Tag Archives: nature

My Book Review

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This is the last day of the year and I’m doing what I’ve done every day since May. I’m talking to people about my book, Dobyns Chronicles. I never realized how hard it is to get people to read a book you know they will enjoy.

My blog today is a review of my book by Motorwriter.com. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with everyone. It is a wonderful feeling when people like what you have put on paper.  Ok, I’ll have my arm casted tomorrow from patting myself on the back but today, since it’s the last day of the year I’m going to keep patting.

I also want to everyone to know how much I appreciate the support that has been given to me. I’ve made some new friends, and connected again with some old ones. Life is full of struggles and heartbreak but it is also full of love and kindness and I have been blessed with a abundance of the love and kindness.

As this year ends I want everyone to know how much they are appreciated and lets continue to make this world a better place to live for as long as we are here.  Blessings to all and Happy New Year.

******

The Finest Generation – A review of the novel ‘Dobyns Chronicles’

dobyns cover Picture2

“It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams” – Don DeLillo

Author Shirley McLain’s latest novel ‘Dobyns Chronicles’ is a historical fiction loosely based on the life and times of her grandfather Charles Kenly Dobyns. Charles orCharley to those close to him was the eldest son of Kennerly, an American cowboy and Eliza, a Cherokee Indian and was raised in a farm in Red River in Bonham near Northeast Texas. The book chronicles his life story from the late 1800’s when he was a young boy in a Texan farm to mid 1950’s when he became a great grandfather in McAlester, Oklahoma. The book paints a moving real life story about a young man’s resolve dealing with the various tragedies life threw at him while also caring for his two siblings, younger brother David and sister Viola. This novel presents a fascinating look at vintage Americana and will fill your mind with nostalgia about a simpler life led in much simpler times.

Right off the bat, the first thing that you are going to notice and that too barely a couple of pages into the book is the wonderful use of the English language. It has become almost a rarity in mainstream literature to come across such beautiful phrases and prose that make you stop and read a line twice just for the sheer literary pleasure it gives you. The next best thing about this book is the pitch perfect way in which the author has been able to portray the laid back and lazy times with the back breaking, difficult and adventure filled day in an old western town. It is so descriptive that the character’s spirituality, the numerous odd jobs done around the house, cattle drive and horse breaking somehow become second nature to you by the time you are done with the book. And for people of this century where everything is available to them at the touch of a button, this book will be a throwback to our older and harsher times when day to day living meant a constant battle with the various elements of the nature.

Blending the fiction seamlessly with the many historical and factual events of the late 18th century and early 19th century, Shirley has made good use of various events like the yellow fever epidemic, the great depression and the absurd tax laws to good effect and has used them strategically at various points in the novel to underline the emotions of her characters in that setting beautifully. The changes happening over time and the various developments too have been captured nicely; case in point isCharley staying at a hotel for the very first time. Shirley also seems to have a knack in getting children’s behaviour and their conversations right, the change in tone and content when the conversation moves from a child to an adult is always bang on target.

The entire book will tug at your heart strings and make you think about your own family, it will also make you reminisce about your childhood as you read about the childhood of the Dobyn kids. And even though your childhood may have been vastly different from theirs, you will still feel a connection to the various commonalities that affect us humans across time and different nationalities. The epilogue and the photographs at the end really get to you and even though a life that you have been witness to from a young age has come to an end, you are in a strange way left with so many memories of this man. And this is because of the way the author has captured these scenes and emotions, by taking you right into the lives and homes of these people instead of merely narrating a story.

Great authors have often talked about the secrets that make a book appeal to audiences everywhere. They stress upon having a standout first chapter to make the readers commit to the book, a good first page that will blow them away and a great first line that will stay etched in their memory forever. If they are right then Shirley’s book has scored a definite ace on all three fronts and has emerged a clear winner.

Product Details

Print Length: 260 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499024096

Publisher: Xlibris US (May 23, 2014)

ASIN: B00KNMM46S

Buy Fromhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KNMM46S/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Fireflies Are Cannibals

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I love fireflies. When I see them on a warm evening flashing it takes me back to being a young girl running around my backyard with a jar and lid catching all the fireflies I could. I would then take the jar in the house to my bedroom and watch them flash. This is an article by Jason Bittle that I want to share with you. There’s more to a firefly that meets the eye. Enjoy

firefly-by-jessica-lucia-ccIn the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the eastern U.S., there’s a species of firefly (Photinus carolinis) that takes the showy spectacle to a new level.

In an attempt to woo a female, thousands of P. carolinis males flash their lanterns on and off at the same time, creating a synchronous bioluminescence display unlike any other on Earth. Every June, people come to the national park to witness the spectacle, which has become such a popular tourist attraction that you’d have an easier time getting into a Rolling Stones concert. Advance tickets sell out in a matter of minutes.

So for those of you who missed out on the natural light show this year, here are some amazing firefly facts to ponder on those warm summer nights. (See National Geographic’s photos of extreme summer adventures.)

Time Is of the Essence

For P. carolinis, the synchronous display is an event that’s simultaneously silent, rhythmic, tranquil, and frenetic, said Lynn Faust, a naturalist and the author of a forthcoming book called Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs: A Field Guide to the Fireflies of the Eastern U.S. and Canada.

“Peaceful to us,” she said, “life or death for them.”

Faust explains that synchronous fireflies live just two to four weeks after they reach their adult phase. That means each night is a desperate attempt to find a mate and pass on their genes. And if you’re a small black insect trying to find other small black insects in the dark, it helps to have a chemically activated beacon on your backend. (See other pictures of glowing animals.)

In P. carolinis, the synchrony goes like this: Around 9:30 p.m., a cloud of male fireflies starts to flash. Each male emits six quick blinks, then takes a break for about six seconds. Over time, the insects manage to coordinate their individual pulses to the point where the whole forest throbs neon green, then goes wordlessly dark.

The light show, as Faust calls it, is highly dependent on temperature, moisture level, and elevation—but given optimal conditions, the display can go on past midnight.

“Femme Fatale” Cannibals

Of course, there’s a downside to lighting up the night. As every little kid with a Mason jar knows, it makes the insects awfully easy to detect.

Among those taking notice are the females fireflies of another genus, Photuris. Entomologists have nicknamed these insects “femme fatales” because they eat P. carolinis fireflies—and they have some flashy ways of doing it.

Photuris fireflies attack synchronous fireflies in the air, a maneuver known as “hawking.” But that’s not how the femme fatales got their nickname.

“These fireflies flash the wrong signal and pretend like they’re a female Photinus carolinis,” said Rebecca Nichols, an entomologist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “The male will come down thinking he’s going to mate, and then the Photuris will grab him and eat him.” (Related: “Flesh-Eaters: 5 Cannibalistic Animals.”)

The femme fatales are such skillful mimics that they can even switch between the flash signals of several species, depending on what’s fluttering around that night. Cannibalism offers extra nutrients to females at a time when they, too, will be mating and laying eggs, but a balanced diet isn’t the only thing they get out of the meal.

“Poisonous” Bugs

Many fireflies produce defensive compounds similar to the venom found in toads. Predators find these compounds distasteful and have learned to avoid eating fireflies altogether.

Fireflies in the genus Photuris don’t have these compounds, but research has shown they’re able to absorb them by eating other fireflies. What’s more, the chemical defenses also pass into the Photuris fireflies’ eggs to safeguard the next generation.

Blood Defense

Synchronous fireflies aren’t totally defenseless though. When attacked by the femme fatales, the insects discharge a bit of their blood, which scientists call “reflex bleeding.”

For most predators, the blood offers a taste of the defensive compounds mentioned above and sends them packing, but for the femme fatale fireflies, it’s the stickiness that causes a problem. Faust wrote in 2012 in the Journal of Entomology that the blood “coagulates into a sticky mass” in the cannibal firefly’s mouth, sometimes giving the synchronous firefly enough time to escape.

But even reflex bleeding has a workaround. Faust has observed the femme fatales stalking and stealing fireflies from the webs of orb weaver spiders. These fireflies have already dispensed with their reflex bleeding and have been essentially gift-wrapped by the spider. The femme fatales will even do battle with the spider over a meal, though sometimes this means turning into a meal themselves.

“Recurring Miracle”

Though the Smokies firefly display is pretty much over, luckily the species can be found throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains in the eastern U.S. In fact, Pennsylvania will be hosting its second-annual Firefly Festival later this month. And, of course, the bug is found around the world, especially in warm parts of Asia.

To Faust, seeing the synchronous fireflies “never gets old—it is a recurring miracle each year, just like the first wildflower, the fall leaves, the first hummingbird,” she said.

“I like to be up there the very first night the first male emerges and flashes. It gives me a kick and reassurance that life goes on.”

Carlsbad Caverns

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    When I was a five year old, my parents and I went to Carlsbad New Mexico to see Carlsbad Caverns. It was an experience that stuck in my mind like glue. I remember it all as if it was yesterday. It would be sixty years before I returned to that area.  At my childhood visit, they had some of the walkways concreated but some where made of wood.  About half way down, they made an announcement that the lights would be going out and all children where to sit on the walkway for safety. When those lights went out, I’d never seen anything as black.  I remember my mother constantly comforting me by lletting me know she was holding onto me and wouldn’t let go.

After the lights came back on we continue our way down the path. I remember seeing a pool of clear water which contained fish.  The guide said they were blind from being in the black cave. Those fish are no longer there. They were not mentioned when I was there a few years ago, so I have no idea what became of them.

When we arrived at the last room open to the public, the park service was selling boxed lunches. I got a sandwich, chips and a Coke. Then my parents had a discussion on whether they wanted to walk out of the cave or ride the elevator. They decided to do the elevator. That was quite a sensation to my little stomach. The elevator didn’t seem very quick to me at the time. My last visit it moved just fine.

That evening we went to the Bat Cave and watch millions of bats turn the sky black as they emptied the cave to go on thier nightly foraging for food. That day so many years ago was a big adventure for that little girl.  I hope someday you are able to see this wonder. Below is information about Carlsbad with a few pictures. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show caveCarlsbad Cavern.  Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance or take an elevator from the visitor center.

The park entrance is located onUS Highway 62/180approximately 18 miles (29 km) southwest ofCarlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad Caverns National Park participates in theJunior Ranger Program.[3]The park has two entries on theNational Register of Historic Places:The Caverns Historic Districtand theRattlesnake Springs Historic District.[4]Approximately two thirds of the park has been set aside as awilderness area, helping to ensure no future changes will be made to the habitat.

Carlsbad Cavern includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a naturallimestonechamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at the highest point. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world. The largest chamber in the world is theSarawak ChamberinMalaysia.[5]

Capitan reef

250 million years ago, the area surrounding Carlsbad Caverns National Park served as the coastline for an inland sea. Present in the sea was a plethora of marine life, whose remains decomposed into a reef growth.[6]Unlike modern reef growths, the Permian reef containedbryozoans, sponges, and other microorganisms. After thePermian period, most of the water evaporated exposing the reef to salts and sediment that encapsulated the reef. Tectonic movement occurred during the lateTertiary period, uplifting the reef above ground. Susceptible to erosion, water sculpted the Guadalupe Mountain region into its present-day state.[7]

Speleogenesis

Carlsbad Caverns National Park sits in a bed oflimestoneabove a layer of groundwater; below the groundwater are petroleum reserves (part of theMid-Continent Oil Field). At a time near the end of theTertiary period,hydrogen sulfide(H2S) began to seep upwards from the petroleum into the water table. The combination of hydrogen sulfide and oxygen from the water formedsulfuric acid:

H_2S + 2O_2 = H_2SO_4

The sulfuric acid then continued upward, aggressively dissolving the limestone deposits to form caverns.Gypsum’spresence within the cave is a confirmation of this process’s occurrence, as it is a byproduct of the reaction between sulfuric acid and limestone.[6]Once the acid bath drained from the chamber,speleothemswere able to grow within the cavern. Erosion processes occurring above ground created the natural entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns within the last million years. Exposure to the surface has allowed for the influx ofairinto the cavern. Rainwater and snowmelt percolating downward into the ground pick up carbon dioxide; once this water reaches a cavern ceiling, it precipitates and evaporates leaving behind a small mineral deposit. Growths from the roof downward formed through this process are known asstalactites. Additionally, water on the floor of the caverns can contain carbonic acid and generate mineral deposits by evaporation. Growths from the floor upward through this process are known asstalagmites. Different formations ofspeleothemsinclude columns,soda straws, draperies,helictites, andpopcorn. Factors like ambient air temperature and rainfall affect the rate of growth ofspeleothems, as higher temperatures increase carbon dioxide production rates within soil. Color ofspeleothemsis determined by the mineral that the formation is made of.

History

From a young age,Jim Whiteexplored the cavern with his homemade wire ladder. When he grew older, most people did not seem to believe such caves existed. He gave many of the rooms their names, including the Big Room, New Mexico Room, Kings Palace, Queens Chamber, Papoose Room, and Green Lake Room. He also named many of the cave’s more prominent formations, such as the Totem Pole, Witch’s Finger, Giant Dome, Bottomless Pit, Fairyland, Iceberg Rock, Temple of the Sun, and Rock of Ages.

The town of Carlsbad, which lends its name to the Cavern and National Park, is in turn named after theCzechtown formerly known by theGermannameKarlsbad(English spellingCarlsbad) and now known by theCzechnameKarlovy Vary, both of which mean “Charles‘ Bath[s].”

Until 1932, visitors to the cavern had to walk down a switch back ramp-sidewalk that took them 750 feet below the surface. The walk back up was tiring for a lot of visitors. In 1932 the National Park opened up a large visitor center building that contained two elevators that would take visitors to the caverns below. The new center included a cafeteria, waiting room, museum and first aid area.[8]

Legislative history

  • October 25, 1923 – PresidentCalvin Coolidgesigned a proclamation (1679-Oct. 25, 1923-43 Stat. 1929) establishingCarlsbad Cave National Monument.[9]
  • April 2, 1924 – President Calvin Coolidge issued an executive order (3984) for a possible national park or monument at the site. [10]
  • May 3, 1928 – a supplemental executive order (4870) was issued reserving additional land for the possible monument or park.[11]
  • May 14, 1930 – an act of theUnited States Congress(46 Stat. 279) establishedCarlsbad Caverns National Parkto be directed by theSecretary of the Interiorand administered by theNational Park Service.[12]
  • June 17, 1930 – PresidentHerbert HooversignedExecutive Order 5370reserving additional land for classification.[13]
  • November 10, 1978 –Carlsbad Caverns Wildernesswas established with theNational Parks and Recreation Act(95-625) signed by PresidentJimmy Carter.[14]

 

… a limestone cavern known as the Carlsbad Cave, of extraordinary proportions and of unusual beauty and variety of natural decoration; … beyond the spacious chambers that have been explored, other vast chambers of unknown character and dimensions exist; … the several chambers contain stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations in such unusual number, size, beauty of form, and variety of figure as to make this a cavern equal, if not superior, in both scientific and popular interest to the better known caves …

 

Named rooms

Rock of Ages in theBig Room, photo byAnsel Adams, c. 1941

On the tour route

Outside the entrance to the caverns.

Outside the entrance to the caverns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outside the entrance to the caverns.

Balloon Ballroom
Located in the ceiling above the main entrance hall, this small room was first accessed by tying a rope to a bunch of balloons and floating them up into the passage.
Bat Cave
A large, unadorned rocky passage connected to the main entrance corridor. The majority of the cave’s bat population lives in this portion of the cave, which was mined for bat guano in the early 20th century.
Bell Cord Room
Named for a long, narrowstalactitecoming through a hole in the ceiling, resembling the rope coming through the roof of a belfry. This room is located at the end of the Left Hand Tunnel.
Bifrost Room
Discovered in 1982, it is located in the ceiling above Lake of the Clouds. Its name refers to a Norse myth about a world in the sky that was accessed from Earth by a rainbow. The room was given this name because of its location above the Lake of the Clouds and its colorful oxide-stained formations.
Big Room or The Hall of the Giants
The largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, with a floor space of 357,469 square feet (33,210 m2).[15]
Chocolate High
A maze of small passages totalling nearly a mile (1500 m) in combined length, discovered in 1993 above a mud-filled pit in the New Mexico Room known as Chocolate Drop.
Green Lake Room
The uppermost of the “Scenic Rooms”, it is named for a deep,malachite-colored pool in the corner of the room. In the 1940s, when the military was testing the feasibility of Carlsbad Cavern as an emergency fallout shelter, the Green Lake was used to look for ripples caused by a nuclear bomb test many miles away. None appeared.
Guadalupe Room
Discovered by a park ranger in 1966, this is the second largest room in Carlsbad Caverns. It is known for its dense collection of “soda straw”stalactites.
Hall of the White Giant
A large chamber containing a large, white stalagmite. Rangers regularly lead special wild-cave tours to this room.
King’s Palace
The first of four chambers in a wing known as the “scenic rooms”, it is named for a large castle-like formation in the center of the room.
Lake of the Clouds
The lowest known point in the cave. It is located in a side passage off the Left Hand Tunnel. It is named for its large lake containing globular, cloud-like rock formations that formed under water when the lake level was much higher.
Left Hand Tunnel
A long, straight passage marked by deep fissures in the floor. These fissures are not known to lead anywhere. The Left Hand Tunnel leads to the Lake of the Clouds and the Bell Cord Room.
Mabel’s Room
A moderate-sized room located past the Talcum Passage in Lower Cave.
Mystery Room
A large, sloping room located off the Queen’s Chamber, named for an unexplained noise heard only here. A small vertical passage at the far end connects it to Lower Cave.
New Mexico Room
Located adjacent to the Green Lake Room and accessed by means of a somewhat narrow corridor.
New Section
A section of fissures east of the White Giant formation and paralleling the Bat Cave. New discoveries are still being made in this section.
Papoose Room
Located between the King’s Palace and Queen’s Chamber.
Queen’s Chamber
Widely regarded as the most beautiful and scenic area of the cave. Jim White’s lantern went out in this chamber while he was exploring, and he was in the dark for over half an hour.
Spirit World
Located in the ceiling of the Big Room at its highest point (an area known as the Top of the Cross), this area is filled with white stalagmites that resembled angels to the room’s discoverers.
Talcum Passage
A room located in Lower Cave where the floor is coated withgypsumdust.
The Rookery
One of the larger rooms in Lower Cave. A large number ofcave pearlsare found in this area.
Underground Lunchroom
Located in the Big Room at the head of the Left Hand Tunnel. It contains a cafeteria that was built in the 1950s, and is where the elevators from the visitor center exit into the cave.

Tourist information

Carlsbad Caverns sees an average of 407,211 visitors every year.[2]The highest attendance seen in a year was 876,500 visitors in 1976.[16]As of 2011, a total 41,654,278 visitors have entered the park. Peak visitation typically occurs on the weekends followingMemorial Dayand theFourth of July. Free admittance for self-guided tours is often granted on holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, National Park Week, andVeterans Dayweekend.[17]Camping is permitted in the back country of the park, but a permit is required from the visitor center.

One of the extra events hosted by the park is the viewing of a bat flight. A program is given in the early evening at the amphitheater near the main entrance prior to the start of the flight, which varies with the sunset time. Flight programs are scheduled fromMemorial Dayweekend through the middle of October.[18]Optimal viewing normally occur in July and August with the advent of baby bats in addition to the normal migratory bats. Morning programs are also hosted pre-dawn to witness the return of bats into the cave. Once a year, a bat flight breakfast is held where visitors can eat breakfast at the park prior to the morning return of bats.

At various times throughout the year, star parties are hosted by the park at night. Rangers host informational programs on the celestial night sky and telescopes are also made available. These parties are often held in conjunction with special astronomical events, such as atransit of Venus.[19]

Recent exploration

In 1985 a very distinctive method of exploration was invented. In a dome area 255 feet (78 m) above the Big Room floor not far from the Bottomless Pit, a stalagmite leaned out. Using abalsa woodloop withhelium-filledballoonsattached, the explorers—after several tries over several years—floated a lightweight cord that snagged the target stalagmite. Once the cord was in position up, over, and back to the ground, a climbing rope was pulled into position, and the explorers ascended into what they named The Spirit World.[20]A similar, smaller room was found in the main entrance corridor, and was named Balloon Ballroom in honor of this technique.

In 1993, a series of small passages totaling nearly a mile in combined length was found in the ceiling of the New Mexico Room. Named “Chocolate High”, it was the largest discovery in the cave since the Guadalupe Room was found in 1966.

The Bottomless Pit was originally said to have no bottom. Stones were tossed into it, but no sound of the stones striking the bottom was heard. Later exploration revealed the bottom was about 140 feet (40m) deep and covered with soft dirt. The stones made no sound when they struck the bottom because they were lodged in the soft soil.

Other caves

The park contains over 117 caves.[21]Three caves are open to public tours. Carlsbad Caverns is the most famous and is fully developed with electric lights, paved trails, and elevators. Slaughter Canyon Cave[22]and Spider Cave[23]are undeveloped, excepted for designated paths for the guided “adventure” caving tours.

Lechuguilla Caveis well known for its delicate speleothems and pristine underground environment. Guano mining occurred in the pit below the entrance in the 1910s.[24]After gaining permission from the national park managers to dig into a rubble pile where wind whistled between the rocks when the weather changed, cavers broke through into a room in 1986.[24]Over 120 miles of cave passage has been explored and mapped.[24]It has been mapped to a depth of 1,600 feet (490 m), making it the deepest limestone cave in the U.S.[24]To protect the fragile environment, access is limited to permitted scientific expeditions only.[24]

[edit]Bats

English: Mexican (or Brazilian) Free-Tailed Ba...

English: Mexican (or Brazilian) Free-Tailed Bats, Tadarida brasiliensis, emerging from Carlsbad Caverns, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerging from the natural entrance and flying to the nearest water

Seventeen species ofbatslive in the park, including a large number ofMexican Free-tailed Bats.[25]It has been estimated that the population of Mexican Free-tailed Bats once numbered in the millions but has declined drastically in modern times. The cause of this decline is unknown but the pesticideDDTis often listed as a primary cause. Populations appear to be on the increase in recent years but are nowhere near the levels that may have been historically present. A study published in 2009 by a team fromBoston Universityquestions whether large numbers of bats were ever present at the caverns.[26]

Many techniques have been used to estimate the bat population in the cave. The most recent and most successful of these attempts involved the use of thermal imaging camera to track and count the bats.[27]A count from 2005 estimated a peak of 793,000.[25]

The Mexican Free-tailed Bats are present from April or May to late October or early November.[28]They emerge in a dense group, corkscrewing upwards and counterclockwise, usually starting around sunset and lasting about three hours.[29](Jim White decided to investigate the caverns when he saw the bats from a distance and at first thought they were a volcano or a whirlwind.)[30]Every early evening from Memorial Day weekend to mid October (with possible exceptions for bad weather), a ranger gives a talk on the bats while visitors sitting in the amphitheater wait to watch the bats come out.[28]

 

 

My Grandgoats

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OK, I admit it I’m not the goat’s grandmother, but I am the mother of the owner of this small group of Mini Nubians.  My daughter has gotten into the goat breeding business with both feet along with my son-in-law and grandson. They are breeding the stock to gain a  milk producing, polled (hornless) variety. They have one level to go before they can register the breed.

My daughter is also having visions of riches from selling the hand lotion and body cream she makes from the milk. It’s fabulous stuff. There is something in that goats milk that nourishes the skin. (I’m sorry I got side tracked.)

She is also selling the bottle fed babies to keep her herd at a small size.  She has one more female (Vee) to deliver shortly. In fact it should be sometime in the next week.  She and my grandson always get excited when a new baby arrives. It’s always the cutest of any she has had before. I have to say she loves her goats.

Below is an overview of Mini-Nubian Goats followed by pictures of the herd.

 

Mini-Nubian Goats

 

The miniature Nubian Dairy Goat is the result of a cross between a Nigerian Dwarf buck and a Nubian doe.   The goats maintain the looks, high percentage butterfat content, and  mild flavored milk of the Nubian in combination with the smaller size of the Nigerian.

In height, the Miniature Nubian falls between the standard Nubian and the Nigerian Dwarf. Mini-Nubian Goat does normally stand from 22-25 inches at the withers and weigh under 100 pounds.   Bucks can be larger with a height up to 27 inches and weigh under 135 pounds.

As one of its most distinctive features, the Miniature Nubian maintains the long drooping ears of the Nubian. They also possess the Nubian’s docile temperament, sweet disposition, and wonderful milk characteristics. Miniature Nubian Goats have an average milk production of 1525 pounds in 305 days; that is about 5 pounds or 2 quarts of milk daily. Although small, they aredairy goats with production capacity and teats long enough to get your hands on.

The Miniature Nubian is an experimental breed registered through the International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR) and the Miniature Dairy Goat Association (MDGA).   A nicely conformed Miniature Nubian should have a long body, a wide escutcheon for good udder attachment, a wide rib cage for carrying kids, a straight top line, a slightlyroman looking nose and long pendulous ears

Miniature Nubians come in a wide range of colors and  patterns. They are friendly, hardy, medium size utilitarians that provide a lot of very healthy milk for their size and unparalleled brush and weed control.  Kids grow quickly and although they are not used for meat much, extra buck kids still make good meat. The Miniature Nubian Goat provides a little something for everyone and is ideal for landowners who are attempting to produce their own food on just a few acres.

 

goat3This is Oreo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             This is Izzy kissing Mike

goats      Peppers is the white one and Taps is the black billy. Vee is standing on the building. They do love to climb (including cars).

Goat5         This is Carmel.

goats6

 

 

 

 

Demon Biting Mike. He’s such a cute little thing (not).

Goat7       This is Vee, she is the one that will deliver her kid in the next week or so.

 

 

The Big One

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The striped bass is the main piscivore of the LSZ

The striped bass is the main piscivore of the LSZ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do we have any fishermen on FanBox?  In case you missed it on line, the state striped bass record has been broke in Alabama and could possibly be a world record but that will take a while to find out.

James Bramlett went fishing at the request of his wife because she was going to be keeping him busy for a few days.  He went to the Black Warrior River on February 28,2013 and came home with this 70 pound fish. The previous state record was 15 pounds lighter. You can do the math.  What is the largest fish you have caught?

As for myself, I was deep sea fishing off the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii and caught a 130 pound yellow fin tuna.  That little fish took over an hour to get in the boat and that was with someone helping me. That was my first and last deep sea fishing expedition.  I’d go back in a flash but so far it hasn’t happened. I’ll be content catching my bass and catfish out of my pond and think about the big one I caught.Bass Record catch bass oklahoma record bass world record bass4 Bass5

English: Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) Franç...

English: Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) Français : Bar rayé (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slowly Swallowing Us

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English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doli...

English: A sinkhole in Oman Deutsch: Eine Doline im Oman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not going to write about the mechanism by which we ingest food. I want to spend a little bit of time writing about the earth opening up and swallowing us mere mortals. I feel so bad for the family that lost their son and brother down a sinkhole in Florida.

Sinkholes are one of the biggest fears my home town of McAlester Oklahoma has due to all of the mining that went on during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The majority of the area has mine shafts running underneath. If one has occurred, I am not aware of it at this point in time.

I remember as a child seeing pictures of a house in Alaska in which the ground opened up and the entire house went down into a very big hole. You could at least see the roof. That was due to an earthquake. I think it was the late 1950,s when it happened. Growing up in California I was not surprised when the side of the road fell off due to the ground giving way because of so much rain.

The Bible even tells us in Numbers 16:32 KJV: “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods.” From that verse it sounds like the earth was opening up and swallowing people and things back then. Science tells us that sinkholes are very common when the foundation underneath the dirt is limestone and it washes away over time. That’s a very non scientific interpretation of an action that can take thousands of years.

Some sinkholes are caused by nature, but many more are caused by man’s activity.

Decline of water levels –

drought, groundwater pumping (wells, quarries, mines)

Disturbance of the soil – digging through soil layers, soil removal, drilling

Point-source of water – leaking water/sewer pipes, injection of water

Concentration of water flow – storm water drains, swales, etc.

Water impoundments – basins, ponds, dams

Heavy loads on the surface – structures, equipment

Vibration – traffic, blasting

So as with most of our other problems we are contributing to them in a major way. Is there anything we can do to help ourselves? The obvious would be not to build houses over limestone, and stop doing everything I’ve listed above. Somehow I just don’t see that happening. I think most of us will stay oblivious to what is going on underground. I know I don’t think about the ground dropping out from underneath me, do you?

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A Tiger With Scales

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Tiger with scales in African waters

Equatorial African waters lives a terrible monster in appearance. It is not the dreaded crocodile, hippopotamus redoubtable either. It’s a fish. Yes, you read right, a fish. There is some momentum shark African rivers upstream courses, obviously, nor any Amazonian piranhas. Is none other than Goliath tiger fish. A real beast of water you need to see it once to understand who the uncrowned king of all freshwater fish predators. A nightmare with fangs unseen but became the most coveted catch fishermen specializing in raptors. He became a living legend and the most famous fishermen in the world go through thousands of kilometers to the heart of Africa for a photo collection alongside dinosaur carnivore fish with jaws

Armed to the teeth

” I wrote white on black, and remain today the same: giant tiger fish in Africa is the most fearsome freshwater fish that currently exists . ”
LJ McCormick, one of the largest predator anglers in the world.

The most coveted trophy for all predator anglers in the world, is truly a legendary fish that lives up to its reputation.

Goliath Tiger Fish (Hydrocynus goliath) belongs to the family Alestidae with over 1000 species distributed in Africa, South and Central America.

a catch rare and deserved

In Africa live 5 species belonging to the genus  Hydrocynus the most maredintre them, obviously named after the biblical character who was defeated to become King David. If Hydrocynus to analyze the significance of gender, discovered that the ancient Greek  hydro  means water. And cynus -dog. Considering the shape of the head, and huge fangs, the name makes sense. With the addition that the tiger fish is anything but man’s best friend, Goliath tiger fish … the species  Hydrocynus goliath  and is the largest representative of the genus.

All species have fangs rugged and has one or more longitudinal stripes. Typical appearance, stripes, and especially highly aggressive behavior contributed to the tiger fish name, given by the first European explorers who encountered.

Goliath lives exclusively in the Congo Basin, Lualaba Lake and Lake Tanganyka and Upemba waters.  fish is not only impressive appearance, but also in size.

The record was achieved with a copy which reached a length of 152 centimeters and weight of 69 pounds!

record tiger

It is the only freshwater fish with the status of piscivor dangerous to humans! Those who ventured to catch him, confess that lived emotions experienced hunters asemănătoate those who started after a leopard, bear, lion or other type of carnivore that can return at any time against his pursuers, becoming man the hunter, hunted!

Fish that hunt crocodiles

Despite its unforgettable appearance is a little known fish.Outside Africa, the only ones who heard him are specialists ichthyologists, fish collectors of rare species and predator anglers obvious.

Species is somewhat isolated in central Africa, an area not well known even today. Most live on courses Goliath Tiger Fish Congo, the second longest river in the world after the Amazon, taking into account the volume of water flow and transport.

is risky to immobilize a fish tigruGoliat

We must remember that giant Congo is still the deepest river in the world, detail crucial for tiger fish. With depths reaching 230 feet even, Goliath-toothed dinosaur site gets a perfect habitat where spurting invisible and fatal to its victims. fact, this species prefers waters stormy, turbulent, where smaller fish submit struggling against the current, being less attentive to the presence of predators.

His vision is excellent and based on the ability to feel low frequency vibrations emitted by potential prey. His body is very muscular and strong and wide tail allows even the most massive examples spurting in unexpected bursts of speed. Are ambush predators and early dissection specimens revealed the existence of internal sac react to tiny vibrations in the water and put the fish tiger alert to any movement near him.

Has a particularly violent attack. Goliath tiger fish swim in large circles around the prey, after a brutal hit with the force of a sledgehammer. Prada dizzy is then hacked his bite. In one case a Goliath tiger fish cut in two with one bite one African catfish of 30 pounds.

its a nightmare teeth not stop passionate anglers worldwide

And this is not its only performance.  Locals claim that large tiger fish are the only fish in African waters is not at all afraid of crocodiles. Moreover, tiger fish are not shy to devour smaller crocodiles …

The exact duration of life in the wild, but in captivity living conditions between 10-15 years.

Fishing Mbenga

Tiger fish were officially classified as a species of special interest fishing International Game Fish Association by. For fishermen profiled on predators have earned the reputation of some of the best fighters of all species of freshwater fish.

Their meat apparently tastes good, although it is high in fat and has many bones last detail saved from extinction in an Africa facing food scarcity, environmental destruction and population explosion.

Mbenga, as they called the natives, is a great attraction for fishing so that specialized companies offering fishing expeditions ravenous fans all over the world. In recent years, tiger fish have been devoted to articles, books, and even films.

Keen fisherman an expedition that will make existence, must obtain a visa Congo about four months before departure to Africa.

Necessarily need to be vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, to carry malaria tablets and solutions against tetanus.You do not have to miss any antibiotics in case of dysentery, a lotion for sun (it is recommended protection factor 30), and the most effective pills or sprays against mosquitoes.  Besides strict movement and organization costs, firms subject suggests that the fisherman has to have the minimum amount of $ 1.500 for “contingency”.

Tiger fish is the most formidable fangs freshwater fish in the world

Fisheries Act itself raises adrenaline quotas for fishermen unsuspected not so far been dealing with such beasts with scales.

African water monster has a set of jaws furnished with enormous tusks, thick, solid and well embedded in the jaw. Not only his teeth reach the dimensions of sharks, fish nightmare but is not afraid to attack fishermen once caught. There are also some grim stories about kids murdered while he was bathing …

Jeremy Wade, the famous documentary filmmaker most impressive freshwater fish, undertook an expedition to capture a specimen Goliath tiger fish capital. His stories are more than enlightening:

” Fish is like a giant piraha. Briefly, it is a nightmare beast. teeth are incredibly sharp and his were the same length as those of a white shark. has also very strong bite, does not hesitate to attack humans and even pieces of flesh flies crocodiles. these is thought that these fish attack appears as a reflex response to any sudden movement in the water. Capturing one is a very rare event, because they live in areas difficult to reach. There guides, lodges and facilities fishermen tourists in the right portions of the Congo River where the fish lives unprecedented “.

In addition, based on the testimonies fishermen were able to catch him, tiger fish is very difficult to “hanging “.

Special construction hooks not always ensure a successful catch

Often bite the bait, only to spit it instantly. In addition, his jaw bones are very hard to break through even the most sharp and solid hooks. Speaking of this issue, both hooks and fishing wire used to catch tiger fish are made of special materials and alloys to resist tusks and bite force King African waters.

And so, equipped with these special tools, fishermen have found themselves hanging some copies so strong that there have been cases where special wires were simply cut the bites unleash monsters with scales.

Due to the rarity, reputation and their appearance, all fish species tigers have begun to search the world of rare fish collectors in Europe and North America.

In addition to all aspects of fame and înfăţişareasa, Goliath tiger fish is still a living proof of the richness and biodiversity of water in forested heart of Africa.

Evening fishing on the waters of the Congo

The True Cost of Owning a Pet

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2Sophie 6 weeksHello all. I hope everyone has hada great start to their week. Todays blog was brought to you by Sophie, who spent the night at the emergency hospital after recieving a bite through the trachea from her big brother, Andy. It was a scary time. Our animals are basically are kids since ours have grown up and left. That’s a whole nother story, so I’ll let that go. The vet exam and the night at the hospital under observation was $500.00. I have insurance for my others, but not on Sophie yet, so it was directly out of our pocket. In comparison to human medical care and animal care, I think they run neck and neck. One is just as expensive as the other.   How much is that doggy (or kitty, or birdie) in the window really? The total price tag is probably a lot more than you think. By: Amanda Lilly

One look at those puppy-dog eyes and wagging tail and it’s easy for all your money smarts to fly out the window. Nonetheless, it is important to consider your lifestyle and budget before bringing home Fluffy or Fido. While there are many foreseeable expenses, such as food and toys, other costs may come as a shock. Need a dog walker, for instance? That can cost as much as $5,200 annually. Pet boarding can extract hundreds of dollars from your bank account, especially if you travel several times a year. Maybe your budget can easily accommodate regular pet-care expenses, but are you prepared for the higher costs of emergency care? It’s a question that some pet-adoption groups pose to would-be owners: How much money are you prepared to spend on Fido in an emergency? $1,000? $5,000? $10,000? What about for your hamster or parakeet? Over the years, the Longs had budgeted for emergency pet care, and they have pet insurance, so the financial hit wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The Longs are getting back more than $4,500 of their expenses from Bailey’s insurance. “Bailey is our family,” Long says, “so we just told the vet, ‘Do what you need to do.’ It didn’t occur to me until this was all over that some owners might have had to consider euthanasia as an option if they weren’t as prepared for all the bills. ”Robert Long, managing editor for Kiplinger.com, and his wife have spent more than $13,000 on their 7-year-old beagle, Bailey, this year alone. A sudden and extreme case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in May led to irreversible blindness and the surgical removal of Bailey’s eyes. Two months later, a ruptured disc in Bailey’s back required emergency surgery to resolve temporary rear-limb paralysis. “You don’t want to think about the worst-case scenario,” Long says, “but you should.” As veterinary procedures become more advanced, people are less likely to put their pet to sleep when it gets severely sick or injured. Owners will likely incur at least one $2,000 – $4,000 bill for emergency care at some point during their pet’s lifetime, says Dr. Louise Murray, vice-president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, in New York City. The prospect of such high costs weighs heavily on many pet owners. Almost half said they were extremely or somewhat worried that they would not be able to afford veterinary care if their pet got sick, according to a 2010 survey by the Associated Press and Petside.com. “The biggest problem I see are people who assume that everything will be fine until their pet is 18 years old,” said Murray. “That’s just incredibly rare. You want to have a plan.” Preventive care is also important in corralling costs. Having a pet is “kind of like owning a car,” Murray says. “If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, it will end up being a lot more expensive in the end.” That means getting your pet spayed or neutered, going to the vet for annual check-ups, keeping your pet’s vaccinations and preventive medicines up to date, feeding you pet the proper food, and keeping your pet confined indoors or in a yard and out of harm’s way. Although the cost of routine care is more predictable, it varies widely from animal to animal, and even from breed to breed — and also from owner to owner. For instance, fish and reptiles can drain your wallet by increasing the cost of your electric bill. Larger breeds of dogs will eat a lot more food than, say, a Chihuahua, and long-haired pets will need to go to the groomer more often. If you have allergies, you may need to get a hypoallergenic pet, which usually costs more both initially and in the long run. If you are away from home a lot, you may need to consider doggy day care or a dog walker, two services that add significantly to your total cost of ownership.

Home Owner Neighborhood Associations

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I don’t like them. Never have and never will. In all fairness, I can see how they think they are a necessary service to the neighborhood. They can help deter the next door neighbor from painting his house black with pick polka-dots. I think Associations get to feeling all powerful and have to flex their muscles to make their existence justifiable.

Being the country girl that I am, when I own something it’s mine to do with what I please. If I’m not causing problems if I want to plant flowers or make patterns in my lawn with the lawn mower, that is my right. Unfortunately that’s not the case if you move into a neighborhood with a homeowners association.

My husband and I lived in a very nice condo in Cary North Carolina for a short period of time. When the home owners association told us we were out of compliance because the satellite dish did not match the roof color, we bought property and built a new home. We were fortunate to be able to sell and build.

I was reading yesterday in AARP, where a woman in Portsmouth, NH bought a new condo after being promised she could plant flowers in a 5 x 8 bed. Two years went by without a problem and then one day she was notified the flowers would have to go. When she declined to remove the flowers the association fined her $5800 and put a lean on her house. “The practical implication is that what one person thinks is beautiful, another person thins is horrible.  Whether you like it or not is not the issue.”

How do you think you would react to this issue? I don’t think I would react well at all. As I mentioned above, I want to be able to do what I want with my property. I would not buy property in an association without talking to a lot of the people of the neighborhood.  Look at the neighborhood closely. Do all of the houses look exactly alike? That would be a very good indication how stringent the association is.  Also, be sure and asked for the associations by-laws to know for sure what you can and can’t do if you purchase property.