Welcoming the Solstice Sunrise

December 27, 2011 by Categorized: Natural Reflections.

Stang, Lantern, Blade and Rum

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Unleashed: Critter News Round-up

April 17, 2011 by Categorized: Fur and Feather, Nature in the News.

After hearing repeated complaints from breeders, law makers in Missouri are planning on repealing a voter approved Puppy Mill Law. The main reasons they site for this repeal are the cost of implementation of the bill and that it could be used to punish good breeders. It is estimated that dog breeding earns $1 billion a year in Missouri. Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States says:

“The effort in Jefferson City is a piece-by-piece dismantling of every core provision. It suggests to me that this is an industry that wants deregulation. They want to do things that they want and to heck with the people who care about dogs or consumers as long as there are enough dogs purchased.”

One of the stipulations of the law that outrages breeders most is one that disallows them from having more than 50 dogs in their kennels at any given time. Another requires that they give small dogs as much as 12 feet of space to live in and large dogs 60 feet of living space, previously dogs could be kept in cages no larger than 6 inches wider and longer than the dog itself.

Republican state Representative Mike Lair of Chillicothe is quoted saying that

“Dogs are property. Dogs don’t have rights.”



Humpback Whales love a good song, and will pass a catchy tune amongst themselves a new study reports. Researchers in Australia have been listening to Humpback whale song for some time now and have found that whale song will be passed along from one individual to another. This discovery will hopefully lead to a better understanding of whale communication and culture.



For the first time ever the USA Congress will be removing a species off the endangered species list. A budget bill singed by the President will strip protection from gray wolves in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Utah. Wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana had to be cancelled last year as a judge ruled the animals were still in need of protection, but hunters will be free to hunt wolves come this autumn. Wolves in Wyoming may be taken off the list sometime in the future.

Animal rights groups are watching this turning of events with trepidation, concerned it may be setting a bad precedent.



The population of Antarctic Penguins has dropped as much as 50% over the last 30 years. A recent study finds that a shortage of krill maybe be the main cause of the population plummet. The warming of the air and waters in the Antarctic and the rebounding population of whales, who also eat krill, are the leading cause of the krill shortage. With less food available less and less penguin chicks have been surviving each year.



National Geographic recently posted images of a dig in Egypt. Archaeologists are evacuating what is known as the Dog Catacombs, a warren of tunnels and chambers dedicated to the god Anubis and filled with the bodies of dogs and puppies.



After a boon year with Vancouver/Whistler hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, the tourism industry took a nose dive. The Whistler branch of Outdoor Adventures, which includes a sled dog touring facility, ordered the kennel manager to cull roughly 100 dogs. After making a few weak and vain attempts to have that many mush dogs re-homed he set about killing them himself, without the required assistance and supervision of a veterinarian. The culling quickly became a slaughter with animals running off into the woods after being shot and having to be tracked down. At least one animal has its throat slashed with a knife. All this was one within sight of the rest of the pack of dogs before the culled animals were placed in a grave in the woods.

The slaughter of these dogs came to light when the manager Bob Fawcett applied for workers compensation sighting he suffered from post traumatic stress from the incident. A task force was assembled by the Premier of British Columbia to investigate the incident. The investigation into the slaughter continues and now that the ground has thawed the grave will be exhumed so investigators can find more info on exactly what went on as well as give the dog a proper burial.

Memorial vigils, walks and mushes have occurred all over Canada and the United States since the news story broke and new regulations are being proposed to avoid such a tragedy from ever happening again. A Facebook group called Boycotting Outdoors Adventures has bee created which updates regularly on the investigation and memorials.

I will update when more information comes to light through the investigation.



Another reason to not flick your cigarette out the window while driving: A fire that broke out in a horse trailer killed six racehorses on Friday. The horses were travelling on the Interstate-95 were en route to begin training at the Long Island horse track. Officials blame a flicked burning cigarette butt for the fire. Once they spotted the flames the two drivers tried to smother the fire but to no avail, one of them received minor injuries.



A pod of Killer Whales have researchers scratching their heads this weekend, after spotting the orcas eating fish rather than their preferred diet of seafaring mammals. The pod was spotted of the coast of San Pedro, California and researchers are asking fisherman and boaters to photograph the pod, for identification purposes, if possible.

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Welcome to No Unsacred Place!

April 4, 2011 by Categorized: Nature in the News.

The Pagan Newswire Collective continues to grow and expand as new local bureaus take root all across the country and group blog projects bring together the experience and expertise of Pagans from a wide variety of traditions and communities to share their insights into subjects from politics to pop culture, and everything in between. The most recent addition to the PNC is No Unsacred Place: Earth and Nature in Pagan Traditions.

No Unsacred Place explores the relationships between religion and science, nature and civilization from a diversity of modern Pagan perspectives. With climate change ever-present in today’s cultural and political discourse, and the realities of ecological destruction increasingly impacting our local communities and daily lives, questions about how we live as members of this jeweled, blue-green planet are no longer merely abstract philosophical musings or theological exercises. While cultures throughout history offer us examples of human beings in relationships of worship, stewardship, domination and exploitation of the Earth, modern Paganism is unique in drawing together the wisdom and ecocentric focus of ancient religions with the insights into the physical world afforded by modern science and technology.

No Unsacred Place draws inspiration for its title from the contemporary American poet and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, who wrote: “There are no unsacred places. There are only sacred places and desecrated places.” Berry confronts the assumption that “the sacred” can be cordoned off and separated from the mundane, and challenges us to examine our relationship to those places we consider to be “unsacred” — whether they are untamed forests and barren deserts, or human-made landscapes of metal and concrete — to discover how our attitudes and actions lead to desecration and destruction. Pagans today face the challenge of reconciling the lessons and influence of “dark green religion” environmentalist and conservation movements in contemporary society, with an ambivalence towards the wildness and wilderness of the Earth that is as old as Western civilization itself.

This blog features coverage and analysis of environmentalism and ecology in the news from a Pagan perspective, as well as essays and personal reflections about the role of science, environmental ethics, eco-friendly lifestyles, and an awareness of the land and its seasons, both in religious community and in the personal spiritual lives of modern Pagans.

Monthly columns include “Fur and Feather,” in which Juniper Jeni draws on her extensive background in homesteading and animal rescue to explore issues of animal rights, and “The Sacred in Suburbia,” in which John Beckett confronts the challenges of living sustainably and cultivating sacred relationship with the earth in a land of manicured lawns and strip malls; in addition, Ruby Sara writes on earth-based liturgy and ritual in her column, “Earthly Rites.”

Other participants of note include Alison Leigh Lilly, a Druid essayist, poet and author of Meadowsweet & Myrrh who writes on issues of deep ecology, environmental justice and earth-centered peacemaking; Pagan geologist and environmental scientist Meical abAwen, who teaches with Blackberry Circle; and Cat Chapin-Bishop, who writes on the practice and purpose of her environmental witness at her blog, Quaker Pagan Reflections.

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