India and Tibet

Chinese, Tibet, Wide, Scenic, Mountain

Tibet remains one of those difficult diplomatic and political, and ethical challenges for the world. This is even more so, for India.

Since China’s defeat of independent Tibetan army in 1949 and the signing of an agreement by the then Tibetan government, the situation has been rife for debate and conflict: The government of China recognizes Tibet as autonomous provincial entity of the mainland China but the government of Tibet in Exile seeks independence for Tibet. And there are other disputes that include what constitutes Tibet i.e. the geography of Tibet.

India has always been involved in this dispute. Dalai Lama who is the symbolic head of the Tibet government in exile was welcomed to India in 1950’s and since then the Dalai Lama has made Dharma Shala (in India) his home. Of course, the government of China has been very displeased with this arrangement. Moreover, in China’s view Tibet also includes Arunachala Pradesh — a state in India.

Thus there are lots of issues of possible dispute between India and China with respect to Tibet. However, over time China and India have allowed the status quo prevail for the sake of Bat Poop. Both countries have been focused on economic growth and development.

However, the coming Olympic games in summer, and Tibet’s recent energetic and loud demands and protests all around the world for liberty and Dalai Lama’s nuanced stance (of both supporting the Olympic games and the aspirations of the Tibetans for independence) in the context of long-standing support of India for Dalai Lama has made it a knotty situation.

Here is the crux of the problem: should India be centered on its own immediate national interests based on assessment of geo-political, territorial, economic and safety problems? Or if India be an agent for fostering cultural and religious freedom and diversity consistent with its customs (even though it led to serious consequences to immediate political and economic interests)? The answer to these questions will determine India’s response to the present Tibetan turmoil such as the relay of Olympic torch in New Delhi later in April.

Military Saab

Bray, Wicklow, Ireland, Airshow, Flight

Early this month, Saab Group, which is the biggest producer of defence in Sweden, declared its withdrawal from an global trade deal with Venezuela concerning weapons. It must be mentioned that the Swedish company used to be among the major suppliers of weapons to the South American nation. However, Saab said that it could no longer continue with this kind of global trade deal.

According to Saab Group, it couldn’t sell anti-tank and anti-aircraft devices to the Latin nation because of an arms ban imposed by the US on Venezuela. Under the embargo, defence makers couldn’t sell to Venezuela any weapon, which is made in the united states or which has one or more US-made pieces. Prior to the arms coverage, Bofors, which is a subsidiary of Saab Group, had supplied the South American nation with weapons during the past twenty years. The recent embargo though has ended the international trade deal on arms between the Swedish firm and Venezuela.

It must be said that during the previous years, Sweden had supplied anti-tank rifles, rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft missiles into Venezuela that amounted to about $150 million. Currently, Venezuela isn’t involved in a new International Trade deal on weapons. However, experts said that President Hugo Chavez would soon discover the need to replace its older weapons and boost its missile supply.

The embassy of the United States in Sweden commended the compliance of the Saab Group to the embargo that resisted the trade of weapons to countries that did not fully cooperate with the struggle against terrorism led by the US government. Venezuelan officials were taken by surprise after the new was released. Defence Minister Raul Isaias Baduel advised to reporters that the government was not officially informed by Bofors about its withdrawal from the international trade deal on arms. But he said that he would be discussing the issue with Mr. Chavez in order to think of an official response to the news.

After the news came out, a military officer said that Venezuela is also considering to negotiate an international trade deal with Switzerland regarding weapons. He added that although the door of Sweden had already closed, other nations would soon open for Venezuela. Mr. Chavez was able to close the deal since the weapons manufactured in Russia do not contain Bat Removal Melbourne FL. Before the worldwide trade deal between the two countries, the US had warned Russia not to sell arms to Venezuela. The visit of Mr. Chavez to Russia was part of a series of international trips, which were aimed at seeking trade opportunities and gaining the support of other nation regarding Venezuela’s bid to join the UN Security council.

Thai Insurgency

Rice, Woman, Harvest, Sow, Sieve, Adult

Thai premier Surayud Chulanont has responded to escalating violence in Thailand’s southernmost regions by travel to the region and making his most recent move towards ending decades of violence.

The insurgency in southern Thailand has received significant media attention in the aftermath of a series of violent incidents centered in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

The history of this separatist movement can be traced back to the early twentieth century when in 1902 Patani was annexed by Thailand (then called Siam). Seven years later Thailand was given sovereignty over the region from a treaty with Great Britain. Patani was split into the three aforementioned provinces, along with two districts of Songkhla, in 1933.

Patani was a Malay Sultanate and because of this over three quarters of the population in the three southern provinces today are Muslim. Whilst having some linguistic and cultural similarities with the Malays of Malaysia, Thailand’s southern Malay community retains a distinct individuality and sense of independence.

As far back as the 1930s there was a drive to establish an independent southern state. The movement has taken many forms and the ideology has changed between a desire to establish this independent state and a desire to establish cultural autonomy.

The resurgence of violence in the turn of this new millennium has cast a deathly shadow over Thailand’s southernmost area. The problems have not been aided by the words and actions of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his government who until 2004 insisted that criminal gangs, rather than insurgents, were responsible for the violence.

Attempts to set up a dialog with the insurgents have been riddled with problems surrounding the anonymity of the movements’ leaders.

On August 31, 22 banks were simultaneously bombed in Yala, whilst on September 16 six bike bombs killed four people in Hat Yai as attacks overran in the neighboring province. Bloodshed continued to spill onto the streets of the southern provinces since the military coup of September 19 approached.

The military coup and present political volatility in Thailand has done little to quell the friction in the South and attacks have persisted.

The Kru Se Mosque incident happened when 32 insurgents sought refuge in Pattani’s most sacred place of worship following a coordinated assault on 100 police outposts. Army commander Pallop Pinmanee ordered troops to storm the mosque and all 32 rebels were killed.

The Tak Bai massacre was spurred by a demonstration demanding the release of six men arrested for allegedly supplying weapons to insurgents. The demonstration became a massacre when the army used tear gas to control the crowd. Shooting began shortly after and scores of sailors were piled up, piled as many as five people high in trucks and driven for five hours. 85 men died in all, 78 of whom suffocated from the trucks.

The newly-installed premier’s pledge to rid the southern provinces of violence has thus far been unsuccessful as attacks continue to break out on an almost daily basis. Surayud stated that his government will only use peaceful means to end the century tensions, although there has been no mention of the potential for an independent state. Surayud has rather made clear that his intentions are to unite Thailand.

The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre was recently revived, after a five year absence, and is now led by Phranai Suwannarat who has been charged with instilling peace to the area.

The current government has been very vocal about the negative implications of the previous government’s actions, but as of yet it’s uncertain how the newly-revived body will tackle the circumstance.

Surayud has already done what Thaksin refused to: he has apologized. However, this is only a single step on an already long trip that will most likely take years to complete. If Thailand is to unify itself then steps must be taken to eliminate the feelings of alienation felt by the country’s Muslim population.

1974 Coup

Town, Lake, Landscape, Swamp, Sky

The gorgeous Isle of Cyprus is a popular destination for holiday makers from all over Europe especially the British. However not everyone knows that part of the country is under occupation by an invading army. In 1974 the Turkish army invaded the North of Cyprus and have been there ever since. They’ve declared the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or TRNC since it’s also been called but unfortunately no other country in the world recognizes it. In fact most countries including those within the U.N. and the E.U run trade embargoes against North Cyprus. Air Travel to the North of the Island can be banned by most states and tourist wishing to see there must fly into Turkey first.

The events in Cyprus leading to the 1974 invasion were themselves turbulent to say the least and some observers assert that the Turks used this as an excuse. During the British occupation of the Island there was a strong political move towards”Enosis” or union with Greece which many Greek Cypriots considered to be their motherland. There was a long struggle with the British for independence and out of this desire for Enosis was born EOKA or Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston translated in English to National Organization of Cypriot Fighters. These guerrilla fighters were heralded as national heroes in Cyprus’s struggle for independence and there are several monuments erected in their memory dotted around the Island. In 1971 following the overthrow of the government in Greece by the military junta EOKA b was formed in Cyprus with a renewed emphasis on Enosis with the mainland.

The final outcome of this struggle saw the creation of a coalition style government with representation by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots according to a percentage scale. The Greek Cypriots of course being in the majority, which led their Turkish compatriots to whine that they had been under represented. The truth is following suggested changes in the constitution the Turks withdrew from the Islands government amid a period of inter-communal violence and many of the Turkish Cypriot population retreated into defensive enclaves.

Thousands of Greek Cypriots were forced to flee their homes with only what they could carry leaving all their land and businesses behind. Even now (2007) these displaced Cypriots still consider themselves refugees and the Cyprus government shares their opinion. The Turkish authorities encouraged nationals to move to North Cyprus and contains thousands of it’s troops stationed there too. Since Turkey expressed her desire for ascension into the European Union that the”Cyprus problem” is under the global spot light and all those involved are trying to work out a solution.

Nobody can predict how the many issues of this long standing dispute will be settled but emotions on both sides still run deep. Visitors to Cyprus notably the Famagusta area will notice that lots of small business owners proudly display old photos of assumptions they left behind in 1974. The disputes over property being sold for development in North Cyprus also continues to add fuel to the political fire too. A new generation has grown up on the Turkish side of the border and they feel like they belong there whilst those from the South still lay claim to the land. There’s little doubt that both sides still have a long way to go before they expect to see any answers to the issues concerning the occupation of North Cyprus.

Mexican Flag

Mexico, Flag, Mexican, National, Nation

He Flag of Mexico is rich with historic symbolism. The tricolors of green, white and red with the coat-of-arms centered in the white middle stripe were adopted by Mexico following their independence from Spain during the War of Independence in 1821.

There have been adjustments to the flag during background but the coat of arms has ever featured a royal eagle holding a serpent on top of a cactus. The current coat of arms was designed in 1968 by Helguera. Legend claims that the Aztecs, then a nomadic tribe wandering throughout Mexico, were awaiting a sign from the gods telling them to build their capital city. After drifting for two hundred years, they found this mythical eagle on a small island in Lake Texcoco and built their capital, Tenochtitlan, where the main plaza in Mexico City is now located.

Through the years the three colors of green, white and red on the flag have remained the same but the meaning of these colors has changed. The green stripe represents Independence from Spain or may signify Hope. The white stripe represents purity of the Catholic religion or Unity. The red stripe represents Heroes blood or Religion.

When the flag of Mexico is paraded in front of a crowd, bystanders increase their right arm, place their hands on their chest parallel to the center. The hand is level with the palm facing the floor. This salute is known as the El Saludo Civil de la Bandera Nacional. On February 24 annually a national celebration, Dia de la Bandera, Flag Day is held.

Is Israel Committing War Crimes

Flag, Israeli, Israel, Symbol, National

A rather interesting thing to read on a extremely popular political Blog is it not? But this is exactly what is happening as sympathizers and mislead do-gooders promote Palestinians and their plight. If you will remember Israel recent caved into demands and gave back land, which it had settlers on, but did that stop the murderous suicide bombings? No, not even for two-weeks. Yet one blogger with a selective and very short memory conditions;

Again this is only opinion and selective interpretation of global law. And what happens when you give facts to these bloggers online? They just go away for a couple of hours to spew their misdirection somewhere else and assault you spelling, sentence structure or typing mistakes look at this comment from a supporter of Hamas and International Terrorism who said;

. .but I truly wonder why I bother with closed minded people..please go see for yourself.”

You have attacked my character, education, reading, religion (you assumed initially, as I have none), my nation, my military and now when you’re attacking me typing? Irrelevant, as you had a miss stroke on the word”error”

Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas including a full out war; if that is what is necessary to insure safety of its people and/or an attack on the Iranian Nuclear Plants, research centers, as they’ve promised to”Blow Israel off the map” And is financing Hamas.

Truly the USA has every right to induce action with Iran including and not limited to; full scale embargo and sealing off the borders of that nation where nothing gets in or out and/or attack on the Nuclear Enrichment research and development facilities that are being used to make nuclear bombs. Iran is a nation-state, which supports insurgents in Iraq and international terrorists. No amount of white wash will convince me not to take a hard line on these matters. We have to protect the American People, our allies and assets no matter what. No matter what! Consider this in 2006.

Colony Collapse Disorder

Bee, Insect, Animal, Hymenoptera

The 2008 calendar suggests that another spring has arrived in North America and the indications of the new season are everywhere. Buds have emerged on trees, heralding the coming of fresh leaves. The higher daylight and the warming sun act as harbingers for the appearance of flowering plants which will shortly begin their summer cycle of expansion. Nurseries and home improvement stores; for example, Home Depot and Loews, are selling crops, rakes, shovels, compost, and fertilizer.

Indeed, the recognizable signs of spring are everywhere. But once again this year, there’s a real problem in nature that’s tempering agricultural enthusiasm for the upcoming growing season. It’s an issue that was diagnosed in 2006. The issue is still the disappearance of the honey bee. Once again there is little progress to report from research into this puzzle surrounding the honey bee called Colony Collapse Infection (CCD).

CCD happens when all adult bees disappear from the hive, leaving the honey and pollen behind. Few, if any, dead bees are located around the hive. Between 50 and 90% of the commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in america have been affected with CCD and the problem is making it hard for U.S. commercial beekeepers to pollinate crops. About a quarter of beekeeping operations were affected by CCD during the 2006-2007 winter alone. It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of honey bees in the USA have just disappeared because of Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem has continued during the winter of 2007-2008.

Besides the continuing problem of CCD, believe news reports indicate significant regional issues with dying honey bees this spring in the United States. In Hawaii, a microscopic mite is devastating Oahu’s honey bee population and the long term affects could wipe out much of the island’s agriculture. Western Washington State has a growing agricultural crisis as bees are dying from a new pathogen called Nosema Ceranae. This fungus attacks the bee’s gut, making it impossible to process food and the parasitic eventually starves to death.

Generally speaking, the numerous problems with disappearing and dying honey bees are quickly taking a toll on the complete United States beekeeping industry. It’s been reported that the amount of keepers that produce more than 6,000 pounds of honey annually has declined from 2,054 in 2005, (the year before keepers began experiencing colony collapse) to about 1,100 this year.

Internationally, a lack of a sufficient number of honey bees is responsible this spring for issues in blueberry pollination in Canada. The Fraser Valley produces about one-fifth of the world’s blueberries, but no longer has a sufficient number of honey bees to support its blueberry pollination, and honey bees are presently being imported for pollination.

But, bee keepers complain about a lack of research funding and the slow pace of governmental response since the number of honey bees continues in decline.

It’s currently estimated that nearly half of Italy’s 50 billion bee population died last year. That bee mortality rate will have a drastic influence on the country’s 25-million-euro honey sector (which could plummet by at least 50% in 2008) and wreak havoc on fruit plants. The worldwide bee outbreak has also hit France, Germany, Britain, Brazil, and Australia.

The higher cost of energy in food manufacturing and transport has led to a world food price inflation of 45 percent in the last nine months alone. There are serious global shortages of wheat, rice, and corn. The increasing cost of food has recently been responsible for deadly clashes in Egypt, Haiti, and several African states.

However, if the population of the honey bee continues to decline, global events from higher prices and shortages of food will have only just begun. The pollination of the honey bee is vital to agriculture and the world’s food supply.

The disappearance of the honey bee poses a threat to eating premium ice cream also. The company is launching a new flavor this spring named Vanilla Honey Bee to raise consumer awareness about the problem. Proceeds from the sale of this ice cream will be used to finance CCD research.

The ramifications to our lifestyle and diet are enormous, but government’s reaction to the developing food crisis has been slow and limited. The disappearing honey bee issue hasn’t been discussed in any Presidential debate or in any effort forum. In fact, both of our major political parties have been quiet on the issue.

Hopefully, American politicians on the campaign trail in the 2008 United States presidential election like Haagen- Daz solutions. The truth is that Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream might be the only method to bring the candidates attention to some serious, developing, agricultural crisis. A world without sufficient honey bee pollination will produce a food crisis of economic, national, and worldwide ramifications. Indeed, it’s another year with no solution to the problem of disappearing honey bees.

Hibernating Snakes

Snake, Young Animal, Cute, Slim, Reptile

How can Manitoba garter snakes survive the cold Canadian prairie winter? Yet snakes for sure can’t survive if actually frosty frozen. How on earth do these creatures endure the cold Canadian winters? The answer simply is that these snakes seek refuge in the ground below the chilly”frost” line and basically hibernate there doing the long winter months.

The red-sided garter snake that’s known to occupy the”Interlake” areas of the Canadian province of Manitoba ranges farther north than any other snake in North America, winters in communal dens, which sometimes can contain up to 8,000 snakes.

These winter dens are called”hibernacula” or just”winter dens”. Some of the largest concentrations of these are from the area west of Lake Winnipeg, in the”Interlake” area of Manitoba west of the major centres of Gimli and Winnipeg Beach. These dens are sinkholes in the local limestone rock produced simply when underground caverns have collapsed. The resulting fissures and cracks in the limestone bedrock provide the snakes access to depths below the frost line, a necessity since winter temperatures in the area can often dip to minus forty degrees centigrade which translates to – 40 degrees Fahrenheit as well. Its so cold in these areas the local have electric”block” from the engine blocks of the cars that they plug into regular ac electric jacks in order to start their cars in the dead of their – 40 degrees January winter temperatures.

What’s even better is that when spring arrives, usually in early May that hundreds and hundreds of snakes will pour from the dens onto the stones and rockfaces. You would think that you are seeing a sight of more snakes in one location than anywhere else in the world and you’re most likely correct.

By early autumn these exact same garter snakes are now fat and firm with a great deal of carbohydrates and fat out of their summer of feeding. As soon as they return to their dens they will not feed again for the next six or seven weeks. They will live off their fat reserves from the summer feedings. Interestingly these very same snakes appear to arrive at the dens sooner than need be – in fact it can be a month of so before they really have to arrive. This is yet another adaptation time and learnt tested from nature. As the autumn days get shorter and winter is nearer, temperatures are usually on the cooling trend. Snakes being cold blooded become lethargic during the cooler weather. It’s a case of getting the work done while the iron is hot.

These garter snakes will be safely underground in their winter dens. It may be chilly outside – very cold – yet these intelligent garter snakes, who combined with nature sit tight hibernating in temperatures which are a few degrees above freezing. You may well believe that these simple garter snakes are smarter than lots of the folks you meet in your travels. Its as if they know to plan ahead, to save food and energy and escape the cold and go”south” for the winter.

Turtle Species

Amphibian, Turtle, Animal, Armor, Blur

The world is filled with turtles. But how many different types of turtles are there? Many turtles are on the edge of extinction and others are on the endangered list. Let’s take a look at the different sorts of turtles that can be found around the world.

  1. Sea Turtles – These kinds of turtles are truly marine creatures. They wander the waters of tropical oceans and only the females come ashore to lay their eggs in nests. They vary in size from nearly 2 1/2 feet to approximately 7 feet in carapace length. The shells of such turtles are heart shaped or oval in appearance. Their limbs are flippers instead of legs and are not able to support the turtle when on land. Sea turtles can’t pull their heads back into their shells like other sorts of turtles. The sea turtles are one of the most endangered of the turtle families as urban development has infringed on their nesting sites.
  2. Snapping Turtles – There are just three species within this family of turtles. They can be found throughout North America, in the southeastern regions of Asia and in South America, to the north. These kinds of turtles all have large heads and a solid chin with the upper jaw being hooked. They can’t fully retract their limbs or head into their shell and have fairly long tails. They have quite a diverse habitat in addition to mating habits and diet.
  3. Pond Turtles – This is the greatest group of turtles and can be found all over the world. Some species of pond turtles are carnivores while some are herbivores. These species are usually the sorts of turtles which are used in the pet trade.
  4. Mud or Musk Turtles – These sorts of turtles emit an unpleasant odor when they’re disturbed. They vary in size but all are strictly carnivorous. They feed on aquatic insects, small fish and amphibians in addition to any crustacean they can find. The adults are rarely preyed upon by other animals; rather their eggs are coveted by a variety of animals.
  5. Tortoises – These sorts of turtles can boast the distinction of being the largest turtles that live on land. Tortoises feed on flowers, grasses and fruits though they have been known to feast on carrion. Normally, tortoises have heavy scales and feet that are not webbed. Their closest relatives are the pond turtles.
  6. Softshell Turtles – These kinds of turtles can live in various kinds of waters with a soft underside being required. They spend the majority of their time buried in mud. They may be omnivorous but most species are carnivores feeding on mollusks, insects, amphibians and fish.
  7. Even though they are sea turtles, they’re a class unto themselves. They may be found swimming the waters of this planet no matter if the waters are warm or cold. Their jaws lack potency so feed largely on jellyfish. The adults have no known predators, instead it’s the eggs and the hatchlings which are most vulnerable to predators. The leatherback is a truly endangered species due to erosion and development of the shores where the females land ashore to make their nests and lay their eggs.

The Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear, Bear, India, Animal, Sloth

Sloth Bear

Scientific Name:

Melursus ursinus

Status:

Vulnerable

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Ursidae

Genus: Melursus

The sloth bear is the only species in the genus Melursus. It is a nocturnal creature of South Asia. Contrary to the implication of its name, the sloth bear is truly quite fast and can outrun a human being. There are a variety of theories as to where it gets its name, including the concept that early explorers seen the bears lying upside down in trees, similar to the general appearance of sloths. In the 1700s, it was classified as being a member of the sloth family, and accordingly named as”bear sloth”. It was not until the 1800s, when the first live sloth bear arrived in Europe from India, that scientists were able to properly categorize it. Even though it can be quite ferocious, leopards, tigers, and wolves are known to predate upon it or its young. Habitat destruction and poaching constitute the primary threat to this species’ survival.

Physical Description:

The sloth bear is a relatively small but stocky bear, draped in long, shaggy black fur. The especially long hair around its neck gives off the image that it has a mane. There’s a large white or yellow Y-shaped patch on its chest. Mature sloth bears generally weigh about 176 – 308 lbs for males and 121 – 187 pounds for females. It’s generally 4 feet 7 in to 6 ft 3 in in length.

Diet:

Sloths are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods that include plants, insects, and animals. It’s been proven to scavenge from tiger kills and even eat cultivated plants. When eating insects, they prefer termites, using their long claws to expose the insects’ nests. And, due to their dietary fondness of honey, they also have been known as honey bears.

Habitat:

Sloth bears inhabit a diverse collection of forests, from dry thorn forests in the north of its range to the moist tropical forests in the south. They’re also found in grassland areas. Their range includes areas of Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

Reproduction:

Based on the limited available information, sloth bears seem to mate year-round. The gestation period is about 7 months, after which time the female gives birth to 1 – 3 cubs, with 2 normally being the case.

Hummingbirds

Hummingbird, Bird, Trochilidae, Flying

Birdwatching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.

I hope you’ll get some good ideas here to help you have fun watching birds.

This is one of the best stress relieving hobbies in the world, I guarantee!

Spring Time! So, grab your binoculars, a nice tall glass of iced tea, and lets begin.

For birdwatchers in the southern states, hummingbirds are already returning. The rest of you, in the Midwest and Northeast, are still awaiting the first hummingbird of spring to arrive.

In my back yard are several hooks for hummingbird feeders. I’ll fill and hang the feeders during the first week of April, just prior to the oldest hummingbirds arrive at Alabama. The first one I see will be a male, since the men migrate about two weeks before the females.

Did you know most small birds, such as hummingbirds, migrate at night? I’m not sure why. Perhaps they do this to make the most of the more calm atmosphere of night, or to avoid the predators that are hunting during daylight hours, or maybe they use the stars to guide them north.

As migration period draws near, daily activity starts to change. Birds who migrate at night, but normally are active during daytime hours do not sleep as much through the night any more. Hummingbirds of spring are awake much more at night.

And starting to feel hungry… real hungry. He wants to put on some fat. He weighs about 2.5 g, but now he starts to eat more, to gorge himself. He eats his weight in food every day. He eats insect eggs and spiders, bugs, gnats and the nectar of flowers. He’ll double his weight, and still only weigh about 5 grams.

Every day the north calls for him to come,

To the North he flies into total darkness, all by himself, weighing no more than a nickel.

Hours pass as he flies, burning off the fat he stored like a truck burns gas.

If the hummingbirds fat stores are sufficient, he will reach the Gulf Coast. If the hummingbirds fat stores are not sufficient, he’ll die. If he’s prepared himself well, he will have flown for 18 to 22 hours, crossed 500 miles with no food or rest.

Toward the second week of April I will see my first hummingbird of spring. I will have those feeders out early, ready to greet the little fella as he hovers into land for the first time this year in my own backyard.

Well, I Hope this report has helped you in some form or fashion, and once again I will let you know.

This is one of the best stress relieving hobbies in the world, I guarantee!

Good luck in all that you do, and Thank You very much for your attention.

All rights reserved. Article may be reprinted as long as content remains intact and unchanged and the links remain active.

The Zebra Finch

Bird, Nature, Animal, Zebra Finch, Finch

Zebra Finch

Taeniopygia guttata

Status:

Least Concern

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Estrildidae

General Information:

The Zebra Finch is also known as the Chestnut-eared Finch, the Shelley, as well as the Spotted-sided Finch. It’s not uncommon across Australia, and has become widely kept for both research and aviculture.

Physical Description:

On average, it’s about 3.9 inches long and weighs close to 17 g. The Zebra Finch has white and black tear-like stripes coming down beneath its eyes and reddish-brown ear patches on the sides of its head. Its upperparts are grayish-brown and its flanks are chestnut colored with white spots. There are thin white and black bars on its throat and the rump is white with a barred tail. The female does not have the reddish-brown ear patches, the stripes on the throat, or the seen chestnut colored flanks of the man. Juveniles are similar in appearance to the female, but have black bills rather than the orange bills found on adult males and females. The differences between the race, T.g. castanotis, and the other, T.g. guttata, are that the latter subspecies does not have the nice barring of the throat and are smaller in size.

Diet:

The Zebra Finch is primarily a seedeater, but is also known to feed on insects and fruits.

Habitat:

Due to its extensive distribution, the Zebra Finch can be found in various habitats. It prefers open country, such as grasslands and lightly timbered regions, but also occurs on the fringes of cities and towns. It is also common near farms. T.g. castanotis ranges across Australia, with the exception of western coastal regions and the island of Tasmania. T.g. guttata exists from Lombok in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia into Sermata and the coastal areas of Australia. The Zebra Finch has also been introduced to Puerto Rico, Portugal, and the United States. Its nests are found in many different areas, including cavities, scrubs, low trees, bushes, in termite hills, rabbit burrows, ledges of man-made structures, and even on the floor.

Reproduction:

The female lays an average clutch of 4 – 7 small white eggs. Both parents take responsibility for incubation, which lasts about 12 – 13 days. The young fledge approximately 18 – 21 days after hatching.

The Way to a Woman’s Heart?

Chocolate, Chopped Chocolate, Cocoa
Well most of us know that Valentines Day is the day of lovers and a day for giving gifts to people you care about but why is chocolate still the most popular gift given on Valentines Day? Why is chocolate is so closely connected with romance?
Since chocolate was brought to Europe it’s been considered the food of love. The Spanish who brought it to Europe learnt about chocolate in the Aztecs. It was however a European tradition that each year on the 14th of February young men would court young girls with flowers and presents and since back then chocolate was rare and expensive it was not long before this was the favourite gift given by the rich and aristocratic who could supply this for the object of their affections. It wasn’t long however before the secret of chocolate got out and soon chocolate houses were opening up across Europe, the finest of which were and are still in Belgium. While previously the best Belgian chocolates were only available to the very wealthy, nowadays it is much less expensive, so that everyone can enjoy them. More importantly they are cheap enough that you can give them to those you care about on Valentines Day and any other day of the year.
Why is chocolate still so popular as a Valentines gift, is it just the promotion? Well, since Valentines Day was exported into the USA it’s been used to advertise everything from wrapping paper and cuddly toys to expensive items such as jewellery. However why is it that the historical connection between chocolate and Valentines day has lasted the years? Well it seems there is more to it than just thesweet, sweet, mouth watering feeling you get as it melts in your mouth leaving you wanting more and more… Scientists now know that like tea and coffee, chocolate affects the chemical reactions already happening in our brains. Unlike tea and coffee however isn’t just a stimulant, it contains phenyl-ethylamine which is known to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain released chocolate Enhances our pleasure centres and creates a sense of Euphoria and increases the heart rate similar to that of a person in love or in the summit of an orgasm both of which should go down well with the receiver of your gift.
Now, despite all of its psychotropic properties and ancient reputation, chocolate will probably not make a woman fall in love with you but giving her something delightful will definitely put you in her good books… Chocolate will also stimulate men’s pleasure centres so ladies do not be shy to purchase a box for your man, who knows what response you might get. For more check out St. Lucie Village Rat Removal

Important Things You Must Have

Deer, Deer Silhouette, Silhouette
Introduction
Deer hunting can be a tricky encounter, especially for an amateur hunter. This is because there are numerous hunting equipment and techniques which are important for a successful Deer hunting experience. Some of the essential things needed to go Deer hunting are expensive, difficult to use or cumbersome. Subsequently, I’ve listed some of the significant hunting gears necessary to make one a successful deer hunter.
Seven important things to go Deer hunting
Identify your favorite weapon
To be a successful Deer hunter, you must choose your weapon carefully. Such weapons may include various types of bows and firearms. But you must obtain a valid permit based on the specified Deer-hunting laws within your State to avoid unnecessary legal complications. In establishing your best weapon to the Deer-hunting expedition, you must take into consideration the following:
Some gun caliber sizes are illegal in certain states. Every hunting season has specified types of firearms (rifle, shotguns among others). Some states don’t permit the use of high-powered rifles during Deer-hunting. Every state has its own laws to govern the use of bows in hunting Whitetail Deer.
Obtain a valid license to kill out of your state
Every deer hunter demands such lawful authority for deer hunting throughout every season. In some states, hunters are subjected to compulsory hunting safety training programs. You must, therefore, be ready to participate relevant authorities whose primary objective is to make deer hunting a safe exercise. Similarly, such education programs will make you be informed about various wildlife conservation procedures. Therefore, you should confirm with your state how the training programs are conducted and make certain you’re given a certification card upon completion.
Dress for the event
After obtaining your weapon of choice and a license to go deer hunting, you need to dress to suit the occasion. The sort of dress will, however, depend heavily on the time of the year, and may either be lightweight or cold weather gears. Before deciding the best hunting clothes, you must:
Make certain that the gears are thoroughly cleaned using a scent free soap to get rid of external odors. Make certain that your camouflage pattern matches the terrain you will be conducting your deer-hunting expedition. Be certain you wear gloves and a mask to enable you to blend in and maintain effective control of your odor. Based on the weather forecast, take some rain gear. Pick hunting boots that are comfortable based on the terrain.
Appropriate hunting optics
You will heavily depend on the hunting optics to spot whitetails in the space during the expedition. Thus, you must bring along some binoculars to help you in scanning the terrain to establish whether a deer is a possible shooter or not. The binoculars will also allow you to recover a deer after successfully shooting further describing why it’s extremely essential.
Establish your space
You will need to bring along relevant rangefinders when you go deer hunting. As a successful deer hunter, your main objective should be ensuring that you make an ethical kill. With an proper rangefinder, you will not have to move around more than you need to make a perfect shot.
Know the language related to whitetail hunting
Perhaps you have heard of the deer grunt call? Well, you’ll need to speak the language to be a successful deer hunter. Knowing the language will allow you to coordinate your activities in the field.
As much as this might appear strange, as a deer hunter, do not ever be afraid of the dark. Most successful whitetails are conducted under the cover of darkness. Therefore, a flashlight or a headlamp are extremely necessary to maximize your chances of sneaking in undetected in the darkness.

Time to Take Some Much Needed Time Off

Xmas, Christmas Tree, Christmas, Holiday
Here at PMA, we’re very much a family, both within the team and with our clients as well. So as we get ready for the holidays, we want to respect the family time that our staff enjoys and works so hard for, but are the vacations necessarily a time to remove?
Based on what industry you are in, it may not be. If you work with those struggling with grief, addiction or anxiety – the holidays can very much be a trigger, and my guess is, you’re still on-call.
As a team, we are very cautious about reaching out over the holidays (and for that matter, we hold off sending emails on weekends and evening year round), but its OK if you still feel the need to work over the holidays, since it is the perfect time to:
What could you do otherwise?
The holiday season is a fantastic time to create a vision board for 2019, what do you want your focus to be?
Refresh your workspace!
Write personal letters – not emails, real handwritten notes – to your clients thanking them for their business over the last year.
Work on your social media content calendar for 2019
Read a book that inspires you! Maybe it’s business related, or personal growth, whatever excites you, do it!
But most of all, take this time to be thankful, to your family for encouraging you, your friends for always being by your side, your clients and your team. I need to take this opportunity to thank my staff for all that they do to encourage our customers year round, without them, PMA would not be what it is now, and their dedication to each other and our customers don’t go unnoticed. It has been my attention over the past year to continue to encourage the staff to explore their passions and perform the job that excites them. When we work within our passions, true magic happens (take this message, made by PMA Rockstar Crystal Picard, she always produces such beautiful pieces. Show your love and follow her on Instagram!) .
As the holiday season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those who have helped to shape our company. It’s been a long time for us all! We expect that 2018 has been just as memorable for you, your coworkers and your loved ones.
In the PMA family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Outdoor Activities

George Peabody Bücherei

Baltimore is a city teaming with natural trails and beautiful landscapes. An outdoor vacation is what this place is all about, with many naturally beautiful wonders waiting to be discovered in Calvart Cliffs State Park, Savage River State Forest, Janes Island State Park and many more wildernesses here. You can enjoy the outdoors in protected isolation, since this place offers a lengthy list of adventure and leisure opportunities to its visitorswith activities like camping, biking hiking and much more with only a cheap ticket to Baltimore. Here’s a list of outdoor activities you can enjoy in Baltimore.
Ride the Rail Trails. The state of Maryland has more than a dozen of those railroad trails. As more and more railroad tracks went obsolete, they were paved and transformed to horizontal bike trails. This provides a wonderful opportunity to be amidst nature and see Baltimore first hand. This is quite common activity amongst the tourists. It will keep you close to your fitness goals in addition to help you enjoy your trip at exactly the exact same time. This is particularly good as vacations are where we dwindle away from our diets and indulge in criminally substantial calorie feasts.
Appalachian Trail. This is a fairly easy hike if you’re an active person. This is a 40-mile hiking trail from Pen-Mar into the Potomac River. This is a really scenic trail and you’ll be able to take several pictures here. Being here will make you relive it again and again as you realize being in nature can be so beautiful.
Assateague Island. Just outside the city this island is filled with wild horses and serene beaches. It is a perfect place to get some alone time to reverberate on your life and goals. You get to see wild horses here -it’s a very Hollywood sequel experience.
Smith Island. This is an island a short ferry ride from mainland. This is famous for it’s delicious layered pancakes and the wilderness that is not yet messed with. This provides a sneak peak into the world as it was intended to be by mother nature.
Gunpowder river tubing. This is a local annual event where everyone rides a tube down the cold waters of the river. This is especially a fantastic way to beat the summer heat and have some fun. The river is not to worry about with just a few light rapids. Shuttle services are available to take you back up river as soon as you are done.
Camping at Green Ridge Forest. This is a couple of hours away from the city. This is a dream come true place for outdoor lovers. The place is very picturesque and elevating.
Kissimmee Rat Removal Marathon. The state hosts over a dozen marathons every year. Together with the marathons, ultra marathons, trail runs, 15ks, 10ks and other running events are scheduled every weekend. This is a really good place to get your running shoes on and get along other fellow runners to enjoy the natural beauty this place has to offer.
Being in nature is a luxury nowadays and one must enjoy such encounters whenever possible. Living in the cities we are drifting away from natural living, this is what we can fix on nature-centric vacations in places like Baltimore.

Curtains or Blinds?

Bedroom, Bed, Room, Home, Interior

Whether you’re looking to color your room from the scorching sun or to add a few details to your room, blinds and curtains are an important practical and aesthetic feature of any room. While drapes and blinds have the exact same functionality, they are visually distinct in many ways. For ease of explanation, we’ll go through the different kinds of blinds widely used in homes.
Roller blinds
Roller blinds are among the most common types found in most homes, they can significantly reduce the sun’s glare, which may be varied from the substance used. They are typically horizontally lowered and offers among the best coverage. You can also easily adjust the length required through a cord and it’s one of the most precise systems around.
Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are similar to roller blinds as to the horizontal coverage but differ in the way it unravels. Roman blinds tend to have a luxurious texture and are usually more expensive due to the pleat styling. Roman blinds are also more expensive since you can select the number of pleats for the blind to fully extend and also the sort of material.
Wooden or bamboo blinds
If your apartment or house has a great deal of wooden furnishing and you want to incorporate this into the blinds, bamboo or wooden blinds are a great solution. The advantage to the wooden material is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Because they don’t use any fabric, they’re easier to clean and maintain in general as dust does not stick to the substance. Poinciana Wildlife Removal can also be customized to your liking and they’re commonly used as the material in panel blinds or Venetian blinds.
Vertical Blinds
One of the cheapest styles available are the vertical dividers. They are ideal in most commercial spaces such as offices or classrooms due to the durable material used. Vertical blinds are a cost-effective solution for covering large window spaces. They are commonly made from a mixture of some plastics and fabric to give it a very sturdy feel.
Motorized Blinds
The greatest form of luxury is motorizing the blinds on your house. Motorized blinds are an essential especially if your blinds or drapes are incredibly long or located in hard to reach areas. In addition, motorized blinds ensure that your blinds do not come in contact with excessive human forces that might at times shorten the lifespan of your blinds.

Your Own Baby Chickens

Chicks, Chick, Chicken, Bird, Baby
You have no doubt seen the cute little fuzzy baby chickens sold at Easter. They are so cute and nearly irresistible. How do you resist?
In case you have the space and opt to take the plunge then you definitely need to get prepared for your new little pets. You’re probably sold with the statement of how easy it is to look after these little creatures. No matter if you buy your baby chickens, hatch them out of eggs at home through an incubator or brooding hens, they do need some essentials.
What you will need for starting out:
A place to live. To put it differently, a brooder, or crate, or holding box. This may be as simple as a plastic container or cardboard box. If raising with a hen, I prefer a cage with a wire bottom so you are able to clean more frequently.
A source of heat. Maintaining temperatures of 90 degrees the first week and then dropping by 5 levels following weeks until you get to the temperature outside. If they are being raised with the mother hen, she handles the temperature for you.
Water and food. Little chicks are usually started out on chick starter from the treated or non-medicated kind; and there are lots of brands out there for you to choose from. If the waterer happens to be a fairly large size where the chicks can stand in the water, some recommend putting marbles in it so the chicks will not drown.
Some of the greatest entertainment comes from watching these small chickens grow. And grow they do! Every day it seems there are changes in features, size, and feathers. By five to six months they should have all their feathers and are ready to be transferred from the brooder.
Some things a new owner might not be aware of:
Chickens have an area referred to as a crop and they store feed in it to be digested. It’s located in the base of the chicken’s neck and bulges after the bird has eaten. Chickens don’t have teeth and don’t chew; the food and grit get ground up by the crop. You might see them lying in their feed (if the bowl is large enough) or in the shavings in the bottom of the brooder flopping around. This is the beginning of their bathing habits.
A rather common problem in newly hatched chicks is pasting up. The indication of gluing is droppings that stick to the chick’s back end until the vent gets pasted shut. To ensure they don’t die from this, gently wipe their bums with a moist, warm paper towel. By the time your girls are just one week old, pasting up if no longer be an issue.
Chicks don’t need to eat once they hatch. For the first two days of life they can survive on residual yoke, and that’s why newly hatched chicks are able to survive being shipped throughout the nation.
Pecking order starts young. They start fluffing up flapping at one another and circling each other while the others gather around and watch. Looks like they do the tango but no, they’re determining who’s the boss and in what order.
Clean water and brooder daily. For day old chicks, line the floor with paper towels for the first couple of days while they get their footing to help avoid leg problems. Then you can switch over to a couple inches of pine shavings.
Chickens are social animals and enjoy being with others. Birds of a feather flock together.
Chickens are very addictive. With the entertainment they offer and the ease of caring for them, you will be ordering online or back in the shop before you know it. A little time spent in preparation will make sure your new flock is an all around pleasant experience.

Avoiding Windburn

Freerider, Skiing, Ski, Sports, Alpine
Besides the chance of being caught in the middle of an avalanche and obtaining a frostbite during your ski vacation, here’s another threat that you ought to avoid: windburn. So just what is a windburn?
Windburn is the redness of the skin brought on by long exposure to strong and cold winds for extended time period. The cold air makes it possible for the wind to readily break down the fat molecules (petroleum ) that maintain the standard moisture on your skin. As a result, the skin turns dry and irritated.
Signs and Symptoms
Windburn is characterized by the irritation of the skin shown in the redness of the face and other parts of the body like neck and hands. It may look and feel like sunburn. Sometimes, the skin may appear swollen and feel very itchy or sore. It usually last for a few days as it causes much less skin damage.
However, if the aggravation lasts longer, ask your physician to avoid another skin condition such as rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disorder that can mimic windburn and characterized by various forms of facial redness due to the enlargement and widening of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.
Who might be the victims of sunburn?
People who live in warm climates don’t usually experience windburn, however sudden exposure to cold dry winds on holidays or during a sudden weather change might increase the odds.
What are the ways to prevent it?
Wear a scarf or neck warmers for your neck and chin, mittens to protect your hands, a hat or headband to your ears and a face mask for your nose cheeks, and forehead.
Second, if you intend to go out for a long time, wear some moisturizing sunblock to protect you from both sun and windburn. Do not forget to moisturize your lips too, with an SPF lip lotion. Apply sunscreen to your skin and lips every two hours.
Third, check weather reports and understand the wind-chill variable before going out. If the weather is very cold, then don’t stay outside far too long.
Fourth, if it occurs, apply lotion about four times per day. Make sure those lotions are without odor or acidic ingredients to prevent further irritation. If your skin begins to peel, resist the temptation to pick at your skin and continue to moisturize. In cleaning the affected area, choose a mild cleanser to keep the natural moisture from your skin. If your condition is not getting any better, best to consult your doctor.

Finding Your Trigger

Belly, Body, Calories, Diet, Exercise
If you’re like many people, you may find you struggle to keep optimal motivation levels from time to time. You go about your schedule and sometimes, you’re sufficiently motivated and prepared to work as hard as you possibly can. Other times, the opposite happens. What gives? When this occurs, it is vital to identify your triggers.
Let us look further at this concept so that you can discover how to use it and have sky-high motivation whatsoever times.
What Are Triggers? Triggers are essentially anything that is going to make you attempt to work as hard as possible to see a outcome.
As an example, it’s the reason why you are looking to get rid of weight. Why you are hitting the gym every day. Why you are saying no to pizza when it’s offered.
Your triggers dictate your ability to stick with your schedule and generally speaking, the stronger the trigger, the easier time you will have to maintain your motivation to continue.
Finding these powerful triggers is vital for your success.
How do you go about discovering your triggers? You must dig deep…
Now, at the surface level, you may think the primary reason that you want to lose weight is to look better. Moreover, that is very good, but it is in a surface level. Go further.
Why do you need to look better? What will looking better get you? Whom do you wish to look better for? What happens if you don’t look better?
Try answering these questions together with any others you may come up with that will help you better understand your triggers.
You may find you need to look better to recover the self-confidence you lost as a teen when you started putting on the weight and by doing so, you might feel as though you will approach life and your job otherwise, and if you do, it might mean career advancement.
Now you have a definite trigger. When you think of the piece of cake, think of this instead. If you would like to be successful and reach your goal, your trigger can enable you to say no to the piece of cake.
How do you use this wisely? What you will need to understand here is this exercise is not designed to make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, it is intended to help uncover the reason you are working so hard towards your objective.
If you have not taken the time to uncover your trigger or triggers, that is your first mistake and what’s going to cost you down the line. Your motivation will fail, and you will be back to square one.
Take a moment and find your trigger. It’s one of the greatest steps you can take to help achieve maximum success.
Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your everyday routine and reduce both your weight and your blood sugar levels.

Jerk Bait Presentation

Fish, Smallmouth, Dolomieu, Micropterus
When the snow melts and the temperatures of the rivers and lakes start to rise it’s time to get ready for pre spawn smallmouth bass. Hard bodied or jointed jerk baits designed to suspend in the water are a terrific choice this time of the year, especially on windy overcast days when the smallmouth appear to be aggressive. Conversely, it appears slower moving weightless plastics appear to work best on calm sunny days.
Tackle and equipment: I typically for 3 poles rigged up for fishing with a jerk bait.
7′ Medium fast action rod with a 5:1 reel or greater, Abu Garcia makes a few great reels for jerk bait fishing. Line this up with 15lb braid using a fluorocarbon leader and you have yourself a great set up for your larger hard baits and larger spinning lures.
I really like this setup on still sunny mornings. This is my go to soft plastic jerk and twitch bond setup. This is a wild card pole, in the past I have had success with this using weightless flukes as well as smaller hard bodied lure. What I have found is that since fluorocarbon line sinks it has a propensity to bring the hard and soft plastic baits a bit deeper and the 6lb line has a little better feel with the lighter baits than the 10lb baitcasting setup. If I could only take one I would take this one since I feel it is the most flexible but the other setups are specific to the task. . Natural colors in clear water and heavily fished areas, white, pearl, perch and Chartreuse are winners in the spring in stained water.
Soft bodied baits – Zoom super fluke 5″, these simply have great movement and seem to out fish any other soft plastic jerk bait I use. Recently I Berkley Gulp Alive, KVD and many others have come out with great quality products as well.
Location
Spring is such a great time for smallmouth because no other time in the year are their patterns more predictable and so many large females being”stacked up” in precisely the identical location. Concentrate on regions deepwater drops and inland spawning areas 10ft deep with gravel bottom and floor structure is a great place to start. Egg laden large females will be actively feeding and can have several trophies sitting in the same small indentation or around exactly the exact same stump. Small mouth will spend the majority of the winter in 30-40 feet of water then move in to shallow flats right after ice out and till the spawn which usually starts when the water temperature reaches into the mid or upper 50’s. Any large flats in 8-15 foot of water alongside 30-40 shelves are great place to start. Start looking for a gravel bottom, often times a nice rock pile or stump could hold 10 big females in this time of the year.
Smallmouths often must find baits a couple times until they opt to strike if they’re not actively feeding so if you see a good-looking place take 3-4 casts before proceeding. When they are feeding and you catch one make sure you cast right back to the same spot because large females are seldom alone at this time of year. This can be some of the most fun, quickest fishing of the year. When they’re feeding it is not from the realm of possibility to land five pound fish in ten casts.
When it is overcast and windy it seems to stir the build-up and have the best bite. Anytime I’m using a jerk bait in the end I use bigger and heavier hard bodied baits. I also work the bait faster than I do with soft plastics. Rapala Husky Jerk 10 is a favourite bait in these state with white, Chartreuse and pearl white being hot colours. I check with a bait shop or online about hot colours on a particular body of water.
I work the bait at about 3-5 feet of depth with longer pulls mixing with short twitches. 1 key suggestion is to maintain constant slack in your line particularly when using the braided line set up, it is going to give the bait more of an erratic darting movement and the twitches more realistic appearance. I remember one time a buddy and I were in exactly the same boat using the very same colors and the exact same bait. The only difference was that he added a very small weight and was working the lure at a rate that he was averaging 3 casts to every one of my casts. At the end of 75 minutes it was 14 fish and he had 1 and I was averaging about 16″ per fish with a few four pound, nineteen inch and smallies. The only difference was I had no weight added and was working the lure very slow, sometimes as slow as 4-6 minutes between activities. This method is particularly deadly on a sunny calm morning, the smallmouth are not as stirred up as they will be when the wind picks up but they’re always up for an easy meal. This is often the first lure I start out with and the final one I finish with.
For the men and women who fish them, spring smallmouth bass fishing is in a category of its own. Using jerk and twitch baits is among the most fun ways to catch them. Tight lines!