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.

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)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bogor’s Silk House works with farmers

Theresia Sufa , The Jakarta Post , Bogor | Tue, 09/01/2009 11:48 AM

Natural spinner: Rumah Sutera Alam is currently the only cottage industry in West Java’s Bogor to work on silk yarn spinning. JP/Theresia Sufa

Rumah Sutra Alam or the Natural Silk House in Ciapus district, Bogor regency, is the cottage industry most frequently visited by students, lecturers and retirees across Indonesia.

In addition to its mulberry plantations, the natural silk center also has a silkworm nursery and undertakes silk yarn spinning and silk cloth weaving.

Visitors to the house mostly wish to learn how to breed silkworms and at the same time observe the process of spinning and weaving.

Owner Tatang Gozali Gandasasmita started his silk yarn spinning business in 2001, with the cottage industry set up on a 2.5-hectare block of land, as something to do during retirement.

“As a retiree I love keeping busy in a way that benefits a lot of people, and this spinning work provides jobs for youths in the Bogor vicinity and helps raise the income of mulberry growers,” he said.

“I call it a silk house because the entire process of making silk takes place here.”

The former employee of Bandung’s PTP-15 state estate company explained that it all begins with the hatching of silkworm eggs that he buys from Candi Roto, Central Java, and Soppeng, South Sulawesi.

“We buy 15 to 20 boxes of silkworm eggs each month, each containing 25,000 eggs,” Tatang said.

“Two weeks later, after they hatch into larvae, we deliver them to mulberry growers, who nurse the young worms to develop into cocoons.”

In running the silk industry, Tatang works with farmers from Bogor, Sukabumi and Cianjur, all in West Java.

“We have 80 farmers as partners but only 40 of them focus on mulberry planting, while the rest grow vegetables as their main crops, handling mulberries as their side business,” he said.

So far, Tatang added, his cocoon production has reached only about half a ton per month, compared with his industry’s monthly capacity of around 2 tons.

“We’re still short of cocoons as we need 2 tons a month for spinning into silk yarn. So we’re trying to approach more farmers, particularly in Bogor, in order to raise silkworms that we supply on the condition that they first have their own mulberry plantations to feed the worms,” he said, adding that he pays Rp 25,000 per kg of cocoons produced, based on national standards.

Downstream process: Workers at Rumah Sutra Alam further weave the spun yarn into silk cloth. JP/Theresia Sufa

The hatching of worms and their growth into cocoons takes 30 days. The cocoons are then spun into silk yarn for further sale, mostly to weavers in Garut, Tasikmalaya and Cirebon, all in West Java, at a price of Rp 350,000 per kg. A cocoon produces around 800 to 1,000 meters of yarn on average; the remaining yarn is woven for sale to any visitors to the silk house.

The woven fabric in the silk house is sold at prices ranging from Rp 50,000 to Rp 3 million depending on the thickness of the material — the thicker the material, the more expensive, because it consumes a lot more yarn.

Besides plain silk cloth, there are also pieces with batik motifs. The silk batik is processed in Cirebon and Pekalongan in Central Java, which usually takes four months to complete.

“I’m very eager to help mulberry growers to develop their business by also cultivating silkworms, so that every time the Bogor regency administration and the Makassar Natural Silk Center offer aid to boost our silk house, I always recommend that the aid be given to mulberry farmers,” Tatang said.

A gift from nature: The cottage industry required monthly some two tons of silk cocoons to be processed into silk yarn. JP/Theresia Sufa

I’ve made a proposal for aid to develop silkworm nurseries for all mulberry farmers in Bogor, in response to the Makassar silk center’s offer. When they join the silkworm raising effort, we won’t face cocoon shortages anymore.”

Ilyas, a mulberry farmer who lives in Pasir Eurih village in Bogor’s Tamansari district, said he started growing mulberries in 2001, after receiving training in the method of mulberry planting from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB). He owns a 3,500-meter-square block of land for his mulberry trees; his main focus is rice paddy.

“I’m growing mulberries only as a side job because I earn very little from the trees. Mulberry leaves are harvested every two months and I sell them to the silk house for Rp 300,000 per ton,” he said.

“I can increase my income if I join silkworm breeding, but I have no proper place to do it. The nursery for silkworm raising has to be sterile and protected from predators.”

According to the secretary of Bogor regency’s Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Office, Siti Nurianty, the silk house is the only silk processing place in Bogor.

“We hope this silk house can truly serve as a silk center and at the same time a tourist destination for silk cloth shopping,” she said. “We therefore always offer our assistance for its development and invite Pak Tatang to various exhibitions. But the most important thing is to support mulberry farmers’ silkworm breeding by providing proper facilities.”

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