Archive for the Nature Studies Category

Covid Crisis Cover for Poisoning

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, biology, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, news, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2020 by Drogo

The COVID Virus pandemic outbreak and quarantine period is exciting because it is exposing and increasing related economic and social issues that were under corporate media radar. Yes the Covid virus is real and dangerous and has plenty of attention with statistics, but corporate corruption is real too. Environmental pollution is not just a conspiracy theory, it is quite often a result of actual corporate conspiracies. In this case industrial companies wrote to Trump begging to be allowed to pollute more, and so he complied by shutting down the EPA, rather than giving the EPA proper hazmat suits for inspections.

“The EPA has been under pressure from a number of industries, including the oil industry, to suspend enforcement of a number of environmental regulations due to the pandemic. In a 10-page letter to EPA earlier this week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) asked for a suspension of rules that require repairing leaky equipment as well as monitoring to make sure pollution doesn’t seep into nearby water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the corona-virus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.”” – The Hill

“The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to waive compliance requirements and deadlines for a range of industries, including oil refiners, water utilities and sewage plants, as it seeks to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Trump administration officials.” – March 24, 2020 Wall Street Journal

Oil Companies will be poisoning more [Article].

Coal Companies will be poisoning more [Article].

And many other companies like Dupont and Monsanto will have more lawsuits against them for poisoning us with their chemicals.

The are also several recent books and films made about these issues [‘The Devil We Know‘, ‘Dark Waters‘, ‘Conspiracy of Fools‘]

The point being an emergency like this is time to gear up with hazmat suits for inspections, not give them a free pass to poison us. Trump is worse than other corporate politicians, but they have given similar passes before. Let us hope this is the climax for the worst, and let us take responsibility by increasing democracy and regulations that protect us.

more later…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokeberry Plant

Posted in Crafts, Food & Drink, Nature Studies, Organic Gardens, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2019 by Drogo

Pokeberry plant leaves are edible when young, but most toxic when mature (like rhubarb). Many people are allergic to the toxins so all parts of the plant are poisonous to them. The roots are the most toxic. The leaves are edible when young after being boiled 3x in water changes, or for those of us not allergic to poke frying in oil or butter is fine. Documented cases are common for people allergic to poke, but there are people like me who have been around poke their whole lives, handled the plants often, and squished the berries for stain and ink without any problems beyond our skin getting stained crimson for a day or two. I have heard of someone getting a skin rash from poke (like poison ivy), as they are allergic to touching it; but I am not. My mother had us paint and print with poke berry ink on water-color paper as children, with no problems.

Poke berries are not edible, but when used with vinegar and salt (and other blends) can make ink for writing pens and printing on paper. Pokeberry ink is not archival because it fades over time on paper, even when not exposed to sunlight everyday. However pokeberry ink is a interesting local organic native alternative to industrial toxic inks, but modern use is still experimental although the chemicals in it are known. In gardens they are beautiful in full maturity, with their ornate ‘goblin’ fruits.

“Indians and early settlers used the root in poultices and certain drugs for skin diseases and rheumatism.” – Michael Owen, ISU

The late 19th century herbal, the ‘King’s American Dispensatory’, describes various folk medical uses that led individuals to ingest pokeberry products. Modern commercial medical companies (big pharma) snubs remedies that are found commonly, for obvious pharmaceutical sales reasons, and so serious testing might be hard to study at length with funding for the purposes of common good, for free but cautious home use.

CAUTION:  Many people are allergic to poke toxins, so limit your exposure to the plant to reduce possible effects. There are many medical claims that eating poke roots, berries, or anything from the adult plant can kill in sufficient quantities.

Other articles: ‘Making Pokeweed Ink‘; ‘Pokeberry Ink‘;

For safer printing for all people, perhaps black-berries or mul-berries or huckle-berries are better? For long-term organic industrial printing, using a weed like poke which is not used for human food would make more sense for sustainability though. [Link Process for making any type of berry ink]

[photo from Wikipedia]

Phytolacca_pokeberries

War on Pollution

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Science & Math, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2019 by Drogo

War on Pollution – Some may boycott some industrial products, but the challenge is to replace them with less polluting alternatives that are better in all ways. We are doing it with meat, as those of us who like the taste can have those options; we need to keep pushing for system change. I am very satisfied eating less meat for 19 years, and still able to taste it and get protein. It is so important not to shame allies, because we all do what we can and have our limits of stress and tolerances for peer pressure. I do plenty of things that purist Vegans or Pacifists disdain, but i do other things that they may not do. There will be some environmentalists that do not support Bernie’s Green New Deal, but forcing people to do what we each want is not democratic freedom, but is simply chaotic egotism. I can get very irate when people do not do what i think they should, but if i can channel my anger into something constructive it becomes productive. Strikes, protests, and boycotts do help; but we cannot all do everything, or agree on everything, so it is important to focus on what we want to do. If we are each doing more to help our environment than we would do if we were not aware or motivated, than we are doing good. Some will say we are not doing good enough, but the War on Pollution should be at least as long as the War on Terror, and over time the numbers add up.

Over 130,000 veterans have committed suicide since 9/11, in part because we feel there is no hope for the future, and that we have failed to win victory over ‘the bad guys’, and that in fact we feel guilt for our national and personal crimes as well. I speak as a veteran survivor, who lives every day with ptsd, depression, and anger management. I continue SCOD work because i believe my work matters for some people in the future, which is why i enjoy what i do, even if my own joy is only internal now.

Trumpism: Symptoms of Corporate Crisis

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Legal / Laws, news, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by Drogo

Trump is a symptom of a larger crony corporate problem.

Sanders earns votes from workers because he gets the problems.

This economy really sucks, and has gotten worse every year since the 1990s for most people as far as cost of living and flow of lower and middle class income goes. The unemployment rate does not account for the larger numbers of people under-employed, unemployed and do not get unemployment benefits, and those not included in those other categories in Federal Records, so the real number of people in America who cannot pay their bills is much higher than is officially recognized.

Global Warming means mass murder. People need to know that industries who fuel Global Climate Change are committing mass murder, due to the political and environmental destabilizing that happens in extreme conditions on all levels of civilization, into the future for as long as the artificially caused imbalance happens. Overall global temperatures rise, climate pattern become more erratic, polar ice melts, sea levels rise, coasts go under water, political migrant crises and harder working conditions for outside labor cause economic and social civil wars, and the problems compound over decades and generations (see Bill Nye or scientists who can speak to non-scientists about it, if you don’t like Al Gore).

 

How does Trump compare to other presidents? Who else dismantled safety regulations and protection studies for the environment and all products (cutting EPA, USDA, NASA, NOAA, NPS, Dept of Education)?? Trump publicly sides with Nazis against Peace Activists which makes him worse than most modern presidents, and possibly Nixon considering Nixon gave in and created the EPA from public pressure to try to control pollution. Trump is an inside trader, con man who has committed fraud multiple times on large scales, profiting from being president in violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution, and then there are his cases of rape and pedophilia that are on official court record by the victims. People accuse Hillary of murder based on a theory I looked into, but it did not seem worse than what Trump may have done (Epstein) as he is clearly capable and has incited violence at his rallies and in tweets, and there is senate testimony that he threatens people mafia style in his regular business deals. Oh yeah he signed the Dakota Pipeline into effect as soon as he got in office, despite the victory of Standing Rock, and promotes continuing global warming, which means mass murder due to worsening conditions combined with race wars he promotes (Border Concentration Camps & Wall & Ice Raids).

Trumpism is not just about Trump, he is just the chump puppet face of corporate corruption for a world wide phenomenon of nationalist unrest and economic inequality. Other countries already had nationalist reactionary problems, and now have their own versions of Trump, emboldened by his words and actions. Fascism is in power and on the rise in more and more other nations. Italy, Greece, England (Brexit), Spain, China, Hong Kong, Central and South America… all have conservative nationalist movements that want to use violence on minorities and migrants (bigotry) as red herrings for systemic problems that have other causes. Even countries like Mexico and Canada have neo-liberal corporate politicians that want to cut down more forests and keep polluting (more oil pipe-lines) for Capitalism, although they do not want to use violence as much as neo-conservatives. Therefore it is clear that grassroots democracy and Green New Deals are the only way ahead for progressive humanists, regardless of party politics.

[ AUDIO Recording of this Essay ]

Datura: Moon Flowers & Jimson Weed

Posted in Nature Studies, Organic Gardens, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2019 by Drogo

Moon-Flower, [Datura Inoxia]; leaves are soft & rounded, with one point.

Jimson Weed [Datura Stramonium]; leaves are spiky, with a few points.

Both types of Datura have spiky seed pods. Folk names: Devil’s Trumpet, Thorn-apple, Hell’s Bells

Datura_stramonium_2Datura_innoxia_moonflower

The 3 most toxic chemical agents (tropane alkaloids) in datura plants seem to be: Atropine, Hyoscyamine and Hyoscine (Scopolamine); which are used in industrial medicines as an Anti-Cholinergic to treat some conditions, but the side effects can be as bad or worse than what they claim to treat, as with most powerful medicines it seems (as commercials are required to list for industrial medicines).

There are many cases of reported poisonings on Public Medication websites; here is a fatal example:

“Fatal poisoning from ingestion of Datura stramonium seeds.

Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece.

Citation

Vet Hum Toxicol. 2004 Apr;46(2):81-2.

Abstract

A 19-y old male who intentionally ingested an unknown quantity of Datura stramonium seeds to experience its hallucinogenic effects was found dead. Hyoscyamine and scopolamine were detected in postmortem blood and urine. Blood concentrations of hyoscyamine and scopolamine were 1.1 and 0.2 microg/mL, respectively; in urine only hyoscyamine at 14.2 microg/mL was found. This fatality presents the highest blood concentrations ever reported and confirms that death was due to Datura Stramonium seed ingestion.

These plants are known to contain high concentrations of anticholinergic substances; ingestion can result in anticholinergic intoxication. Signs and symptoms that commonly occur include hallucinations, tachycardia, dilated pupils, and disorientation. In our patient, use of the Naranjo probability scale indicated a possible relationship between the moonflower seed ingestion and the patient’s signs and symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Ingestion of the Datura species can result in severe toxicity. Each plant varies in the concentrations of alkaloid substances. For this reason, it is very important for individuals to become educated on the toxicities and potential risks associated with recreational use of these plants.”

 

Wikipedia –

Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat a variety of conditions:

 

Toxicity

Acute anticholinergic syndrome is reversible and subsides once all of the causative agent has been excreted. Reversible Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor agents such as physostigmine can be used as an antidote in life-threatening cases. Wider use is discouraged due to the significant side effects related to cholinergic excess including: seizures, muscle weakness, bradycardia, bronchoconstriction, lacrimation, salivation, bronchorrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even in documented cases of anticholinergic toxicity, seizures have been reported after the rapid administration of physostigmine. Asystole has occurred after physostigmine administration for tricyclic antidepressant overdose, so a conduction delay (QRS > 0.10 second) or suggestion of tricyclic antidepressant ingestion is generally considered a contraindication to physostigmine administration.[17]

Piracetam (and other racetams), α-GPC and choline are known to activate the cholinergic system and alleviate cognitive symptoms caused by extended use of anticholinergic drugs.

Hyoscyamine (also known as daturine) is a naturally occurring tropane alkaloid and plant toxin. It is a secondary metabolite found in certain plants of the family Solanaceae, including henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia spp.), jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) the sorcerers’ tree ( Latua pubiflora ) and deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). It is the levorotary isomer of atropine (third of the three major nightshade alkaloids) and thus sometimes known as levo-atropine.

Hyoscyamine is used to provide symptomatic relief of spasms caused by various lower abdominal and bladder disorders including peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, colic, and interstitial cystitis. It has also been used to relieve some heart problems, control some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as for control of abnormal respiratory symptoms and “hyper-mucus secretions” in patients with lung disease.

It is also useful in pain control for neuropathic pain, chronic pain and palliative care – “comfort care” – for those with intractable pain from treatment resistant, untreatable, and incurable diseases. When combined with opioids it increases the level of analgesia (pain relief) obtained. Several mechanisms are thought to contribute to this effect. The closely related drugs atropine and hyoscine and other members of the anticholinergic drug group like cyclobenzaprine, trihexyphenidyl, and orphenadrine are also used for this purpose. When hyoscyamine is used along with opioids or other anti-peristaltic agents, measures to prevent constipation are especially important given the risk of paralytic ileus. Side effects include dry mouth and throat, increased appetite leading to weight gain, eye pain, blurred vision, restlessness, dizziness, arrhythmia, flushing, and faintness. An overdose will cause headache, nausea, vomiting, and central nervous system symptoms including disorientation, hallucinations, euphoria, sexual arousal, short-term memory loss, and possible coma in extreme cases.

Atropine is a medication used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings as well as some types of slow heart rate and to decrease saliva production during surgery. It is typically given intravenously or by injection into a muscle.Large doses may be required to treat some poisonings. Common side effects include a dry mouth, large pupils, urinary retention, constipation, and a fast heart rate. It should generally not be used in people with angle closure glaucoma. While there is no evidence that its use during pregnancy causes birth defects, it has not been well studied. It is likely safe during breastfeeding. It is an anti-muscarinic (a type of anti-cholinergic) that works by inhibiting the parasympathetic nervous system. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.

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These night-shades are toxic, but not well understood for medicinal purposes, although the toxic chemical is used in industrial medicine. I have eaten many seeds from both varieties over a few years, and felt no ill effects from them. I stopped trying them years ago because I felt no benefit either. They did not seem to even alter my consciousness as much as coffee or mugwort, after repeated weekly eating of several seeds a day. Obviously people react differently to any organic substances, due to digestive variations and allergies, so this plant is still very mysterious and therefore considered dangerous until substantial studies can be conducted by biologists and chemists. I have no idea why I was immune to moderate doses of seeds, but other people have told me they were affected greatly and it scared them. – Firewalker

SCOD Flora Survey Project

Posted in Nature Studies, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2019 by Drogo

Volunteer efforts to make a ‘Washington DC Metropolitan Area’ survey map of identified flora species will be documented by SCOD over the course of several years, starting in a few local areas the team can access easily. Frederick and Thurmont are the first areas we are beginning with because of access and pre-existing information by naturalists.

Methodology:  Data Collection (field & archives); Digitizing Process; Database Analysis for Uses (historic land use, planning, locating existing species)

The SCOD Frederick Area Flora Species Mapping project has begun! Node 1a Block 1 of Spiral 1b is surveyed in my notebook. It will take several years to complete the region map, but more than 3 people will be working on it (Drogo, Christine, & Drumwise), and will focus on trees and shrubs estimates, but will include any info donated.

Please contact Drogo Empedocles, Chris Drumwise Ousse, or Christine Maccabee if you are interested in helping or contributing to our project. We are searching for partners to help us with GIS about trees and other plants. Find us on Facebook or leave a comment below. Thanks for your support!

References so far include: Frederick County MD Property Explorer, Arbor Pro USA, Science Direct Procedia, MD Department of Natural Resources, MD Forest Service, Garden Clubs, Nature Clubs, Park Groups, …

Arbor Pro USA – urban forest management for municipalities, universities, and you. 15 years of GPS tree inventories for risks and planning. Team members: Scot, William, Jeff, Ken

Science Direct – Procedia social and behavioral sciences: GIS for benefits and hazards of urban trees.

Tree-Keeper GIS for Frederick, MD – PDF11,158 Calculated Trees; Total Yearly Eco Benefits = $692,169

Frederick City of MD, Park Division Urban Forestry Program – Arborist

Maryland Manual On-Line: Plants & Trees

Frederick County Government, Maryland – GIS / Public Safety

Maryland I-Map – Mapping & GIS Data Portal

Frederick County, MD – Parks & Recreation Locations

Frederick County, MD – Property Explorer

 

Frederick County GIS Data [from email]:

  1.       We have Forest Polygons, they are available here:  https://www.frederickcountymd.gov/5969/Download-GIS-Data

The latest Forest Polygons are from 2017, we have and will update them about every 2-3 years, we started in 2005.

  1.       We have a Forest Canopy layer, made in 2011 by NASA and U of MD.  It is available for everywhere in the State of Maryland, https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=f70ada30bd29428395186ce5f3a618c5 .  I have a copy of the data if someone needs a copy of the GIS files feel free to send them my way.

 The County Tree Canopy Report can be downloaded by the link below  There are others for example Frederick City and Brunswick available here: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/urban/utc/pubs/ .  I also included in the download a map of our Green Infrastructure.  If you have further questions feel free to reply or email me. Download Link:  https://frederick.sharefile.com/d-s13e6f8f52834481a

Mary McCullough – GIS Analyst / Interagency Information Technologies

Frederick County Government Office: 301-600-2324

Website: Frederick County GIS

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Evan Keto  – Maryland Licensed Tree Expert #2221, ISA Certified Arborist SO-6594AM, and Owner / Fruitful Trees and Gardens, LLC  240-763-0764

The options are limitless, although resources always are. Personally, I think a handful of people in Frederick could have the greatest impact by plugging data into existing systems, like this map where you can document edible plant species: https://fallingfruit.org/

Even if you only focused on public areas where foraging would be allowed (or at least not prosecuted), documenting all the walnuts, hickories, persimmons, pawpaws, blackberries, serviceberries, etc. would still take quite a long time. But by trimming your plants list, geographical area, and eliminating the technological issues, you could just start creating a very valuable map, and perhaps get other people on social media to volunteer to add to your efforts. In the end you’d have a resource that would help increase environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Just one of many ideas.

A map of trees and shrubs in Frederick or the greater DC area would take dozens of volunteers years to complete. For example, Casey Trees has been working on a map of the trees in DC, and that has taken many volunteers many years, and as they keep it updated, it will never be finished:  https://caseytrees.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=932aa4d49bfa45b39ecf3321cbb6cdbc

Eventually, hyper-spectral satellite imaging will be able to tell us what every tree is by its unique light signature. That way, we could instantly identify each tree species for an entire region, but that’s not going to be available for a while: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40490-018-0123-9

For instance, if you wanted to ask, “What species of trees and shrubs are growing in the DC area?”, that could be more of a list than a map, and can be compiled by cross referencing multiple resources, including – The City of Trees:

https://www.amazon.com/City-Trees-Complete-Washington-Center/dp/0813926882/ref=asc_df_0813926882/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312065538926&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4121470300927145656&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007790&hvtargid=pla-493397652405&psc=1

Maryland Champion Tree Listing

http://www.mdbigtrees.com/view_tree.aspx

C&O canal species lists: https://www.nps.gov/choh/learn/nature/plants.htm

 (Monocacy battlefield, National Capital Parks, and other NPS units would also likely have species lists)

Towson Arboretum: https://www.towson.edu/campus/landmarks/glen/trees.html

National Arboretum: https://www.usna.usda.gov/

University of Maryland campus arboretum https://arboretum.umd.edu/

In the end, I think you’ll find hundreds of different species of woody plants, as I learned 200+ and those were just on the UMD campus. If you widen your interest to all plant species, then be prepared to learn to identify thousands and thousands of potential species in this area: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderProfileResults.aspx?z=7 

Or, if you did want to create a map, you might want to focus on a particular geographic area, such as some of the local parks, and perhaps with focus on the largest and most interesting trees. It might be worth contacting the city’s Sustainability Coordinator and the County Forestry Board, who may already have some items mapped and/or resources to help:

http://www.cityoffrederick.com/891/Sustainability

https://sites.google.com/view/fcfcdb/bigtreeprogram#h.p_vluyI_xWVRDU

Also, you might be interested in seeing the USFS iTree Tools suite, which is all free:

https://www.itreetools.org/

Hope this helps,

Evan

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Frederick County Planning Dept. – Tim Goodfellow (600-2508) spoke with me on the phone and mentioned more contacts:

DNR MD Forest Service, Local Forester at Gambril Park – Mike Kay

DNR MD Wildlife & Heritage Service

Frederick County – Office of Sustainability

Frederick County – OSER (Office of Sustainability) Shannon Moore SMoore@FrederickCountyMD.gov

Tom Rippeon – Arborist, Parks & Recreation, Frederick MD – 301.600.1233; C 240.409.4410

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SCOD Flora Project will be updated here as more data is processed.

To be continued…

Pot Bib – Corn King Sparrow

Posted in Biographies, Nature Studies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2019 by Drogo

Last winter a loud male house sparrow spent most of his waking time sitting in the potted plant where we put small bits of corn. Other sparrows would come, but he would usually chase them out, and get into fights with other males (one time wounding him). We call male sparrows ‘bibs’ because of their black beard-like feathers, and birds that sit in pots for long hours we call ‘pot birds’ (it happens occasionally). So we named him Pot Bib, because he seemed to prefer sitting in the pot to all else.

Pot Bib’s first goal in life seemed to be to claim the pot as his home during the day, and at night he would sometimes sleep in a nearby abandoned robin’s nest. I had witnessed the robin’s nest getting raided by a crow, who looked for nests under gutter-down-spout corners in between balconies like that one. Pot Bib added grass to the nest, and slept in it for many early spring nights; so he could wake up and be right in the pot again. Starlings also raided the nest just for materials, and still Pot Bib would often sleep there, but also at another roost somewhere else. After a few weeks, Pot Bib lost interest in the nest as no mate wanted to risk the location probably.

Pot Bib’s second goal in life was to have a mate, and he did have a girl-friend who he allowed to eat corn, hang around, and chase him out of the pot. When the weather got warmer, Pot Bib got another life-style away from the pot; but still returns and chirps in his insane way every day.

I made a nest in a small wooden basket with a handle for Pot Bib on Easter (Ostara). In the basket I put mud half way up, then stuck in tiny twigs, wove in grasses and pine needles, and cushioned with chick-weed and yarrow. I thought that either Pot Bib or the house finches that come would take it, but our familiar mourning doves claimed it instead; but that is the story of Lucky the Dove.

potbib basket nest

 

Lucky the Dove – Biography

Posted in Biographies, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Nature Studies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2019 by Drogo

Lucky the Fledgling Dove – journal notes of the biography of Lucky’s youth

Lucky 11

Close Call Adventures of Lucky

 

Lucky’s parents are ‘3 Dots’ and ‘Neuro’, friendly wild mourning doves. Lucky was the second of two eggs they laid in a nest I made in a small basket (see the story of Pot Bib),  and hung under the eve of the balcony, near the back wall. lucky hatched May 12th 2019 on Mother’s  Sunday. I checked on the babies every other day and petted them. When they were just eggs the parent flew away immediately when I  approached. after the eggs hatched the parent stayed on the nest and would let me pet the parent with some Wing slaps. I wanted to get the babies familiar with me so I moved the nest to the floor of the balcony For a few minutes before putting it back,  and only then would the parent Fly Away.

 

Lucky was 5 days old,  friday May 17th

sibling got taken by a crow. Lucky brought inside for the night, attempted feeding, partially successful, Lucky swallowed some of the last attempts. 

Lucky remained safe in the nest now relocated hidden under the bench, parents resumed feeding.

Lucky 6

randomly a red-shouldered Hawk was chased by a Crow, both landed on adjacent roof looking in at balcony, i scared them off.

 

Lucky was 9 days old

I attempted to put an ID band on Lucky’s leg, but we didnt have anything that would work as well as professionals use. I tried using a white twist-tie and rubber band, but getting the correct tightness was much harder than i thought it would be, so i gave up. 

At dusk, at edge of balcony Lucky jumped fledging for food.

looked on ground and in tree but could not see. missing all night 

 

Lucky was 10 days old

morning mowers Machines of death,  looked all around, upon feeding branch baby was found. i climbed the fledging tree four times during this period. I had checked on Lucky and was content it would be fine on the feeding branch. However when i returned a few hours later, it had been knocked out of tree (i assume by Crow), and went under car. I chased Lucky around the car, and caught it, and put it in nesting box to bring back inside.

  Bath time. Practiced wing flapping.

At night back inside  in cage, and in our hands attempted feeding. Lucky Dovey was calm except for when we played a video of adult doves. Lucky responded to the video by peeping vocally and lunging towards the screen. Lucky touched the screen with its beak and could not get to them, and after being amused for a minute or so, we turned it off so that it could calm down. Dovey and me fell asleep on couch, Lucky was on my belly, in a bundle lap pillow with tissues.

Luck 10

Lucky was 11 days old

I took lucky outside in the morning and we waited for its parents to come to the tree.  I sat in a chair reading a book while babysitting, lucky sat on my arm. people looked at me strangely, but I am not afraid to explain when I am trying to help an animal.  when the mother came it walked around lucky at the base of the tree, but would not feed lucky. the parents flew up into the tree, and lucky followed.  amazingly lucky was able to fly 5 ft up to the nearest branch, and climb and hop and fly up to the feeding branch. Hawk came in trees while feeding at feeding branch in morning.  Crow landed between balconies, while being attacked by Mockingbird, and looked into the balconies to find food. I moved lucky back to balcony. I got lucky onto a stick, and then my arm. Lucky hung to my back while i jumped down from tree, safely.

In cage on balcony, Lucky and Daddy ‘3 Dots’ could not solve the puzzle for feeding through a partially Open Door.  lucky did make it out of the partially open door once for one of three feedings that day. Three dots spent one hour going to the sides of the cage and cooing while both were peeping. lucky gets into a Feeding Frenzy most X it is called to by parents,  except for the time lucky spent in the nest again rest in 4 hours. during this time it ignored it’s parents and stayed in the nest like it did when it was a younger baby. I let Lucky out of the cage when I knew the parent was nearby and thought it might feed it.  three dots watched for a long time while babysat and both called when lucky was in the center of the balcony. lucky was able to push open the door once but seems to forget how it got in perhaps because Dove minds are not as sharp as crows who can use tools and unlock door mechanisms.  the large black birds soaring in the sky or probably turkey vultures because they did not flap as often as crows do, but ominously watched from the stadium lights which are taller than all the trees. Bath time. Practiced wing flapping and hunting for seeds with Noel.

 

At sunset I wanted to be generous and allow the parent a final chance to come on the balcony and feed the baby,  but like last time the parent was more interested in calling the baby to come to them. so I told the baby to call to the parents and get them to come to it.  as usual I allowed lucky a way to get out of the cage for feeding and fly away if it could. as dark approached and the father cooed , Lucky woke up into another Feeding Frenzy,  which surprised me because it had been so sleepy on the Nest earlier, and even when we were playing with it. eventually lucky looked straight at me through the open cage door, and burst through.  lucky sat on the bench cushion for a few seconds, and I sat there looking back at lucky, knowing lucky might chase after the cooes and leave the balcony. lucky gave me one last look, and leapt off of the cushion and over the railing,  flying all the way to the top of the nearby tree. when I went out to look and climbed for a fourth time, I think I scared the parents and lucky off to another tree, because even with the flashlight I could not find lucky, so I gave up for the night.  lucky continues to amaze me by how well it can fly when it wants to, even without adult feathers. Lucky’s juvenile feathers work amazingly well and may allow lucky to follow its parents around.

Lucky is 12 days old today,  and hopefully getting more feedings to grow faster if it is able to be with the parents more often. this morning the sweet air was fresh, the green of the tree leaves bright, and the branches moved in the breeze. I have seen Lucky’s parents, but no sign of Lucky. I hope Lucky survives and learns enough to live a long happy life, even if i never see Lucky again.

Lucky is 13 days old on Saturday, May 25

I walked around the block 3x today and did not see Lucky. It was not until dusk, after a rain shower, when i was going out to the store, that I spotted Lucky on the bedroom gable peak. Its parents were on the ground, cooing to Lucky to get down because it was too vulnerable up there in clear view. However Lucky learned from me how to dry off in the sun, and has a mind of its own. I recognized Lucky because it does not have mature feathers on its neck yet, so in silhouette has a very thin neck. We confirmed with binoculars for about 20 minutes. Two crows passed directly over Lucky, but Lucky did not flinch and they were not interested. I am so proud of Lucky, i think it will be ok. Then Lucky flew into the fledging tree, near the top, presumably for the night. As darkness fell, i spotted the mother in the center of the tree.

It seems Lucky may have spent yesterday high up in the fledging tree, where i could not see or get to it easily. It is also possible Lucky went to a few other trees and bushes, and I may have seen Lucky in a bush, but it could have been a robin fledgling since i saw 2 or 3 of them. I also saw a catbird and robin on a nest in bushes. The mulberry tree in back has many ground level berries, they are good. I am satisfied knowing that Lucky is doing well, and is not lost.

Lucky is 14 days old

Possible Lucky sighting in chickweed pot, but bird was gone before confirmed.

 

Lucky is 20 days old, June 1

Lucky sighted on roof of adjacent condo in the morning. Then before dusk sighted up close within 3 feet, and close enough to almost touch, in the juniper bush on the retaining wall of the parking lot. It is a great defensive bush, because it is prickly, with room in the branches for a small bird to walk around, with a fence in the middle for it to go in and out of to avoid larger animals who get in one side of the bush. When i returned, Lucky was sitting just outside the bush, and then flew up to the nearby redbud tree when approached. Catbirds, Mockingbirds, and Robins help the dove parents to guard the area.

 

Lucky might be 26, June 7

I found clumps of feathers that might belong to a baby or juvenile bird (dove, robin, mocking, or catbird) in a 3′ diameter in the lawn area near the tot-lot and 3 pines and yard bushes. No body, or body parts, or blood were found, and it was mainly small fluff, to a few medium feathers (grey with white tip). Lucky may have been attacked by a hawk or something, but no conclusive proof just evidence and speculation. It may have happened earlier this day, or a day or two before. I got a video of one of the doves on the Grey Pot. Towards dusk (8pm) two doves came to the balcony and got water as usual, but this time sat on the grey pot together and shook their wings like babies begging with wing-flaps, rather than mating (because they both did it and faced opposite directions at one point). Was one of them Lucky? Perhaps they were apologizing for failing as parents, if it was Lucky that was attacked and killed, they might regret not keeping Lucky closer to me like i wanted for better protection. I have to face the fact that Lucky could die any day at any moment that i am not near Lucky, whether it already happened or may happen later, until they are adults (1-15 years) young doves are more likely to die. The parents go under the bench near the nest basket and eat the corn we left there. If Lucky is missing, perhaps the parents think i will give them back Lucky like we did in the past when we were able to take Lucky inside for protection? Now the parent doves are perched under the railing at the edge of the balcony. Either they are telling Lucky it is ok to come visit now and drink water and eat as an adult; or they are saying good-bye to Lucky’s spirit, if Lucky has died or has gone off on adventures with a flock of other juveniles. I do not know where Lucky is (until I can identify their dot patterns better) in any case. 

 

Days 27-30+, June 8-11

There have been a few sightings and much speculation about whether Lucky has stayed here locally or is gone far away. I have either seen Lucky come with a parent, or maybe it was a different dove couple visiting. A few times a third adult-looking dove has tried to come with Lucky’s parents to the balcony area, but each time the third dove was chased off (probably by 3 dots). The third dove was either another child of theirs returning, a rival mate, or Lucky.

 

Lucky is over 50 days,  

I am 50% sure that the dove coming with 3-dots is either Lucky or its Mom. If it is Lucky where is the Mom, on a nest? If it is the Mom why is she slightly scaled (slightly mottled) and not as sleek and elegant? Either way 3-dots is comfortable with them, as they sometimes come together without incident and with some affection (subtle wing wiggle and close proximity). Nothing can be confirmed, as comparisons would best be made if the parents came together with Lucky (all 3 would be present to differentiate).

 

Lucky is over 60 days

I am 70% sure that Lucky Dove has been visiting its birth balcony for weeks now. Confusion over identification has been due to post-30 day juvenile-adult behavior, plumage, and social changes. Lucky now acts and looks like a molting adult (barely mottled), and while timid with short visits resembling the appearance and behavior of its mother or other doves, Lucky does display unique traits of familiarity that would not be present in any other dove in this combination.

If this disheveled light tan colored multi-dot dove is Lucky, the puffing and preening on adjacent Thomas’ Gable might be Lucky a bit uncomfortable with its new adult feathers which are still scaled (slightly mottled). Communication was made with Lucky for several minutes, while preening on Thomas’s Gable, which helped increase the identity percentage. Lucky’s mother would have flown away at that distance (15 feet from Gable to balcony edge), and there is no other dove besides 3-dots that would have tolerated being called to and observed in that spot, at that distance, for so long. In fact I got tired of talking to Lucky and using the binoculars, so i sat down on the bench in hopes Lucky would come visit with me there because i was calmly still; however Lucky flew across to the Trash Condo balconies eventually.

When Lucky comes and drinks and bathes in the water, I am trying to play my recordings of Lucky begging with its Dad, to see if Lucky responds to those sounds with behavior indicating affectionate memory. Other experiments maybe attempted, despite lacking a DNA tester or id tag or bands. I have now examined the dots of all 3 doves with zoom lens magnification, and have drawn diagrams to distinguish them. I am over 90% Lucky is alive and has been one of the doves visiting. Lucky’s left side has two dots touching (one over the other) at the back of the wing, which is a signature matching her baby photos. Lucky has the most dots of the 3.

Possible reasons for Lucky missing from the balcony area for about 20 days – Lucky might have been scared away by the parents during the juvenile period that parental feeding was ending; if Lucky was following them and begging, they might have been trying to get it to stop. Lucky might have been scared away by the parents after they were done feeding it, not only to get it to stop but also to get it to move to another area. Lucky may have had to hang out by itself or with other juveniles, until it learned not to beg from adults. Now that Lucky does not beg for food and is able to find food on its own, the parents may tolerate or enjoy its presence again. 3-dots seems to actually enjoy being with Lucky when they come, drink, look for food a bit or bathe, and leave together.

July 30, 2019 – Lucky has been coming with it’s Mom in recent days.  This has allowed me to compare the two doves together. Lucky looks very similar it’s Mom with multiple dots, however there are 3 main differences. (1) Lucky is lighter in feather color (tan) and the Mom is darker (grey); although some warm days doves look more brown-tan than grey. Lucky’s feet are smooth bright pink-red, but the parents have ‘aged’ rough red feet, (2) Lucky has a slimmer neck with less feathers, and puffy cheeks by the black mark. Lucky has less iridescence on the neck too. (3) Lucky is still slightly smaller, although it must have gotten its adult feathers soon after 30 days. Lucky’s mottled feather scaling is now gone.

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January 2020 – Lucky still visits with or without parents most weeks. Lucky was missing during the first part of the Winter, but came back to the balcony for the first snow. Seeing the landscape covered in white must have been confusing, and harder to locate food. It is amazing birds survive winters, but they learn how to dig and peck around in snow and ice. The three doves and Pot Bib the sparrow are semi-tame or semi-wild, because they know to some extent they are safe on the balcony, and they keep returning. Some days they are braver than others, like when they sit for hours, or insist on returning while we are out on the balcony, or choose to lay eggs and nest (silly doves). We still have not been able to touch Lucky since she got her adult flight feathers; but maybe someday a wild semi-tame dove will remember as an adult, what it learned as a chick, it is safe to be held by some humans sometimes.

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2 Climate Change Theories

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Science & Math, Technology - Vehicles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2019 by Drogo

Scientific vs Corporate

The main climate change theory i will call the Scientific Climate Theory presented by the majority of scientists is that artificial CO2 and other man-made (in addition to natural) factors are primarily contributing to overall global warming, which causes climate change in various ways, sometimes temporarily cooling during warm seasons (which seems like a contradiction but is not because the overall trend is warming according to annual temperature averages). This consensus in Science is supported primarily by Centrist Left Wing and Radical Liberals politically, who believe that the time for debate is over and it should not be a political issue because it is true and not just an opinion.

The minority climate change theory i will call the Corporate Climate Theory, supported by extreme skeptics of science and government (deniers), is that environmentalists are lying about the data evidence to hide that most of it is naturally either being caused by Solar irregularities or Geo-tectonic magnetic seismic shifts and volcanic activity or both. This is the side that defends those totally uninterested or ignorant in climate science as well, who doubt there are any problems with pollution that can affect global conditions. One of the issues they bring up is that storm flooding (cold) and (heat) droughts are opposites, and should not both be results of global warming. This proposed paradox does not take into account the melting of the polar ice which raises sea level, and the chaos that can result from this regarding flooding and more severe storms, freak cooling periods in some areas, but overall prolonged intense heating of the global atmosphere. Minor theories are usually supported by Radical Right Wing Conservatives and Libertarians (Corporate Centrists tend to pay lip service and not want any action on it), who believe no one should interfere in the rights of corporations to pollute, and are currently dismantling the EPA, NPS, and other branches of the government under Trump.

So to summarize, both agree that there will be more severe climate chaos like weather that is out of season. The Scientific Climate Theory says that artificially caused CO2 pollution from industry and agriculture is mainly to blame, as it can clearly be shown to increase during the Industrial Age of civilization, and not anytime in human history before this. It does have some similarities to pre-historic massive volcanic periods, but other chemical evidence and current factors rule out volcanoes as the main cause in CO2 levels currently. The most extreme Corporate Climate Theory is our government is lying to us to hide that our Sun is growing closer or more intense; which can be debunked by talking to actual scientists who observe the Sun independent of the government, and that it would make no sense for the branches of the government like the EPA or NPS or Pentagon to give false support for environmentalists, because most of the government is controlled by Corporate interests, and they do not benefit by belief in environmentalism. Corporate Green-washing is not what interests people who care about quality of life for all animals and humans, nor the military who takes the threats of Climate Change seriously due to the causes of wars that are tied to natural conditions like resources, property, shelter, and all the economics related to environmental issues. The money being made by Scientists or environmentalists currently, still pales compared to the profits of fossil fuel polluters, so the theory of profit motive causing scientists to lie about climate data is bunk as well. The debate is over for rational thinkers, but the corporate socialism vs democratic socialism debate is just beginning for a world run and terrorized by capitalists.

The Problem of Monetary Bias in Science

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Commercial Corporations, Ethics & Morals, Legal / Laws, Military, news, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2018 by Drogo

Regarding Corporate Science Corruption

By using the word ‘science’ this articles means ‘professional scientific research and technological testing’. The problem of monetary bias means how we define corruption by funding or bribery to profit over ethics. Bias can affect professional test results.

“How do we find out about the real science behind corporate chemicals?” is a great question. There are major court cases that are on-going and are finally exposing how scientists (not just politicians) are affected by where they get their funding, as other historic cases have shown before. Activists are attacked by people claiming to be the voice of scientific reason who defend corporate science, although conveniently they seem to know less about the biased details involved with how the business world affects science and our environment (not just politics). It is very difficult to get people interested in large scale safe environments, in part due to the immediate need for MONEY to supply specific food, drink, and shelter for individuals and loved ones…. until those things are taken from us. But without money we lack much power within the system, and we are accused of emotional bias, as though corporate lackeys are objective. ‘Ring of Fire’ on Youtube has lawyers involved so they are covering the news about these issues, with a bias that is dedicated to exposing how corporations function by using science for their profit as the structure of their power. It is not true that companies use science for purely objective reasons, or that they would allow themselves to be subjected to ‘objective’ science if it did not benefit them, and in fact they do everything within their power to make sure that they can control studies in their favor.

Militaries made chemical companies rich during the World Wars, which led to those companies monopolizing commercial agriculture. German companies took some of the most lethal pesticides used in the fields, and developed them to kill humans. Those toxic companies survived, although they may have changed their name or were bought. The US even secretly hired Nazi scientists after WW2, some of which were certainly guilty of crimes against humanity [Annie Jacobsen ‘Operation Paperclip’]. Money, corruption, and abuse of power can be hard to separate as intertwined issues.

Is there any way to know if the ‘peer-reviewed’ information has filtered out any bias towards the company? This is the best way to ask the question about our most ‘objective science’ regarding company neurotoxins and carcinogens. No offense to scientists, but it happens like with the Oil and Tobacco companies, pay-checks often come first for families. It does not benefit employed scientists to admit to bias, it just simply affects their way of interpreting data and conducting tests. Nuclear scientists are more prone to be in favor of things that cause nuclear radiation by down playing the risks which are acceptable costs for them in favor of ‘advancing science’ and getting their funding. Every profession is subject to this problem of economics, so i am not picking on scientists, i am an architect and many of us are rational and brilliant too, but profit influence happens in our field as well because it is the system that hires us that is on trial when it comes to environmental science ethics. Environmental peer review for Climate Change seems to be large enough to have not been as corrupted in the favor of companies as much as specific chemicals that companies produce to sell.

With so many billions of dollars at stake for corporations like Monsanto (GMO and Glyphosphate Science), our courts and scientists may not even be aware of how to be objective when their own family members have bought into the propaganda that allows them to pay their bills and provide and protect their loved ones. As with Oil Companies and Tobacco Companies, we should assume that toxins can affect us and our environment, and those that produce them should perhaps be more responsible by being held accountable. Few people will not be biased in one way or another, but real science should be the goal, not corporate greed. If it sounds like I am describing a fictional dystopia, perhaps the reader should be more realistic about how Capitalism actually works in reality (our EPA is in ruins in 2018). The larger problem of real science and the bias of money that affects us all will continue to exist so long as we allow our government to be influenced by corporate money at the highest levels, more than they are influenced by environmental ethics and a desire for more ethical science which means being more objective than the influence of money (which is asking a lot). People are innocent until proven guilty, but if a provable crime needs to be investigated we need to let the evidence decide if people are using corporations as tools to corrupt politics and science, and harm humanity in favor of profits for the few.

As an architect i take rationality and logic about designs very seriously, so i do not believe scientists are alone in wanting to take credit for knowing how we interact with our environment and how we can make technological innovations for improving humanity by using ‘facts’. “Peer reviewed” does not mean scientists do not all have their own human biases regarding how data is interpreted; that is part of my point. “Purely objective” as a philosophical ideal is worth talking about for the sake of science and law enforcement and ethics etc… This issue of the influence of money on science (and every profession and field of study) will not go away, but it is one we should deal with honestly in studying the sustainability of civilization. Peer reviews are not exempt from being reviewed over decades, with new conclusions drawn.

For more information on the 2-party corporate monopoly which funds science for war more than for peace or health, please research the 2018 US Military Spending Budget which was passed with almost no debate or media attention. Also please research our corporate bailouts during recent stock market crashes. Government and corporate spending tends to be biased towards harmful war science not helpful social science. By using the word ‘science’ this articles means ‘scientific research and technology’.

 

Akasha and the Elements of Nature

Posted in Nature Studies, Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2018 by Drogo

Akasha – the Assemblage of the Elements of Nature

Akasha is a Hindu word meaning space, aether, or heavenly sky in traditional Indian cosmology. Metaphysically Akasha is a primal aether fluid that allowed physical existence by universally containing and being a part of the building blocks of the 4 elements of the material plane. Akasha can be considered the fifth element within Nature that also super-naturally transcends it. Akasha binds the 4 other elements spiritually to our souls, the Material Universe, and the Spirit Universe. The four Elements are aspects of Nature, but also a connection to the spirit world through Akasha aether. The 4 elements widely accepted by Celtic Wiccan and other polytheist Pagan spiritual paths are: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These four elements are represented by an equal cross (Celtic Cross) often in conjunction with the cardinal directions, with the Akasha circle border around the cross being the 5th all encompassing element that binds them all together, and from which they come (according to Hindu). In ancient Native American culture this was the Earth-Sun Cross (Medieval Mississippian).

The fifth element is shown in diagram when using a pentagram, to include Spirit as the directional point. Fire’s place on the pentagram is often the lower right point (Tao upper right). Chinese Taoism believes the 5 elements to be Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water; having Metal instead of Akasha Spirit, and Wood instead of Air. Taoists also apply their Yin-Yang dualist theory of opposites to the elements, like polarities of particles. Fire is considered the most Yang (active) energy, and Water the most Yin (passive). Too much fire element in a dwelling can stimulate Chi (Chinese word for Spirit ‘Life Force’) aggressively; resulting in anger, impatience, impulsiveness, ambition and burnout. Chi should be used sparingly in the bedroom, since the main use is resting. Feng Shui (Wind-Water) is about balancing physical, mental, and spiritual levels to attempt harmony. It takes a great deal of Feng Shui study to determine how to design Akasha spaces, and where best to apply the elements in physical symbols and shapes.

The alchemy of elements using Akasha chi or spirit as a catalyst, allows transformation such as Fire changing Water to Air. Akasha is present in elements at their crossing, as well as around them. Akasha can also be intention of our spirit or mental will, as the 5th point on the pentagram. Akasha allows us to transcend our physical existence, and experience the Sublime daily, not just when our spirit separates from our mortal bodies.

 

Elemental Alchemical Effects

(Stop/Start or Hinder/Promote)

Air Stops Earth – Flying above the surface winds & precipitation blow.

Air Starts Fire – Oxygen allows Fire to consume other fuel (wood)

Fire Stops Water – Heat melts ice into Water and aids its evaporation.

Fire Starts Air – Fires cause smell & smoke H2O heated evaporates to Air

Water Stops Fire – H2O quenches (extinguishes) Fire.

Water Starts Earth – Rain nourishes trees, plants, and animals of the Earth.

Earth Stops Water – Dams of Earth and Trees block or slow Water Flow.

Earth Starts Air – Vegetation Flora creates Oxygen and many Scents.

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Spirit Makes Metal – Air, Fire, Water, Iron, & Fuel of Earth by Humans

Refines Metals allowing purification & combination alloys

Spirit (Metal) To Earth – Water & Air oxidize & rust Metal back to Earth.

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pentagram 5

 

Arboritecture – Tree Architecture

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Crafts, Futurist, inventions, Nature Studies, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Sculpture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2017 by Drogo

SCOD Tree Architecture – Arboritecture, a subset of Hortitecture

Trees could revolutionize our way of living, if we returned to living in and around them more. Conventional architecture is terrible at doing so, and is designed in opposition to trees, because vegetation touching dead building materials tend to make them rot. It is possible to live with an awareness of various levels of growth and decay, but it would require a culture more integrated with the natural environment.

Imagine devices that used living energy from photosynthesis. Design Science should explore the relationship of natural-artificial hybrids, methodologies of integrating plant matter into building fabric, issues of maintenance and sustainability, and ecological biological and organic architectural materials for environmental design.

20171028_134106

 

 

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EARTH STARS

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Drogo

by Christine Maccabee

EARTH STARS

Right here on Earth there are probably as many ‘stars’

as there are in outer space. Not enough can be said as to

need for human-kind to focus more on these terrestrial stars,

preserving them and the wonder and goodness of their Earth

for generations to come.” C.M.

Ever since my early 20’s I have been fascinated by flowers of every variety and thus began seriously investigating them. At that time I was also reading literature about the ancient tradition of mandalas as a meditation tool in India. The mandala has a center which symbolizes the source of life be it Allah, God, the Great Spirit, or whatever one might call it. The center holds everything else together, like the spoke of a wheel and without it things would fall apart and there would be chaos. From that center radiates Creation, or life, in all its amazing diversity and beauty. Similarly, most flowers have this same feature with centers from which reproduction occurs in the form of seeds. That center of nectar, pollen and seeds serves the purpose of ongoing sustenance, thus enabling on-going life for myriad life forms, including of course, people.

Captivated by this reality, I created mandalas from various parts of flowers, using stamen, pistil, petals, leaves and bracts, basically dissecting the flowers carefully and pressing the various parts. Each design I made was unique, and many reminded people of snowflakes. If you look at a flower closely, especially those which radiate perfectly symmetrically from the center, then you will understand my fascination. In fact, there are people who seriously meditate on flowers, thus creating more of a sense of balance in their lives. For me, creating mandalas was a waking and a working meditation, keeping me centered and focused as I created each one ; I sold hundreds of framed pieces over a period of 20 years. Now I simply grow flowers…

This summer I had a newcomer to my gardens, the Morning Star Sedge, a native grass which I did not plant but which was brought here by a bird, no doubt. I discovered it quite by accident along a pathway down to my main garden and was astonished when I saw it. It is not a flower at all, but a type of native grass, used ornamentally by some people in their landscaping.. The seed head is beautiful, very star like (see photo) and perfectly symmetrical. You may be familiar with its graceful but sturdy grasses from which the stems of the seed heads emerge. The seed heads are a lovely green which turn chocolate brown by late summer. By early autumn I am sure the wild birds will be enjoying those seeds as well as the seeds of the chicory and woodland sunflowers which I also have here in my gardens as habitat.

As anyone who reads this column knows, I am passionate about preserving habitat for pollinators and birds. Here on my 11+ acreage I am purposely allowing close to 100 wild native plants to complete their entire life cycles, from flower to seed. Such diversity of plant life, no matter how tall and gangly, or small , sustains the health of a host of animals, insects and humans in this our rainforest. By August the final show will begin and I look forward to it. I look forward to witnessing thousands of tiny Aster flower stars and hearing the profound sound of untold number of wings whirring as the bees fuel up for the coming inevitable cold weather. The essential Golden Rod flowers will also begin blooming (Golden Rod is not a major pollen producer which creates allergies as some people mistakenly think) and I will watch as the Monarch butterflies feed on them before their long journeys south. Did you know there are, or were, 2,687 species of Aster and 16 species of Golden Rods in America. On my property I have about 5 species of each.

The beautiful earthly flower stars, besides providing food for a wide variety of pollinators and birds, are a source of inspiration to humans. Also, it is well known that some have important medicinal properties, such as the Cone flower. I will soon gather and dry the flowers and leaves of my Cone flowers which will be added to teas I make from other herbs I grow. Cone flowers provide Echinacea which is important as an immune system enhancing herb. The root is the most potent, so here and there I will pull some out for their roots.

Unfortunately there is an on-going war being conducted against Earth’s stars in the form of herbicides, pesticides and habitat loss. Next month I will continue speaking for the wildflowers and the health of our planet, our people, and all our relations. Meanwhile, I suggest you walk slowly and often in wild places where wild things grow ; and don’t forget to look to the stars !

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~ from ON THE WILD SIDE for July 2017

Christine is a Master Naturalist in Maryland and has developed a a Wildlife Habitat Sanctuary and Native Plant Preserve on her property , just 10 minutes north of Thurmont. You are welcome to visit by appointment. She can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com

Corporate Chemical POISONS

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Commercial Corporations, Legal / Laws, Medical, Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 23, 2017 by Drogo

First rule regarding Corporate POISONS: #1 DO NOT TRUST THE COMPANY;

Second rule regarding Corporate POISONS (and big money influence): #2: Do not trust the ‘test results’.

My grandfather was poisoned by arsenic lead that the company said was safe for farmers to breathe in the fields. It made his lungs bleed because it actually did poison him, despite their claims. Any chemical manufactured and sold commercially should not be trusted to be ‘safe’, even if ‘scientists tested it’. The only chemicals we can truly ever trust, are natural organic chemicals that humans have worked with for hundreds or better yet thousands of years. Poisons that have negative affects on some carbon-based life-form species who have DNA, probably have some adverse affects on related carbon-based life-form species who have DNA; because Ecology and Biology tend to work like that.

FUCK MONSANTO!!! Pirate Flag X

Commercial Propaganda Exploiting Nature

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Commercial Corporations, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2017 by Drogo

Here is a short study of one commercial product whose propaganda greatly affected me as a child. I recall enjoying the deep psychological pleasure that the addition of the bottle (with a small image of a tropical jungle on it) gave me when showering. My mind had been conditioned to imagine spiritually floating through a series of tropical paradise landscapes towards a waterfall for blissful “natural” cleansing. The irony is that no proof is given of the “organic” or “natural” chemicals in the product, and clearly the real under-lying goal is to profit from the economic loss of the consumer (as is the case with typical capitalist corporations).

HERBAL ESSENCE

herbal essence bubbles  1972

herbal_essences_by_emmgoyer7-d563fe7  2015

herbal essence shower

The more recent commercials are extremely sickly POST-MODERN, playing on their own popularity by exaggerating and exploiting the sexual and “natural” aspects to an insane and self-defeating level. Yes the images are very appealing, but the message has become about declaring “yes we are an amoral company that doesn’t really care about the natural environment, or real communal spirit, or native tribes; but buy our product because you are just as selfish as we are, and the commercial is sexy“.

2015 Crass Post-Modern Commercial: “Take Your Hair To Paradise” 

In fairness, SCOD can credit commercial products like this for exposing how propaganda works to encourage people to adjust their behaviors. SCOD Bog Peeps project was based on this premise, of showing beautiful people in natural ‘paradise’ settings. The difference being that SCOD is truly dedicated to helping people to live WITH-IN Nature.

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