Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Farmers switch to organic cashews

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Farmers have been using the vast tracts of semi-arid land and degraded land in Kubu district, Karangasem regency, for cashew nut production.

The cashew nut plantations have become the primary source of income for hundreds of families in a program that has been so successful that its coordinators was recently named the winner of a food resilience award, to be handed over by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Nov. 15.

"We're grateful we can work better. I hope we can survive so that more farmers can enjoy the benefits of this program," said Nyoman Menget Adriasa, 40, the coordinator of the five farmers groups in Kubu that are united under subak abian (farmers who work on dry land).

The five subak abian groups consist of Subak Pulesari with membership of 55 farmers covering 96.5 hectares, Tunas Mekar with 86 members and 97.85 hectares, Subak Giri Celagi with 74 farmers and 158.1 hectares, Subak Bhuana Kusuma with 87 members and 191.75 hectares and Subak Pertiwi Palasari with 61 members and 56 hectares.

According to Menget, each member owns 1.5 hectares of land on average. Menget himself owns 2.7 hectares.

In 1985, local farmers started utilizing the unproductive land at the foot of Mount Agung to plant cashew nuts. They started to enjoy the fruits of their hard work in 1994, even though their harvests had not been optimal.

The farmers always ended up on the losing side in determining prices. The most disheartening thing was that buyers did not pay cash straight out, but in installments, Menget said.

The result was predictable. Many farmers were frustrated and lost the spirit to continue cultivating the land.

Aside from that, Menget said, many youngsters left for Denpasar in search of jobs in hospitality. However, the 2002 Kuta bombings caused many tourism workers to return home.

"Many of them had to return to farming as it was the only way they could survive," he said.

In 2005, assistance was provided by VECO Indonesia, an non-governmental organization specializing in giving support in sustainable agricultural development, in the form of consultants who later worked in cooperation with the Bali Plantation Office, Karangasem regency and foreign investment company PT Profil Mitra Abadi from Jakarta.

The organic cashew plantations were later certified by the Institute for Market-ecology (IMO).

Imam Suharto, the learning and information management section manager of VECO Indonesia, said the farmers were prohibited from using chemical fertilizers and insecticides.

"The control covers technical assistance from production to post-harvest to marketing. During the harvest period, the cashew nuts are not picked, but left to fall by themselves, indicating they are fully ripe," he said.

Iman said the cashew nuts were divided into five kilogram lots, which were periodically checked to ensure the weight stayed the same.

"Each step has to be recorded. If there are any discrepancies, this shows there has been deceit," he said, adding that many of the farmers were not capable of preparing yearly audits or record-keeping systems.

In order to solve this problem, IMO sends officers out into the field to monitor and control the situation.

The IMO, Imam said, made external checks by cross-checking with the Internal Control System (ICS) and also the buyers. If the weight and quality was different, the IMO postponed the certification process, he said.

Out of the five farmers groups, two have got organic certification. Certified organic cashew nuts fetch Rp 8,500 per kilogram, while regular cashew nuts are sold to wholesalers for Rp 6,500-7,000.

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