crick discover chemical structure of DNA

"On this day in 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes.

Though DNA--short for deoxyribonucleic acid--was discovered in 1869, its crucial role in determining genetic inheritance wasn't demonstrated until 1943. In the early 1950s, Watson and Crick were only two of many scientists working on figuring out the structure of DNA."


Final episode of M*A*S*H airs, Feb 28, 1983:

"On this day in 1983, the celebrated sitcom M*A*S*H bows out after 11 seasons, airing a special two-and-a-half hour episode watched by 77 percent of the television viewing audience. It was the largest percentage ever to watch a single TV show up to that time."



I put my back out on Sunday, so I am moving slowly.  Unfortunately, my HMO is also moving slowly and hasn't issued their approval to get it cracked back in place yet.  When I changed health plans it meant that I have to go to a new, different chiropractor.  Red Tape!

Bed-&-dinetteAfter walking Misty and Maddie, Jay and I worked on the cargo trailer again, finally.  We installed the converter-charger and the outlet for it, under the left dinette. 

Then I realized that the water tank wasn't going to be practical under there, too, as the water connections would be too close to the converter.  We had installed the tank a long time ago when the brown fridge was going to be under the sink, but that changed, and it now leaves that space for the tank.  So I unscrewed the left side bench top, and the tank is nearly out, but it was time to quit for the day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Rainbow Bridge & Animal Rescuers. K-9 Rescuers. Belker. Dog's Soul. Female Suffrage. Wounded Knee.

For "Mammal Monday:"

We all know the Poem of The Rainbow Bridge:

This is the Rescuer's Rainbow Bridge:

Rescuer's Bridge

"Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.

But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.

"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person, and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

"Watch, and see," said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive.

Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."

"I think I like rescuers", said the first animal.

"So does GOD", was the reply."


But there are other rescuers:

The 9/11 rescue dogs: Portraits of the last surviving animals who scoured Ground Zero one decade on.

"During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search-and-rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors.

Now, ten years on, just 12 of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled 'Retrieved'.

The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and searched the site for 8 days

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days





Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Centre on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for 8 days


Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight days.


Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana was deployed to the World Trade Center September 11, 2001, and looked for people in the rubble

Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.

Travelling across nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.

Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called Retrieved, which was published on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted 'Retrieved' to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.   Travelling across nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.

'I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved,' explained Charlotte.  'They speak to us as a different species and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.'

Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days

Bretagne takes a break from work at the 9/11 site with Denise






Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.  Bretagne takes a break from work at the 9/11 site with his handler Denise. It was moving talking to Denise Corliss.    She told me a touching story of one fireman who was there in the rubble, and how taken he was with Bretagne who comforted him as he sat down to catch his breath.   Years later at a Remembrance Ceremony, the same fireman recognized Bretagne and her handler and they had a touching reunion.   It developed that even though the dogs couldn't find people still alive, they could provide comfort for the brave firemen and rescue workers of the emergency services.'

Guinness, 15, from Highland California, started working with Sheila McKee on the morning of the 13th and were deployed to the World Trade Center for 11 days

Guinness works at the 9/11 site shortly after the attacks











Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days

Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to the on the 24th September, working the night shift for five daysMerlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days

Most of the search and rescue dogs are Labradors or Golden Retrievers and Charlotte feels that the title works across many aspects of the story.

'I found the dogs, I retrieved them, they were there to retrieve the victims, it is nicely rounded,' explained Charlotte whose work is being exhibited at the Julie Saul Gallery NYC opening on September 8, in time for the anniversary.

After working on a project about police canines and other working dogs, she was inspired to concentrate on the animals that played such a huge part in seeking survivors.

Contacting the NYPD, the New York Fire Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Charlotte discovered that out of the nearly 100 dogs among the first responders deployed by FEMA, there were in fact only 15 still alive last year.

Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines


Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines






Abigail the dog and Debra Tosch were deployed on the evening of September 17 at the World Trade Center and then searching for 10 days

Tuff and Tom Andert arrived in the city at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day the World Trade Centre











Abigail, left, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days while Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day.

Scout and another unknown dog lay among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors

Unknown dogs lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors

'They were there for the first few weeks, they were trained to find people alive, although that is ultimately not what happened,' said Charlotte.  'I traveled across the United States to meet with the owners and portray the dogs. They are all retired and I spent time with each of their handlers learning about their experiences.'

Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Centre from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for 5 days

Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days



Searching for survivors: The dogs tirelessly worked to help find those who survived the horrific attacks












Searching for survivors: The dogs worked around the clock in the vain hope of finding anyone still alive at the World Trade Center site

'Wishing to tell the other side of heroism from 9/11, each of Charlotte's encounters with dogs such as Gabriel and Orion and Scout stayed with her.   'The dogs are now old and they will soon pass away. Even during the time it has taken since my first work on the 'Retrieved' portraits to now, three of the final 15 have died,' said Charlotte.  'These portraits are about how time passes, and how these dogs and their portraits are offering us a way to deal with the things that happened as well as relying on them for comfort.'  Read more:



"Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.   As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'    The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.' "


Dogs Don't Have Souls, Do They?

"I remember bringing you home. You were so small and cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur.  You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping.   Once in a while, you'd let out a little yelp just to let me know this was your territory.   Making a mess of the house and chewing on everything in sight became a passion, and when I scolded you, you just put your head down and looked up at me with those innocent eyes, as if to say, "I'm sorry, but I'll do it again as soon as you're not watching."

As you got older, you protected me by looking out the window and barking at everyone who walked by. When I had a tough day at work, you would be waiting for me with your tail wagging just to say, "Welcome home. I missed you. "You never had a bad day, and I could always count on you to be there for me.

When I sat down to read the paper and watch TV, you would hop on my lap, looking for attention.  You never asked for anything more than for me to pat your head so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.

As you got older, you moved around more slowly. Then, one day, old age finally took its toll, and you couldn't stand on those wobbly legs anymore.  I knelt down and patted you lying there, trying to make you young again. You just looked up at me as if to say you were old and tired and that after all these years of not asking for anything, you had to ask me for one last favor.

With tears in my eyes, I drove you one last time to the vet. One last time, you were lying next to me. For some strange reason, you were able to stand up in the animal hospital, perhaps it was your sense of pride.

As the vet led you away, you stopped for an instant, turned your head and looked at me as if to say, "Thank you for taking care of me.”    I thought, "No, thank you for taking care of me." " By Chuck Wells of Palmyra, N.Y.


I must change the subject, as I have tears in my eyes, thinking of my two extra special dogs, Bunnie and Levi!

On This Day:

Supreme Court defends women's voting rights, Feb 27, 1922:

"In Washington, D.C., the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for female suffrage, is unanimously declared constitutional by the eight members of the U.S. Supreme Court. The 19th Amendment, which stated that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex," was the product of over seven decades of meetings, petitions, and protests by women suffragists and their supporters.

In 1916, the Democratic and Republican parties endorsed female enfranchisement, and on June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the required three-fourths majority of state ratification, and on August 26 the 19th Amendment officially took effect."


AIM takes Wounded Knee, Feb 27, 1973:

"Angered over a long history of violated treaties, mistreatment, and discrimination, 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupy the tiny hamlet of Wounded Knee, South Dakota."



After Jay and I took Misty and Maddie for their walk, we came here and tackled the big table in the workshop.  Anything that needed something done to it, had been piled on it.  Some of those things were cleaned and put away, and some we put in the already stuffed van, for donating.  Now we can actually see the table, so Ray will be able to see exactly what has to be done.

It was a little too windy to burn, and a chilly, but sunny day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love Don't Come Easy. Lack of Respect. Good Manners. America On The Hinge of History. Two National Parks. World Trade Center.


Love Don't Come Easy

"It is often easy to say the words “I love you,” but actual love is not that easy. It takes more than saying the words; it takes action.

Love Don

A popular 1967 Beatles song was titled “All You Need is Love.” The lyrics were “All you need is love… it’s easy.”

It is easy when our love is simply an expression of what we want to do. But when our love is a true expression of love, real outgoing concern—the kind of love that Christ prayed we would have for each other—that takes effort.

It goes against our natural tendencies of protecting and nurturing self to put God and others above our own needs, yet it is exactly this kind of love that God expects from us.

Love: a nature, not an idea

There are many types of love, and many definitions or ideas about love, but love must be defined by its source. We are told in 1 John 4:8 who that source is; “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  “ summarizes and epitomizes the ultimate nature of God,” says Don Hooser in a Good News article entitled “Love: the Ground from Which Spiritual Fruit Springs.” You can’t understand love apart from God. God defines and reveals the concept by His words and actions. We don’t learn about God because we know what love is; we learn about love because we know who God is. Love isn’t some human contrived concept we idealize; love is a nature that we must take on.

God’s nature, codified

In 1 John:5:3 we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” The word “keep” means to attend to carefully, take care of, guard, observe, preserve.

Note how in Matthew:5:21-30 Jesus Christ clarifies “keeping” the commandments given in Exodus:20:13-14[13]  “You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery.” Jesus Christ “magnified” the law. He moved the definitions beyond simply the constraints of physical activity into the mind and heart. Logically, if love defines God’s nature and the commandments define love, God’s commandments define His nature.

What commandments?

A man well versed in scriptural law, who was trying to test Jesus, asked Him which was the great [most important] commandment in the law. Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew:22:36-37) This is the answer the lawyer probably expected, since Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy:6:4-9 a passage known as the Shema (after the first Hebrew word in it), which had become the Jewish confession of faith that was recited twice daily by the pious.

But Jesus then went beyond what was specifically asked saying, “And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew:22:39) This was not a “new” commandment, since Jesus was quoting Leviticus:19:18.   But it seems the Jews had not coupled it with Deuteronomy:6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might, as another “great” commandment. Jesus raised “love your neighbor” to a much higher level of importance.

In John:15:13 we read, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Notice here that the “greater love” is primarily directed toward man. Do you find it easier to get angry or upset with man, or with God? Do you find it easier to admire God or man? It is perhaps “harder” to show love toward flawed people, especially those that have or will hurt you; but again, God sets the example; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". (Romans:5:8)

It is usually easier to feel lovingly toward God than toward man. God does no wrong and loved us first (1 John:4:19). Because we are so driven by feeling, it can be easier to act on love toward God. When the Bible speaks of love, note that love has more to do with what we do than what we think or feel. For example, consider the Golden Rule of Matthew:7:12 usually paraphrased as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The examples

Consider the love of the Father. Imagine that your child or dearest loved one came and told you they needed to help someone. But you knew that the people they were going to help would treat him miserably, and torture and kill him. Would you allow it?  The thought of losing a child is horrifying. Yet God allowed all this for the sake of the very type of people that would kill His Son, because He loves us so dearly.

Consider the love of Jesus Christ. Imagine that you are offered two opportunities:

1) All of the finest things in life, a good home in a quiet beautiful town, plus unlimited wealth and power to carry out whatever you desire.

2) Spending the remainder of your life taking care of people in a tribal village in an impoverished country hostile toward you where they’d probably beat and kill you.

Jesus Christ gave up everything He had going for Him to save us because He loves us so dearly. It is God’s nature to show an abundance of love toward indifferent, flawed, or even hostile individuals. We need to take on that nature daily. “Don’t forget every day to pray, ‘Father... more than anything... help us to grow in Your love so that we do not fail’.

Love must be sustained

For those of us who have received God’s Spirit, “God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans:5:5).  We begin with a little love, but God helps us to keep growing until we have a lot of love. In fact, the previous verses outline the step-by-step growth process made possible by God’s love and Spirit (verses 1-5).

By His Spirit, God offers us a continual supply of His limitless love. He continually fills our wells so that we have plenty to give to other thirsty people. Christ’s example of love and sacrifice was so profound that the promise of salvation that flowed through Him would flow through those who believed in Him (John:7:38).

God will keep His love flowing into us as long as it keeps flowing out from us. It must flow back to God—a grateful, reciprocal, responsive love for God—and it must flow out in love and service to other people. “The more you give it away, the more you will have. And the more you love others, the more you will be loved” From:


Lack of Respect.

"We increasingly see a general lack of respect and rudeness in our society. This is a result of our rejection of basic Biblical values."

Transcript: [Gary Petty] "On Beyond Today, we get a lot of emails from people that ask questions or ask for our input on certain subjects. We got this one from "W". He said, "Comment on the lack of respect in society."

You know, it does seem like there's a lot of lack of respect, the way people treat each other in our society that we live in, especially here in the United States. And we wonder why. And part of it is a failure of Christianity. We claim that we're a Christian country, and yet people don't respect each other, don't respect the elderly, which is commanded in the Scripture, to respect the elderly. Young people don't respect their parents. The Bible says to honor your father and your mother.

When you get down to it, it's a lack of love. 1 Corinthians chapter 13 the Apostle Paul wrote about agape, that's godly love, not just feeling good about each other, but what God's love is all about. 1 Corinthians:13:1-13  As you go read that, 1 Corinthians 13. You will see that the Apostle Paul wrote that it is kind and it is not rude. It's how we treat each other.

So the lack of respect in this country, how do we fix it? We start with you. We start with me. We start being kind. We start to treat each other in a way that's not rude. We start carrying out 1 Corinthians chapter 13. We start honoring our parents and then we let God help us change the world." From:


Where Have All the Good Manners Gone?

Guidelines for parents

"A time is coming, under Jesus Christ’s rule, when right conduct and respect for others will be an integral part of civilization. Until that time arrives, parents should follow the clear teaching in Deuteronomy:6:6-7[These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

These words referred to statutes and judgments or proper behavior that allowed ancient Israel to be well advanced in matters of morality, citizenship, decorum and even hygiene.

In later times, even the classic Greek philosophers noted that teaching children right conduct was vital.  Plato, in his Republic, observed: “You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for this is the time in which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken… Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?

“We cannot… Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts… Then will our youth dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything; and beauty, the effluence of fair works, shall flow into the eye and ear, like a health-giving breeze from a purer region, and insensibly draw the soul from the earliest years into likeness and sympathy with the beauty of reason. There can be no nobler training than that.” 

Rest of Article at:


"Thank You, Please and I Love You..."

"Manners and courtesy have never gone out of style. They have just been neglected.

While humans have devised certain rules of etiquette, the basic principle is found in Scripture: "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (Matthew:7:12) also called the Golden Rule. Children learn courtesy and manners by the examples they see and by being taught.

Our daughters both loved a little Golden Book, Raggedy Ann: A Thank You, Please, and I Love You Book. It went out of print, but we managed to keep copies of it. Our daughters could finish the various rhymes about gratitude and courtesy to others. Here are a few of the rhymes:

"People are happy to hear Andy on the phone, because he always says hello in such a friendly tone."  "Here in the sandbox our Andy and Ann share all of their playthings the best way they can."  "Ann won't give Andy a piece of her candy—it's not that she's meaning to tease. He wants it so badly, she'd give him some gladly—but Andy forgot to say PLEASE."

To teach children to say "thank you" when they receive something or have something done for them is to help them be grateful to others in life. Teaching them to share and wait their turn in line also teaches the principle of courtesy. Teaching them to respond with a "yes" or "no" (maybe even a "yes, Sir" or "no, Ma'am," which might seem outdated, but is very respectful) instead of a "yeah" or "nah" or no response will help them show more respect and communicate more effectively.

Showing respect for the elderly by giving them more comfortable places to sit or letting them in line ahead of you also helps teach our children to show respect. This lesson will hold them in good stead when they meet their boss for the first time.

Teaching our children to be friendly and greet others is another way of helping them show love to others. In our families, we should expect our children to want to say good night to their parents with a hug or a kiss. Just disappearing into the bedroom at bedtime is not teaching them to show love.

Parents who teach courtesy, appreciation, love and respect to their children solidify their teaching if they practice showing courtesy, appreciation, love and respect. When our children see us practicing what we teach, they will more easily adopt the Golden Rule as their own.

As that favorite little book concludes, "'I'll give you a bear hug,' says Andy to Ann, and he hugs her and hugs her as tight as he can. 'I love you,' says Ann, getting up on her toes, and she gives him a kiss on the tip of his nose. They are fond of each other, it's easy to see, and the reason is simple as simple can be! They use their good manners wherever they go, and this makes them very nice people to know!" "  From:


This Morning's Program on WGN:

Transcript at:


On This Day:

Two national parks preserved, 10 years apart, Feb 26, 1919:

On this day in history, two national parks were established in the United States 10 years apart--the Grand Canyon in 1919 and the Grand Tetons in 1929.

Located in northwestern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is the product of millions of years of excavation by the mighty Colorado River. The chasm is exceptionally deep, dropping more than a mile into the earth, and is 15 miles across at its widest point. The canyon is home to more than 1,500 plant species and over 500 animal species, many of them endangered or unique to the area, and it's steep, multi-colored walls tell the story of 2 billion years of Earth's history.

In 1540, members of an expedition sent by the Spanish explorer Coronado became the first Europeans to discover the canyon, though because of its remoteness the area was not further explored until 300 years later. American geologist John Wesley Powell, who popularized the term "Grand Canyon" in the 1870s, became the first person to journey the entire length of the gorge in 1869. The harrowing voyage was made in four rowboats……

Ten years later to the day, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law a bill passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress establishing the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Home to some of the most stunning alpine scenery in the United States, the territory in and around Grand Teton National Park also has a colorful human history. The first Anglo-American to see the saw-edged Teton peaks is believed to be John Colter. After traveling with Lewis and Clark to the Pacific, Colter left the expedition during its return trip down the Missouri in 1807 to join two fur trappers headed back into the wilderness. He spent the next three years wandering through the northern Rocky Mountains, eventually finding his way into the valley at the base of the Tetons, which would later be called Jackson Hole.

Other adventurers followed in Colter's footsteps, including the French-Canadian trappers who gave the mountain range the bawdy name of "Grand Tetons," meaning "big breasts" in French. For decades trappers, outlaws, traders and Indians passed through Jackson Hole, but it was not until 1887 that settlers established the first permanent habitation. The high northern valley with its short growing season was ill suited to farming, but the early settlers found it ideal for grazing cattle."


World Trade Center is bombed, Feb 26, 1993:

"A bomb explodes in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City on this day in 1993. Six people died and 1,000 were injured by the powerful blast, which also caused the evacuation of thousands of people from the Twin Towers.

An informant later identified a group of Serbians in New York as the culprits. However, when the FBI conducted surveillance of the gang they found not terrorists but jewel thieves, putting an end to a major diamond-laundering operation.  Fortunately, investigators at the bomb scene found a section of a van frame that had been at the center of the blast. The van's vehicle identification number was still visible, leading detectives to the Ryder Rental Agency in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their records indicated that Mohammed Salameh had rented the van and reported it stolen on February 25.

Salameh was already in the FBI's database as a potential terrorist, so agents knew that they had probably found their man. Salameh compounded his mistake by insisting that Ryder return his $400 deposit."



Jay wanted to go to church with me, but his family was having a gathering, so he felt obliged to go to that.    It was a great message, and I stayed to have a lovely meal with the warm companionship of the congregation afterwards.  It was a very good day.