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)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Buleleng grape farmers cry out for help

Alit Kartarahardja, The Jakarta Post, Buleleng, Bali | Thu, 04/01/2010 11:21 AM

It was once a fertile vineyard with purple grapes hanging on each healthy vine.

The scenery matched that of any vineyard in the world. Carpets of green filled with bunches of beautiful ripe grapes were seen everywhere in the villages of Buleleng in North Bali.

Local farmers in the Buleleng regency in North Bali, some 100 kilometers north of the Bali provincial capital of Denpasar, have successfully managed to grow grapes in the dry and arid soil.

The location of the vineyards is undoubtedly the most determining influence in the success of grape growing. Not all grape varieties can be successfully grown at any given site.

Certain grape varieties thrive in certain climate and soil conditions. Originating from Turkey and grown in Mediterranean countries, grapes were foreign to many Balinese farmers, who preferred to cultivate local fruit and crops like mangoes, durians, oranges, pineapples and avocados.

However, thanks to the rapid development of farming technology, a number of farmers in the villages of Temukus in Banjar Labuan Aji, some 30 kilometers northwest of Singaraja, had been cultivating quality purple grapes, with a taste comparable to imported grapes.

A number of local winemakers procured their raw materials from this village.

Now, however, it seems like just a beautiful and sweet memory for many grape farmers there. “In the early l990s, we could sell purple grapes at Rp 15,000 [US$1.5] per kilogram. We gained huge profits from growing grapes,” recalled Made Ardika and his two fellow farmers Nyoman Sweca and Kadek Astawa, who are the pioneering grape farmers in the area.

The majority of small-scale farmers, who own one hectare of vineyard at the most, are now suffering from bad pre- and post-harvest yields.

“Most of us sell our harvest yields to middlemen. They are the ones who determine the price of the crops,” Ardika said. Last February, the latest harvest season, the intermediaries could only pay Rp 500 per one kilogram of ripe grapes.

“How can we cover all our production costs?” complained Astawa. “Many farmers just let the ripe fruits hang on the trees. We felt very sad and disappointed with this drastic market fluctuation,” Astawa added.

Historically, Banjar village was one of the potential locations on the island for grape cultivation. Local farmers in the village started to cultivate vines in the early 1980s with prolific yields.

Ida Kade Ardika, a successful grape grower in the village, explained that the quality of grapes from Buleleng was very good and many farmers could sell their harvests for domestic consumption.

“We sold the grapes to many supermarkets and fruit markets in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan in North Sumatra and many other cities in Indonesia,” said Ardika, a doctor turned noted vineyard owner.

Until the early 2000s, the condition of local grape farming was stable in terms of production, pre- and post-harvest handling and marketing lines.

“Our current situation has been influenced both by internal and external factors,” the doctor commented.

Internally, a large number of local farmers were reluctant to adopt the newest grape-growing technology, which required new expertise on grape cultivation including soil management, drip irrigation, new farming techniques and post-harvest treatments.

“There was so much innovation and new technologies to boost the production of grapes and to enhance the quality of the fruit. But, local farmers still had no access to the new systems,” Ardika added.

The present global climate change adversely affected the condition of the plants and the soils.

“Sometimes, the weather was so hot and dry, with very limited rain in the wet season and long droughts during the dry season.” The extreme weather also invited in new types of pests, he added.

While in other countries, farmers had already started using mechanization, Buleleng farmers insisted on adopting traditional farming methods. Such old-fashioned methods could no longer repair the damaged soil nor control pests.

“Vines need moisture and fertile soil. When the soil is not in good shape, the quality of the fruit will be badly affected. This led to the deep plunge of the price in the market,” he added.

The world trade system has allowed overseas countries like China, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand to flood local markets with their fruit. China is one of the greatest fruit exporters to Indonesia.

“With limited capital and farming skills, we cannot compete with the giant competitors like China’s farmers,” he added.

Government support of small-scale farmers is badly needed to encourage them to produce quality harvests. “What we need is stable marketing distribution and price mechanism,” he said. Additional training is required to help boost farming skills.

Vineyard cultivation is economically profitable if it is handled properly. One hectare of vineyard could yield 10 to 15 tons every harvest season. This means, every harvest, a farmer could gain Rp 60 million provided that the price ranges between Rp 5,000 and Rp 6,000 per kilogram.

“It requires strong commitment from all the stakeholders to develop our agricultural sector. Farmers in Bali and other places in Indonesia are always the losers.”

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