Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moko the Dolphin saves the whales

This is such a cool story!

"Dolphin Saves Stuck Whales, Guides Them Back to Sea
By Ray Lilley in Wellington, New Zealand
Associated Press
March 12, 2008

Most days Moko the bottlenose dolphin swims playfully with humans at a New Zealand beach. But this week, it seems, Moko found his mojo.

Witnesses described Wednesday how they saw the dolphin swim up to two stranded whales and guide them to safety.

Before Moko arrived, rescue workers had been working for more than an hour to get two pygmy sperm whales, a mother and her calf, back out to sea after they were stranded Monday off Mahia Beach, New Zealand Conservation Department worker Malcolm Smith said.

But Smith said the whales restranded themselves four times on a sandbar slightly out to sea from the beach, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Wellington.

It was looking likely they would have to be euthanized to prevent a prolonged death, he said.

"They kept getting disorientated and stranding again," said Smith, who was among the rescuers. "They obviously couldn't find their way back past (the sandbar) to the sea."

Then along came Moko, who approached the whales and appeared to lead them as they swam 200 yards (180 meters) along the beach and through a channel out to the open sea.

"Moko just came flying through the water and pushed in between us and the whales," Juanita Symes, another rescuer, told the Associated Press. "She got them to head toward the hill, where the channel is. It was an amazing experience."

Anton van Helden, a marine mammals expert at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, said the reports of Moko's rescue were "fantastic" but believable because dolphins have "a great capacity for altruistic activities."

There's evidence of dolphins protecting people lost at sea, and the swimmers are known for their playfulness with other animals.

"But it's the first time I've heard of an inter-species refloating technique. I think that's wonderful," said van Helden, who was not involved in the rescue but spoke afterward to Smith.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. "

What feeds your spirit?

Last night @ girls' night prompted by our oracle cards we were discussing things that feed our spirit. I was thinking of posting about that and ask you what feeds yours. Then I got this in email and thought it went well with the question:


Everything is made of energy. Each of us has an energy field. Our thoughts and emotions extend beyond our physical bodies and influence the people and spaces around us.

When you lift your spirit, you raise your vibration. You raise both the frequency of your own energy field, and the frequency (vibration) of the energy in the environment around you. And you feel better and lighter when your spirits are high.

Quickly write down as many things as possible that lift your spirit. Now look over your list. Which of the ways you recorded are not regular parts of your life? What would it take to make the underused ways regular parts of your life?

Doing the things that bring you joy and lift your spirit means your energy is lifted. And lifting your energy helps to lift the energy of the planet."

~ Karen Titanich and Bonnie Hutchinson, via

Some of the things that feed and/or lift my spirit:
* Quality time with my husband
* My cats
* Being in nature
* Springtime
* Uplifting music
* Walking
* Time with family (something I don't do enough of)
* Learning for pleasure
* Time with girlfriends, esp. Tuesday nights
* Reading uplifting or spiritual things
* Singing
* Dancing
* The Indigo Girls
* Flowers
* TV occasionally, but not most of what I watch

Monday, March 10, 2008

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, March 09, 2008

More birdies

Finally got pics of a male cardinal at the feeders!
The cardinal is the state bird of seven states (including West Virginia).

Female downy woodpecker
Males have a red patch on the back of their heads.

White breasted nuthatch

"Nuthatches gather nuts and seeds, jam them into tree bark, and hammer or "hatch" the food open with their bills."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A female cardinal at the feeder. The last picture also includes a tufted titmouse.

Spring is Coming! Spring is Coming!


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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Woods & Cats

Last week I realized I had never taken any pictures looking down into the woods behind my house. (Actually what started it was hearing John Anderson's Seminole Wind and he says "And the last time I walked in the swamp, I sat upon a Cypress stump," and i thought "I need a stump to sit on!" and thought of looking for one and then thought about the fact that I have no pictures from the back woods.)

So Sunday afternoon I went back there. The cats followed me, as they always do when I'm out in the yard. So here are pictures of my woods and the cats.

At the end of the yard, there is a lower place that is kind of flat then it goes downhill into the woods. This is taken standing in the low flat part.

I am thinking of making this area a sitting area of some type. Maybe a picnic table, or a couple of chairs. Or a deer blind (I saw one of those on TV the other day and thought that would be perfect for hanging out in the woods and taking pictures of the birds and stuff!!)

Looking to the left.

Looking straight back and down

Toward the right.

Rascal was laying by a tree over to the side of the main yard but when he saw me he had to find out what I was doing.

Roscoe is watching Bobbi walking across the yard.

Bobbi walked across the yard to this tree and then walked down the tree to me, followed by Rascal.

Spare and Rascal wait to see what's going to happen next.

Finally, Hoppy the 3 legged cat hops down to join us. Except he just wanted to bother Bobbi so I had to carry him back up to the porch. Because even though he has only 3 legs and no claws, Bobbi still runs from him when he chases her.

A trip to Morgantown

This weekend we went to Morgantown to attend the West Virginia Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet.

We drove up Saturday morning, arriving in time to have lunch at my husband's favorite restaurant, Wings Ole.

Afterward, we spent a couple of hours just driving around Husband's hometown. This is where I worked when I lived there, The Hampton Center. The firm I worked for has moved down to the waterfront now though.

While exploring some of the new roads where they're building (They are building ALL OVER town - apartments, townhouses, shopping centers. It just blows me away.) we accidentally drove onto the experimental farm on Stewartstown Road!! I used to drive past it every day on the way to work, just to see the cows. Okay, the name is not really the "experimental farm", technically it's the West Virginia University Animal Sciences Farm. But Husband calls it the experimental farm so I do too. And they do research and experiments apparently, because this is from the university's website "Located on the outskirts of Morgantown, this 935-acre facility is a central component of the Experiment Station research on beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, and swine. "

Here are a bunch of experimental cows (with lots of baby cows!!! I love baby cow season!!)

I talked to this pretty black cow. I love visiting cows. I wish there were more cows I could visit here.

And here's a horse farm. We stopped to visit with the horse pictured. He wanted to know if I had a carrot, but I didn't.

Eventually we made our way to the Waterfront Place Hotel, where the banquet was being held and where we were staying.

This is my new favorite water. Fiji water!!

Artesian water bottled in Fiji untouched by human hands or exposed to the outside environment until you open the bottle. They had this in our room at Stonewall Resort, but it was $5. You can get it at Sheetz or Go-Mart (convenience stores) a lot cheaper! They have it at Kroger in my area apparently, although the particular store I go to isn't listed. It's a more expensive than regular spring water. But worth it, I think! I won't drink it all the time, but it can be an occasional treat!

So anyway. After we got settled in, we went out and took a walk on the rail trail that runs behind the hotel and the other waterfront properties and along the river. It was a little cold but we enjoyed it.

Then we came back to the room to get dressed for the banquet.

We went to the reception and had some free drinks then to the banquet and awards presentation. We had a really good time and enjoyed the people we got to hang out with. I got really tired during the awards part though and didn't want to go to the cigar bar like a lot of people were. I told Dave he could go on but he came back to the room with me. We sat in the dark in front of the huge windows with the curtains open and just talked while we looked out toward the lights of Morgantown.

Five Tibetan Exercises For Rejuvenation And Longevity

"The Five Tibetan Rites is a yoga routine based on a ritual of exercises discovered in the early 1900s by a British army colonel ... who was living in a Himalayan monastery. They are practiced around the world and are said to prevent aging."

The whole thing can be done in less than 10 minutes. Each movement should be performed up to 21 times. Start with 3 repetitions each and gradually increase in increments of 2.

An important part is conscious breathing while doing the rites. Before beginning, practice the basic 4 -stage breathing technique ( inhale, hold, exhale, hold empty lungs).

It should not make you feel exhausted. If you become short of breath your body is low on oxygen and you should slow down. Emphasis should be on breath synchronization and fluency, rather than on speed and number of repetitions.

"Five Tibetan Exercises For Rejuvenation And Longevity

Rite 1
Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal to the floor. Spin around clockwise, until you become slightly dizzy.
Rite 2
First, lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extended your arms along your sides, and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping the fingers close together. Then, raise your head off the floor, tucking the chin against the chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, let the legs extend back over the body, toward the head; but do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower both the head and the legs, knees straight, to the floor. Allow all the muscles to relax, continue breathing in the same rhythm. Breathe in deeply as you lift your legs and breathe out, as you lower your legs.

Rite 3
Kneel on the floor, with the body erect. The hands should be placed against the thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then, throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine. As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching, return to the original position, and start the rite all over again. Breathe in deeply as you arch the spine, breathe out as you return to an erect position.

Rite 4
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside the buttocks. Then, tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now, drop the head backward as far as it will go. At the same time, raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight.

The trunk of the body will be in a straight line with the upper legs, horizontal to the floor.

Then, tense every muscle in the body. Finally, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position, and rest before repeating the procedure. Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, breathe out completely as you come down.

Continue breathing in the same rhythm as long as you rest between repetitions.

Rite 5
When you perform the fifth rite, your body will be face-down to the floor. It will be supported by the hands, palms down against the floor, and the toes in a flexed position. Throughout this rite, the hands and feet should be kept straight. Start with your arms perpendicular to the floor, and the spine arched, so that the body is in a sagging position. Now, throw the head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted 'V'. At the same time, bring the chin forward, tucking it against the chest. Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, breathe out fully as you lower it.

Rite 6
Deep Breathing. Stand comfortably and exhale as you bend from the waist, placing your hands on your knees. Expel the last bit of air from your lungs and without taking in new breath, return to an erect position. Place your hands on your hips, with fingers to the front and press as hard as you can while sucking in the abdomen. This will raise your shoulders and chest. While holding in the abdomen, also squeeze the pubococcygeal muscle up to emphasize the upward thrust. Hold this position and bring your closed eyeballs to the point between the eyebrows so that all this lower chakric energy will rise up to the highest centers. When you must take a breath, breathe in through your nose and then exhale through the mouth as you drop your arms down to your sides to relax. Take in several normal breaths through the nose and mouth before beginning again."

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