Canada Geese Dance-Like Moves On Lake Monona

A sizable flock of Canada Geese has been sighted over the past several days flying back and forth over the Madison isthmus.  During the holidays a group of honkers landed on a freshly iced part of Lake Monona, not far from the shore at B. B. Clarke Beach.  While pouring another cup of hot coffee I noticed folks were congregating so took my camera and dashed over to the lake.

I post a few photos of the dance-like magic on the ice.  With all the hardships due to the continuing pandemic, these are the type of moments that we can embrace and find uplifting. 

Donald Trump’s Attack On Birds–Yes, You Read That Correctly

It will not surprise my readers the Donald Trump Administration has now even become determined to undermine regulations that were designed to support birds.  Before we get into the weeds on this issue, or should I say nests, let me give a brief backstory.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), passed in 1918, outlawed the “taking, possessing, importing, exporting, transporting, selling, purchasing or bartering” any migratory bird, as well as parts, eggs and nests of such protected birds unless granted a federal permit.  For the sake of this post let me also add that the MBTA also issued oversight and accountability for companies whose operations may harm or endanger protected bird species.

But now the Trump administration wants to roll back some of the protections that have for many decades been considered sacrosanct.   Under one of the proposed rule changes comes the phrasing that even with a first fast reading causes concern.  The rules protecting migratory birds now will  “only extend to conduct intentionally injuring birds”.

Companies that injure or kill formerly protected birds unintentionally would now not be liable for any penalty. This includes such activities as energy production and generation, from waste pits to towers to oil spills and wind turbines.

Today in my mail came the following Lexington column from the latest edition of The Economist.  Because this article is protected behind a paywall, but I want my readers to be much more aware of this topic, I have scanned it and post it below.

The issue regarding birds is one that I just find galling.  Call something a fetus and the entire judiciary can be turned inside out by the executive and legislative branches to protect it.  But another living creature without such a handle can be hosed off of road bridges and the culprit can claim it was not intentional.

The lack of regard for biodiversity and the lusty way this Administration has worked 24/7 to upend regulations and reverse the science behind those regs is maddening.  Not so long ago a man in my local community was reaching out for others to assist with the annual bird count, with the data being used to help track avian populations as the climate crisis worsens—oh–now I ticked off those rubes who can not grasp the science generated data to support that claim.

But such counts matter as it can be proved that since the 1970s America has suffered a loss in the bird population by about 1 million.  Such a sobering statistic can also be used to underscore the destructive and pathetic manner in which this White House undertakes its role in the nation regarding a policy that impacts our feathered friends.

Read the great writing and bitter truth in this weeks’s Lexington, and be prepared to be pissed-off.



Our Realtors Helping Those Struggling With Life Issues–With The Aid Of Icelandic Horses

Long before Robin and Will Guernsey became our realtors they were our friends.  They lived a block away when we first met them.  But it was during the first seven months of this year they melded professionalism with friendship and assisted in making sure James and I were able to finalize the purchase of the upper two stories of our Victorian home on the Madison isthmus.  We will be forever grateful.

The couple now has a large picture-perfect country area for Icelandic horses which I have had the joy in romping alongside while feeding countless carrots.  The horses are gorgeous creatures.  This week we were delighted to watch the local news coverage of Guernsey’s efforts to make people worldwide feel a bit better about life with the aid of these animals.

This summer, on the one year anniversary of her father’s death, she brought Facebook and Instagram social media pages called IamGlytja to life.

She hopes others will benefit on-line from the calming presence of her Icelandic horse herd, which helped her through the loss of her father. Guernsey said, “Instead of being sad about it, I thought is there a way for Glytja to help other people who might be struggling as well?”

The pages already have nearly 3,000 followers. She’s hoping followers will find IamGlytja to be a bright spot if they’re having a rough day. On the pages she shares what Glytja and the herd have been up to that day and posts entertaining pictures.

Below your blogger with one of these cuties.


Green Bay Packers Proved Lack Of Concern About Animals

I know it is early in the year to write a blog post about the Green Bay Packers, since I do not follow football.  Or care about the wins, or losses, of the team.  But there was a photo from Thursday night’s pre-season game which caused me to make sure it was not an older image from years ago.  I made the effort as I could not believe anyone in the Packer organization, in 2019, could be so obtuse regarding releasing balloons filled with helium, given the damage they do to animals.

But the photo was indeed from this week.  It was stunning to see!


Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them.  When the pieces of latex are mistaken for food and ingested, they can get lodged in the digestive tract, inhibiting animal’s ability to eat and causing a slow and painful death by starvation.

There is also the fact that helium is a finite resource, and to waste it on a football game seems most irresponsible.  It would be nice if football organizations cared as much for the animals in our woods and fish in our lakes as they do about their profits.  It would be nice if Packer fans alerted the ones in the sky box seats that the balloons made Green Bay look backwards.

And so it goes.

Great News For Grizzly Bears And Ethically-Minded People

With all the news that blew up last week over the Supreme Court nominee it allowed for less time to take note of items which truly need to applauded.

Such as this one.

A Montana federal judge returned Yellowstone-area grizzly bears to Endangered Species Act protection Monday, permanently blocking hunting seasons in two states.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled to reverse a United States Fish and Wildlife Service decision to remove the protections and canceled the first grizzly bear hunt in the continental United States since 1991.

That is simply the best news possible about this whole sad episode.

I read and heard that there was such outrage over the proposed hunt that grizzly enthusiasts applied for the tags in places like Wyoming to help protect the bears.  One of the tags was obtained by a wildlife photographer who stated the only thing he was going to shoot of the bear would come from the lens of his camera.

Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone have improved since the animals were protected in 1975. But they are still threatened by isolation from other grizzly populations, loss of key food sources, and human-caused moralities.

It would have been monstrous if the proposed trophy hunting would have been allowed to proceed.  Overall grizzly bears occupy less than 4 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states.

Hunters never care about such facts.  They only like to shed blood of innocent animals.

Well, not this time Bubba.



What I Did Sunday

So my little friends came across the street today–the baby robins fledged. One came right up to our front door and landed on the railings–no doubt having heard that James cooks like a chef.  But worm stew was not on the menu! In the elm tree sat a second little guy, also chirping and wondering how in the world he would ever see food again. Parents were in yard and knew the family whereabouts.  (And yes, I do love my new camera lens.)

There Is Still Good In Our World

While on phone I looked out window and saw something in our tree.  I went outside with no socks or shoes and in the cold rain walked to the point that it said “Shall I pose?”

I said, “Quiet or we will scare each other.”

And then I took this photo.

And You Thought The News Could Not Get More Appalling?

Simply sickening.

The Trump administration confirmed it has lifted an Obama-era ban that had prohibited big-game hunters from importing trophies of elephants killed in two African nations.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirms the agency had determined limited hunting of African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia would enhance conservation efforts. The Humane Society, however, blasted the move as a “green light” for wealthy Americans to kill an endangered species.

Those who have no regard for the needs of these gentle beasts are soulless people who will rot in hell.